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Book Forum — Nayanika Mookherjee’s The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories, and the Bangladesh War of 1971

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Andrew Brandel has organized an extraordinary and diverse set of commentaries on Nayanika Mookherjee’s The Spectral Wound: Sexual Violence, Public Memories, and the Bangladesh War of 1971 (Duke University Press, 2015). Each intervention is a path that moves outward from Mookherjee’s remarkable study, finding ways through the brambles of memory and history. We hope you enjoy. — Todd Meyers, …

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Book Forum –– Nancy Rose Hunt’s A Nervous State: Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Congo

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When Nancy Rose Hunt suggests that her book “joins the ferment” of colonial aggressions and uncertainties “while taking up harm and pleasure in a shrunken colonial milieu and in postcolonial historiography too” (4), an uninitiated reader might mistake Hunt’s appraisal of her project as attempting the impossible labor of largeness of scope and precision of subject. After spending time …

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Book Forum––Science, Reason, Modernity: Readings for an Anthropology of the Contemporary

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Science, Reason, Modernity: Readings for an Anthropology of the Contemporary is many things — a carefully curated selection of classic texts ranging from Immanuel Kant’s “An Answer to the Question: ‘What is Enlightenment?’” and Max Weber’s “Science as a Vocation,” to Georges Canguilhem’s “The Question of Normality in the History of Biological Thought” and Paul Rabinow’s “Anthropos Today: Reflections …

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Book Forum – Hervé Guibert’s Cytomegalovirus: A Hospitalization Diary

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A quarter-century after it was written, Hervé Guibert’s Cytomegalovirus reads both as a vital document of a particular moment in the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and as a wonderfully spare account of the banal humiliations and little triumphs of hospitalization in the shadow of a then-terminal illness.  Republished with a luminous Introduction by David Caron and a wide-ranging and

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Book Forum — Emily Yates-Doerr’s “The Weight of Obesity: Hunger and Global Health in Postwar Guatemala”

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It is a pleasure to convene this forum for The Weight of Obesity: Hunger and Global Health in Postwar Guatemala. Marianne de Laet, Simon Cohn, and Jeannette Pols, have provided spirited commentaries on Emily Yates-Doerr’s ethnography of metrics, weight, and care in highland Guatemala. The author’s talent to illustrate the complex choreographies that produce the problem of obesity makes …

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Book Forum––Harris Solomon’s Metabolic Living: Food, Fat and The Absorption of Illness in India

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Harris Solomon’s Metabolic Living traces patterns of consumption, calories, and chronic disease to tell a story about the enfolding––the absorption and regulation––of food in and about the body in Mumbai. Solomon’s book is a powerful ethnographic reflection on how factors held as exterior (local and global cuisine, evolving and competing norms regarding eating and body image) are wholly interiorized. …