Books

Book forum: Julie Livington’s Self-Devouring Growth

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This book forum brings together seven scholars to discuss Julie Livingston’s Self-Devouring Growth: A Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa (Duke 2019), a story of what grows alongside “growth” and the price of “a good life.” Botswana offers lessons that are peopled and elemental; lessons that tug between the local and the global. Livingston shows how water, food, transportation…

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Book forum: Michelle Murphy’s The Economization of Life

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Michelle Murphy’s The Economization of Life (Duke University Press, 2017) received the Ludwik Fleck Prize from the the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) at the 2019 conference in New Orleans. Murphy’s book, recognized for its novelty, scholarly excellence, and contribution to science and technology studies, was also the subject of a panel of feminist thinkers who offered commentary …

Books

Ageless: Reflections on Lawrence Cohen’s No Aging in India

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Two decades ago, Lawrence Cohen’s No Aging in India: Alzheimer’s, the Bad Family, and Other Modern Things challenged the ways in which we think about aging and senility, kinship and its undoing, medicine and the nation, language and the possibilities of ethnographic writing, and what it means to do the anthropology of South Asia. But its 300-odd pages contain much …

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Book Forum: Tomas Matza’s Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity, and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia

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In Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity, and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia (Duke University Press, 2018), Tomas Matza traces the landscape of “psy” disciplines, practices, and institutions across postsocialist Saint Petersburg. Writing with a distinctive conceptual subtlety and care, Matza pushes beyond a range of well-established interpretations to examine the multiple ways in which psychotherapy has provided tools for people to understand …

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Book Forum: Crystal (Cal) Biruk’s Cooking Data, Ramah McKay’s Medicine in the Meantime, and Noémi Tousignant’s Edges of Exposure

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In this book forum, we review three ethnographies of critical global health – Crystal (Cal) Biruk’s Cooking Data, Ramah McKay’s Medicine in the Meantime, and Noémi Tousignant’s Edges of Exposure – and ask the authors to reflect on the nature of labor, the public-private, and race in critical global health, as well as the future of the field. …

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Book Forum: Saida Hodžić’s The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life After NGOs

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Saida Hodžić’s The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life after NGOs (University of California Press, 2017) illuminates the myriad state and non-state actors collaborating on campaigns against “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM) in Ghana, where genital cutting was already on the decline. From a uniquely multi-scalar perspective, Hodžić reveals how cutting emerged as a problem to be shared by African …