BooksFeatures

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 …

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Book Forum––Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega’s Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject

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Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega’s Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject is a fine-grained account of the “neuro-” in a range of disciplines, and, importantly––crucially––, takes stock of the history and scope of this prefix.  But more than this the book is an exploration, a critical engagement with the surge of brain-centered approaches to behavior, to physiology, to mind, …

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Book Forum: Larisa Jašarević’s Health and Wealth on the Bosnian Market

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In Health and Wealth on the Bosnian Market: An Intimate Debt, Larisa Jašarević explores the mutual entanglement between the economy, living body and the good life in postsocialist and postwar Bosnia. Beautifully written and theoretically sophisticated, this ethnography is a key addition to scholarly literature on debt, moral economies, medical anthropology, and material bodies. We are pleased to …

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Book Forum––Des Fitzgerald’s Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience

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Des Fitzgerald writes of his book, Tracing Autism, “This is a book about scientists talking about their own practice, in tones that are beset by ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and even some anxiety” (9).  This is true, and after reading the book one might find the description a little understated.  By now the idea that neuroscience, any science, is …