BooksFeatures

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. …

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Book Forum––Robert Desjarlais’ Subject to Death: Life and Loss in a Buddhist World

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Robert Desjarlais’s Subject to Death is like stepping onto a train already in motion. Its momentum isn’t fierce but there’s no time to ease in––from its first pages, as readers we find ourselves in the midst of death and life and loss as they take and are given form. At the risk of overusing the term, there is great care
BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Sabine Arnaud’s On Hysteria

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Sabine Arnaud’s On Hysteria: The Invention of a Medical Category Between 1670 and 1820 focuses on the socio-medical category before its better-known (and more heavily studied) late nineteenth century instantiations, not to trace the prehistory of hysteria from the seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries, but in order to demonstrate how hysteria takes unexpected form during these earlier epochs. The …

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Book Forum–Jeanne Favret-Saada’s The Anti-Witch

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In The Anti-Witch, Jeanne Favret-Saada revisits fieldwork she first described in her classic Deadly Words: Witchcraft in the Bocage in a more reflective mode and conceptually ambitious mode. Made available as an open-access monograph by HAU Books, this translation introduces English-language readers to Favret-Saada’s encounters with the “dewitcher” Madame Flora and outlines the foundations for an anthropology

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Book Forum––Carlo Caduff’s The Pandemic Perhaps

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Carlo Caduff’s The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger (University of California Press, 2015) is a story of the influenza pandemic that never was. Caduff tells this story from an American perspective through his encounters with scientists and other actors who engage in the august work of “preparedness,” but in doing so, often draw upon …