Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Annals of Injury and Dispossession

In a 2013 essay in American Anthropologist, Andrea Muehlebach summarized the concept of “precarity” as “a shorthand for…the multiple forms of nightmarish dispossession and injury that our age entails.” Indeed, the last month has seen a collection of events, acute and ongoing, that characterize the precariousness of the historical present. In the U.S., July 26 marked the court-imposed deadline

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Women, Withdrawal, and Antidepressants

In April, an article in the New York Times caused a stir with the headline, “Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit.” The piece begins with a young woman who “would hunch over the kitchen table, steady her hands and draw a bead of liquid from a vial with a small dropper.” Over a period of months of trying …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Opioids as a National Emergency

After several years in the headlines, the U.S. opioid crisis has been in the news this summer as the federal government debates its status as a national emergency. On July 31st, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, released its interim report on the state of the …

Features

Biofinance: Speculation, Risk, Debt, and Value from Bios: A conference report

How does the financialization of life itself figure as a new means of producing value in modern technoscience? That is the question that motivated Kirk Fiereck to convene the panel “Biofinance: Speculation, Risk, Debt, and Value from Bios” at the 2016 American Anthropological Association meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota this November. Fiereck, panelists Melina Sherman, Danya Glabau, and Emily Xi Lin, …

Books

Kelly Ray Knight’s addicted.pregnant.poor

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By Kelly Ray Knight

Duke University Press, 2015, 328 pages

addicted.pregnant.poor is the sort of ethnography you start reading and don’t put down again until it’s finished.  From its opening pages—where Knight recounts the story of trying to get into the hotel room of Ramona, her extremely high, heavily pregnant and possibly comatose informant—to the last, this is a …

Features

Pharmaceutical Prosthesis and White Racial Rescue in the Prescription Opioid “Epidemic”

This article is part of the series:

Introduction

A U.S. public discourse of addiction as a disabling psychiatric condition (as opposed to a moral flaw or social deviancy) was codified into Social Security policy in 1972, following its emergence in post-war clinical science and popular media (Conrad & Schneider, 1980; Duster, 1970). In recent years, this discourse has taken divergent forms in policy and media debates surrounding …