As if it were not challenging
enough during the “normal emergencies” 
of the United States-led War on Drugs, research and advocacy for sane drug
policies becomes even more complicated during a global pandemic.
COVID-19 has exposed the deep and
enduring health and social inequities that mark our biopolitical moment, and
the punitive ways that we govern people who use …
Field hospital constructed in Gothenburg, Sweden in March 2020. Photo: Helén Sjöland
While reading Giorgio Agamben’s (2020) anthropological note on the “danger” of habituation of Italians to bare life under a state of exception invoked in the name of an allegedly “manufactured” crisis, what comes to our minds – also within the broader context of the pandemic and its …
This Somatosphere forum features essays written in the wake of a debate held at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The debate was organized around the following motion: “Lacking empirical traction and heuristic power, the distinction between life and nonlife is one that anthropology needs to discard.” We hope …
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 …
The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability
Duke University Press, 2017. 296 pages.
Jasbir Puar’s second book, The Right to Maim, examines the relationship between life, debility, and death. On a spectrum between life and death, according to Puar, there is the production of the “living dead, death worlds, necropolitics, slow death, and life itself”—this is …
Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique
Rachel Louise Moran
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018. 224 pages.
When Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” campaign in 2010, it triggered a backlash by conservatives anxious about the so called “nanny state” interfering unduly in the private sphere. The campaign was a national initiative “dedicated …