Kalpana Ram’s “Fertile Disorder: Spirit Possession and its Provocation of the Modern”


Fertile Disorder: Spirit Possession and its Provocation of the Modern

by Kalpana Ram

University of Hawaii Press, 2013, 336 pages

Spirit possession is a familiar anthropological interest. But efforts to understand it through scholarly, secular thought often require some suspension of disbelief. Or, more disconcertingly, they simply avoid engaging with the phenomena on its own terms, looking to locate its …


Book Forum—Lisa Stevenson’s “Life Beside Itself: Imagining Care in the Canadian Arctic”

This article is part of the series:

life beside itself cover

For our latest installment in the book forum series, we bring you a series of commentaries on Lisa Stevenson’s Life Beside Itself: Imagining Care in the Canadian Arctic (University of California Press, 2014).  As it takes us across the conceptual grounds of governance, (post)colonialism, biopolitics, violence, and suicide, this book illuminates care as an object of study in a way …


Jenell Johnson’s American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History

americanlobotomycoverAmerican Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History

by Jenell Johnson

University of Michigan Press, 2014, 240 pages.


Jenell Johnson’s 2014 book American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History provides an accessible and thoroughly enjoyable look at how an infamous medical procedure – the lobotomy – developed, was administered, initially applauded, ultimately loathed, and has had an enduring and profound impact upon medicalization of …


Cristiana Giordano’s Migrants in Translation

9780520276666Migrants in Translation: Caring and the Logics of Difference in Contemporary Italy

By Cristiana Giordano

University of California Press, 2014, 288 pages.


Exploring the political entailments of rehabilitating “victims of human trafficking” in Italy, Migrants in Translation speaks to the often puzzling disjuncture between recent anthropological and public discourses concerning migrant care and integration: while anthropology’s critiques have led, …


Johan Asplund’s The Elementary Forms of Social Life

This article is part of the series:

Det sociala livets elementara formerDet sociala livets elementära former [The Elementary Forms of Social Life]

by Johan Asplund

Bokförlaget Korpen, 1987/2000, 268 pages.


Johan Asplund, whose work has been rather underrepresented in the international academic arena, is frequently seen as the “father” of contemporary Swedish social psychology. Remarkably productive, Asplund gained popularity in the 1970–1980s, and his books are still widely used in …

In the Journals

The Lancet Commission on Culture and Health

Recently, A. David Napier and colleagues published their executive summary from The Lancet Commission on Culture and Health (The Lancet, Volume 384, Issue 9954, pp. 1607-1639, 1 November 2014). 
They write:

This Commission is the first ever detailed appraisal of the role of culture in health, bringing together voices from different fields, including anthropologists, social scientists, and …