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 …
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 …
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 …
American 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 …
Migrants 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, …
Det 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 …