Lectures

The balcony: normativity lessons in times of crisis

This article is part of the series:

The balcony has become a powerful domestic space symbolizing corona-solidarity in the south of Europe. Movie clips of Italians singing their national anthem from their balconies were broadcast worldwide in the evening news. Such a moving and spontaneous event united people quarantined. Italians, too, killed time making and hanging hand-crafted signs from their balconies with the phrase ‘Andrà tutto bene’—everything …

Features

Time, Regained

This article is part of the series:

The following is taken from the forthcoming book, The Police Against Itself: Reassembling French Liberalism “After the Social,” an ethnography of French police administrative reform, the vicissitudes of public life, and the ethical tensions which animate both, especially around questions of violence. This section, an interlude entitled “Time, Regained,” offers a rumination on a particular tapestry of violence and belonging

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Thinking pain

Care worker Annika announces that she does not want to go to Mr Moran. “He always complains.” “I’ll go”, says her colleague Robin, and turning to me he says, “I don’t have the intern today so you can come along if you want to see for yourself how it goes”. We head off to assemble the materials for the morning …

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Taking part in and being part of giving birth: Enacting participation in a midwife-led birth situation

According to her midwife Jana, Mira’s was a textbook birth: it was quite fast, even for a second birth, and proceeded without any complications. In reflecting on her attendance at Mira’s birth, which I had witnessed the day before, Jana emphasised that her task during birth is only to observe: “Observing, keeping an objective view, and recognising what the situation …

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Opening up shrinking life-worlds

Lives change dramatically as dementia progresses. Using observations of people suffering from obsessions and compulsions, I will analyse this change along three dimensions.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterised by intrusive anxiety-provoking thoughts (obsessions) and rituals aimed at reducing anxiety, which then paradoxically come to exacerbate it (compulsions). I have been studying clinicians working with people who suffer from a severe, …

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Peripheral participants: Thinking through distortion, displacement, nullification

Warm haze

As I spoke, people looked at me worriedly. The kindness in their eyes was mixed with curiosity and concern. Rather than answering me, they turned to each other to discuss something beyond my grasp. I had aphasia and my incoherent stream of words was puzzling to the people around me. I spoke, I thought, in perfect sentences but …