Features

Extractivism, Refusals, and the Mining of Failure

Is ethnographic research analogous to a gold mine project, an extractive industry that makes a social and material landscape knowable, and hence governable? Is knowledge construction a veil for narrative extraction, where knowledge is a commodity to be reassembled for productive gain? I ask these questions as a way to tease out the tensions experienced between me and my collaborators …

Books

Book Forum–Jeanne Favret-Saada’s The Anti-Witch

This article is part of the series:

The Anti-Witch cover

 

In The Anti-Witch, Jeanne Favret-Saada revisits fieldwork she first described in her classic Deadly Words: Witchcraft in the Bocage in a more reflective mode and conceptually ambitious mode. Made available as an open-access monograph by HAU Books, this translation introduces English-language readers to Favret-Saada’s encounters with the “dewitcher” Madame Flora and outlines the foundations for an anthropology

Books

Michele Friedner’s “Valuing Deaf Worlds in Urban India”

Friedner cover imageValuing Deaf Worlds in Urban India

by Michele Friedner

Rutgers University Press, 2015, 216 pages

 

An Indian coffee shop franchise advertises their practice of hiring deaf baristas – “silent brewmasters” – to work their espresso machines. A Bangalore tech company boasts that it hires “physically challenged” workers only (118-121). Meanwhile, deaf adults in Bangalore complain that adult education at …

Features

Making Cases for a Technological Fix: Germany’s Energy Transition and the Green Good Life

This is a story of women who invoke another woman’s psychosomatic distress to make a case for the green good life and its possibilities. Hailing from a northern German village transformed by sustainable development projects, the people in this story weigh the promises of the Energiewende, Germany’s “energy turn” from nuclear to renewable energy, through the experience of one woman …

Books

Kelly Ray Knight’s addicted.pregnant.poor

bell-review-addictedpregnantpooraddicted.pregnant.poor

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 …