Features

Bleach

My friend Dr. Muñoz makes his own bleach.  He uses salt, water, and electrodes to render sodium hypochlorite.  To do this, he has colonized a small space in a garage-cum-storage unit nestled on the grounds of the Managua health center where he works.  His bleach-making is ad-hoc and off the books.  Dr. Muñoz doesn’t get extra money or time from …

Books

Elizabeth Roberts’ God’s Laboratory

God’s Laboratory: Assisted Reproduction in the Andes

by Elizabeth F. S. Roberts

University of California Press, 2012, 273 pp.

 

In God’s Laboratory: Assisted Reproduction in the Andes, Elizabeth Roberts examines how science and spirituality are connected in the practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Ecuador. This alone is a significant contribution to the anthropology of assisted reproduction, …

FeaturesTeaching Resources

A reader’s guide to the “ontological turn” – Part 3

This article is part of the series:

Editor’s note: In the wake of all the discussion about the ‘ontological turn’ at this year’s American Anthropological Association conference, we asked four scholars, “which texts or resources would you recommend to a student or colleague interested in the uses of ‘ontology’ as an analytical category in recent work in anthropology and science and technology studies?”  This was the reading

Features

Vitamin

Discussing a failed arctic expedition of the late 1700s, Keith Gessen reminds us that the team had wooden boats, wildly inaccurate maps, and “didn’t know what a vitamin was.”[i]  Now, four Nobel Prizes later, we are in the 101st Year of the Vitamin. The word, derived from “vital” because vitamins are required for life, yields 104,000,000 Google search …

Books

Eduardo Kohn’s How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human

This article is part of the series:

Editor’s note: As part of our new series, Second Opinion (not to be confused with the SMA’s similarly titled newsletter) we ask two contributors to review the same book, respond to the same question, or comment on the same set of issues.  For our first pair of Second Opinion posts, we invited two reviews of Eduardo Kohn’s new book, How …

Books

Book review: Clara Han’s Life in Debt

Life in Debt: Times of Care and Violence in Neoliberal Chile

by Clara Han

University of California Press, 2012

298 pp, US$26.95 paperback

 

Life in Debt is not an easy read. This ethnography of care and violence—intimate, political and governmental— in La Pincoya, a poor neighborhood of neoliberal Santiago, effectively draws the reader into the everyday rhythms of its …