Books

On Thinking with People and their Escapes: A Review of Unfinished through Storytelling

Unfinished: The Anthropology of Becoming

João Biehl and Peter Locke, editors

Duke University Press, 2017. 400 pages.

 

If hierarchy is the key to sociological knowledge production, what might it mean to refuse the hierarchy of intelligences between those who know the world, those who can allegedly theorize the world, and those who have to survive the world, or …

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Reaching Out, Looking In: On Research, Refusal, and Responsibility

This article is part of the series:

The papers in this series, “Critical Histories, Activist Futures,” have captured some of the exciting conversations that took place during a conference titled “Critical Histories, Activist Futures: Science, Medicine, and Racial Violence,” which was held at Yale University in February 2017. As my colleague Sarah M. Pickman has explained, the conference was intended to create a space for …

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Blue binders of white donors: sorting race out in South African IVF

This article is part of the series:

Miracle babies. The microscopic enchantments of embryos. The image of a woman holding that much-desired infant. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is replete with awe-inducing imagery, often bordering on the near religious. Kylie, an embryologist I interviewed in Cape Town described the images of IVF as part of the inspiring stories that drew her into the field: “I watched a …

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Defining “Social Justice” at the Academic Medical Center

This article is part of the series:

I am delighted to contribute to this series on the Critical Histories and Activist Futures: Science, Medicine, and Racial Violence Conference. As captured by the submissions published here over the last few months, the content of the conference sparked productive conversations about history, health, and justice that are still ongoing here at Yale. But rather than focusing on the papers …

BooksFeatures

Book forum — Alondra Nelson’s The Social Life of DNA

This article is part of the series:

In The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome, Alondra Nelson traces the multiple ways in which genetic testing and related technologies have become entangled in contemporary debates, projects, politics, and interventions surrounding race in the United States.  This wide-ranging and incisive book manages the difficult task of being a key addition to the scholarly …

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Body

It is increasingly impossible to think of the problem of waste, or discarded and denigrated materials, separately from the problem of race, or discarded and denigrated people. There are at least two ways to think about this association: in terms of proximity or consubstantiality and in terms of resemblance or metaphorical substitution. On the one hand, people and communities of …