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Category Archives: Volume 38, Issue 3 (August 2011)
The Ruptures of American Capital: Women of Color Feminism and the Culture of Immigrant Labor by Grace Kyungwon Hong
Blood and Culture: Youth, Right-Wing Extremism, and National Belonging in Contemporary Germany by Cynthia Miller-Idriss
The Occult Life of Things: Native Amazonian Theories of Materiality and Personhood edited by Fernando Santos-Granero
Suffering and Sentiment: Exploring the Vicissitudes of Experience and Pain in Yap by C. Jason Throop
When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects by Adriana Petryna
In this article, I explain why some of the most elite and dedicated soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces ultimately became conscientious objectors. I argue that because the sacrificial moral economy, and not the state as supersubject, was hegemonically inculcated in these young people, resistance was possible. This case prompts a reconsideration of anthropological understandings of the relationship between hegemonic inculcation and resistance. Specifically, we cannot only ask to what degree subjects subscribe to hegemony but we must also ask what specifically is inculcated and how this alters agency and its object.
In this article, I examine how Uzbek exiles have used the Internet to attempt to forge solidarity in a political culture of cynicism and distrust. Tracing the development of internal divisiveness in the Uzbek political opposition, I show how cynicism has been reconstituted as an essential part of Uzbek political integrity, and then I examine how some dissidents have attempted to counteract this cynical political culture through the online promotion of a new political repertoire. I argue that the Internet changes patterns of political dissent by allowing greater interaction between geographically dispersed, like-minded parties but also allows the doubts and antagonisms that existed within those parties to be more easily perceived and, in some cases, exacerbated.
I analyze emigration from Honduras to the United States through the lens of the anthropology of knowledge. Whereas Honduran nonmigrants describe migration as a personal choice, migrants claim to be motivated by generalized social forces. Relatively abstract and systematic explanations of migration exemplify what Douglas Holmes and George Marcus call “paraethnographies,” forms of ethnography found within the discourse of the subjects of ethnographic research. Paraethnography has been employed in other settings to show how people use context-dependent information to challenge abstract models of behavior, but, here, it contextualizes the particular within the general, performing an opposite function than that described by Holmes and Marcus.
Pueblo street fighting to national martial art: Nation building and the nationalization of a Venezuelan civilian combative practice
In this article, I examine how local groups are often instrumental in the establishment of nation-states whose legitimacy is later threatened through acts of resistance or subversion by these same groups or their heirs. In Venezuela, groups who maintain a tradition of stick fighting provide a case in point. Developed among the rural civilian population in the postcolonial era for defensive purposes and sometimes deployed in the service of the nascent Venezuelan state, stick fighting has recently been promoted as a national martial art. As one group of stick fighters helped link the popularization of this art with Venezuelan nationalism, it simultaneously drew on strategies of misdirection and secrecy associated with the art to restrict its dissemination. In doing so, it maintained local forms of sociality against the cultural domination of state and global forces.
I offer a counterpoint to the prevailing risk literature that focuses not on (mis)perceptions of danger but on the production and circulation of different forms of evidence and the environmental claims they promote. Rather than reproduce the epistemic dichotomies associated with risk discourse, I discuss attempts by waste-industry technicians, government inspectors, lawyers, area residents, and activists to generate persuasive accounts of a large, U.S. landfill and its porous boundaries. I argue that the differential influence of their various claims is best understood by examining what it means to know and care for a place.
In this article, I analyze the encounter between the Field Museum of Natural History and Amazonian Ecuador’s Cofán people to question the concept of “environmentality”: the idea that environmentalist programs and movements operate as forms of governmentality in Michel Foucault’s sense. I argue that, although the Field Museum’s community conservation projects constitute a regulatory rationale and technique, they do not transform Cofán subjectivity according to plan. By exploring Cofán people’s critical consciousness of environmentalist interventions, I aim to cast doubt on the governmentality paradigm’s utility for analyzing the complexities of cultural difference, intercultural encounter, and directed change.
Many Alevis in Turkey today view their community’s traditions of ritual weeping as anachronistic in the modern world. In this article, I situate such sensibilities within a political context in which Turkish state agencies have vigorously regulated norms of public affect. I describe the efforts of one Alevi group to counter such sensibilities by cultivating a susceptibility to affective excitation in line with Shi‘i traditions of lamentation. The group’s practices are exemplary of many Islamic revival movements, which aim simultaneously to spread a religious message and to transform the affective conditions in which that message might be received.
The remaking of Lake Sakakawea: Locating cultural viability in negative heritage on the Missouri River
The creation of Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota during the 1950s resulted in significant grief and loss for the Fort Berthold Indian community and continues to figure prominently in the collective memory of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara people. Drawing from ethnographic information pre- and postdating dam construction, we examine the lake’s paradoxical identities in the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation worldview, as a repository of negative memory and as a locale of cultural knowledge, continuity, and meaning. The tribe’s response to the construction of the lake illustrates how physical and psychological adjustments to irreparable loss can resituate negative heritage as culturally viable property.
In this article, I examine the quandaries of knowledge reproduction and preservation raised by the Henry C. Toll Collection of sketches, curated at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, depicting the religious ceremonies of 18 Pueblo tribes. The collection provides unique insight into the interrelationships between power and image making, intellectual property and secrecy, and museum practices in an age of ethical engagement with descendant communities. I explore these themes in the context of the Pueblos’ historical struggle to control images, the Toll Collection’s formation, and ethnographic interviews with Acoma, Hopi, Laguna, and Zuni cultural leaders.