Science Studies

New Books in November

Another month, another batch of great new releases! Check out all the new books we have coming out in November.

978-0-8223-7016-1In Black and Blur—the first volume in his consent not to be a single being trilogy—Fred Moten engages in a capacious consideration of the place and force of blackness in African diaspora arts, politics, and life, exploring a wide range of thinkers, musicians, and artists. The other two volumes in the series will be out in the spring.

The contributors to Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global examine Asian video cultures—from video platforms in Indonesia to amateur music videos in India—in the context of social movements, market economies, and local popular cultures, showing how Asian video practices are central to shaping contemporary experiences and mainstream global media.

Melanie Yergeau’s Authoring Autism challenges the academic and cultural stereotypes that do not acknowledge the rhetorical capabilities of autistic people, and shows how autistics both embrace and reject the rhetorical, thereby queering the lines of rhetoric, humanity, agency, and the very essence of rhetoric itself.

978-0-8223-7021-5Reckoning with one’s role in perpetuating systematic inequality, in The Beneficiary Bruce Robbins examines the implications of a humanitarianism in which the prosperous are the both the cause and the beneficiaries of the abhorrent conditions they seek to remedy.

In Domestic Economies Susanna Rosenbaum examines how immigrant Mexican and Central American domestic workers in Los Angeles and the predominantly white, upper-middle-class women who employ them seek to achieve the “American Dream,” underscoring how the American Dream’s ideology is racialized and gendered while exposing how pursuing it lies at the intersection of motherhood and domestic labor.

In Epigenetic Landscapes Susan Merrill Squier follows the cultural trail of C. H. Waddington’s “epigenetic landscape” metaphor from its first visualization by the artist John Piper to its use beyond science, examining how it has been used to illustrate complex systems that link scientific and cultural practices: graphic medicine, landscape architecture, and bioArt.

In Passionate and Pious Monique Moultrie explores the impact of faith-based sexual ministries on black women’s sexual agency to trace how these women navigate sexuality, religious authority, and their spiritual walk with God.

978-0-8223-6898-4.jpgIn Saving the Security State Inderpal Grewal traces the changing relations between the US state and its citizens in an era she calls advanced neoliberalism, under which everyday life is militarized, humanitarianism serves imperial aims, and white Christian men become exceptional citizens tasked with protecting the nation from racialized others.

In Sounds of CrossingAlex E. Chávez explores the contemporary politics of Mexican migrant cultural expression manifest in huapango arribeño, a musical genre from north-central Mexico that helps Mexicans build communities on both sides of the US border and give voice to the transnational migrant experience.

N. Fadeke Castor’s Spiritual Citizenship explores the roles African religious practice play in the formation of social and political identities play in post-independence Trinidad and Tobago, showing how Ifá/Orisha practitioners build and perceive a sense of diasporic belonging that leads them to work toward black liberation and a decolonial future.978-0-8223-7150-2

In Street Archives and City Life Emily Callaci maps a new terrain of political and cultural production in mid-twentieth-century Tanzanian cities. While the postcolonial Tanzanian ruling party adopted a policy of rural socialism—Ujamaa—an influx of youth migrants to the city of Dar es Salaam generated innovative forms of urbanism through the production and circulation of street archives.

We are excited to publish a tenth anniversary expanded edition of Jasbir K. Puar’s pathbreaking book, Terrorist Assemblages—which features a new preface by Tavia Nyong’o and a new postscript by the author. Puar argues that configurations of sexuality, race, gender, nation, class, and ethnicity are realigning in relation to contemporary forces of securitization, counterterrorism, and nationalism.

978-0-8223-7034-5In Test of Faith photographer Lauren Pond documents a Signs Following preacher and his family in rural West Virginia, offering a deeply nuanced, personal look at serpent handling that invites a greater understanding of a religious practice that has long faced derision and criticism. The book is the eighth winner of the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography.

978-0-8223-7001-7Paul Rabinow continues his explorations of “a philosophic anthropology of the contemporary” in Unconsolable Contemporary by examining the work of German painter Gerhard Richter. Defining the contemporary as a moving ratio in which the modern becomes historical, Rabinow uses Richter’s work to illustrate how meaning is created within the contemporary.

The contributors to Unfinished, edited by João Biehl and Peter Lockeexplore the ethnographic essay’s expressive potentials by pursuing an anthropology of becoming, which attends to the contingency of lived experience and provides new means to represent what life means and how it can be represented.

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New Books in October

October is upon us, and we have a number of new books to introduce to you this month. Be on the lookout for these exciting titles at bookstores, online, or at academic meetings later this fall.

978-0-8223-6918-9In The Right to Maim, Jasbir K. Puar continues her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to theorize the production of disability, using Israel’s occupation of Palestine as an example of how settler colonial states rely on liberal frameworks of disability to maintain control of bodies and populations.

Jennifer Terry, in Attachments to War, traces how biomedical logics entangle Americans in a perpetual state of war, in which new forms of wounding necessitate the continual development of treatment and prosthetic technologies while the military justifies violence and military occupation as necessary conditions for advancing medical knowledge.

978-0-8223-6973-8Life in the Age of Drone Warfare, edited by Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan, explores the historical, juridical, geopolitical, and cultural dimensions of drone technology and warfare, showing how drones generate ways of understanding the world, shape the ways lives are lived and ended on the ground, and operate within numerous mechanisms of militarized state power.

 

Tracing the college experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in her new book Grateful Nation, Ellen Moore challenges the popular narratives that explain student veterans’ academic difficulties while showing how these narratives and institutional support for the military lead to suppression of campus debate about the wars, discourage anti-war activism, and encourage a growing militarization.

978-0-8223-6941-7.jpg

The Extractive Zone by Macarena Gómez-Barris extends decolonial theory into greater conversation with race, sexuality, and Indigenous studies; and traces the political, aesthetic, and performative practices of South American indigenous activists, intellectuals, and artists that emerge in opposition to the ruinous effects of extractive capital.

Essays, interviews, and artist statements in Collective Situations —many of which are appearing in English for the first time—present a range of socially engaged art practices in Latin America between 1995 and 2010 that rethink the boundaries between art and activism. The collection is edited by Bill Kelley Jr. and Grant H. Kester.

In Never Alone, Except for Now, juxtaposing contemporary art against familiar features of the Web such as emoticons, Kris Cohen explores how one can be connected to people and places online while simultaneously being alone and isolated. This phenomenon lies in the space between populations built through data collection, and publics created by interacting with others.

Originally published in 1939, Aimé Césaire’s Cahier d’un Retour au Pays Natal is a landmark of modern French poetry and a founding text of the Négritude movement. Journal of a Homecoming, a bilingual edition, features a new authoritative translation, revised introduction, and extensive commentary, making it a magisterial edition of Césaire’s surrealist masterpiece.

978-0-8223-6949-3In Neoliberalism from Below, Verónica Gago provides a new theory of neoliberalism by examining how Latin American neoliberalism is propelled not just from above by international finance, corporations, and government, but by the activities of migrant workers, vendors, sweatshop workers, and other marginalized groups in and around the La Salada market in Buenos Aires.

Kristen Ghodsee, in Red Hangover, examines the legacies of twentieth-century communism on the contemporary political landscape twenty-five years after the Berlin Wall fell, reflecting on the lived experience of postsocialism and how many ordinary men and women across Eastern Europe suffered from the massive social and economic upheavals in their lives after 1989.

978-0-8223-5884-8Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and his experience trading derivatives, in The Social Life of Financial Derivatives, Edward LiPuma theorizes the profound social dimensions of derivatives markets and the processes, rituals, mentalities, and belief systems that drive them.

In Monrovia Modern, Danny Hoffman uses the ruins of four iconic modernist buildings in Monrovia, Liberia as a way to explore the relationship between the built environment and political imagination, showing how these former symbols of modernist nation building transformed into representations of the challenges that Monrovia’s residents face.

Steeped in Heritage, by Sarah Ives, explores the racial and environmental politics behind South Africa’s rooibos tea industry to examine heritage-based claims to the indigenous plant by two groups of contested indigeneity: white Afrikaners and “coloured” South Africans.

In Tropical Freedom, Ikuko Asaka examines emancipation’s intersection with settler colonialism in North America, showing how emancipation efforts in the United States and present-day Canada were accompanied by attempts to relocate freed blacks to tropical regions, thereby conceiving freedom as a racially segregated condition based upon geography and climate.

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Exciting Work from Cultural Politics

We are pleased to share two works this month from Cultural Politics: a special section on “Mediated Geologies,” edited by Jussi Parikka, in the most recent issue of the journal, and the first book in the Cultural Politics books series, Finite Media, by Sean Cubitt.

ddcup_12_3The most recent issue of Cultural Politics includes a special section on “Mediated Geologies.” The special section approaches topics such as cultural politics of the environment, ecological contexts of contemporary media, and debates concerning the Anthropocene from the angle of media studies. Contributors argue for new ways to understand media culture as read through a materials focus: from waste to building materials and from temperature control to more conceptual developments concerning new materialism.

From the introduction:

Cultural politics of geology sounds rather oxymoronic, considering the distance geology seems to have from concerns of reproduction of cultural inequalities, power struggles, formations of identity, and issues of governance. Geological investigations of the earth and its layers, resources, dynamics, and histories occupy a timespan that is assumed to speak to  an altogether different set of questions than what we consider as the task — or even the capacity — of the humanities. Yet the past years have seen a rather dramatic increase in debates about geology, although often through the term Anthropocene. The concept refers to the impact of human agriculture,science, and technology on a planetary scale; it could be said to function as nothing less than a modern “design brief” (Bratton 2016) for how the earth has been reformed and, as many would argue, catastrophically pushed to a point of no return when it comes to the amount of toxic content in the air and soil, to global temperatures, to sea-level rise and polar ice melt, and to many other interconnected chemical reactions and consequences. These debates have also led to intense discussions in the humanities and the arts, including the Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s (Berlin) significant long-term project, the Anthropocene Observatory, involving artists, curators, theorists, and other participants. Although that project concluded, similar projects continue, with an abundance of art works and theoretical writings starting to address a set of interrelated questions: What are the political stakes in the nonhuman context of the human impact on the geological scale? In which particular territories, case studies, concepts, and questions are the entanglement of the scales most visible, most prescient?

Read the full introduction to the section, made freely available.

978-0-8223-6292-0Finite Media by Sean Cubitt is the first book in the Cultural Politics series, which examines the political aspects of culture and the cultural aspects of the political.

While digital media give us the ability to communicate with and know the world, their use comes at the expense of an immense ecological footprint and environmental degradation. In Finite Media, Cubitt offers a large-scale rethinking of theories of mediation by examining the environmental and human toll exacted by mining and the manufacture, use, and disposal of millions of phones, computers, and other devices. The way out is through an eco-political media aesthetics, in which people use media to shift their relationship to the environment and where public goods and spaces are available to all.

Cubitt demonstrates this through case studies ranging from the 1906 film The Story of the Kelly Gang to an image of Saturn taken during NASA’s Cassini-Huygens mission, suggesting that affective responses to images may generate a populist environmental politics that demands better ways of living and being. Only by reorienting our use of media, Cubitt contends, can we overcome the failures of political elites and the ravages of capital.

Watch Sean Cubitt discuss his research:

Read the introduction to Finite Media free online, and use coupon code E16CUBIT to save 30% when you order the paperback edition through our website.

The Challenge of Ecology to the Humanities

ddngc_43_2_128The most recent issue of New German Critique, “The Challenge of Ecology to the Humanities: Posthumanism or Humanism,” edited by Bernhard F. Malkmus and Heather I. Sullivan, continues a decades-old debate on the relationship between the humanities and ecology. The relationship is historically ambiguous: where humanists tend to view the human as an ecological being, posthumanists reject references to “nature” as mere cultural fabrication. However, the global ecological crisis and an increasing awareness human impact on the planet as an ecosystem have forced the humanities to rethink their hidden anthropological and ecological assumptions.

The Challenge of Ecology to the Humanities” puts voices from historical, philosophical and literary disciplines in dialogue with each other with the goal of mapping out various possibilities for the humanities broadly but also specifically for the environmental humanities today.

Topics in this issue include posthumanist anthropology, nomadic knowledge, and narrating sustainability.

Read the introduction, made freely available.

Now Available: First Issue of Environmental Humanities Published by Duke University Press

ddenv_8_1We are pleased to announce the first issue of Environmental Humanities published by Duke University Press, volume 8, issue 1, “Multispecies Studies,” is now available at environmentalhumanities.dukejournals.org.

Environmental Humanities, edited by Thom van Dooren (University of New South Wales, Australia) and Elizabeth DeLoughrey (University of California, Los Angeles, USA), is a peer-reviewed, international, open-access journal. The journal publishes outstanding interdisciplinary scholarship that draws humanities disciplines into conversation with each other, and with the natural and social sciences, around significant environmental issues. Environmental Humanities has a specific focus on publishing the best interdisciplinary scholarship; as such, the journal has a particular mandate to:

  • Publish interdisciplinary papers that do not fit comfortably within the established environmental subdisciplines, and
  • Publish high-quality submissions from within any of these fields that are accessible and seeking to reach a broader readership.

Topics in “Multispecies Studies” include elephants and herpes, the Xenopus pregnancy test, cosmoecological sheep, and geologic conviviality.

Environmental Humanities is funded and managed through a partnership with five leading research centers: Concordia University; Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney; University of California, Los Angeles; Environmental Humanities Laboratory, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; and the Environmental Humanities Program, University of New South Wales.

To read more from the journal, visit environmentalhumanities.dukejournals.org.

The Unending Korean War

Labeled as “forgotten” in the United States and yet seared into national consciousness in both Koreas, the Korean War persists some six decades after the signing of the armistice agreement as a differentiated and multisited structure of feeling, perception, memory, knowledge, and historical ruin.

positions 23:4“The Unending Korean War,” a special issue of positions

In the most recent issue of positions, “The Unending Korean War,” editors Christine Hong and Henry Em and contributors consider the longue dureé of the Korean War as a protean structure, at once generative and destructive, whose formations and deformations, benefits and costs, and truths and obfuscations can be traced on both sides of the North Pacific. This unfinished conflict not only reverberates in the relations between the two Koreas and between North Korea and the United States, but also manifests itself in regional and global tensions.

Contributors to the issue address such topics as comic books and the militarization of U.S. masculinity; a photo essay tribute to Chris Marker, French filmmaker and photographer; war as business in Manchurian action films in South Korea; and militarized and gendered diasporas of transnational adoption.

American Literature 87:1The Korean War and American Literature

The March 2015 issue of American Literature (volume 87, issue 1) addresses the unending Korean War through the lens of literature. Read further to discover how contributors Joseph Darda and Steven Belletto see literature coming to terms with the Korean War.

“The Literary Afterlife of the Korean War” by Joseph Darda

The Korean War is remembered only for not being remembered, Joseph Darda argues in “The Literary Afterlife of the Korean War.” Darda begins with an analysis of the biopolitical logic of defense that arose after World War II during a time of American global ascendancy and heightened anticommunism and then discusses the understanding of the Korean War as “forgotten,” an idea first introduced in 1951 but more recently taken up by memory studies scholars, before advancing an alternative narrative theory of the Korean War. He concludes with  a consideration of the twenty-first-century literary return of the Korean War through readings of two acclaimed American novels: Ha Jin’s War Trash (2004) and Toni Morrison’s Home (2012).

“The Korean War, the Cold War, and the American Novel,” by Steven Belletto

In “The Korean War, the Cold War, and the American Novel,” Steven Belletto proposes that there are two broad phases of Korean War literature: one by white, male Americans who fought in the war, reported on the war, or ahd some other ties to the United States military. The second phase, which gained traction in the 1980s and 1990s, is generally written by first- or second-generation Korean Americans who either experienced the war directly or explored the cultural memory of a war that, some scholars have argued, is a precondition of the very idea of Korean Americanness. The category of “Korean War literature,” Bellatto writes, changes how we understand “Cold War literature” and therefore post-1945 American literature and culture.

To read these articles, made freely available, visit the positions and American Literature sites.

New Books in August

August is off to a great start, and we’ve got a lot of new books to look forward to this month. Here is a quick preview of what to keep an eye out for:

Joseph cover image, 5896-1In his ethical autobiography, Saved for a Purpose: A Journey from Private Virtues to Public Values, James A. Joseph—who was active in the Civil Rights Movement, an executive of a Fortune 500 company, the Undersecretary of the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa—shares the development of his philosophies of morality and leadership.

Massumi cover image F15, 5995-1An original theory of power, Brian Massumi explains in Ontopower: War, Powers, and the State of Perception how the logic of preemption governs U.S. military policy in the War on Terror. Threats are now felt into reality, which makes preemptive action necessary. The logic of preemption’s working out creates the self-sustaining force of ontopower.

Snitow cover image, 5874-9Collecting almost four decades of writings by feminist activist Ann Snitow, The Feminism of Uncertainty: A Gender Diary includes well-known essays, such as “A Gender Diary,” along with pieces appearing here for the first time.

In Gut Feminism, Elizabeth A. Wilson shakes feminist theory from its resistance to biological and pharmaceutical data and urges that now is the time for feminism to critically engage with biology. Doing so will reanimate feminist theory, strengthening its ability to address depression, affect, gender, and feminist politics.

Schmidt cover image, 5937-1Jalane D. Schmidt’s Cachita’s Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race, and Revolution in Cuba shows how the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, discovered in 1612 and known as Cachita, is a potent and contested symbol of Cuban national identity. The book analyzes the five times over the last eighty years Cachita has been celebrated in Cuba’s urban streets. Schmidt provides a comprehensive treatment of Cuban religions, history, and culture, interpreted through the prism of Cachita.

Vladimir Jankélévitch’s Henri Bergson is a great commentary written on philosopher Henri Bergson. Jankélévitch’s analysis covers all aspects of Bergson’s thought, from metaphysics, emotion and temporality, to psychology and biology. This edition also includes supplementary essays on Bergson by Jankélévitch, Bergson’s letters to Jankélévitch, and an editor’s introduction.

In Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter, Natasha Myers shows in this ethnography how scientists who build three-dimensional models of proteins use their senses and bodies to create, represent, and evaluate otherwise imperceptible molecules. These modelers often consider matter to be made up of living, moving, and sometimes breathing entities, and Myers’ study of them rethinks the objectivity of science.

Sammond cover image, 5852-7In Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation, Nicholas Sammond argues that early cartoons are a key components to blackface minstrelsy and that cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Felix the Cat are not like minstrels, but are minstrels. Cartoons have played on racial anxieties, naturalized racial formations, committed symbolic racial violence, and help perpetuate blackface minstrelsy.

Nadia Ellis theorizes the experience of belonging to the African diaspora as living within the space between the land and the soul in Territories of the Soul: Queered Belonging in the Black Diaspora. She uses a utopian concept of queerness and analyses of African American and Caribbean writers, musicians, and artists to show how diaspora is a mode of feeling and belonging.

Malkki cover image, 5932-6The Need to Help: The Domestic Arts of International Humanitarianism, an ethnography by Liisa H. Malkki, reverses the study of humanitarian aid, focusing on aid workers rather than aid’s recipients. She shows how aid serves the needs of its recipients and providers.

New Books in February

It’s hard to believe how fast January flew by, and February’s already here! We have a lot of great new books coming out this month, on a variety of subjects. Check them out below!

Okeke Agulu cover image, 5746-9Written by one of the foremost scholars of African art, Chika Okeke-Agulu, and featuring more than 125 color images, Postcolonial Modernism chronicles the emergence of artistic modernism in Nigeria in the heady years surrounding political independence in 1960.

Recycled Stars, by Mary R. Desjardins, considers the how female stars’ images and persona acquire multiple meanings as they circulate across media. Focusing on the rise of television and gossip magazines in the 1950s, and on stars like Lucille Ball and Gloria Swanson, the book explores the play between familiarity and novelty that new media use to appeal to audiences.

Thompson cover image, 5807-7In Shine, art historian Krista Thompson analyzes photographic practices in the Caribbean and the United States to show how African diasporic youth use the process of creating images to represent themselves in the public sphere and to communicate with other Afro-diasporic communities.

Hagar Kotef’s book, Movement and the Ordering of Freedom, examines the roles of mobility and immobility in the history of political thought and the structuring of political spaces.

In The Color of Modernity, Barbara Weinstein focuses on race, gender, and regionalism in the formation of national identities in Brazil.

Zhang cover image, 5856-5The Impotence Epidemic, by Everett Yuehong Zhang, is an ethnography of impotence as a medical and social phenomenon, in which the author argues that the recent increase in Chinese men seeking treatment for impotence represents a shift in changing sexual attitudes in capitalist China.

In Loneliness and Its Opposite, Don Kulick and Jens Rydström argue that for people with disabilities, being able to explore their sexuality is an issue of fundamental social justice. The authors analyze how Sweden and Denmark engage with the sexuality of people with disabilities; whereas Sweden hinders sexuality, Denmark supports it through the work of third-party sexual helpers.

 

 

Eben Kirksey on Collaboration at the Intersection of Anthropology and Biology

upw-logo-2014Welcome to the third annual University Press Week blog tour! The theme of this year’s week is Collaboration and we offer a post by anthropologist Eben Kirksey about collaboration in his field. After reading this post, you’ll want to check out today’s other university press posts. At the University Press of Colorado, they write about  their collaboration with the Veterinary Information Network on a recent textbook, Basic Veterinary Immunology. On their blog, the University of Georgia Press features the New Georgia Encyclopedia, an award-winning, on-line only, multi-media reference work on the people, places, events, and institutions of Georgia. The University of California Press blog presents authors Dr. Paul Farmer and Dr. Jim Yong Kim writing on the collaborative work they are doing to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The University Press of Virginia highlights their collaboration with the Presidential Recordings Project at the Miller Center to create ‘Chasing Shadows,’ a book on the origins of Watergate, with a special ebook and web site allowing readers to listen to the actual Oval Office conversations. At the Project Muse blog, they write about university presses collaborating on the Project Muse platform. The Yale University Press blog features a post by Mark Polizzotti, director of the publications program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on collaboration between the Press and museums and galleries. And finally, at the University of Chicago Press blog, they discuss the Turabian Teacher Collective. What a wealth of collaboration!

Collaboration was a dirty word in Nazi occupied France. Carl Schmitt, a Nazi theorist of collaboration, wrote of the friend/enemy distinction which “cannot be determined by moral or even utilitarian criteria.” Schmitt was interested in “the potentially groundless, high-stakes decision as to whether a particular group of men are to be considered friends or enemies.” Collaboration, for Schmitt, was a basic part of social and political life among friends, in contrast to enemies “with whom there is the real possibility of a violent struggle to the death.”

Rhizosphere

The rhizosphere, symbiotic fungi that interpenetrate plant roots—giving and taking important nutrients.

Risking an alliance with “the enemy” has the prospect of moving beyond eternal standoffs between opposing interest groups.  Clever engagements can bring specific goals within reach, even when collaborators do not share the same interests. Anna Tsing, a cultural anthropologist who studies out-of-the-way places in Indonesia, suggests that “collaborations create new interests and identities” but not always to everyone’s benefit. “Collaborations are the hopeful edge of a political project,” she insists.

Anthropologists have lately begun to reconfigure political relationships within the Ivory Tower by calling for new forms of collaboration. Biologists, who were regarded as “the enemy” of many cultural anthropologists during the Science Wars of the 1990s, have become allies. Moving beyond standoffs, anthropologists, biologists, and artists are using complimentary methods, tactics, and techniques to study contact zones where nature and culture meet.

Biological scientists, who are trained early in an ethos of collaborative research, have much to teach cultural anthropologists who are starting to co-author articles. The lexicon of theoretical ecology also offers rich resources to scholars in the fields of philosophy, anthropology, and cultural studies who seek to rethink collaboration. Symbiosis, in the eloquent prose of Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, involves “the co-opting of strangers, the involvement and infolding of others.” These collaborative associations, in the mind of the philosopher Isabelle Stengers, involve beings with a mutual interest in the continued existence of one another. Beings co-invent one another when they reach symbiotic agreements by integrating “a reference to the other for their own benefit.”

Collaborations can produce transformative encounters, seductive moments that generate new entangled modes of coexistence. We live in multispecies worlds which involve “spaces of necessary sharing” to paraphrase Beth Carruthers. Critical friendships with biological scientists are important for anthropologists who seek to venture into these worlds. Reaching across conventional disciplinary divides, multispecies ethnographers are seeking out allies who share some of their interests, while actively creating new interests and identities.

Multispecies SalonAlliances with biologists and artists generated The Multispecies Salon, an art exhibit that traveled from San Francisco, to New Orleans, to New York City, and then became a collaboratively authored book. By dabbling in new fields as amateurs (de-skilling), and acquiring new specialized training (re-skilling), ethnographers who contributed to this collection responsibly entered new domains with help from collaborators. Artists also became authors, by experimenting with modes of making and writing culture. Hal Foster’s critical essay “The Artist as Ethnographer?” suggests that artists and ethnographers once envied each other. From the artist’s point of view, Foster claims, this envy stemmed from ethnographers’ ability to conduct contextual analysis, to forge interdisciplinary connections, and to engage in self-critique. On the flip side, Foster alleges that with the artist-envy of ethnographers, “The artist becomes a paragon of formal reflexivity, sensitive to difference and open to chance, a self-aware reader of culture understood as text.”

Getting past any feelings of envy that might have been present when Foster penned his critical intervention in the 1990s, artists and ethnographers at The Multispecies Salon initiated and sustained long-term collaborations based on shared aesthetic and critical sensibilities. Together these collaborators are repositioning biocultural elements in the field of anthropology—giving the discipline a push beyond anthropocentric concerns to interrogate posthuman modes of being.

Eben Kirksey is a permanent faculty member in Environmental Humanities at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Global Architecture of Power.

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