Mana'o - ShareCA [Cultural Anthropology] Collection

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The ShareCA collection holds author-submitted manuscripts of articles published in Cultural Anthropology, the journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology ( The collection’s goal is to provide a site for authors to deposit proofs of their articles, making anthropological scholarship more available to everyone without cost or restriction. Published versions of these articles are available through the Cultural Anthropology website ( The full ShareCA directory of free articles will be available at in late 2012. ShareCA is kindly hosted by eVols at the Library of the University of Hawa’ii, with the cooperation and support of Professor Alex Golub. Please contact Grant Otsuki and Ali Kenner at with questions or comments.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
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    The Closet, Its Conventions, and Anti-Racist Criticism
    (American Anthropological Association, 2013-08) Wiegman, Robyn
    There have been many things said in the popular press about Steven Spielberg’s sensationalist rendition of American history in his award winning film Lincoln (2012), but as far as I know no one has accused him—yet—of being just a bit too interested in Thaddeus Stevens’s bedroom.
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    The Time of Anthropology: Notes from a Field of Contemporary Experience
    (American Anthropological Association, 2012-11) Pandian, Anand
    This article concerns experience of time in anthropology. It triangulates between theoretical discussions of time, embodiments of temporal experience in a handful of classic and contemporary anthropological works, and the temporal texture of ethnographic fieldwork, reading, and writing. Thinking with philosophers such as Nietzsche, Bergson, and Deleuze, as well as with my disciplinary and field interlocutors and the circumstances of our encounter, I argue that time may be taken as inventive for anthropology insofar as it is untimely, contemporary, present, and virtual in its quality. These four dimensions of time are described as generative insofar as they suffuse anthropological experience with the feeling of being out of joint with the here and now. I argue that the pursuit of newness in contemporary anthropology depends less on the objects of our investigation and more on the temporal and affective relations we nurture with them. Through the use of experimental form, and an alternation between argumentative and expressive language, I seek both to outline and to evoke the importance of time in our encounters with the experiential texture of other worlds.
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    Inhabiting Ocular Ground: Kinshasa's Future in the Light of Congo's Spectral Urban Politics
    (American Anthropological Association, 2011-05) De Boeck, Filip
    This article addresses the tensions that exist between the lives of city dwellers in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and those official attempts currently being launched by the Congolese government to create a new, albeit exclusionist, urban environment. During the campaign leading up to the 2006 presidential elections, President Kabila launched his “Cinq Chantiers” program, arguably the most ambitious project since the end of colonization in 1960 to overhaul the country and respond to its most pressing and urgent needs—or at least that of its elites—with regard to its urbanization. The article first situates the main phases of Kinshasa’s expansion from the colonial era to the present day. It then turns to an analysis of the impact of the “Cinq Chantiers” program by examining two concrete cases: the expansion of fields in the Malebo Pool (looking at current modes of “informal” urban expansion into urban space) and the development of a new urban project, the Cité du Fleuve (whose progressive uplift leaves out a large swath of the population). Are these examples of an African futurity, and for whom (and whom not) do they envision a new kind of urban life?
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    The Semiotics of Security: Infectious Disease Research and the Biopolitics of Informational Bodies in the United States
    (American Anthropological Association, 2012-05) Caduff, Carlo
    In this article, I investigate the biopolitical economy of security as it is operating today in the United States in the context of infectious disease research. Drawing on my work with influenza researchers, I specifically show how experts have been concerned not only with the circulation of biological matter but also with the exchange of scientific information. I argue that it is a specific logic—the logic of iterability—that is at the heart of the growing concern with “sensitive information” published in scientific journals. How has the concern with sensitive information affected infectious disease research in the United States in the past few years? How has the logic of iterability reconfigured microbiological notions of the normal and the pathological? And what might an anthropological analysis of the biopolitical economy of security be able to tell us about the ways in which “life” is made a new political concern today?
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    Piracy, Circulatory Legitimacy, and Neoliberal Subjectivity in Brazil
    (American Anthropological Association, 2012-02) Dent, Alexander S.
    Understanding current neoliberalism in Brazil requires an analysis of the piracy that has been going on there since at least the 1970s. Early phases of neoliberalism shrank the state, liberalized markets, and privatized resources. Current forms of neoliberal practice are characterized by large informal economies, intellectual property (IP), circulatory “legitimacy,” individualized consumption, and the reproductive fidelities of digital technology. This current combination places the unauthorized production, sale, and use of goods (often referred to as “piracy”) at the center of the forms of exchange on which the modern Brazilian economy relies. Purchases may be viewed as degraded or redemptive by having been mediated through “piracy,” and most consumers of public culture are referred to at some point by the culture industry as “pirates.” The anxious subjectivities that result from piracy’s emerging centrality are here analyzed at two contrasting Brazilian sites. The first is an NGO that polices violations of IP. The second is an informal marketplace in the state of S˜ao Paulo where workers strive for “competitive pricing.” In both of these sites, piracy simultaneously elucidates international discourses while it inscribes local approaches to mixture and boundary violation. At some moments, piracy appears as a distinctly Brazilian “embarrassment.” In others, it is a typically creative Brazilian solution to the problem of unfair international markets.
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    Blackouts and Progress: Privatization, Infrastructure, and a Developmentalist State in Jimma, Ethiopia
    (American Anthropological Association, 2012-02) Mains, Daniel
    The recent completion of a hydropower dam near Jimma, Ethiopia coincided with rolling blackouts throughout the country and accusations of corruption and mismanagement being directed toward the Ethiopian government and the Italian company that constructed the dam. The case appears to be one more example of an African state failing to provide its citizens with basic public services in a context of neoliberal economic restructuring. Recent road construction and urban renewal projects in Jimma have also been contracted out to private companies and have led to displaced families and disruptions of day-to-day life. Jimma residents, however, have generally met these projects with statements of approval and appreciation for the power of the Ethiopian state to bring progress. In this article, I examine contrasting narratives concerning privatized infrastructural development projects. I argue that although the provision of basic services is increasingly contracted out to private companies, the perceived presence of the Ethiopian state has expanded in new and surprising ways. Contrasting perceptions of dams and road construction are based in values concerning relations of power and exchange. In this case, the particular relationship between the privatization of infrastructure and perceptions of the state demonstrates the limits of neoliberalism as an analytical category. I argue that in recent anthropological scholarship a reliance on neoliberalism as a category of analysis obscures more than it reveals, and I call for more attention to correlations between specific techniques of governance and relations of power.
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    Nonself Help: How Immunology Might Reframe the Enlightenment
    (American Anthropological Association, 2012-02) Napier, A. David
    The classical immunological paradigm is predicated on the body’s ability to recognize and eliminate “nonself.” However, the “self–nonself” model has yet to facilitate any resolution of the field’s major concerns, and may thus prove to be of limited use. Merely discarding it is no solution, as the juxtaposition of “self” and “nonself” persists in research, in clinical settings, and in everyday practice despite the best efforts of theoretical immunologists. Instead, the very conception of “selfhood” may prove to be key. Replacing immunology’s prior and persistent “self” with less static concepts derived from non-Western contexts not only resolves immunology’s famous paradoxes but also offers a new and more accurate model that allows immunology to reframe what may become an outmoded Enlightenment construct of “self.” In such a new paradigm, immunology’s well-known system of protection and defense is replaced with a view in which nonself becomes not only the body’s enemy but also its primary mechanism for the creative assimilation of difference. This incorporative model—in which the “immune system” functions more as a search engine than as an expeller of difference—both resolves outstanding paradoxes, and complies more accurately with contemporary knowledge and research practice.
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    Introduction [to the "Immunology" Section]
    (American Anthropological Association, 2012-02) Napier, A. David
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    Excelente Zona Social
    (American Anthropological Association, 2012-08) Taussig, Michael T.
    Writing culture suggests (1) allowing writing to take up the burden of theory, (2) practice Walter Benjamin’s idea of denkbilden, or thought-images, (3) create culture as well as describe and analyze. Thus, this little sketch I call “Excelente zona social.”
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    The Legacies of Writing Culture and the Near Future of the Ethnographic Form: A Sketch
    (American Anthropological Association, 2012-08) Marcus, George E.
    This article argues that the most lively contemporary legacy of the 1980s Writing Culture critiques now lie outside, or beyond, conventional texts but, rather, in the forms that are integral to fieldwork itself. Fieldwork today requires a kind of collaborative concept work that stimulates studios, archiving, para-sites, which in turn constitute the most innovative expressions of ethnography, difficult to capture in the traditional genre.