Kathryn Mariner’s Contingent Kinship

In adoption, the child is an imagined future that is produced not only through the investment and circulation of money, but also through practices of observation, waiting, and worry, involving tremendous investments of time and affective energy too. Adoptive kinship is thus highly speculative, in more ways than one. My hope is that within the contemporary climate of neoliberalism, a multivalent concept like intimate speculation can help us think through various social formations beyond adoption.

Attending to the Dark Side of Medicine

Decades of medical anthropological work have helped disrupt notions of biomedicine’s soteriological basis, its unquestioning moral rightness, and its fundamental commitment of doing no harm. In our cross-border research on public health systems in Indian and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, respectively—two of the most militarized places on earth—we try to trouble and even undo the assumed good or neutrality of medicine by evaluating its darker, shadow side. As medical anthropologists, we are interested in how long-term conflict leaves traces in public health infrastructures, and how medicine’s soteriological foundations are manipulated, twisted, or mangled in everyday clinical practices, such that the lines between practice and malpractice can become exceptionally blurred.

MES Book Prize, Student Paper Prize Announcements

The Middle East Section is now accepting nominations for its biennial book award. This award is given to an anthropological work (single- or multi-authored, but not edited volumes) that speaks to issues in a way that holds relevance beyond our subfield. Criteria may include: innovative approaches, theoretical sophistication, and topical originality.

My Path to the Archaeology of Child Migrants

The Undocumented Migration Project (UMP) is a long-term anthropological study of undocumented migration between Mexico and the United States that uses ethnography, archaeology, and forensic science to better understand this clandestine social process. Children are often set aside when talking or thinking about such an “adult” issue, yet they are still subjected to the same socio-political forces as adults. Part of Nicole Smith’s research project, involves the voices of those who migrated when they were children.

The Politics of Corporate Rebranding

In case you missed it on CNN or in The New York Times, on September 25, 2018, Dunkin’ Donuts, the quick service restaurant chain of 9,000 outlets that has been in operation since 1950 when its first branch was opened in Quincy, Massachusetts, changed its name to “Dunkin.” This came just one day after Weight Watchers, the global giant in weight loss support services and products founded in 1963 by Jean Nidetch, a housewife from Queens, New York, changed its name to “WW.” That two giant U.S.-based food-related corporate entities with more than 125 years of successful sales of goods and services between them announced name changes within one 24-hour period is remarkable.

Call for SAW Book Prize Nominations

The Society for the Anthropology of Work is seeking nominations for its 2019 book prize. The SAW Book Prize will be awarded this year to a single- or co-authored monograph (not an edited collection) published during the last three years.

Teaching Isn’t All We Do

Although community college faculty typically teach five courses per term and are expected to engage in a significant amount of committee work, many of us still find the time to engage in research. That research can result in college-wide, national, or even international presentations or articles in publications like Practicing Anthropology or American Anthropologist, as […]

The 2019 Anthony Leeds Prize in Urban Anthropology

The Leeds Prize is awarded each year by the Society for Urban/National/Transnational/Global Anthropology (SUNTA) for the outstanding book in urban, national and/or transnational anthropology published in 2018.

Accepting the Distinguished Scholar Award on behalf of Saba Mahmood

It is hard for me to get my head around the tragedy of the fact that Saba Mahmood could not be here to accept this award she so richly deserves in person. In one sense, this award marks something we already know about Mahmood’s work—its path-breaking distinction in the anthropology of the Middle East.

Letting Go and Holding On, Documenting Hope in Postwar Guatemala

When Beti asked her twelfth-grade students to consider Guatemala’s contemporary challenges, their suggestions quickly filled the board. In large letters, their words loomed like storm clouds: corruption, violence, extortion, threats, robberies, assaults, exploitation, discrimination.