“Genetics is a Study in Faith”: Forensic DNA, Kinship Analysis, and the Ethics of Care in Post-conflict Latin America

“Mi nombre no es XX.” Throughout Guatemala, on postcards, calendars, bookmarks, and posters, the dead are speaking. Fifteen years after the signing of the peace accords, and thirty years after the burned earth campaign, where the military slaughtered 200,000 people to stamp out the manufactured threat of a Marxist takeover of the Guatemalan highlands, the […]

Bio-Performatives, Cross-Species, and Continents of Plastic in Chicas 2000 and Post Plastica: An Interview with Carmelita Tropicana and Ela Troyano

And look at all the antihumani prejudice there is. A woman can be with another woman and that’s okay, but a chusma woman like you and a woman-oso humani like me, we couldn’t hold hands together or kiss in public. —Rodesia to Carmelita in Chicas 2000 The world we live in today, the cradle of […]

Bombyx and Bugs in Meiji Japan: Toward a Multispecies History?

Folded just so, the parachute never failed. Always, it floated back to you—silkily, beautifully—to start over and float back again. Even if you abused it, whacked it really hard—gracefully, lightly, it floated back to you. —John McPhee[1] Introduction American writer John McPhee once described with great nostalgia a toy silk parachute that his mother gave […]

Metabolism, Reproduction, and the Aftermath of Categories

What happens after a living thing eats another living thing? In general, we assume that the one disappears, and the other goes on. In fact, it is seen as an absolutely necessary part of life—the eater breaks down the eaten into its molecular components, derives energy and nutrient building blocks for its own body from […]

The World Egg and the Ouroboros

“The existence of the quantum discontinuity means that the past is never left behind, never finished once and for all, and the future is not what will come to be in an unfolding of the present moment; rather, the past and the future are enfolded participants in matter’s iterative becoming.” —Karen Barad[1] Attention and Critique, […]

Fear and Fun: Science and Gender, Emotion and Embodiment Under Neoliberalism

Introduced by the Wham-O® company in 1958, the Hula-hoop® filled the playtime of millions of mid-twentieth-century American children who tried to get the hoop rolling nearly effortlessly around their waists using a Hawai’ian-style hip swing (and sometimes giving up on that and instead jumping through it, rolling it, and using it for modified forms of […]

Schizophrenic Techniques: Cybernetics, the Human Sciences, and the Double Bind

In 1969 in a symposium on schizophrenia and the double bind at the National Institute of Mental Health, the cybernetician and ethnographer Gregory Bateson stood before an audience of some of the most prominent psychiatrists and psychologists in the world and proceeded to discuss the mental life of animals. This was not a question of […]

Preface

Hard times are upon us, but not all of us are affected equally. The richest among us are doing rather well—getting relatively richer, in fact. According to one recent study, 93 percent of all income gains in 2010 went to the top 1 percent. But the rest of us, the 99 percent hailed by the […]