Waiting

Anticipation and Episodic Time

in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology
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  • 1 University of Southern California mattingl@usc.edu
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Waiting is one obvious form of anticipation. This article considers waiting for death. Drea, a mother whose five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a virulent form of brain cancer, experiences a shifting anticipatory terrain as death looms large. Calling upon phenomenology, I ask two primary kinds of questions that connect time, narrative and relationality in considering Drea’s experience of waiting. First, I ask what Drea is waiting for and what kind of time horizon this waiting opens up. My second question is less obvious for an article on anticipatory time: who does she wait with? To put this phenomenologically: how might we consider ‘waiting with’ as a form of experience? I bring to bear phenomenological considerations of narrative time, drawing especially on Carr, as well as Nancy’s phenomenology of relationality.

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