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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Abstract

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.

Contributor Notes

Cheryl Mattingly is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern California. She has been a Dale T. Mortensen Fellow at Aarhus University's Institute of Advanced Studies and a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship. She has received several book awards, including the Victor Turner Book Prize for Healing Dramas and Clinical Plots (Cambridge, 1998), the Stirling Book Prize for The Paradox of Hope: Journeys through a Clinical Borderland (University of California, 2010) and the New Millennium Book Prize for Moral Laboratories: Family Peril and the Struggle for a Good Life (University of California, 2014).

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