The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology

Editor: Andrew Sanchez, University of Cambridge

Subjects: Anthropology

Call for Special Issue Proposals (Spring 2023)

 Available on JSTOR

Latest Issue Table of Contents

Volume 39 (2021): Issue 1 (Mar 2021): Witnessing: Truths, Technologies, Transformations. Guest Editors: Liana Chua and Omri Grinberg

Cambridge Journal of Anthropology
Volume 39 (2021), Issue 2

“By engaging empirically and analytically with how people feel…we may be taking a small step toward going back to the heart of the lived experience of politics”

Table of Contents

Andrew Sanchez

Special Issue: ‘Beyond revolution: Reshaping nationhood through senses and affects’
Guest Editor: Myriam Lamrani

Myriam Lamrani (University College London)

Vandalism as symbolic reparation: Imaginaries of protest in Nicaragua
Ileana L. Selejan (University of the Arts London)

Laughing with, laughing at: Humour and revolution in the 2019 Venice pavilions of Chile and Egypt
Chrisoula Lionis (The University of Manchester)
Alkisti Efthymiou (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences)

The Democratic Grotesque: Distortion, liminality, and dissensus in postrevolutionary Tunisia
Charis Boutieri (King’s College London)

‘I Did Not Wash My Hand for Days’: The stuplime return of revolutionary speech in the Republic of Guinea
Mike McGovern (University of Michigan)

The Desire to Disappear in Order Not to Disappear: Cairene Ex-Prisoners after the 25 January Revolution 
Maria Frederika Malmström (Lund University) 

The house of spirits: Care and the revolutionary state in Cuba
Martin Holbraad (University College London)

Afterword: The sensory revolution comes of age
David Howes (Concordia University)

Research Article
The Lived Temporalities of Prognosis: Fixing and Unfixing Futures
Dikaios Sakellariou (Cardiff University)
Nina Nissen (Danish Knowledge Centre for Rehabilitation and Palliative Care / University of Southern Denmark)
Narelle Warren (Monash University)

Book Reviews
Frédéric Keck. Avian Reservoirs: Virus Hunters and Birdwatchers in Chinese Sentinel Posts. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp. 245. 2020.
Christos Lynteris (University of St Andrews)

Lars Højer and Morten Axel Pedersen. Urban Hunters: Dealing and Dreaming in Times of Transition. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, pp. 270. 2019. 
Joe Ellis (University of Cambridge) 

Volume 39 / 2021, 2 issues per volume (spring, autumn)

Aims & Scope

The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology is an international, peer-reviewed journal that publishes ambitious and rigorous scholarship in contemporary social and cultural anthropology. The journal draws on a range of theoretical and political traditions to provide original insights into human social life and to critically interrogate the terms of the anthropological endeavour.

The journal encourages the submission of ethnographic research articles that generate new ideas and aspire to encourage readers across different topical, regional and theoretical fields.

The journal is published twice a year (spring and autumn) and features original peer-reviewed research articles and book reviews. In addition the journal publishes occasional collections of essays and commentaries that debate issues of significant, topical interest.


The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology is indexed/abstracted in:

  • Anthropological Index Online (RAI)
  • Anthropological Literature (Tozzer Library – Harvard University)
  • Bibliometric Research Indicator List (BFI)
  • Emerging Sciences Citation Index (Web of Science)
  • European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS)
  • International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBSS)
  • Periodical Index Online (Proquest)

Editor: Andrew Sanchez, University of Cambridge, UK

Reviews Editor: Thomas White, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board
David Berliner, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Judith Bovensiepen, University of Kent, UK
Christoph Brumann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany
Matei Candea, University of Cambridge, UK
Elisabeth Engebretsen, University of Stavanger, Norway
David Henig, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Webb Keane, University of Michigan, USA
Insa Koch, London School of Economics, UK
Mateusz Laszczkowski, University of Warsaw, Poland
Tanya Luhrmann, Stanford University, USA
Dina Makram-Ebeid, American University in Cairo, Egypt
Keir Martin, University of Oslo, Norway
Andrea Muehlebach, University of Toronto, Canada
Francis Nyamnjoh, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Ayaz Qureshi, University of Edinburgh, UK
Jovan Scott Lewis, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Francesca Merlan, Australian National University, Australia
AbdouMaliq Simone, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany
Nandini Sundar, Delhi School of Economics, India
Aparecida Villaca, National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Yunxiang Yan, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Manuscript Submission

Please review the submission and style guide carefully before submitting.

Please submit articles to the editor, Andrew Sanchez, at

Authors interested in reviewing books or writing review articles should contact the reviews editor, Thomas White, directly at

Research articles should be a maximum of 8,000 words (including notes and references). All articles should include an abstract of 125 to 150 words, and 6 to 8 keywords. All authors should provide a biographical note of 100 words and an email address.

Book reviews should be a maximum of 800 words. Review essays must review a minimum of three titles and be 2,000 to 3,000 words.

Authors should submit articles as Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf) files. Electronic submissions are preferred, but mailed contributions will be reviewed. Please note that all correspondence will be transmitted via email.

The journal welcomes proposals for special issues and special sections. The maximum length for a special issues is 65,000 words, including notes, references, introductions, and afterwords. Proposals for special issues should be directed to the journal editor and be 2,000 to 2,500 words. Proposals should provide the name, contact details and position of the editor editor and all authors; the proposed title of the issues/section; an abstract of 750 to 1,000 words that outlines the context, rationale and contribution of the collection; titles, abstracts and word counts for each contribution.

Have other questions? Please refer to the Berghahn Info for Authors page for general information and guidelines including topics such as article usage and permissions for Berghahn journal article authors.

License Agreement

As part of the Berghahn Open Anthro initiative, articles in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology (CJA) are published open access under a Creative Commons license.

Authors must visit our License Options page to select and download their preferred license agreement. Completed and signed forms should be sent to

Ethics Statement

Authors published in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology (CJA) certify that their works are original and their own. The editors certify that all materials, with the possible exception of editorial introductions, book reviews and some types of commentary, have been subjected to double-blind peer review by qualified scholars in the field. While the publishers and the editorial board make every effort to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. For a more detailed explanation concerning these qualifications and responsibilities, please see the complete CJA ethics statement.

Annual Subscriptions

Volume 39/2021, 2 issues p.a. (spring, autumn)
ISSN 0305-7674 (Print) • ISSN 2047-7716 (Online)
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WYSE Series in Social Anthropology


James Laidlaw, William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge
Joel Robbins, Sigrid Rausing Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge

Social Anthropology is a vibrant discipline of relevance to many areas – economics, politics, religion, science, business, humanities, health and public policy. This series, published in association with the Cambridge Department of Social Anthropology but open to all scholars, focuses on key interventions in Social Anthropology, based on innovative theory and research of relevance to contemporary social issues and debates.

The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology is a part of the Berghahn Open Anthro subscribe-to-open initiative. Launched in 2020, this pilot has successfully converted a collection of 13 anthropology journals to full Open Access using S2O as its equitable and sustainable model of choice.


Remaking the Public Good

In this introductory article, we call for a new anthropology of bureaucracy focused on 'the public good'. We aim to recapture this concept from its classic setting within the discipline of economics. We argue that such a move is particularly important now because new public goods – of transparency, fiscal discipline and decentralization – are being pressed into the service of states and transnational organizations: it has therefore become critical to focus on their techniques, effects and affects through fine-grained ethnography that challenges the economization of the political. We demonstrate our approach through some ethnographic findings from different parts of India. These show how fiscal austerity leads to new limited social contracts and precarious intimacies with the post-liberalization Indian state. This relationship between new public goods and forms of precarious citizenship is then further illuminated by the six articles that follow in this special issue.

Author: Arjun Appadurai

This article is built on a close reading of the use of the term 'calculation' by Max Weber. On the basis of this reading, I argue for a deeper understanding of Weber's views on uncertainty in the Calvinist ethos, and for a new approach to some key issues in the moral and discursive world of financial capital today, in which accounting, accountability and profit-making have become dangerously delinked from one another.

This is an exercise in the re-making of knowledge. Stimulated by certain recent writings on bodily activity, the author returns to a section of an earlier work (in The Gender of the Gi, Strathern 1988) that had felt incomplete at the time of writing, as well as to some ethnographic material from Melanesia that she thought she knew. The new context deflects attention away from some original preoccupations onto the manner in which two anthropologists and a philosopher ascribe agency to persons.

Governing through the Brain

Neuropolitics, Neuroscience and Subjectivity

This article considers how the brain has become an object and target for governing human beings. How, and to what extent, has governing the conduct of human beings come to require, presuppose and utilize a knowledge of the human brain? How, and with what consequences, are so many aspects of human existence coming to be problematized in terms of the brain? And what role are these new 'cerebral knowledges' and technologies coming to play in our contemporary forms of subjectification, and our ways of governing ourselves? After a brief historical excursus, we delineate four pathways through which neuroscience has left the lab and became entangled with the government of the living: psychopharmacology, brain imaging, neuroplasticity and genomics. We conclude by asking whether the 'psychological complex' of the twentieth century is giving way to a 'neurobiological complex' in the twenty-first, and, if so, how the social and human sciences should respond.

Data Moves

Taking Amazonian Climate Science Seriously

Author: Antonia Walford

Drawing on fieldwork with researchers and technicians involved in a scientific project in the Brazilian rainforest, this article explores specific aspects of climate science in the Amazon. It suggests that taking science seriously anthropologically requires an investigation into the relation between endo-anthropology and exo-anthropology. This is done recursively by exploring a particular way in which what is 'inside' and what is 'outside' are achieved and negotiated in the scientific practice under study. Researchers and technicians 'do' some crucial distinctions with data, and the article points to the importance of the flux of data and the boundaries and sides that emerge from the control of that flux.