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Rabbi Dow Marmur

10 February 1935–17 July 2022

Tony Bayfield, Yael Splansky, Michael Marmur, Elizabeth Marmur, Amanda Golby, Maurice Michaels, Jeffrey Newman, Walter Rothschild, Chani Smith, Danny Smith, Awraham Soetendorp, and Jackie Tabick

This obituary was first published in the London Jewish Chronicle, 11 August 2022

Rabbi Dow Marmur was one of the G'dolim, the Greats of his generation. Since his generation was that of the Shoah, his defiant determination, scholarship and humanity is an astonishing testimony to the rabbinic and human spirit.

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Vital trust beyond the human

Kate McClellan


What is the relationship between life and trust? This article traces how trust is cultivated at Al Ma'wa, a wild animal sanctuary in northern Jordan, where dozens of animals rescued from regional warzone zoos are rehabilitated. At Al Ma'wa, trust is vital, in the sense that it is inextricably linked to what it means for the animals to live a good, ‘natural’, and fully animal life. Yet this vital trust is also bound up in the material conditions of the animals’ enduring captivity, which is said to foster feelings of security and comfort for them. I argue that vital trust upends normative associations between trust and freedom while also exposing how refuge produces differential meanings of trust, care, and life for animals and humans.

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Remaining Kin over Time

On Valued Relationships and the Things that Make Them So

Ingjerd Hoëm


In the atoll society of Tokelau, intergenerational succession has occurred since approximately 1925 without a concomitant exchange of enduring material objects, with the exception of land. The article explores how a significant increase in material wealth, including more permanent housing, and the ultimate threat represented by climate change, that of losing the land altogether, affects the intergenerational transfer of goods and relationship patterns. The case of Tokelau illustrates how kinning and de-kinning operate in a society where the passing on of property is neither associated with death (inheritance) nor with private property, but with the ongoing transmission of collective belonging and selected, inalienable things.


Dans la société atollienne de Tokelau, la transmission inter-générationelle existe depuis 1925 approximativement, sans échange concomitant des objets matériels durables, ceci à l'exception de la terre. L'article étudie la façon dont ces formes de transmission inter-générationelle de biens et de structures relationnelles sont affectées par l'accroissement de la richesse matérielle, notamment la permanence accrue des habitations, et par la menace que le changement climatique fait peser en termes de perte des terres. Le cas de Tokelau illustre la manière dont le fait de faire parenté ou défaire parenté opèrent dans une société où la transmission des propriétés n'est pas associée avec la mort (héritage), ni avec la propriété privée, mais avec une transmission au fil de l'eau de possessions collectives et de biens sélectifs et inaliénable.

Open access

Time, Seawalls, and Money

Anthropologies of Rising Seas and Eroding Coasts

Ryan B. Anderson


This article explores the anthropological and social scientific literature on sea level rise and coastal erosion, examining questions of time, the human dimensions of seawalls, tensions over relocation and retreat, and the politics of finance. This includes insights from the author's research in Baja California Sur, Mexico, and along the California coast in the United States, where locally based experiences illustrate not only the challenges of rising seas and erosion, but also the importance of addressing these issues, sooner rather than later, through the critical lenses of anthropology. Overall, this article explores how anthropologists and other social scientists have critically examined the issues, processes, and tensions that shape global coastal responses, and points to directions for future research and engagement with sea level rise, eroding coasts, and humanity's future along the edge of the sea.

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‘To Say What Could Not Be Said’

Crisis and Post-9/11 Metapoetry

Joydeep Chakraborty


Though post-9/11 metapoetry effectively represents the critical reality of 9/11, there has been no concerted scholarly study of this subgenre of poetry so far. In this article, I wish to examine three post-9/11 metapoems to attain a bipartite aim. First, I want to demonstrate that, through a much more sophisticated metapoetic subjectivity than is found in many ‘belated’ post-9/11 poems, these three poems enact the crisis of language and the difficulty of representing 9/11. Second, I would like to formulate a theory of post-9/11 metapoetry based on the analysis of these poems and the consciousness of their twentieth-century counterparts to indicate a new aesthetic stage in the representation of crisis in metapoems. My article conveys the ultimate message that post-9/11 metapoetry overcomes the crisis of representation in a way that transcends the particular event of 9/11 and becomes a general aesthetic mode of speaking the unspeakable in the face of any ineffable traumatic experience.

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Khawla Al Ziod and Fuad Abdul Muttaleb


Drawing on the consequences of violence that ensued from the outbreak of conflict in Syria against the background of the 2011 uprising, this article examines the traumatic effects of the Arab Spring among Syrian refugees and war survivors in the two novels An Unsafe Haven (2016) by Nada Jarrar and The Frightened Ones (2020) by Dima Wannous. It dwells upon various types of trauma, focusing on the problem of displacement, individual plights and the war dilemma. Wannous’ and Jarrar's narratives are concerned with the agonies experienced by refugees and war survivors, especially women. Traumatic incidents that refugees and war survivors encounter in their home countries include interpersonal violence, sexual violence, life-threatening accidents, witnessing the murder of loved ones, and torture. A descriptive and analytical method is followed in conducting the study relying on the two texts as primary sources and critical literature produced on them and the main issues discussed as secondary sources.

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Trust as affective infrastructure

Constructing the firm/community boundary in resource extraction

Adela Zhang


What is trust to a mining company? This article interrogates the effects of conceptualising trust as essential infrastructure for large-scale extractive operations. Although sentiments like trust are typically imagined to fall outside the firm's purview, mining companies actively blur distinctions between economic-material and social-emotional realms when they draw on intimate social forms like kin networks and communal authority to mould trust into an expendable factor of mineral production. But rather than transforming trust into a discrete, predictable input, firms have unexpectedly manufactured its opposite: desconfianza, or distrust. My study shows how residents affected by mining navigate this distrust by attempting to construct clear boundaries between themselves and the mine. In the process, they reveal the unruly sentiments underlying the operations of extractive capitalism.

Open access

When partners are suspect(s)

Trust, transparency, and racialised suspicion in global health infrastructures

Cal Biruk


This article considers how concerns about trust in global health infrastructures—and the surveillance tools they justify—emerge from suspicions anchored in imaginaries of ‘Africa’ and ‘Africans’. Amid anxieties about corruption in global health circles, I consider how debates about providing per diems to African participants in international projects are articulated in racial terms. Drawing on examples from Malawi, I analyse the top-down push to make such disbursements more transparent via mobile money. Troubling celebratory framings of this technology, I demonstrate how a tool meant to increase transparency instead gives rise to mistrust and strained relations by casting African partners as suspects. While much of the scholarship on trust probes its interpersonal dimensions, this article addresses how bureaucratic infrastructures are constituted by assumptions about whom or what can be trusted. The impersonal and technical characteristics of transparency tools common to global health obscures their underpinning colonial and racial logics.

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Who to Call after the Storm?

The Challenge of Flooding due to Climate Change for Fruit and Vegetable Growers in the Northeast United States

Sara Delaney


Precipitation has increased across most of the United States over the last century. The Northeast region has seen the largest increase of ∼15 percent, predominantly from an increase in the frequency of extreme events, and these trends will continue. Commercial diversified fruit and vegetable (F&V) growers in the Northeast are among the most vulnerable to the flooding that can result from this trend. These growers, as part of broader social networks, can also be part of the process of adaptation and transformation of the regional landscape. Here, I review literature on expected precipitation changes, farmer experimentation and decision-making, the effects of flooding on agriculture and F&V systems, and the adaptation options available to and in use by growers. I draw on two case studies and highlight how these growers’ experiences complement the literature, and add context on advising needs, the challenge of prioritization, and the emotions that accompany changing rainfall patterns.

Open access

John Hagström and Jacob Copeman

This article outlines a conceptual dyad that maps onto a widespread preoccupation with the untangling and elimination of religious traces among avowedly nonreligious people: clarification and disposal. Clarification denotes the reworking of morality, ceremonial conduct, and artistic expression as endeavors that are essentially human or cultural and therefore only incidental to religious traditions. Disposal refers to practices that aim to remove that which is deemed religious and irrational. We suggest that dilemmas of clarification and disposal are felt by all self-consciously nonreligious people. Combining ethnographic research in India and a comparative engagement with findings from elsewhere, the article also demonstrates how clarification and disposal offer a corrective contribution to analytical languages in the study of nonreligion.