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The Preludes to Migration

Anticipation and Imaginings of Mexican Immigrant Adolescent Girls

Lilia Soto

This article explores the immigrant journeys of Mexican immigrant adolescent girls raised in transnational families. Based on interviews conducted with this young cohort I examine how they experienced migration long before they neared the United States-Mexico border. Using a transnational approach to migration and the intersections of gender and age as analytical categories, I highlight how Mexican immigrant adolescent girls are uniquely situated within their families so as to have a different set of experiences from men, women, and adolescent boys. Their stories reveal that before migration their lives were saturated, because of their parents' departures and visits, with anticipation and imaginings about Napa Valley, California, and with interruptions of migration. Their lives always seemed to be on the brink of migration. This also means that the very reason for their parents' migration—to better provide for their children—placed the children en route, as it were, to the United States.

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From Purgatory to Sentinel

'Forms/Events' in the Field of Zoonoses

Frédéric Keck

This article discusses Paul Rabinow's notion of 'form/event' in the light of the current management of Avian Influenza in Hong Kong. While this notion allows the study of how life sciences produce events by turning scarcity of material into abundance of information, Paul Rabinow applied it to the scene of biotechnologies where values about life are suspended in what he calls purgatory. I suggest that, for the anticipation of epidemics from the animal reservoir, the form/event is not a suspension of values but a communication by signs in what I call, following Hong Kong microbiologists, a sentinel. Moving from purgatory to sentinel in the field of biosecurity opens a plurality of scales at which events happen, and transforms the model of subjectivity, from pastoral care to hunting relationships. This theoretical shift sheds light on the ethnography of Avian Flu in Hong Kong, where birdwatchers have allied with microbiologists to practise animal surveillance.

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Giovanni da Col and Caroline Humphrey

As with the preceding companion issue (Social Analysis 56, no. 1), this special issue is concerned with the ways in which fortune, luck, and chance are conceived in a range of different societies and how these concepts are employed to negotiate the contingencies and uncertainties of everyday life. Taken together, the articles gathered in this second collection deal with human attempts to project their desire for mastering uncertainties about the future while solving the moral predicaments of fortune’s proportions and their management in everyday life. Ranging from Melanesian and Greek gamblers to online gamers and Siberian hunters, from lay Chinese mathematicians of fate to young Mongolians, the ethnographies in this special issue reveal the creative potentials of practical matrixes for calculating luck and mobilizing diverse ‘technologies of anticipation’ of the future. A few of the articles present rites to invoke fortune, gambling, or games as practices to master contingency and as generative fields of agentive creativity and subjectivity.

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(Dis)Connected Rail

Infrastructural Suspension and Phatic Politics in Romania

Adrian Deoanca

The political force of infrastructures is often attributed to their functioning as designed, while their political afterlives remain underexplored. In this article, I explore ethnographically the phatic force of ruins of infrastructure, by dwelling on a liminal railroad segment in Romania that remains unrehabilitated many years after its breakdown. Such an open-ended state of suspension allows the isolation of infrastructure’s political and affective dimensions. The Giurgiu-Bucharest railroad met its demise in 2005 in the wake of heavy floods, producing an infrastructural gap that impacts local mobility and unravels the postsocialist social contract. State authorities and citizens engage in tactics of remediation that, while unsuccessful in resuming traffic, maintain a sense of phatic connection that kindles nostalgia for the past and frustrates anticipation of the future. These tactics make the railroad a medium for hope and at the same time a symbol for the absolute impossibility of hope.

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Living Heritage and Religious Traditions

Reinterpreting Columba/Colmcille in the UK City of Culture

Máiréad Nic Craith

In 2013, Derry~Londonderry became the inaugural UK City of Culture. Given tensions between national and unionist versions of history, the title generated considerable debate on the location of Derry~Londonderry's culture within a UK and/or Irish context. All this had implications for the character of Columba/Colmcille, who had been appropriated by competing secular and religious versions of history in the past and who featured prominently in the year-long celebrations. This essay explores the layering and cultural appropriation of the narrative of Columba/Colmcille over the centuries and the reshaping of this narrative in anticipation of the year of UK City of Culture. It contextualises the emergence of a fresh narrative in the new political context which seeks to redefine the city as a common heritage space for a previously divided people.

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Pierre Fresnault-Deruelle

Our starting point is the idea that Hergé sets up a series of reciprocal links between two of his albums, Les 7 Boules de cristal and Le Temple du Soleil. Over and above simple narrative succession, these two albums fit together like two wings of a diptych across which visual, semiotic and even symbolic elements echo each other. In order to appreciate these fully, the diptych has to be considered from the perspective of a 'rereading', in other words from a standpoint that enables a particular panel or situation to be regarded as a flash forward or flashback. The tracking of this back-and-forth motion seeks to reveal the artistic profundity of Hergé's narrative, where anticipations of later elements or reminders of earlier ones either serve to intensify the dramatic build-up, or, conversely, work to parodic effect (through a distancing impression of 'déjà vu'). These echoes have cumulative effects that contribute to the overall 'intelligence' of the work. Hence our title: 'Figurations and Prefigurations in Hergé's Work, or from Les 7 Boules de cristal to Le Temple du Soleil and Back Again'.

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Pilgrimage into Words and Images

the Miracles of Santa Maria delle Carceri in Renaissance Prato

Robert Maniura

On 6 July 1484 an eight-year-old boy called Jacopino was chasing a cricket in the derelict area of Prato near the old castle when he saw the figure of the Virgin Mary, painted above a barred window of the ruined town prison (Figure. 1), ‘detach itself’ from the wall. The Virgin, who had been holding her son in her arms, placed him on the ground and, leaving him wriggling at the foot of the window, descended into the prison vaults. She proceeded to clean the place, ‘scrubbing three times with her hand’, before collecting her son and resuming her place on the wall. The boy hurried home to tell his mother what he had seen, but she would have none of it. She scolded him for his truancy and sent him back to school. Instead of returning to school, however, the boy returned to gaze at the image ‘as if in ecstasy’. His rapt attention drew others to the site and the image was seen to undergo further miraculous transformations: the figure of the Virgin cried, opened and closed its eyes and sweated blood. The questioning of the boy by the vicar of the bishop of Pistoia, in whose diocese Prato lay, served to draw even more notice and crowds began to gather in anticipation of further wonders.

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Mark Donovan and Paolo Onofri

It is difficult to tell a story pretending not to know how it ends. This volume

is concerned with the political and politico-economic events that

took place in Italy during the course of 2007, but in reality it is implicitly

the story of an aborted legislature, the fifteenth in the Republic’s history,

which began in April 2006 and ended prematurely in January 2008.

Perhaps in anticipation of this outcome, the year 2007 was permeated

by a sense of deep political malaise. The government of Romano Prodi,

despite having been in office since only May 2006, and despite its reasonably

effective management of the economy, was weak and unpopular.

Its frailty was rooted, most immediately, in the election outcome,

which gave it a majority of just two in the Senate, and that outcome in

turn resulted in large part from the effects of the electoral system reform

introduced by the center-right government in December 2005. The purpose

of that reform—or counter-reform, as some prefer to call it—was to

minimize the scale of the government’s expected defeat or, reversing the

perspective, to render the center-left’s victory as marginal as possible.

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Jens Eder

relational, comparable to touch in connecting the felt “inside” of the feeling person with the “outside” of the world. Third, they involve a presupposed space of experiential possibility, that is, anticipations of what kinds of experiences are generally

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Ted Nannicelli

Neurons, and Contemporary Action Cinema,” Vassilieva probes Eisenstein's influences, connections, and collaborations with his contemporaries working in the sciences of the mind, noting an anticipation of some important contemporary trends in the field