Originally published in 2014, Gavin Smith’s Intellectuals and (Counter-) Politics: Essays in Historical Realism felt like a jolt of adrenaline for politically engaged scholarship, in anthropology and beyond. One of the book’s core provocations was methodological: it asked how exactly, in a pragmatic sort of way, we might do intellectual work that is not only politically effective (i.e. that gives additional “leverage” to collective struggle) but also works with, not against, the unique forms of intervention open to members of our profession. Its answer was deliciously heretical. Smith suggested the most politically valuable contributions of intellectual work might not come from the orthodox methods we tend to adopt when we commit ourselves to joining political struggles, such as aligning ourselves with the collective movements we support and offering them an audience and theoretical lens for their voices of dissent. The importance of ground-level solidarity work cannot be overstated. But allowing such alliances and their immediate challenges to shape the scope of our intellectual practice may confuse the kinds of practical knowledge necessary for one mode of activist struggle with that necessary for, and made possible by, another.
An introduction to the post-colonial critique of Andrés Guerrero
The following article by Andrés Guerrero is an unedited translation of the sixth and final chapter of his recent book, Administración de poblaciones, ventriloquía, y transescritura (Admini stration of Populations, Ventriloquism, and Trans-writing, 2010), a remarkable text of political history and philosophy that has been largely inaccessible to readers outside the Andean region. 1 Our publication of that chapter in this issue, with commentaries on it and an interview with the author, reflects the unusually loud “echoes” (to use a Guerreroism) we heard in it of Focaal’s efforts to promote unorthodox ways of addressing the global and historical composition of political critique. Extracting a chapter such as this from its source cannot but leave scars. Here we aim to fill in some of the missing pieces to the story that follows.
Veronica Davidov, Danielle DiNovelli-Lang, James F. Weiner, Emily Yates-Doerr, Marissa Shaver, Bret Gustafson, Peter Cuasay, Andrew DeWit, Jeremy F. Walton, Christopher Krupa, David Lipset, Jerry Jacka, John Walker, John Johnson, Erik W. Davis, J. Brantley Hightower, Genese Marie Sodikoff, Heater E. Young-Leslie, Patrick Kaiku and Brock Ternes
DOVE, Michael R., Percy E. SAJISE, and Amity A. DOOLITTLE, eds., Beyond the Sacred Forest: Complicating Conservation in Southeast Asia
FIENUP-RIORDAN, Ann, and Alice REARDEN, Ellavut/Our Yup’ik World & Weather: Continuity and Change on the Bering Sea Coast
INGOLD, Tim, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description
KINCHY, Abby, Seeds, Science, and Struggle: The Global Politics of Transgenic Crops
KNUDSEN, Stale, Fishers and Scientists in Modern Turkey: The Management of Natural Resources, Knowledge and Identity on the Eastern Black Sea Coast
LATTA, Alex, and Hannah WITTMAN, eds., Environment and Citizenship in Latin America: Natures, Subjects and Struggles
MCKINNON, Katharine, Development Professionals in Northern Thailand: Hope, Politics, and Practice
MORI, Akihisa, ed., Democratization, Decentralization and Environmental Governance in Asia, DURAIAPPAH, Anatha Kumar, Koji NAKAMURA, Kazuhiko TAKEUCHI, Masataka WATANABE, and Maiko NISHI, eds., Satoyama-Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes of Japan
NAVARO-YASHIN, Yael, The Make-Believe Space: Affective Geography in a Postwar Polity
NIXON, Rob, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
OGDEN, Laura A., Swamplife: People, Gators and Mangroves Entangled in the Everglades
ROBINS, Nicholas A., Mercury, Mining, and Empire: The Human and Ecological Cost of Colonial Silver Mining in the Andes
SCHAAN, Denise P., Sacred Geographies of Ancient Amazonia: Historical Ecology of Social Complexity
SCOTT, Rebecca R., Removing Mountains: Extracting Nature and Identity in the Appalachian Coalfields
SHAH, Bindi, Laotian Daughters: Working toward Community, Belonging, and Environmental Justice
STEFANOVIC, Ingrid Leman, and Stephen Bede SCHARPER, eds., The Natural City: Re-Envisioning the Built Environment
WALSH, Andrew, Made in Madagascar: Sapphires, Ecotourism, and the Global Bazaar
WILLOW, Anna J., Strong Hearts, Native Lands: The Cultural and Political Landscape of Anishinaabe Anti-Clearcutting Activism
DIAMOND, Jared, The World until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
PABICH, Wendy J., Taking On Water: How One Water Expert Challenged Her Inner Hypocrite, Reduced Her Water Footprint (without Sacrificing a Toasty Shower) and Found Nirvana