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Voicing Pride and Futurity in the Age of A.I.

An Interview with Playwright Pao-Chang Tsai on Solo Date

Jing Chen and Pao-Chang Tsai

Heinrich, Howard Chiang, and Ta-wei Chi, envisioning not only a queer futurity of then and there ( Muñoz 2019 ) in an imagined A.I. age but also what Jack Halberstam (2011) calls a “queer art of failure.” The representation of the A.I. interface as the

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Jonathan A. Allan

Crises of masculinity and wars on boys often deploy the suicides of young males as a rhetorical strategy in raising awareness for a political cause, that is to say a declaration of war, a war that remains dubious at best. Who, for instance, declared “war” on “boys”? This paper argues that theorists of gender, particularly masculinity, must think carefully and critically about suicide as a rhetorical strategy. In particular, this paper seeks to explain why men’s rights activists and scholars prefer the term “boys” to “young men” or “adolescents,” and subsequently aims to work through ideas of temporality, futurity, and slow death to understand the deployment of suicide as strategy.

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Who (the) Girls and Boys Are

Gender Nonconformity in Middle-Grade Fiction

Michele Byers

discuss here consider what putting different objects within reach of queer children looks like, and what futures might open up as a result. Muñoz’s intersectional writing on queer futurity reminds us that gender alone does not confer privilege, nor does

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Cognitive Disability

Towards an Ethics of Possibility

Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp

Abstract

This afterword to this special issue of The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, entitled ‘For an Anthropology of Cognitive Disability’, explores the intersections of disability studies and ethnographic research on cognitive difference. We offer a brief scholarly genealogy, discuss how these articles provide recognition for ‘the disarticulate’, and consider how anthropologists working on this subject might contribute to an ethics of possibility.

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Introduction

Desire for the political in the aftermath of the Cold War

Dace Dzenovska and Nicholas De Genova

Abstract

In this introduction, we reflect on the proliferation of an amorphous desire for the political in the post–Cold War era. The desire for the political, we argue, is shaped by two sets of tensions: the desire to criticize power via forms of action conventionally characterized as “politics,” but without a clear analysis of how power is organized or exercised; and the desire to overcome the present in the name of an alternative (better) future, but without a clear sense of the form that future might take. We start from the vantage points of critical scholarship that distinguishes itself from the mainstream, and people and places that are geopolitically in Europe, but “not quite” European if viewed in relation to “Europe” as a normative trope.

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A Concept of Transfer--Transfers of a Concept

Generation in Physiology, Pedagogy and Politics around 1800

Stefan Willer

Using the pattern of subsequent generations, contingent processes of historical change can be narrated as if they were something natural. The article explores this naturalizing potential of the modern concept of generation by tracing it back to its origin around the year 1800, when current physiological theories about the “epigenetic” self-organization of life became applicable to pedagogical and political programs of “new” and “forthcoming” generations. The article also discusses the methodological question of how such conceptual transfers can be adequately described.

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Sicilian Futures in the Making

Living Species and the Latency of Biological and Environmental Threats

Mara Benadusi

Discourses and practices of anticipation occupy a hypertrophic space in contexts where uncontrolled industrial growth has inflicted grave damage on peoples and territories, even triggering environmental disasters. This article explores the use of nonhuman species as anticipatory devices in a petrochemical terminal in Sicily, focusing on public representations of three species: scavenger bacteria that play a cleansing role and underline citizens’ moral responsibility to secure their best possible futures through bioscience; migrating flamingos that breed under the petrochemical chimneys, raising the possibility of hopefulness by highlighting ecosystem resilience; and fish affected by spina bifida, which reveal human health status in advance, communicating the need to live in preparation for potential diseases. The analysis reveals the highly contentious character of these anticipatory devices and the contested ideas about possible futures they imply, thus shedding light on the ecological frictions that have repercussions locally and globally, in discourse and social practice.

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Covidiots and the Clamour of the Virus-as-Question

Some Reflections on Biomedical Culture, Futurity and Finitude

Bryan Lim

means of liberating their present from a biomedically overbearing future – it is with this issue of futurity that the rest of the article deals. Even as social-distancing measures are crucial as a means to combat the pandemic, there exist, as Michaela

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A megastructure in Singapore

The “Asian city of tomorrow?”

Xinyu Guan

surrounds the megastructure. On the other hand, nevertheless, the gendered terms under which futurities are negotiated (in the case of the mole removal businesses), and the gendered figures that seem to blur into transnational food commodities (the

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Introduction

Experiencing Anticipation. Anthropological Perspectives

Christopher Stephan and Devin Flaherty

possibility of foregrounding lived experiences of futurity. Nonetheless, as Rebecca Bryant (2013) observes, attending to the lived experience of anticipation is essential to understanding the constitution of broader social and cultural temporalities. We see