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Niklas Hultin

This article examines the discourse surrounding the circulation of legal information in urban Gambia. It argues that ideas of information sharing suggest that Gambian law is fundamentally opaque, not simply in that it is not transparent but that it is only partially known. Drawing on the insights of Marilyn Strathern and other 'Melanesianists', the article further proposes that information sharing is a kind of relation and that opacity is a way of cutting relations. This in turn presents a way of apprehending African law that differs from the current emphasis on illegality and sovereignty in Africanist legal anthropology and focuses instead on emendation as a modality of engaging the law.

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The Shadows of Knowability

Reading between Opaque Narrative and Transparent Text

Younes Saramifar

ember that is burning? How can it make itself apparent to me - whatever that ‘it’ is? The torch of ember is an example of opacity. It is a puzzling knowability that stands in-between opacity and transparency. 1 It could be about to become fire and

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The Ocean as Another Place

Tina Montenegro

and give dignity to those who have died. Citing Édouard Glissant's concept of opacity, she sees the ocean as a “no-answer zone,” which confers power to those who have experienced there something that is unknowable (the “s” of the title's plural is a

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Jess Dorrance

on opacity and Denise Ferreira da Silva's (2009) work on the racial and gendered parameters of recognition as a way to think about the possibilities of resisting the state's injunction toward transparency, visual and otherwise. McDonald's, Stanley

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Danger, Moral Opacity, and Outrage

Fear of Jihadism and the Terrorist Threat in Southern Mali

Tone Sommerfelt

everywhere and evildoers potentially hide in people’s midst, public moral outrage is elicited by moral opacity. In effect, moral outrage takes the form of a confrontational interpretative quest that brings forth demands to expose subjects’ moral makeup to a

Open access

Natalia Buitron and Hans Steinmüller

legibility and with anthropological arguments about mind legibility (to do with the opacity of mind doctrines and public mind reading). This leads us to our core question: what can we learn about non-state government seen from the perspective of state and

Open access

The Limits of Knowing Other Minds

Intellectual Disability and the Challenge of Opacity

Patrick McKearney

opacity’ centers around particular small-scale societies that appear to deny, disable, or prohibit the possibility of having knowledge about what is going on in the minds of other people. 2 The Urapmin of Papua New Guinea are at the heart of the debate

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Alan Dowty

Research on Israeli nuclear weapons policy is seen as the classic case of conflict between security constraints and the academic ethos of openness. However, the 'ambiguity' of Israel's declared policy has eroded considerably over time, first to 'opacity' and now to simple non-acknowledgement. Furthermore, there have been vast changes in strategic circumstances: the initial rationale as a nuclear deterrent to conventional attack has been eclipsed by deterrence of other weapons of mass destruction. This is potentially a more promising platform for arms control agreements. The changes also call into question the need for the continued extension of censorship into academic research on the topic.

Free access


Infrastructures of Certainty and Doubt

Matthew Carey and Morten Axel Pedersen

Debates surrounding notions of certainty and conviction and, conversely, of doubt, uncertainty and opacity have proved to be some of the liveliest and most anthropologically productive of recent years. The contention that a kernel of

Open access

Guido Sprenger, Anthony J. Pickles, Ilana Gershon, Joel Robbins, Rebecca Bryant, and Marilyn Strathern

terms instead means that each taxon (like gift exchange or commodity trade) is defined by a specific configuration of the same terms (like transaction, value, expectation, alterity, opacity—see below). The defining elements of each taxon can then be