Infrastructures have proven to be useful focal points for understanding social phenomena. The projects of concern in this literature are often considered complete or, if not, their materialization is assumed to be imminent. However, many—if not most—of the engineered artifacts and systems classified as infrastructure exist in states aptly characterized as unbuilt or unfinished. Bringing together scholarship on unbuilt and unfinished infrastructures from anthropology, architecture, geography, history, and science and technology studies, this article examines the ways in which temporalities articulate as planners, builders, politicians, potential users, and opponents negotiate with a project and each another. We develop a typology of heuristics for analyzing the temporalities of the unbuilt and unfinished: shadow histories, present absences, suspended presents, nostalgic futures, and zombies. Each heuristic makes different temporal configurations visible, suggesting novel research questions and methodological approaches.
The Temporalities of Infrastructure
Ashley Carse and David Kneas
Durkheim, Modernity and Doubts
Ivan Strenski, The New Durkheim. New Brunswick (NJ) and London: Rutgers University Press, 2006, pp. 376.
Lisa Marie Borrelli, Cristina Douglas and Michele Fontefrancesco
Rules, Paper, Status: Migrants and Precarious Bureaucracy in Contemporary Italy Anna Tuckett. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018, ISBN: 9781503606494, 192 pp., Pb. $25
Living before Dying: Imagining and Remembering Home Janette Davies. New York: Berghahn, 2018, ISBN: 978-1-78920-130-7, 158 pp., Pb. $27.95/£19.00.
Unfinished: The Anthropology of Becoming João Biehl and Peter Locke (eds), Durham: Duke University Press, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-8223-6945-5, 400 pp., Pb. $29.95.
Felia Allum and Marco Cilento
The year 2000 is a year Antonio Bassolino, mayor of Naples since
1993, will not soon forget. The year had begun very well for Bassolino:
he was considered “the mayor Italians loved most” and
was extremely popular in Naples, where he was seen as a public
official with a knack for listening to the average citizen. The year,
however, ended pretty badly for Bassolino after he left City Hall to
become President of the Campania Region. Bassolino left behind
many unfinished projects, most notably the urban plan, the possible
victory of the Center-Right at the next municipal election, and
encountered many difficulties in governing the Region due to
intense party opposition to his actions and programs.
One Hundred Years of Anthropology of Religion
Ramon Sarró, Simon Coleman and Ruy Llera Blanes
One could say that in 2012 the scientific study of religion, particularly in its anthropological form, has become one hundred years old. In 1912, Durkheim published The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, perhaps the most influential book in the social study of religion, and certainly in the anthropology of religion, of the entire twentieth century. But this was not the only seminal work published around a century ago. A little earlier than that, in 1909, Arnold van Gennep’s Les rites de passage inaugurated an interest in liminality and ritual that has accompanied our discipline ever since. That same year, Marcel Mauss wrote La prière, an unfinished thesis that started an equally unfinished interest in prayer, one of the central devotional practices in many religions across the globe. In 1910, Lévy-Bruhl published his first explicitly anthropological book, How Natives Think, a problematic ancestor of a debate about rationality and modes of thought that has accompanied anthropology and philosophy ever since. In 1913, Freud tackled the then fashionable topic of totemism in his Totem and Taboo. Around those early years of the century, too, Max Weber was starting to write about charisma, secularization, and rationalization, topics of enduring interest.
As the USA and the UK embark on a foreign adventure held by many to be not only illegal, but also deeply immoral, it is perhaps fit- ting that the current issue of SSI should have a distinctly ethical flavour to it. ‘... will freedom by taking itself for an end escape all situation?’ wondered Sartre at the end of Being and Nothingness, ‘or, on the contrary, will it remain situated? Or will it situate itself so much the more precisely and the more individually as it projects itself further in anguish as a conditioned freedom and accepts more fully its responsibility as an existant by whom the world comes into being?’ The answers to these questions, to be found ‘on the ethical plane’, were famously promised for a ‘future work’. That work never materialised, but the questions remain at the heart of all of Sartre’s ulterior work – whether it be the plays, the existential biographies, the unfinished Notebooks for an Ethics, or the equally unfinished Critique of Dialectical Reason.
The debate in 1999 on how to finance the Italian party system centred
on two aberrations from the European norm that are linked to
the wider issue of the unfinished transition of the Italian political
system. The first of these aberrations is that the Italian political
class has yet to find a definitive remedy for the illegal funding of
the country’s political parties. Although public funding has been
envisaged since the law of 1974, subsequent legislation has
always been determined by circumstances and has never
addressed the real needs of parties. The second problem concerns
the control of three television channels by the state, on the one
hand, and of three further channels by a media entrepreneur and
political leader, Silvio Berlusconi, on the other. In the opinion of
many observers, this situation comprises an interweaving of interests
harmful to democratic pluralism.
A Response to Laila Soliman's No Time for Art
This article explores what it means to produce art in times of crisis, contending that activist art has no time for institutional frameworks in ways that present the artwork as unfinished or part of a process as opposed to unprocessed. In particular, it engages with the challenges raised by Laila Soliman’s performance project No Time for Art regarding the question of how to honor those who have lost their lives in the ongoing Egyptian revolution. Accordingly, making use of criticism, poetry, art, and photography, the article experiments both with the need for subjective responsibility in the face of political negligence and with how an accretive creative network of solidarity may be mobilized in keeping with considerations of the sacred entailed by revolutionary martyrdom.
This is an extract from “Une défaite,” an unfinished novel which, according to Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre wrote in 1927. Apparently, Sartre was inspired by Charles Andler's biography of Nietzsche and the triangular relationship of Nietzsche, Wagner and Cosima Wagner. The latter, Franz Liszt's daughter, was initially married to Hans von Bülow with whom she had two daughters, and then she married Wagner with whom she had two more daughters. Nietzsche admired her greatly. Sartre became fascinated by this ambiguous, complex and conflictual triangle. Sartre also identified with Nietzsche and “the destiny of the solitary man.” The protagonist, Frédéric, who is one year older than Sartre, is also an ironic self-portrait of Sartre, while Cosima is a prototype for Anny in Nausea; both are modelled on Simone Jollivet. Cosima plays both mother and sister to Frédéric. The triangular relationship is often repeated in Sartre's affective existence. The fairy tale is the best written chapter in the novel.
From The Last of the Just and A Woman Named Solitude to the Posthumous Narratives
Fifty years after his Goncourt Prize-winning début, and three years after the author’s death, a first posthumous novel, L’Etoile du matin (Morning Star) was published by André Schwarz-Bart and his wife and co-author, Simone Schwarz-Bart. Their respective roles in the writing process have never been transparent, and the lack of interviews, as well as limited correspondence, keep this situation unchanged today. A new volume of their unfinished cycle, entitled L’Ancêtre en solitude (The Ancestor in solitude), came out in 2015. The new narratives continue to explore how margins can be minimized in order to make us see similarities rather than differences. Critics have marginalized an ‘extravagant stranger’ who has been misunderstood for his biracial and bicultural transracial imagery, a ‘Fremdkörper’ in the canon of both Caribbean and French-Jewish literature. His manifold displacements allow us not only to ‘read with different eyes’, but also to read one historical trauma in and through another (Mary Jacobus).