Maryon McDonald University of Cambridge

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Happy Birthday!

This issue completes the fifth volume of The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, launched in 2012. It is also the last issue I will edit. I have enjoyed five years of fun and scholarship editing this journal but five years is a long stint and it is time to pass the baton. In 2018, Andrew Sanchez will take over. The current editor expresses grateful thanks to the Associate Editors, the Editorial Board, the Reviews Editor and all the contributing authors, reviewers and readers who have ‘done the discipline’ through these pages over the past five years. Our special thanks go to Berghahn for their support and efficiency.

The present international, peer-reviewed journal publishes articles from around the globe, well beyond the Cambridge of its title, but it grew out of an earlier in-house journal in Cambridge known simply as Cambridge Anthropology (edited by Susan Drucker-Brown, who also contributed articles). The pages of that earlier journal, published from 1973 to 2011, bear some of the very much earlier thoughts of many who were becoming well-known names in the anthropological pantheon, from Meyer Fortes to Edmund Leach and Marilyn Strathern. These earlier articles are now available online, along with a complete index of all the articles published.1

The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology (CJA) has published the lectures now given annually in Cambridge in honour of Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern. These lectures have been given by David Graeber, Nikolas Rose, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Anna Tsing and Yunxiang Yan. To celebrate the fifth birthday of The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, we are offering free access to these articles online.2

The first article in this current issue of CJA is the latest Marilyn Strathern lecture, given in 2016 by Yunxiang Yan and entitled ‘Doing Personhood in Chinese Culture: The Desiring Individual, Moralist Self and Relational Person’. Yunxiang Yan’s article is followed in this issue by a themed Special Section guest edited by Matthew Carey and Morten Axel Pedersen. Their topic is ‘Infrastructures of Certainty and Doubt’. This is a collection that makes use of ontological turns in anthropology but takes us beyond the language of ‘technology’. ‘Infrastructure’ is explicitly used as a heuristic to talk about that which generates and sustains certainty and doubt. The innovative approach of the guest editors is set out in their Introduction and then played out in articles ranging in focus from a vanishing power plant (Morten Axel Pedersen) to the infrastructures of God (Tanya Luhrmann).

Finally, the book reviews in this issue take us through timely works that deal with the place of hope in economies and with human entanglement in an ecologically damaged and damaging world. Post-humanism, new materialities and ontological turns start to shift here from being part of anthropology’s analytical language to becoming part of the ethnography.



See The lectures have been published as articles as follows: David Graeber, ‘Culture as Creative Refusal’ (CJA 31 (2): 1–19); Nikolas Rose and Joelle Abi-Rached, ‘Governing through the Brain: Neuropolitics, Neuroscience and Subjectivity’ (CJA 32 (1): 3–23); Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, ‘Who Is Afraid of the Ontological Wolf? Some Comments on an Ongoing Anthropological Debate’ (CJA 33 (1): 2–17); Anna Tsing, ‘Earth Stalked by Man’ (CJA 34 (1): 2–16); Yunxiang Yan, ‘Doing Personhood in Chinese Culture: The Desiring Individual, Moralist Self and Relational Person’ (CJA 35 (2): 1–17) Free access will be available until the end of 2017.

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