Contemporary anthropology is teeming with ideas about the future. This rich landscape offers studies of uncertainty, precarity, risk, contingency, vulnerability, hope, aspiration, imaginaries and more, all investigating the variety of roles future possibilities play in shaping the present. Many of these themes have taken on renewed force in recent years, accompanied by a chorus of calls to turn our disciplinary gaze towards the future (Appadurai 2013; Guyer 2007; Pels 2015). It is likely no coincidence that anthropology has begun to focus on the future in this contemporary moment. Note, for instance, Purnima Mankekar and Akhil Gupta's (2017: 69) recent comment (in the context of their ethnography of call centres in India): ‘we learned that the future was something with which all our informants … seemed obsessed, and as ethnographers we began to take the obsessions of our informants seriously’. It may be drawing from such repeated ethnographic confrontations with pervasive interests in the future that anthropologists argue that attention to the future is a definitive preoccupation of our times (e.g. Adams et al. 2009). If the future looms larger than ever, there could never be a better time for the anthropological study of anticipation. Indeed, Arjun Appadurai (2013: 5) has argued that anticipation will be an essential analytic lens for understanding ‘the ways in which humans construct their cultural futures’.
The literature on anticipation within anthropology has thus far remained largely fragmentary, perhaps owing to the term's diversity of senses and thus its potential for disparate applications. In what is one of its most common usages in the existing literature, ‘anticipation’ is often equated with ‘speculation’ or ‘prediction’ (Appadurai 2013; Campbell 2014). This usage, however, often contrasts with other work in which ‘anticipation’ is taken to be an uncertain kind of previewing, imagining or recognizing of future developments (Molé 2010). Within these instances, it is common for a third sense of ‘anticipation’, that of an affective state of apprehension, excitement or anxiety, to also play a role (e.g. Molé 2010; see also Hermez 2012). In contradistinction, anticipation can connote a practical and material acting-in-advance, and this usage often implies a highly agentive and skilful role in bringing about the resultant state of affairs (see Ingold 2013). Finally, the instruments and techniques used to act in advance of or determine the future have been spoken of as themselves anticipatory (da Col and Humphrey 2012). Yet readers may note that many authors also rely (often implicitly) on more than one connotation of the word (e.g. Adams et al. 2009).
In this special issue, we propose and elaborate an anthropological approach to anticipation that privileges its role as lived experience. We offer ‘anticipatory experience’ not as an alternative to these senses, but as an approach through which the intrinsic interrelations of these senses can be disclosed. The articles in this issue take up the dual agendas of carefully attending to the experiential qualities and circumstances through which anticipation arises, and reflecting upon the nature of those experiences to theorize anticipation itself.
With this collection of articles, we do not propose, nor even hope for, the beginning of some kind of isolated ‘anthropology of’ anticipation. Nor is the point to espouse a superordinate framework for all anthropological attention to futures – indeed, we do not attempt to synthesize all that has been written about orientations to futures in anthropology. Rather, our efforts are to reframe, and thereby ground and integrate our method of seeing. In what follows, we take grounding and integrating as our guiding organizational tenets. Within the ‘grounding’ section, our goal is to motivate and orientate the experiential approach to studying anticipation. We begin by arguing that many studies of the future imply, but few directly engage with, the first-person perspective of anticipation. In response to this lacuna, we then draw on central tenets of anthropologies of lived experience to delineate the level of analysis featured in this issue. Rather than providing a summary definition of ‘anticipation’ – a project that we have invited our authors to approach in their own ways – we use these tenets to adumbrate the space of inquiry addressed by this issue.
After laying this groundwork, we move on to the task of integrating. In this section, we show how anticipation, far from being an isolated object of study, can be usefully emplaced within and read into ongoing conversations. In doing so, we gesture towards what a focus on anticipation can bring to light across a wide range of domains of social phenomena and social scientific lines of inquiry.
Much of the most influential work within this effervescence of attention to the future is pitched at the level of the macro-social. The theoretical contributions of these pieces have centred around such notions as, for instance, Appadurai's (2013) ‘future as cultural fact’, Jane Guyer's (2007) ‘public culture of temporality’, and Vincanne Adams and collaborators’ (2009) ‘anticipatory regimes’. Such accounts, theoretically diverse as they may be, are aimed at articulating and analysing what are necessarily collective processes (the cultural, the public, the political). Yet the emphasis on macro-social forces as configuring futures has nonetheless typically arisen out of ethnographers’ recognition of key vectors of power, capital and chance that distinguish some lives and futures from others. Social discord indexing contestations over the future (e.g. Bonilla 2015; Mankekar and Gupta 2017: 81), unequal possibilities that give rise to uneven horizons of aspiration (Appadurai 1996, 2013), or the interpellation of select populations as ‘risk subjects’ (Patel 2006; Rose 2007) – to name but a few – are prime examples of how descriptions of even the broadest processes implicate variability which fundamentally reflects unique sets of life circumstances. Additionally, these writings have a tendency to interweave references to individual lived experience – such as ‘lived futures’ or ‘senses’ of uncertainty, risk or possibility – within their accounts of broader social phenomena. Indeed, we would argue, such accounts rely on the sense that these collective processes have impacts and repercussions for experiencing individuals. In general, however, the scope and aims of these accounts have not afforded the 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 here an invitation to contribute to the examination and elaboration of anticipation as it emerges in lived experience in distinct sociocultural and institutional contexts.
In turning to anticipatory experience, this special issue draws upon the rich resources offered by phenomenological, psychological, existential and narrative approaches to studying first-person perspectives in social life (see Biehl et al. 2007; Csordas 1997, 2002; Desjarlais and Throop 2011; Good 1998; Jackson 1998; Mattingly 2010, 2014; Throop 2003, 2010). Foregrounding the first-person perspective means taking as object of inquiry the way that individuals themselves actually perceive, attend to and understand the world (see Desjarlais and Throop 2011; Mattingly 2010). This approach to anticipation differs from studies of temporality (see Bear 2016; Guyer 2007; Munn 1992) and historicity (see Hirsch and Stewart 2005; Knight and Stewart 2016) insofar as it seeks to foreground the first-person, processual process within which ‘futures’ appear to concrete individuals. While never shutting out the social structures and other objective conditions that shape individuals’ lives, an experiential approach to anthropology suspends presuppositions as to their impact and relevance in a given case in order to attend closely to how circumstances are lived and made meaningful through time. Furthermore, rather than seeing the world as simply being ‘out there’ for actors to encounter, this perspective takes world-making as an achievement that is always undertaken from a particular point of view. Far from being a merely cognitive event, anthropologists of experience have carefully elaborated the multiple modalities in which experience unfolds, including at the level of the body, emotion and attention (Csordas 2002; Desjarlais 2003; Geurts 2002; Throop 2012). All such undertakings seek to demonstrate how experience manifests in partial and perspectival showings of a nonetheless fundamentally shared and mutually constituted world.
A key component of studying anticipation from this perspective is recognizing and tracking how the future manifests across the range of practical and reflective engagements in everyday situations. As anthropological and phenomenological theorists have long argued, the first-person perspective is in large part lived from within a pragmatic and unreflective engagement with everyday activities. As such, embodied competencies, perceptual habits and a naturalization of our social and material world provide an assumptive background against which anticipatory experience takes shape. Yet people also shift into more reflective, critical or sceptical perspectives in which anticipatory experience may figure as a significant part of re-examining, reconstituting or recommitting to the social world (see Mack, this issue). It is often ‘breakdowns’ or disruptions to everyday expectations that catalyse explicit acts of reflection (in this case, on the future). As such, ethnographically distinguishing such moments of reflecting upon possible futures from those forms of anticipation that arise in the course of intuitive practical engagement in everyday life can reveal ambivalences, turning points and ambiguities.
How those moments of reflection in anticipation are patterned will necessarily be conditioned by culturally canalized modes of attention. Phenomenological anthropologists Jason Throop and Alessandro Duranti (2015: 1059) have argued that the role of patterns of attention in constituting experience makes these patterns a ‘core dimension’ of cultural life. We would, in turn, advance that cultural configurations of thought, affect and perception, canalized through modes of attention, play a fundamental part in shaping and lending relative salience to anticipatory experiences; how much and what forms of attention anticipation demands or affords is a crucial point of variation between persons, situations, institutions and cultures.1 Moreover, the activity of anticipating itself may be relatively foregrounded or backgrounded in the shifting vicissitudes of attention (see Stephan, this issue). In sum, as the contributions to this issue demonstrate, anticipation occupies a relatively flexible footprint in the ongoing stream of experience.
Founded in the vicissitudes of attention to the future, the content of anticipation can appear in a spectrum of precision ranging from vague and impressionistic to articulable and precise (see Stephan, this issue; Throop 2010); it is therefore problematic to presume that anticipation is always experienced as a clear and distinctive previewing of future potentialities. Anticipatory experiences flux in time. What might appear from the outside or in aggregate as a relatively stable vision of ‘the future’ is always to some extent an abstraction from lived experience, within which even anticipations of ‘the same’ future can vary greatly in their particular content and scope. Anticipation is a process deeply rooted in present ways of life and ongoing existential concerns; as we engage with our interlocutors through time, the shifting content and scope of their anticipatory horizons disclose not only present-day concerns, but their felt thrust, which may at times lie just beyond the cusp of articulability (cf. Crapanzano 2004). It is an empirical question when and with respect to whose experience relatively stable anticipations of the future occur. Far from inconsistency or variability presenting an impediment to anthropological attempts to theorize social processes, the temporality of anticipatory experience indicates a vital domain for ethnographic and theoretical intervention.
Anticipation takes place within lived duration, which raises the empirical question of how particular experiences of anticipation are ‘mapped’ onto (see Bear 2016) – or may resist conforming to – shared temporalities. Approaches to experience have often followed phenomenology's distinction between clock time – the objective metrics by which societies coordinate action (e.g. ‘9:00 am’, ‘next Wednesday’) – and lived time – the subjective feeling of duration (Schutz 1967). The relationship between the lived experience of duration and any of the multifarious socially constituted ‘temporalities’ examined within the anthropology of time (see Bear 2016; Guyer 2007) is one that must be constituted, and therefore cannot be taken as given. As such, anticipatory temporalities will not necessarily correspond with a linear progression of time and succession of events. Importantly, even when persons report an expected timeline or event horizon, the possibility that the specified time comes and goes while the anticipation remains reveals the at times loose coupling of lived time and clock time (see Tidey, this issue). Moreover, subjects may simultaneously live within multiple temporalities, and even impossible timelines (see Mattingly, this issue), which underscores the importance of keeping both lived and clock time in analytic focus. Nonetheless, these lived experiences of time and anticipation will necessarily be shaped by and interactionally geared into (however imperfectly) the lived time of others, both at the level of concrete face-to-face relationships and within broader communities of practice (Schutz 1945).
The necessity of constituting a relationship between lived duration and socially established reckonings of temporality further implies that, while in many anthropological approaches to the future anticipation has been made legible through its association with prediction and planning practices (e.g. Adams et al. 2009; Appadurai 2013; Bear 2016), an approach through lived experience must bracket the assumption that the anticipatory object is already determinate and figured in time. As the contributions to this collection demonstrate, there is significant variability in how much effort people go to to actually elaborate anticipation into explicit predictions, or even to check their anticipatory experience against their understandings of their real possibilities. In some scenarios, efforts at clearly stipulating what will occur (or when) may even be contrary to the point.
In grounding anticipation in lived experience, we both offer a framework for approaching the way futures manifest in local worlds, while also showing how integral futures are to everyday presents. Particular configurations of practices, institutional frameworks and cultural values will differentially inflect patterns of attention, reflection upon, elaboration and temporalization of what is anticipated. It is this variability, in light of its centrality to everyday life, that renders anticipation a dynamic and valuable analytic object; attending to the differences in how anticipation manifests can nuance and complicate, while at the same time challenging us to draw connections between, anthropological studies of futures. Detailed attention to the experience of anticipation requires us to ask how any such orientation to the future has come about (e.g. when what is anticipated is hoped for), and how these vicissitudes and permutations may be related to one another.
Anticipation, because it is so basic to the temporality of experience, courses throughout social life. As such, approaching anticipation as lived experience affords insight across a variety of anthropological concerns that often fall outside of contemporary approaches to ‘futures’, ‘time’ or ‘temporalities’. In what follows, we delineate some of these interconnections in order to demonstrate how anticipation, rather than being a self-contained domain of study, can ‘integrate’ a diverse range of thematics within anthropology. These areas include, among others: the social distribution of knowledge and expertise; interaction, social cooperation and conflict; identity, reflexivity and contingency; power and inequality; and socialization, morality and ontology.
One of the benefits of a first-person perspective on anticipation is that it foregrounds socially generative asymmetries between individuals. The differential distribution of knowledge between subjects can be understood as an important organizing principle of their interactions and social relationships (Berger and Luckmann 1967; James 1950; Schutz 1945, 1967). Variations in anticipatory experience, and the kind of knowledge produced therein, play an active part in structuring social life. A prime example of how differential access to knowledge may also signal asymmetric but interdependent patterns of anticipation is expertise. Anthropologists have documented the existence of experts in every known society (Carr 2010). Expertise may entail interactions in which asymmetric capacities for assigning meaning to and anticipating the course of events are idealized as role-types, for instance the complementary roles of doctor and patient. Medical anthropologists have sought to understand doctor–patient interactions in part through the modes of selective attention into which doctors are entrained (Good 1998; Good and Good 2000). An implication is that anticipatory practices are predicated not only on role expectations and variable forms of knowledge, but also on what Charles Goodwin (1994) called ‘professional vision’. As Goodwin summarizes it, ‘central to the social and cognitive organization of a profession is its ability to shape events in the domain of its scrutiny into the phenomenal objects around which the discourse of the profession is organized’ (1994: 626). We would add that the shaping of these phenomenal objects also entails differential capacities to anticipate and intervene in their course.
Discontinuities between persons’ anticipatory experiences may equally become a vector of social identification or division (see Birth 1999; Ramble 2002). The alignment or disputation of anticipations takes place across the full range of micro and macro-social processes that anthropologists have studied variously as identity, cooperation, disagreement and conflict. Concerning alignment, while persons’ beliefs and experiences may differ, we note that this fact is often belied in everyday speech as much as in institutional discourses. Examining the fabrication of equivalence in interaction, Harvey Sacks (1995) analysed the interactionally ‘achieved similarity’ between exchanged stories as a process within which speakers took on and demonstrated analogous perspectives on nonetheless disparate events. This is one example that reveals how treating experiences – including anticipatory ones – as equivalent is a means of vying for social belonging.
On the macro level, work on the connection of nation-building projects to subjectivities and identities (e.g. Gammeltoft 2014; Strassler 2010) has examined how national projects form a backdrop against which personal aspirations and tribulations may take on broader significance. Recent work on social movements (e.g. Appel 2014; Nugent 2012; Razsa and Kurnik 2012) points to how participation in and identification with such groups might organize anticipation towards alternative futures (see Campt 2017). However, those anticipations must not always entail a clear vision of what the future will hold even while they serve as an important source of motivation and means by which they collectively conceptualize the conflict.
While anticipatory experiences may thus coalesce, it remains important to bear in mind the particularity of individual anticipatory experience – something that becomes quite salient on the level of interaction where misalignments in interlocutors’ expectations and the limits of any individual's control over the situation may play a major role in influencing the moment-to-moment mitigation of potential or realized conflict (see Goffman 1981). As linguistic anthropologists have argued, speech emerges in part through interlocutors’ conscious attention to the interactional consequences of their linguistic choices (Duranti 1994; Silverstein 2001). Similarly, Summerson Carr (2009) has identified an ‘anticipatory interpellation’ in which clients of a drug treatment programme work to project social identities they take to be auspicious for how their words will be interpreted later on (and thus what course their treatment will take). Carr's example is instructive, since in linking speech to the public discourses operating to construct and manage subaltern identities, we see how enacting identity can be founded in anticipatory experience.
Thematizing actors’ relative awareness of the social stakes of their speech, the above discussion exemplifies the connection between anticipation, reflexivity and contingency in many social practices. As Anthony Giddens (1990) has argued, reflexivity is a fundamentally modern means of mitigating contingency that pairs institutional self-scrutiny with the pursuit of optimized performance. Yet, as many theorists of late modernity have pointed out, while this reflexivity does work to recursively structure institutional organization and action, those anticipatory practices often do as much to populate horizons of uncertainty as mitigate them (Adams et al. 2009; Rabinow 2008; Samimian-Darash 2013). We would be careful to distinguish this institutional reflexivity from anticipations as experienced on the individual level in everyday life. Yet, along with many theorists, we would insist that there can be looping effects between institutional practices and forms of knowledge production encouraged at the institutional level, and anticipations experienced by individuals. In alignment with this description, we might expect that anticipatory experience is not a product but a precursor or form of appearance for reflexive recognition of contingency.
It is often unspoken in broad-scale discussions of uncertainty and contingency that, for actors on the ground, it is not uncertainty qua uncertainty that is problematic, but uncertainty about ‘what is at stake’ (Kleinman 1997) for them that has experiential force. Considering differences in ‘what is at stake’ for different individuals can help reveal how social positionalities of all kinds thrust cares and concerns upon individuals. David Graeber (2011) has argued that the labour of imagining others’ future needs or desires is unequally socially distributed, with individuals belonging to less powerful segments of the population – for instance those in the service sector – engaged in the majority of it. This work gestures to the larger point that one is not only drawn to anticipate but is made liable for anticipating in certain forms and domains. Nonetheless, we should not assume that these liabilities go unchallenged (see Flaherty, this issue).
Differentially distributed liabilities for imagining and anticipating others’ needs can be seen as grounded in fundamental processes of socialization that over the life course continually work to dispose individuals to desired forms of attending to and taking responsibility for certain others (e.g. Ochs and Izquierdo 2009). Anthropologists have found that empathy, which is a major component of this kind of social anticipation, is asymmetrically distributed depending on prestige, age, rank or caste in a number of societies (e.g. Hollan and Throop 2011; Marrow 2011; Throop and Hollan 2008). For instance, in several societies throughout the world, children are socialized into an asymmetric pattern of guessing at the meaning of their elders’ statements, whereas in many European and North American societies, the anticipatory liability is the other way around (Ochs and Schieffelin 1984). As a direct consequence of socialization, there are normative anticipatory experiences from group to group, and knowing what to expect in any particular domain is a key marker of an expert, its deficiency a key marker of a novice (Klein 1999). Moreover, these acquired skills and predispositions always unfold within and are informed by locally shared moral frameworks and meanings. We suggest that the renewed attention to the moral dimensions of social life, in what has come to be called the anthropology's ‘ethical turn’ (Fassin 2012; Keane 2015; Laidlaw 2014; Lambek 2010; Mattingly and Throop 2018; Zigon 2007, 2008; Zigon and Throop 2014), is a very promising site for studying the significance of anticipation to everyday actors (see Flaherty, Mack, Pedersen, all this issue).
The intertwining of moral and temporal orientations in anticipation recalls Irving Hallowell's (1955) famous argument in ‘The Self and Its Behavioral Environment’ regarding the culturally variable and mutually constitutive ontological grounds of self and world. For Hallowell, temporal orientations, including ways of marking time and the expected course of events, are concomitant with actors’ motivations and evaluative stances, all of which make up part of persons’ basic ontological orientations (see also Paul 1977). We glean here some of the importance of ontologies as ‘infrastructures’ (see Carey and Pederson 2017) for anticipatory experience. Indeed, actors’ basic sense of reality, and thus the potentialities inherent in different beings, substances and states of affairs, undergird all of the processes we have drawn attention to above and define the field in which all anticipating takes place.
This discussion, though necessarily brief, adumbrates a rhizomatic network of interconnections that could be shuffled and reshuffled to reveal still further interrelations. The articles featured herein draw many of these thematics into relation, while each also advancing distinct perspectives of their own.
What comes next
Before closing, we provide a brief introduction to each article as well as some final thoughts regarding the collection's contribution to continuing studies of anticipation within anthropology.
Reflecting back upon her longstanding engagement with narrative approaches to temporality, Cheryl Mattingly writes compellingly of the modalities of ‘waiting’ through which an African-American mother attends to the death of her young child who has been given a terminal prognosis. Mattingly reconsiders narrative time in light of how, in the face of loss, the fleeting moments of ‘waiting with’ that this mother finds most meaningful disclose a kind of narrative discontinuity that complicates models of cohesive lived time. The theme of waiting carries through Elizabeth Fox's contribution. Fox argues for the conceptual power of anticipation as both pre-emptive action and expectative waiting, presenting a versatile ethnographic account of life in the midst of great precarity in the ger districts of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Fox presents anticipation as an analytic that bridges the extremes of seeing life in the ger districts as defined either by the scripted certainties of reciprocity and obligation or by a post-socialist moment of total uncertainty. In her article, Sylvia Tidey emphasizes the open-ended and ‘objectless’ nature of anticipation among transgender women (waria) in Bali. Taking a Heideggarian approach, Tidey analyses the common anticipation waria voice of someday ‘becoming normal again’. Tidey argues for such anticipations as ‘a response to existential demands’ (including the possibility of dying alone, alienated from family), and thus not as an orientation towards a desirable future, but rather as a disclosure of the limited possibilities available to waria in contemporary Bali.
Along with Mattingly's piece, Tidey's article touches upon a strong thematic through-line within the collection of the relationship between anticipation and death. This theme is also central to Devin Flaherty's contribution. Investigating temporal reorientations when death may be nearby, Flaherty focuses on the wife of a hospice patient on the Caribbean island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, who works to not anticipate the course of her husband's illness. Arguing that this refusal cannot be seen as a simplistic form of ‘denial’, or avoidance, Flaherty builds up a case for this not anticipating as a moral project situated within this woman's unfolding life narrative. That narratives, or ‘plotlines’, are essential analytics for understanding experiences of anticipation is also highlighted in Pedersen's discussion of possibilities for moral becoming among Danish soldiers in Afghanistan. Pedersen argues that these ‘grunts’ engage with two anticipated, and mutually exclusive, plotlines: the dream of becoming warrior heroes in real combat uneasily coexists with their experience of uneventful, ‘desolate’ tours of duty. Consequently, Pederson argues, anticipation can paradoxically present antagonistic but simultaneous expectations of what is to come.
Morality is also central to Abigail Mack's piece, in which she examines the account of a judge reckoning with a patient's unexpected suicide in the context of the Los Angeles Mental Health Court. Tracing this ongoing reconciliation through a nuanced examination of the judge's account, Mack demonstrates an anticipatory process of moral becoming that cuts across institutional, personal and existential lines. Mack's ethnography also exhibits an attention to the institutional structuring of anticipation, a theme that resonates with Flaherty's contribution as well as with Christopher Stephan's article on American architects’ anticipation of their ‘users’. Beginning with the observation that anticipation manifests in a variety of experiential modalities (most notably mood, intuition and imagination), which range from implicit and relatively vague to highly explicit and precise, Stephan theorizes the generative process through which more implicit forms of anticipation precede and lend direction to more explicit ones. In the context of architectural design, where highly reflective forms of awareness are prized and fostered, Stephan examines the gradual and non-linear build-up of vivid anticipatory experience within a meeting between two architects, demonstrating the intersubjectivity and temporality of anticipatory experience.
Read as a collection, these articles engage with anticipation as first-person experience to advance anthropological theorizing of futures on several fronts. Each contributing author approaches these issues in their own way, crafting sometimes subtle, sometimes more distinctive theoretical divergences regarding the meanings, roles and qualities of anticipation. And, as suggested through the ‘Integrating’ section of this introduction, it is our hope that readers with a variety of research interests and backgrounds will find unique aspects of this work productive. In closing, however, we would like briefly to highlight a few collective contributions of these articles. Taken together, the contributions show that anticipation plays a crucial yet ambivalent part in orientating action and grounding meaning-making. Anticipation may make the future sensible in the present, but it can also foreground the ambiguity of our circumstances or set us up for disappointment and a dearth of meaning down the road. How any experience of anticipation will correspond to a realized or unrealized future will depend not only upon the actual course of events, but upon the collective and personal conditions within which the anticipatory experience is founded. These ethnographic accounts demonstrate how anticipation is highly variable and fundamentally embedded within a cultural and immediate social context. Anticipation draws upon socialized dispositions and plays a crucial role in modulating our relationships to others and to social institutions. Yet, beyond this, attention to anticipatory experience reveals its relationality in the extent to which we anticipate alongside others, in collaboration with them and on their behalves. Whether anticipatory experiences manage to establish or articulate with a delineable and collectively recognizable future will vary greatly depending upon the contexts within which they unfold. So, too, with anticipation's moral, social and affective value in the present. What the contributors to this special issue demonstrate is that attention to the lived experience of anticipation, far from a niche concern, has as much to show us about broader social and cultural worlds as it does about the individuals who experience it.
We would like to thank all of the contributors to this collection for their dedication, enthusiasm and insight in putting this special issue together. This collection emerged from a panel at the meetings of the Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA) in 2015, co-organized with Abigail Mack. We would like to thank Jarrett Zigon, who graciously served as chair for that panel, as well as Annemarie Samuels, whose thoughts on anticipation during the panel and commitment to the project in the years to follow were significant in bringing this collection into being. We would especially like to thank Elinor Ochs, who served as discussant on the SPA panel and provided encouragement at crucial moments afterwards, and to Jason Throop, who has contributed to our thinking and writing on anticipation in innumerable ways. Finally, our thanks go to two anonymous reviewers for their helpful feedback and to Andrew Sanchez and the editorial board of the Cambridge Journal of Anthropology for their support.
The emotional intensity of anticipatory experience, which we do not elaborate on here, will be intertwined with the degree and form of attention that accompanies it.
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