The Anthropology of Biopolitics. Ethnographies of governmentality

Associate Editor:
Leticia Katzer
Universidad Nacional de Cuyo-Conicet, Argentina

From inter- and trans- disciplinary views of biopolitical criticism, studies on governmentality are increasingly gaining an analytic space of their own in the field of social sciences. Within a broad field —encompassing highly diverse geopolitical contexts, as well as diverse variables and interpretations, these research efforts are illustrated by authors like Souza Lima, Amselle & B’okolo, Heller & Puntischer, and Castro-Gómez.
Relying upon theoretical reflection within this framework and a broad diversity of case studies and varied perspectives —i. e. ethnic, social, economic, environmental, urban/rural, and scholarly—, we have been seeing a set of political theories are connected in Latin America, that are knit together on the stitch of the semantics of biopolitical and genealogical criticism, post/decolonial criticism, and to a lesser extent, or less developed at this time, deconstructionism. In this field of analysis, a straining overlapping has been acknowledged between colonial biopolitical rationales and mechanisms inherent to governmentality, through which patterns of subjectivity and life/nature are produced, acknowledged, and legitimated (both in the sphere of knowledge production and juridical-administrative dispositions) and in the concrete ways individuals and ‘communities’ used to express themselves.

Within the framework of the analytical articulation between governmentality, biopolitics, and coloniality, this issue intends to collect papers with the aim to inscribe those theoretical genealogies in the field of ethnicity, community, and contemporary subject, in two dimensions. On the one hand, we want to discuss the analytical potential of decolonial, post-colonial, and subaltern studies’ theories and methods, and their potential articulation to genealogical criticism on governmentality in order to think critically how governmentality is conveyed concretely, both on the State level and the subjectivation practices beyond it (including the academic field itself). On the other hand, we intend to present a framework of reflection from concrete varied situational reference frames in diverse national and regional spheres, thus contributing to the field of reflection of ethnographic theory and practice.

Manuscript receipt: up to June 28, 2019.

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