Alex NadingMosquito Trails: Ecology, Health and the Politics of Entanglement

University of California Press, 2014

by Alejandra Bronfman on December 18, 2014

Alex Nading

View on Amazon

[Cross-posted from New Books in Latin American Studies] Dengue fever is on the rise globally. Since it is transmitted by mosquitoes which reside and reproduce in human environments, eradication efforts involve households and the people who keep them clean as well as moral and persuasive campaigns of surveillance and invigilation. In his new book Mosquito Trails: Ecology, Health and the Politics of Entanglement (University of California Press, 2014), Alex Nading follows the trails of garbage collectors and recyclers, local health care workers, and the mosquitoes themselves in this fascinating ethnography of Nicaragua’s Ciudad Sandino’s efforts to deal with dengue fever. He argues that these efforts are better understood as a series of entanglements and attachments that bring human and more than human actors together in intimate relationships. Nading’s book offers readers new ways to think about the relationships among the state and local actors as mediated through a series of objects: houses, viruses, immune systems, insects, and allocation budgets. This is a story about stories, and how they matter to health and urban environments.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Daniel CloudThe Domestication of Language: Cultural Evolution and the Uniqueness of the Human Animal

December 16, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Big Ideas] One of the most puzzling things about humans is their ability to manipulate symbols and create artifacts. Our nearest relatives in the animal kingdom–apes–have only the rudiments of these abilities: chimps don’t have language and, if they have culture, it’s extraordinarily primitive in comparison to the human form. What [...]

Read the full article →

Thom Scott-PhillipsSpeaking Our Minds: Why Human Communication is Different, and How Language Evolved to Make it Special

December 13, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Language] I hope I’m not being species-centric when I say that the emergence of human language is a big deal. John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry it as one of the “major transitions in evolution”, placing it in exalted company alongside the evolution of multicellularity, sociality, sexual reproduction, and various other preoccupations [...]

Read the full article →

Jamie CrossDream Zones: Anticipating Capitalism and Development in India

December 12, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in South Asian Studies] Dream Zones: Anticipating Capitalism and Development in India (Pluto Press, 2014), the excellent new book by Jamie Cross, explores the ways in which dreams of the future shape the present. Centring in and around a large Special Economic Zone in south India, the book analyses anticipation amongst politicians, managers, workers, [...]

Read the full article →

Lisa L. GezonDrug Effects: Khat in Biocultural and Socioeconomic Perspective

November 28, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Alcohol, Drugs, and Intoxicants] Khat, the fresh leaves of the plant Catha edulis, is a mild psycho-stimulant. It has been consumed in Yemen, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia for over one thousand years. Khat consumption is an important part of Yemeni social and political life.  During the early part of the twentieth century, [...]

Read the full article →

Pamela KlassenSpirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity

November 27, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Christian Studies] Liberal Protestants are often dismissed as reflecting nothing more than a therapeutic culture or viewed as a measuring rod for the decline of Christian orthodoxy. Rarely have they been the subjects of anthropological inquiry. Pamela Klassen, Professor of Religion at the University of Toronto, wants to change that. Her recent book, Spirits [...]

Read the full article →

Amrita PandeWombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India

November 4, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in South Asian Studies] Amrita Pande‘s Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India (Columbia University Press 2014) is a beautiful and rich ethnography of a surrogacy clinic. The book details the surrogacy process from start to finish, exploring the intersection of production and reproduction, complicating and deepening our understanding of this particular form of [...]

Read the full article →

Marcia OchoaQueen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens, and the Performance of Femininity in Venezuela

October 30, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Latin American Studies] Marcia Ochoa‘s book Queen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens, and the Performance of Femininity in Venezuela (Duke University Press, 2014) is a detailed ethnography of Venezuelan modernity and nationhood that brings two kinds of feminine performances into the same analytical frame. Her focus on transformistas and beauty queens allows [...]

Read the full article →

Amy EvrardThe Moroccan Women’s Rights Movement

October 30, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Book in Gender Studies] Amy Evrard‘s first book, The Moroccan Women’s Rights Movement (Syracuse University Press, 2014), examines women’s attempts to change their patriarchal society via their movement for equality and rights. At the center of Evrard’s book is the 2004 reform of the Family Code known as the Mudawwana, in which Moroccan [...]

Read the full article →

Barbara Harriss-White, et al.Dalits and Adivasis in India’s Business Economy: Three Essays and an Atlas

October 23, 2014

Dalits and Adivasis in India’s Business Economy: Three Essays and an Atlas (Three Essay Collective, 2013) is a wonderful new book by Barbara Harriss-White and small team of collaborators – Elisabetta Basile, Anita Dixit, Pinaki Joddar, Aseem Prakash and Kaushal Vidyarthee – published by the Three Essays Collective. The book explores the ways in which economic liberalisation [...]

Read the full article →