in The autonomous life?


First off, I give my heartfelt appreciation to my doctoral dissertation supervisor, Thomas Blom Hansen. This book is the result of his unconditional intellectual and emotional guidance, and unrelentingly high standards. I wish to thank the faculty and staff of the Anthropology Department at Yale. The National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant and a plethora of Yale fellowships generously funded fieldwork and writing.

In Amsterdam, I wish to thank Martin Herzberg and Julia Roesselers for their research assistance and to Lynn Owens, Abbe Blum, and Ron Eyerman for feedback on early drafts of chapters. The Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR) and the International Institute for Social History (IISH) both provided affiliations, workspaces, and eventually, employment. Heartfelt thanks to Jose Komen of the AISSR and Marcel van der Linden and Karin Hofmeister of the IISH for access to these resources. I have been honored to collaborate with Maiko Tanaka, Binna Choi, and Maria Pask in the production of the sitcom, “Our Autonomous Life,” inspired by this book.

In London, I have been privileged to receive invaluable editorial assistance from Heiba Lamara, who examined the manuscript with a fine toothcomb for linguistic and intellectual clarity. Special thanks to Sara Farris and Mihnea Chijdea for proposal feedback.

I want to thank the Dutch welfare state, which provided unemployment benefits, subsidized health insurance, and affordable housing. These benefits were essential to complete my PhD with peace of mind. I feel privileged that by remaining in welfare state Europe to write, I avoided financial duress in the United States.

I would like to express thanks to the squatters with whom I lived and worked. Unfortunately, due to anthropological standards of anonymity, I am forbidden from naming anyone. Moreover, many of my fellow squatters continue to be politically active, and to identify them puts them at risk. Thanks to all twenty of my housemates and the residents of a specific squatted neighborhood for making space for me in your lives. I treasure the bonds that I share with all of you despite the evictions and the heartaches. Looking back, we were a family, experiencing the joys and the struggles of family life. I also want to extend special thanks to the collective of a particular squatted social center as well as to the activists with whom I worked on the defense campaigns of the houses where I resided. I would also like to thank the brave members of the black bloc, who powerfully avenged my evictions. Last, I am grateful to certain squatters who read chapters and provided engaged and critical feedback.

Finally, I dedicate this book to my partner. He has listened to and debated with passion and precision every narrative and theoretical concept in this book. He has been a well of emotional and intellectual support. My love: as an activist, friend, and husband, you inspire me every single day. I am privileged to share my life with you.

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The autonomous life?

Paradoxes of hierarchy and authority in the squatters movement in Amsterdam


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