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Discarding used organic samples in a forensic lab

The manifold materialities of human remains

Claudia Fonseca and Rodrigo Grazinoli Garrido

In this article we explore the relational materiality of fragments of human cadavers used to produce DNA profiles of the unidentified dead at a forensic genetics police laboratory in Rio de Janeiro. Our point of departure is an apparently simple problem: how to discard already tested materials in order to open up physical space for incoming tissue samples. However, during our study we found that transforming human tissues and bone fragments into disposable trash requires a tremendous institutional investment of energy, involving negotiations with public health authorities, criminal courts and public burial grounds. The dilemma confronted by the forensic genetic lab suggests not only how some fragments are endowed with more personhood than others, but also how the very distinction between human remains and trash depends on a patchwork of multiple logics that does not necessarily perform according to well-established or predictable scripts.

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A new aesthetic of food?

Relational reflexivity in the ‘alternative’ food movement

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Jonathan Murdoch and Mara Miele

chap 7 13/8/04 4:17 pm Page 156 7 A new aesthetic of food? Relational reflexivity in the ‘alternative’ food movement Jonathan Murdoch and Mara Miele Introduction In recent times, an apparent contradiction between high levels of output and improved food quality has arisen within the food sector. The development of mass food markets, alongside ‘Fordist’ methods of production and their associated economies of scale, has generated unprecedented abundance (Montanari 1994). Yet, at the same time, industrialisation processes have resulted, seemingly, in greater and

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Moving beyond boundariies

Writing on the body

Dana Mills

. Those may be 13 Moving beyond boundaries: writing on the body 13 forces leading the body into moments of intervention, or rather, taking the body away towards quiet pause within.1 This political-​choreographic reading of contraction requires both motion and stillness; fall and recover; shifting and rest. Contractions allow the body to explore its own density; to investigate boundaries between inner and outer; and to investigate its relationality to other subjects, themselves undergoing the same motion. A danced contraction can never be repeated; there is a

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Civilisations debated

Uses and critiques of ‘civilisation’

Jeremy C.A. Smith

anthropology. Three conceptual images of civilisations are prominent in the field. First, civilisations are conceived as socio-​cultural units, entities or blocs in an ‘integrationist’ image. In ‘processual’ explanations civilisations emerge out of long-​term uneven historical processes. Finally, in a ‘relational’ image civilisations are believed to gain definition and institute developmental patterns through inter-​societal and inter-​cultural encounters. A century of perspectives informs all three images. Both contemporary civilisational analysis and early-​ twentieth

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Don Slater

5 Markets, materiality and the ‘new economy’ Don Slater Introduction The contemporary ‘cultural turn’ in thinking about economic processes has been deeply bound up with narratives of ‘dematerialisation’. We might start from Veblenesque stories of status symbols, and proceed through semiotic stories of ideologies and codes, through tales of post-industrial societies and service economies, through post-Fordist segmentation and lifestyling and finally on to knowledge, information or ‘weightless’ economies, ‘new economies’, global brands and digital commodities

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Emilian Kavalski and Magdalena Zolkos

) mutuality in the recognition-relation. Vulnerability/resilience/loss W. Neil Adger et al. ( 2011 ) propose a conception of nature recognition that goes beyond the conventional acknowledgement of the material and economically quantifiable aspects of climate change and, instead, insist on cognizance of the incalculable, symbolic and non-material cultural and ecological loss of

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Unsettling Pedagogy

Recognition, Vulnerability and the International

Kate Schick

on a dogged negotiation of the ordinary or ‘ what there is ’ (Rose 1992 : 87). 3 She presents a ‘radical Hegel’ (Rose 1981 : viii) whose emphasis on relationality presents a serious challenge to thinking in terms of abstract universals and calls instead for an ongoing project of comprehension that interrogates settled norms and practices

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Jeremy C.A. Smith

53 3 Counterpoints, critiques, dialogues A challenge for the field of contemporary civilisational analysis is to rethink heterogeneity, plurality and differentiation in terms of porosity. Interaction between permeable civilisations on different scales and across different dimensions invigorates heterogeneity. If anything, civilisational analysis has yet to benefit from efforts to unearth regular patterns of interaction and gauge the results from long-​term rhythms of engagement on the endogenous dynamics of civilisations. The relational model proves to be the

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Jeremy C.A. Smith

25 2 Currents and perspectives in contemporary civilisational analysis The previous chapter explores the context in which civilisational analysis revived in the humanities and social sciences. The key contention is that contemporary historians and comparative sociologists have posited integrationist, processual and relational images of civilisations. The three images apply to a more diverse range of viewpoints and perspectives than prevailed in earlier studies of civilisations in anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology. In this chapter, those images are

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Jeremy C.A. Smith

defines civilisations? What creates them? Is it their materiality, their art or their religious ethics? Are they old and evolutionary, or constituted anew in modernity? How have moderns judged them, or rather discursively cast them? What ideological uses are made of the idea of civilisation and how should they be disentangled from archaeological, anthropological, sociological and historical investigation and methodology? Each question is a debating point. Images of the character of civilisation and civilisations underpin the diversity of explanations. Are they entities