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‘Making Markets’ Reading Group at UCL Anthropology, starting 19th January

By ucsaar0, on 15 January 2018

Dr. Marissa Smith, a visiting scholar at UCL working with the Emerging Subjects group, will be leading a new reading group during the winter term, ‘Making Markets’.  If you would like to join, please contact Marissa at: marissas23@gmail.com.

Place: Staff Common Room, Department of Anthropology, UCL

Time: Fridays, 11 to 1 PM (starting 1/19)

(readings will be precirculated)


The year 2017 has seen a global pattern of, on the one hand, reentrenchment of now familiar techniques of technocratic governance as well as, on the other, “anti-establishment” electoral upsets.

While a number of anthropological conversations have coalesced examining the connections between these phenomena, this reading group will focus on how these and associated social fractures and fractals concern the meanings and makings of “markets,” particularly as these are fields through which definitions of insider and outsider are delineated and embodied, valuables and resources are named and acquired, and moralities of exchange are negotiated, assumed, and/or imposed.

The anthropologists involved in the conversations focused on here have routinely crossed the divide between “up the anthropologist” (Nader) and more “traditional” milleus of fieldwork, but we begin with work among “elites” to foreground the contested and “cultural” character of technocratic management, which has often been characterized as “hollowing out” (Strathern) and “flattening” its others. In seeking to further develop on these conversations, we ask: How do we apply these frames beyond “the anthropology of Europe?” Should we designate some of what we are describing as “fascist” and some as “feminist?” How are ethnographic practice and other research methodologies implicated in these processes, and what other approaches might we develop?


Janine WEDEL, Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid To Eastern Europe

Hannah APPEL, “On Simultaneity”

Alexandra OUROUSSOFF, Wall Street at War: The Secret Struggle for the Global Economy

Laura BEAR, Navigating Austerity: Currents of Debt Along a South Asian River

Sylvia YANAGISAKO, Producing Culture and Capital: Italian Family Firms in Italy

Bill MAURER, et. al. “Social Payments: Innovation, Trust, Bitcoin, and the Sharing Economy.”

Douglas HOLMES, Integral Europe: Fast-Capitalism, Neofascism, Multiculturalism

John BORNEMAN, Belonging in the Two Berlins: Kin, State, Nation

Morten PEDERSEN, “The politics of paradox: Kierkegaardian theology and national conservatism in Denmark.”

Carol J. GREENHOUSE, The Paradox of Relevance: Ethnography and Citizenship in the United States

(in the case of monographs, we will focus on chapters or other excerpts of similar length)


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