Current Thinking: Book to be published

Brit Winthereik from TiP, Simone Abram and Tom Yarrow from Durham University are the editors behind an anthology, which will be published in Bloomsbury Anthropology during the autumn of 2018.

Professor from MIT, Stefan Helmreich, endorses the book with the following statement:

“How do electromagnetic fields contour fields of social action? This bracing collection gathers together scholars who expertly show, across a range of cases, the all-at-once literal and figurative making of today’s global flows, currents, and circuits — of forms that fuse the technical and political in ever- switching and potent ways.”

Stefan Helmreich, Professor of Anthropology, MIT

The book collects chapters that explore electricity as globally a very varied kind of resource, one tied into social and material infrastructure that is sometimes a site of controversy. Studying electricity in a comprehensive and comparative way means paying attention to the language, metaphors, classification systems and devices we use to deal with it in our daily lives as well as in engineering and policy work.

Contributors to the volume come from a range of conceptual and disciplinary traditions, including anthropology, STS, geography and history, but are unified by the collective aim of better understanding how electricity is made and what it makes. Rather than treat this as a stable or singular object the book demonstrates how electricity implicates people in diverse forms of subjectification and objectification that reflect and reconfigure the lives of those involved, including through concerns with identity, emotion, ideology, language, ethics and knowledge.