Impulse to Act

Impulse to Act

A New Anthropology of Resistance and Social Justice
Edited by Othon Alexandrakis
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/03/2016
Format: Hardback 3 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-02278-3
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What drives people to take to the streets in protest? What is their connection to other activists and how does that change over time? How do seemingly spontaneous activist movements emerge, endure, and evolve, especially when they lack a leader and concrete agenda? How does one analyze a changing political movement immersed in contingency? Impulse to Act addresses these questions incisively, examining a wide range of activist movements from the December 2008 protests in Greece to the recent chto delat in Russia. Contributors in the first section of this volume highlight the affective dimensions of political movements, charting the various ways in which participants coalesce around and belong to collectives of resistance. The potent agency of movements is highlighted in the second section, where scholars show how the emerging actions and critiques of protesters help disrupt authoritative political structures. Responding to the demands of the field today, the novel approaches to protest movements in Impulse to Act offer new ways to reengage with the traditional cornerstones of political anthropology.

Author Bio

Othon Alexandrakis is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at York University. He held the Hannah Seeger Davis Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Hellenic Studies at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton University, between 2010 and 2011. His recently published works explore resistance, precarity, and political possibility in Athens, Greece.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Resistance Reconsidered / Othon Alexandrakis
Part I: Affect as Political Condition
1. Being and Doing Politics: Moral Ontologies and Ethical Ways of Knowing at the End of the Cold War / Jessica Greenberg
2. The Affective Echoes of an Overwhelming Life: The Demand for Legal Recognition and the Vicious Cycle of Desire, in the Case of Queer Activism in Istanbul, Turkey / Eirine Avramopoulou
3. Emergenc(i)es in the Fields: Affective Composition and Counter-Camps Against the Exploitation of Migrant Farm Labor in Italy / Irene Peano
4. Cosmologicopolitics: Vitalistic Cosmology Meets Biopower / James D. Faubion
5. Surreal Capitalism and the Dialectical Economies of Precarity / Neni Panourgiá

Part II: Agency as Ethical Condition
6. Intolerants: Politics of the Ordinary in Karachi, Pakistan / Tania Ahmad
7. Negative Space: Unmovement and the Study of Activism When There is No Action / Cymene Howe
8. What Should be Done?: Art and Political Possibility in Russia / Petra Rethmann
9. The Multilinearity of Protest: Understanding New Social Movements Through Their Events, Trends, and Routines / John Postill
10. Whose Ethics?: Negotiating Ethics and Responsibility in the Field / Marianne Maeckelbergh
11. Within, Against, Beyond: The Radical Imagination in the Age of the Slow-Motion Apocalypse / Alex Khasnabish
Conclusion: On an Emergent Politics and Ethics of Resistance / Athená Athanasiou and Othon Alexandrakis
List of Contributors