'Air's Substantiations' by Timothy Choy (UC Davis, Anthropology)
Culture, Power, and Social Change - UCLA Department of Anthropology
Thursday, October 28, 201012:30 PM - 2:30 PM
352 Haines Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
This paper considers some of the acts and practices through which air has become a meaningful, knowable, and eventful substance in Hong Kong-as a medical fact, as a bodily engagement, as an international index, and as a medium of social difference. Tracking the activities of air as it moves across the edges distinguishing regions from one another, breathing bodies from their environs, and different domains of experience from one another, I ask how the materialities of air might inform how we think about what counts as solid argument, in environmental as well as other arenas. The paper works mimetically, gathering disparate accounts of the machines, doctors, and other actors and events that condense aspects and experiences of Hong Kong’s air to make concerns about air quality more epistemically weighty. In so doing, it suggests rethinking particularity and universality through a language more attuned to material movements between diffuseness and solidity, abstraction and concreteness.
Culture, Power, and Social Change is a working group in sociocultural anthropology that meets weekly to hear guest speakers, offer feedback on manuscripts, and discuss common readings. For more information about CPSC, including the schedule of speakers, please visit the course website: http://classes.sscnet.ucla.edu/course/view/10F-ANTHRO297-4
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