Thursday March 19th

09.15 – 12. Don Nonie presents paper on Mafia in Naples



Wednesday, March 18th.  

Don Nonini, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill:

09.15-16.00. Workshop: Wealth, the Commons and the Corporate State



Monday March 16

Giacomo Loperfido, University of Barcelona:

 Moral Transformations of Politics and the Resurgence of Fascist-like Ideologies: 

Abstract: The paper elaborates upon the constitution of Spontaneismo Armato (a teenagers’ neo-fascist movement, active in Rome at the end of the 70’s) in order to illuminate some of the political transformations of the present day. This movement radicalised into murderous violence and was repressed violently by the state. The late 70’s were a moment of “organic crisis” (Donolo, 1977), in which the general disintegration of social, economic and cultural structures of everyday life called for a reformulation of the ways in which politics and ideology were articulated in the public arena. A significant feature of this process was the progressive blurring of situated political positionings, and a more general moralization of the ways in which politics were practiced and experienced in the public sphere. Institutional left and right were converging into a governmental alliance “against extremism”, which they called “Historical Compromise”. They accused radical movements from left and right to be morally unpresentable, and eventually excluded them from participation in the institutional interactions. At the same time, these grassroots movements also called for a “post-ideological” era of politics, claiming to generally represent “The People”, against “The State”. In this view, it was the institutional sphere to be accused of immorality. The paper looks at different stages of neo-liberal transformations of the state, and tries to unveil structural connections between the “ideological to moral” switch in politics, and the always looming possibility of violence.

Bionote: Giacomo Loperfido he’s currently a member of the ERC founded GRECO project, at the University of Barcelona, under the scientific direction of Susana Narotzky. He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and the Università degli Studi di Bergamo. His research deals with questions of political violence, political radicalism, cultural enclavization, social and economic disintegration, in the wider context of global-systemic crisis and the decomposition of larger political and institutional orders. His PhD focused on the disintegration of the mechanisms of political representation between citizens and institutions during the 70’s in Rome. Within this context, he analyzed the radical reactions and political violence that emerged in the wake of this process. In recent years, Giacomo has been a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the SarchI Chair in Social Change, University of Fort Hare, where he has undertaken research around the constitutional processes of cultural enclaves among white middle class South Africans in the post-Apartheid era. In South Africa, he has also been a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, where he has developed a comparative analysis of the economic, social, cultural, and representational processes of the Cold War, with specific attention to the ways in which “internal others” were produced – locally –  within this particular global frame.



17 February 2015, 10.15-12.00:

Ida Susser, CUNY, USA:

“The Urban Commons in New York City: a historical perspective”

Abstract: This paper begins to chart the development of social movements challenging inequality in New York City as the city has been transformed from an industrial center of small manufacturing and a major port to a global city of real estate and finance in the information age. It explores the combination of neighborhood movements, movements around service access, and labor movements under these changing regimes and consider the ways in which different understandings of class or cooperation and exclusion may have emerged as New York City has changed from a strongly unionized manufacturing center to a global node for real estate and finance in the neoliberal era.

Bionote: Ida Susser is a professor of anthropology at Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center. She has conducted ethnographic research and published numerous articles with respect to urban social movements and the urban commons in the United States and the gendered politics, local, national and global of the AIDS epidemic in New York City, Puerto Rico and southern Africa. Her recent book Updated Norman Street: Poverty and Politics in an Urban Neighborhood (Oxford University Press) features a new section: Claiming a Right to New York City. Other recent books include AIDS, Sex and Culture: Global Politics and Survival in Southern Africa, Medical Anthropology in the World System(co-authored 3rd edition) and co-edited volumes: Rethinking America and Wounded Cities: Destruction and Reconstruction in a Globalized World (co-edited).



Professor Randi Gressgård is going to talk to the group about her recent work in Malmø in Sweden.

Title of presentation: Plural policing and the safety–security nexus in urban governance.


Based on a study of policy frames in urban politics in Sweden, Malmö in particular, this presentation discusses the safety–security nexus in urban governance. Gressgård argues that perceived safety figures as an index of order and integration, and security becomes part and parcel of an expanded cohesion agenda which chain-links criminal justice, immigration control and civic integration. The expanded cohesion agenda in urban governance involves plural urban policing enabled by partnership agreements between the police and local authorities.



Friday 20th February

10.15- 12 Jadran Mimica ‘On Violence in kinship sociality: A study in agnatic extirpation’ PART II



Thursday 19th February

10.15- 12   Jadran Mimica ‘On Violence in kinship sociality: A study in agnatic extirpation’ PART I


With the focus on a deed of mass-killing of closest agnatic relations unparalleled in the memory of the Yagwoia people of Papua New Guinea this paper explores the existential dyanimcs and ouroboric logic of their kinship sociality and the problematic of selfhood as the matrix of

destructiveness and morality.



Friday February 13th February

10:00am-1pm  Jadran Mimica presents his perspectives on egalitarian systems and the idealization of hunters and gatherers, as well as tribal systems.



Tuesday February 3, from 14.00- 16.00.  

André Iteanu, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Title: Dumont, Egalitarianism and Comparison

Abstract: TBA

Bionote: TBA



27 January 2015, 10.15-12.00:

Allen Chun, Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan:

Rethinking Govern-Mentality in the Cultural Sociology of the Colonial State”

Abstract: This paper is an exploratory reflection on an upcoming project on comparative colonialisms in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau with literal reference to the cultural practice of “British”, “Japanese” and “Portuguese” regimes of rule. It is a collaboration involving previous research as well as work currently being done by students. At the same time, it is also predicated by problems in the literature, one fraught by disciplinary inconsistencies of definition, which is compounded by the specific niches that give rise to theoretical mindsets. I ultimately argue that epistemologies of “order”, “governance”, “difference” and “statism” in prevailing currents of postcolonial “theory” are likewise products of a late Victorian British empire “mentality” (imagination) gone global, not unlike L.H. Gates’ “critical Fanonism”.

21 of January, 12.15-14.00: Henrik Vigh, University of Copenhagen:

“The Margin in the Middle: on trans-national organised crime and cocaine connections in Bissau”

Abstract: This paper looks at the connection between critical states, factional networks, and shadow economies. The empirical point of departure is in Bissau, the capital of the small West African state of Guinea-Bissau, a place which has recently been designated Africa’s first ‘narco state’ by the UN. According to the international agencies working with the country, this novel version of African statehood does not come cheap as the cocaine cartels are said to be destroying the state and destabilising its society. This paper takes a different approach and argues, conversely, that the cocaine cartels are dependent on exactly fractured states, factional conflicts and patrimonial networks in order to secure their trade. Guinea-Bissau’s lack of centralised power, its marginal position in the global economy, and international irrelevance, has enabled it to take a central place in a global assemblage of illegal powers and illicit economies. The paper sheds light on the recent influx of cocaine into Bissau, clarifies the cocaine connections and the networks involved, and shows how cocaine has come to supply livelihoods and political bargaining power for the otherwise marginal country.

Bio note: Henrik Vigh is professor at the Institute of Anthropology of the University of Copenhagen. He has conducted field research in Guinea-Bissau, Portugal and, more recently, Northern Ireland. His major research topics are politics, violence, peace and conflict, youth, mobilization, illegality. He is the author of Navigating Terrains of War: Youth and Soldiering in Guinea-Bissau (2006, Berghahn), and of several articles in Ethnos, Social Analysis and Anthropological Theory, among others. He is also co-editor of Navigating Youth, Generating Adulthood: Social Becoming in an African Context (2006, NAI).



Film program: 13th-17th of January, 18.00-20.00.

Presented by Rolf Scott

The film screenings this week and next will open issues in regards to ways in which elites of the State and Corporations set out to Control the masses. Having the shared reality of the Public sphere together with new understandings of the inner individualised self, enabled new ways to control the masses. The technologies used to direct and control took and takes place mostly through manipulation and by mentally conditioning individuals towards certain goals. However, it also takes place through a constantly increasing grand scale surveillance of people combined with the ability to store endless amounts of information. An ultimate goal of such control it would seem has been to keep the masses placid and direct them in the directions wanted by the elites. In the last decades this manipulation seems to include changing the world order, while transferring wealth from the lower and middle classes to the elites.

The films to be screened and discussed this week or 13, 14, 15, and 16th of January are:

The Centuries of the self by Adam Curtis.

The series focuses on how the work of Sigmund Freud, his daugther Anna Freud, and his nephew Edward Bernays and how they influenced corporations and governments in regards to controlling people.

Happiness Machines (17 March 2002)
The Engineering of Consent (24 March 2002)
There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed (31 March 2002)
Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering (7 April 2002)