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anthropology | african studies

Under Construction


Technologies of Development in Urban Ethiopia

DANIEL MAINS Over the past decade, Ethiopia has had one of the world’s fastest growing economies, largely due to its investments in infrastructure, and it is through building dams, roads, and other infrastructure that the Ethiopian state seeks to become a middle-income country by 2025. Yet most urban Ethiopians struggle to meet their daily needs and actively oppose a ruling party that they associate with corruption and mismanagement. In Under Construction Daniel Mains explores the intersection of development and governance by examining the conflicts surrounding the construction of specific infrastructural technologies: asphalt and cobblestone roads, motorcycle taxis, and hydroelectric dams. These projects serve as sites for nation building and the means for the state to assert its legitimacy. The construction process—as well as Ethiopians’ experience of living with the disruption of construction zones—reveals the tension and conflict between the promise of progress and the possibility of failure. Mains demonstrates how infrastructures as both ethnographic sites and as a means of theorizing such concepts as progress, development, and the state offer a valuable contrast to accounts of African abjection and decline.

CONSTRUCTION Technologies of Development in Urban Ethiopia

September 248 pages, 15 illustrations paper, 978-1-4780-0641-1 $25.95/£20.99 cloth, 978-1-4780-0537-7 $99.95/£83.00

Daniel Mains is Wick Cary Associate Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of Hope Is Cut: Youth, Unemployment, and the Future in Urban Ethiopia.

anthropology | african studies

The Uncaring, Intricate World A Field Diary, Zambezi Valley, 1984–1985

PAMELA REYNOLDS edited by TODD MEYERS “The dated entries in The Uncaring, Intricate World bring into view not what is hidden and occult but what is before our eyes. Pamela Reynolds’s writings are renowned for showing us that children haunt anthropological texts even as they go unacknowledged—yet, this book adds an entirely new dimension to Reynolds’s work by revealing the child who hides in the anthropologist.”—VEENA DAS

In the 1950s the colonial British government in North and South Rhodesia (present-day Zambia and Zimbabwe) began construction on a large hydroelectric dam that created Lake Kariba and dislocated nearly 60,000 indigenous residents. Three decades later, Pamela Reynolds began fieldwork with the Tonga people to study the lasting effects of the dispossession of their land on their lives. In The Uncaring, Intricate World, Reynolds shares her field diary, in which she records her efforts to study children and their labor and, by doing so, exposes the character of everyday life. More than a memoir, her diary captures the range of pleasures, difficulties, frustrations, contradictions, and the grappling with ethical questions that all anthropologists experience in the field. The Uncaring, Intricate World concludes with afterwords by Julie Livingston and Jane I. Guyer, who critically reflect on its context, meaning for today, and relevance to conducting anthropological work.

August 216 pages, 13 illustrations paper, 978-1-4780-0467-7 $24.95/£19.99 cloth, 978-1-4780-0406-6 $94.95/£79.99

CRITICAL GLOBAL HEALTH Evidence, Efficacy, Ethnography A series edited by Vincanne Adams and João Biehl

Pamela Reynolds is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University, Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town, and author of War in Worcester: Youth and the Apartheid State. Todd Meyers is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University, Shanghai.


Profile for Duke University Press

Duke University Press Fall and Winter 2019 Catalog  

The Fall & Winter 2019 catalog from Duke University Press.

Duke University Press Fall and Winter 2019 Catalog  

The Fall & Winter 2019 catalog from Duke University Press.