“Where it was, I must come into being”

This article considers the problem of translation and radical interpretation from a post-structuralist and psychoanalytic perspective, and challenges the notion of concept, language, and difference being mobilized by Philip Swift.

Burning translations

This essay radicalizes the call for foreignizing translation in anthropology by pushing translation beyond a reference to an anthropological self. What I recognize as “burning translations” responds to the abolitionist call for “letting anthropology bu…

The pedigree of the house: The case of Vdra-ba

Vdra-ba society in western Sichuan, China, has been represented by evolutionist Chinese scholars as a primitive matrilineal society that was in transition to a patrilineal system, and it has been likened to that of the Na/Moso. This is a misleading cha…

Kurdish transformative politics in Turkey

This article discusses the transformative potential of Turkey’s pro-democracy movement which has emerged out of a long history of Kurdish political struggle. It looks at the development of a two-fold strategy that understands internal transformation as…

Emotivity and excess of spirits in the Andes

In the Quechua community of Coipasi (Bolivia) relations between the living and the dead (almas—souls) swing between excess and containment, remembrance and distancing. The aim of this article is to show that the emotivity of the spirits plays a fundame…

Turkish Islam and Kurdish difference

In this article I discuss the ways in which the Turkish state uses Islam as a weapon to delegitimize and render unnecessary Kurdish distinctiveness and associated rights claims. Drawing on the particular discourse employed by Turkish president Recep Ta…