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Lecture | Book presentation

Ethnographies of Waiting: Doubt, Hope and Uncertainty

  • dr. Manpreet Janeja
  • prof. dr. Michael Herzfeld
Thursday 17 May 2018
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

The book ‘Ethnographies of Waiting: Doubt, Hope and Uncertainty’

We all wait – in traffic jams, passport offices, school meal queues, for better weather, an end to fighting, peace. Time spent waiting produces hope, boredom, anxiety, doubt, or uncertainty. 

Ethnographies of Waiting explores the social phenomenon of waiting and its centrality in human society. Using waiting as a central analytical category, the book investigates how waiting is negotiated in myriad ways. Examining the politics and poetics of waiting, Ethnographies of Waiting offers fresh perspectives on waiting as the uncertain interplay between doubting and hoping, and asks "When is time worth the wait?" Waiting thus conceived is intrinsic to the ethnographic method at the heart of the anthropological enterprise.

Featuring detailed ethnographies from Japan, Georgia, England, Ghana, Norway, Russia and the United States, a Foreword by Craig Jeffrey and an Afterword by Ghassan Hage, this is a vital contribution to the field of anthropology of time and essential reading for students and scholars in anthropology, sociology, and philosophy.

Editor(s): Manpreet K. Janeja & Andreas Bandak 
Book website link: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/ethnographies-of-waiting-9781474280280/

The speakers

Manpreet K. Janeja is a social anthropologist working on trust, religion, migration, gender, and diversity in urban South Asia and Europe, through food as a lens. She has recently moved from an Associate Professorship at Copenhagen University to a fellowship at IIAS Leiden (2017-2018) to write her next book The Aesthetics of School Meals: (Dis)trust, Risk, and Uncertainty (under contract). She is the author of Transactions in Taste (2010), co-editor of Imagining Bangladesh (2014) and Ethnographies of Waiting (2018). She has been a Eugénie Strong Research Fellow in Social Anthropology at Girton College, Cambridge; a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University (Centre for South Asia); and is currently also a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics (Department of Social Policy).

Michael Herzfeld is the Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences at the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University. His research and teaching interests include Social theory, history of Anthropology, social poetics, politics of history; Europe (especially Greece & Italy), and Thailand. 

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