What drives people to take to the streets in protest? What is their connection to other activists, and how does that change over time? How do seemingly spontaneous activist movements emerge, endure, and evolve, especially when they lack a leader and concrete agenda? How does one analyze a changing political movement immersed in contingency? A new collection, Impulse to Act: A New Anthropology of Resistance and Social Justice (Indiana University Press, 2016), which is edited by Othon Alexandrakis, addresses these questions.
As Alexandrakis reflects, the project “inspired plenary sessions, hallway conversations, lectures, community engagement projects, and ongoing email debates. What better way to celebrate and announce the volume than to share some of the exciting exchanges it inspired?”
PoLAR Online is featuring two of those discussions, one between Alexandrakis and John Borneman and the other with David Nugent:
- The Crucial Question: An interview with John Borneman [Read the full text]
- Political Spatio-temporalities: A Conversation with David Nugent [Read the full text]
Taken together, they provide critical reflections on concerns of ethics, subjectivity, temporality, and the political. In addition, Alexandrakis has shared the epigraph that begins the volume set alongside an image from his fieldwork—a pairing that, he says, has stimulated much conversation about resistance and social justice.