Call for Papers for 2012 American Anthropological Association Meetings
in San Francisco
November 14-18, 2012
Suspicion: The Material Effects of a Thought
From medical practices to policing, suspicion operates at the border between action and inaction in which a thought or idea that something is possible, or, that something has occurred provokes an intervention.Deployed, it can be used to organize a particular response or set of actions. Seen this way, suspicion can be the prerequisite to action.
Taken up in policing, suspicion on the part of a police officer can serve as the entry point for further state intervention (the suspicious person is stopped; their description collected and stored in databases). In the area of health and environmental risk, suspicion can lead to anticipatory actions taken in the event of misfortune (for
example bio-banking) or in the name of the precautionary principle (prohibition on genetically-engineered crops). In these worlds, suspicion is mobilized as a tenable object that can produce actions and interventions. From state to bio-medical effects, suspicion becomes a means through which to (re)imagine subjects, objects, spaces and places. Seen this way, suspicion becomes a productive force that can serve to organize and/or produce particular effects.
How, then, is suspicion taken up by particular agents?
This panel is focused on this question and the role of suspicion as an organizing object. It does so with specific intention: to illustrate the material effects of suspicion when mobilized and illustrate the ways in which suspicion is, itself, codified into particular state practices. This panel will focus on suspicion from divergent vantage points, and ask how suspicion is articulated and mobilized by particular agents. Through rich ethnographic investigation, panelists will consider the various ways in which suspicion presents itself, and how it informs particular practices. Underlying these investigations will be questions about the ways in which suspicion is always operating at borders—legal and illegal, acceptable and unacceptable, normal and abnormal, natural and unnatural —in which suspicion serves
to mark things for particular forms of intervention. Left always hanging is the ways in which the suspect thought is naturalized as an object without power but with powerful material effects. Suspicion in state and non-state actions are still codified into particular state effects. This panel takes as its starting point the inclination to mark something suspect and then traces out the effects in different spaces and practices.
Deadline for abstracts: Monday, April 9th. Please send paper title, abstract (no more than 250 words), affiliation, and contact information to Michelle Stewart (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Connie McGuire (email@example.com). Accepted abstracts will be
confirmed by Tuesday, April 10.
Department of Justice Studies
University of Regina
Canada S4S 0A2
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