Our Lives with Electric Things: Our Electric Controls

Press/Media: Blogs and social media


Our lives with electric things are positively charged with meaning. Our bodies pulse with electrical activity. The electric appliances, devices, and technologies around us bring hope and anxiety, possibility and danger. Some have transformed our possibilities for reproducing, nurturing, and sustaining life. Some mediate human sociality across time and space, while others knit ecological and interspecies relationships together. Still others create possibilities for controlling, managing, exploiting, and ending life. Against this backdrop any anthropology of electricity seems to require electric things. Can we still imagine the possibility of lives without electric things? Can electric things help us to address the possibilities and limits of life with electricity? Can our lives with electricity ever be disentangled from electric things? What are the unique capacities and material politics of electric things in different global contexts? What circuits do they make or break? All the pieces in this series share a commitment to rethinking our lives with things, using electric artifacts and materials to push beyond the taken-for-granted vocabularies of material culture and to generate novel ethnographic insights. Together, we hope they will electrify anthropology, and inspire a generation of anthropologists to think electric.

Period19 Dec 2017

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleCultural Anthropology 'Fieldsights'
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletCultural Anthropology
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionThe Fieldsights section of the Cultural Anthropology website was launched in 2012 and includes a number of content streams that, while not peer-reviewed, have extended the scope and reach of the Society for Cultural Anthropology’s (SCA) publishing program. These include our widely read Hot Spots and Theorizing the Contemporary series, which are selected and reviewed by the journal’s editors. Other conversations include AnthroPod, Correspondences, Teaching Tools, and Visual and New Media Review, which are produced by a team of emerging scholars in the Contributing Editors Program. Finally, Dialogues and Dispatches provide other forums for SCA members to communicate with broader publics.
    PersonsRaymond Lucas

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Urban Institute