Archives of the Ethical: Market Exchange, Ethical Relations, and Sensory Politics in the Urban South brings together in comparative perspective, historically situated ethnographic insights of urban market practices in Cape Town, Accra, and Mumbai. Focusing on life narratives, religious networks, food practices and human-animal relations in historical and political contexts, promises to reveal archives of material and ethical life in spaces increasingly marked by uneven growth, authoritarian politics, and utopian promise. Taking political and economic developments as contested processes that seek to reshape forms of relation and life, this project zones in on the contestations of value, livelihood, and sensibility that emerge in each location. It develops a decolonial anthropology that situates the lives, words, and practices of interlocutors as affective, embodied and material ways of being in and theorizing the world. The project is collaborative and comparative and will achieve its aims though dialogue with scholars from each region, towards the publication of an edited collection that is empirical in attention to the contemporary, archival in situating word and context in history, and reflexive in forging theoretical reflection on how scholarship is performed, questions are formed, and theory is imagined.
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