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    Substance, sign, and trace: performative analogies and technologies of enfleshment in the transnational adoption archives in Guatemala

    Posocco, Silvia (2015) Substance, sign, and trace: performative analogies and technologies of enfleshment in the transnational adoption archives in Guatemala. Social & Cultural Geography 16 (5), pp. 567-584. ISSN 1464-9365.

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    Abstract

    In Kinship, Law and the Unexpected, Marilyn Strathern (2005, Kinship, Law and the Unexpected: Relatives are Always a Surprise, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) shows how, through analogies, Euro-American knowledge practices turn offspring into property, information into knowledge, and relations into relations. This article takes this Strathernian insight as a point of departure for a consideration of the analytical possibilities – and the instances of incommensurability – of a juxtaposition of transnational adoption and migration. Drawing on ethnographic research in Guatemala, the article argues that kinning in this context relates not only to the construction of new forms of relatedness, but also, crucially, to the suspension and severing of relations, and to politically charged claims for the reactivation of connections and enfleshment. Against figurations of kinning as commodified and inequitable relations of ownership and exchange, struggles for ‘searches’ and ‘reunions’ in contemporary Guatemala bring into view a range of subjectivities and relations ‘under erasure,’ within the horizon of the Guatemalan conflict (1960–1996). Analogizing transnational adoption and migration is a cultural and analytical practice that performatively reveals and occludes. The article proposes a historically and idiomatically grounded reorientation of the analogic flow sideways, in the directions of the archive, as substance, sign, and trace.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): transnational adoption, child abduction, analogy, archive, trace, sous rature, Guatemala, adoption
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
    Research Centre: Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, Centre for (CILAVS)
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2015 09:59
    Last Modified: 12 Dec 2016 13:46
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/11681

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