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Web Roundups

Web Round Up: Time to Chill? Egg Freezing and Beyond

A focus on age-related fertility decline, and exploration of ways to expand the timeline and options for biological parenthood, have been consistent cultural and web-wide fixations. The $3 billion United States fertility industry was in the headlines once again this month including coverage of the launch of Future Family, a service offering  a “fertility age test” to women and …

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Books Features

Book Forum –– Nancy Rose Hunt’s A Nervous State: Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Congo

This article is part of the following series:

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When Nancy Rose Hunt suggests that her book “joins the ferment” of colonial aggressions and uncertainties “while taking up harm and pleasure in a shrunken colonial milieu and in postcolonial historiography too” (4), an uninitiated reader might mistake Hunt’s appraisal of her project as attempting the impossible labor of largeness of scope and precision of subject. After spending time …

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A few postscripts on A Nervous State, with much gratitude

Some book reviews examine wholes. Others zero in on a strand or term that helps push immediate work forward. Both kinds may invigorate, and I am very grateful to Todd Meyers, everyone at Somatosphere, and these fine scholars for this spectrum of deep critical readings and reactions to A Nervous State. Its multidimensional strands are not easily skimmed. Some …

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Music and Infertility in the Nervous State

A Nervous State (ANS) is an extraordinary book. Its empirical richness is obvious – the number and variety of different sources that Hunt has drawn upon, and the attention that she has paid to all these sources. Diaries and colonial archives, Lomongo language pamphlets and school essays, photographs, epic poems and dances – all of them receive the same, patient, …

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Enclaves and States in (Post)colonial Congo: Spatial Logics and Epidemiological Metaphors

In the introduction to his book on postcolonial Congo[1]The Dialectics of Oppression in Zaire – Michael Schatzberg (1988:1) describes a Janus-faced state: “Zaire has two faces: one smiles, the other snarls; one exudes paternal confidence and caring, the other is insecure and oppressive.” Nancy Rose Hunt’s (2016) magisterial A Nervous State offers a unique and compelling account …

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Books Features

Tensions of Empire Redux?

This is a book that is brimming with tensions: historiographical, epistemological, sensorial, emotional. It is alive with them, both in the material that Nancy Rose Hunt uncovers and in her manner of relaying her subject to the reader. While most will likely seize on the nervousness Hunt exposes at the heart of the Belgian colonial project—an endeavor never as sure …

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