Episodes

  • Cruising towards the end of 2020, we are back with a new conversation between Matt, Tim and Radhika Govindrajan about relatedness, lives with other species, and the changing context for doing ethnography today. Dr Gonvindrajan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington whose research spans the fields of multispecies ethnography, environmental anthropology, the anthropology of religion, South Asian Studies, and political anthropology. Their outstanding first book 'Animal Intimacies' (University of Chicago Press, 2018) is an ethnography of relatedness in the Central Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in India, and the book has since been was awarded the 2017 American Institute of Indian Studies Edward Cameron Dimock Prize in the Indian Humanities and the Society for Cultural Anthropology's Gregory Bateson Prize in 2019.

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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • In this episode, David Giles fires up the international teleconference machine to convene a conversation between Davydd Greenwood, Melinda Hinkson and Cris Shore about austerity, anthropology and the contemporary university. Greenwood is Goldwin Smith Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Institute for European Studies at Cornell University, Hinkson is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Deakin University, and Cris Shore is Professor of Anthropology and Head of Department at Goldsmiths University of London.

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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

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  • Algorithms and artificial intelligence are on the menu for our 36th adventure in anthropology! In this episode, we present two conversations with two great Science and Technology Studies scholars: Dr Nick Seaver and Dr Thao Phan. Dr Seaver, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tufts University, examines themes of taste and attention in his research, drawing on his ethnographic research with US-based developers of algorithmic music recommender systems. Dr Phan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Deakin University, where her research who focuses on gender, AI, and algorithmic cultures.
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    For more on our sparkling guests, see:
    https://twitter.com/npseaver
    Seaver, Nick. "What should an anthropology of algorithms do?." Cultural anthropology 33.3 (2018): 375-385. https://journal.culanth.org/index.php/ca/article/download/ca33.3.04/90

    https://twitter.com/thao_pow
    Phan, Thao. "Amazon Echo and the aesthetics of whiteness." Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 5.1 (2019): 1-38. https://catalystjournal.org/index.php/catalyst/article/download/29586/24800

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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • The crew have logged on for another episode - live from lockdown - to talk life, the universe and anthropology. In this episode, Tim and Mythily speak with Dr Catherine Besteman, an anthropologist who has spent their career analyzing the power dynamics that produce and maintain inequality, racism and violence. Dr Besteman holds the position of Francis F. Bartlett and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology at Colby College and is the author of several books, including the forthcoming 'Militarized Global Apartheid' (Duke University Press, 2020), and several edited collections, including the recent 'Life by Algorithms: How Roboprocesses Are Remaking Our World' (University of Chicago Press, 2019). In this conversation, Dr Besteman discusses the subtle violence of humanitarianism, the rising criminalisation and militarisation of mobility, the difference between 'interlocutors' and 'friends', and much more.
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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • In this episode, we continue to explore the outer limits of collegiality during a pandemic and bring you a conversation with Professor Anne Pollock and special guest host Professor Emma Kowal (Deakin University). Dr Pollock is Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Kings College London, and her research focuses on biomedicine and culture, theories of race and gender, and the ways in which science and medicine are mobilised in social justice projects. Dr Pollock's books include 'Medicating Race: Heart Disease and Durable Preoccupations with Difference' (Duke University Press, 2012), 'Synthesizing Hope: Matter, Knowledge and Place in South African Drug Discovery' (University of Chicago Press, 2019) and, as we discuss, she is finishing a book manuscript on racism, health disparities and biopolitics in the 21st Century titled 'Sickening'. We also discuss hope as a practice, the ethics of the uneventful, accessing medical scientists, feminist STS and much more.

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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • We at 'Conversations in Anthropology' hope you are all surviving and thriving as we bring you another episode, recorded by our very own David Boarder Giles during a (pre-pandemic) trip to Turtle Island (aka North America) and the American Anthropological Association annual meeting. In this episode, we hear from Rayna Rapp, Faye Ginsburg and Risa Cromer, three anthropologists who have each made major contributions to our understandings of gender, reproduction and disability. Rapp and Ginsburg are both Professors of Anthropology at New York University, where Ginsburg is also the Director of the Graduate Program in Culture and Media. Cromer is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Purdue University. Each scholar has a fearsome biography to reckon with, and listeners may already be familiar with Rapp's book 'Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America' (1999) and Ginsburg's 'Contested Lives: The Abortion Debate in an American Community' (1989). In this fascinating and wide-ranging discussion, our three guests discuss many topics including how, whether in life or academia, you often don't know what the universe has planned for you.

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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • Hello, anthro-enthusiasts! In this episode, we present a pre-COVID conversation that David Giles recorded with the esteemed anthropologist Anna Tsing, a professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and director of the AURA: Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene at Aarhus University. Dr Tsing likely needs little introduction, as someone whose research and writing on globalisation and capitalism has travelled far outside of anthropology and academia. She is the author several books including 'In the Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an Out-of-the-way Place' (1993)and 'Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection' (2004), both based on fieldwork in South Kalimantan, Indonesia. More recently, she published an ethnography of the Matsutake mushroom and its entanglement in diverse human worlds and economies - 'The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the possibility of life in capitalist ruins' (2015) - which won both the Gregory Bateson Prize and the Victor Turner Prize. In this conversation, David and Dr Tsing discuss her training in anthropology, working for things you believe in, telling terrible stories beautifully, and the possibilities of ethnography in the Anthropocene.

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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • Here, in the last of our mini-podcasts on crisis and digital research, Mythily is in conversation with anthropologist Jolynna Sinanan (Research Fellow in Digital Media and Ethnography at the University of Sydney). Jolynna's research focusses on digital media practices in relation to family relationships, work and gender. She has written on these themes in Social Media in Trinidad (UCL Press, 2017), Visualising Facebook (Miller and Sinanan, UCL Press, 2017), Webcam (Miller and Sinanan, Polity, 2014) and How the World Changed Social Media (Miller et. al. 2016, UCL Press).

    Most recently, Jolynna has been developing this work in two projects: on mobile mining work in Western Australia, and on digital/data practices around tourism in Mt Everest. With her fieldwork plans for both sites shelved for the time-being, this conversation reflects on the possibilities of adapting projects to digital modes during a crisis, and also if we should.

    You can find Jolynna on twitter at @jolynnasinanan

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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • This conversation is the third in our mini-pod series on crisis and the digital. In it, Mythily Meher speaks to Susan Wardell while they are in lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand. They talk about the shape of work, life, distress and future research in this pandemic, and—reflecting on Susan’s work with an online climate change ‘doomer’ community—on the kinds of meaning-making people engage in crisis. Susan is a lecturer of Social Anthropology at the University of Ōtākou / Otago in Aotearoa. Her ethnographic work deals with emotion and affect, care, religion and spirituality, mental health and wellbeing, and digital worlds. She also publishes poetry and essays, which you can read in Landfall, The Spinoff, Cordite Poetry review and elsewhere. You can find Susan on twitter at @Unlazy_Susan, and you can browse (and contribute to) the collective online pandemic dream diary she is running (find it by googling “CoviDreams”).

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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • Number 2 in our series of mini-episodes featuring conversations with anthropologists about crisis and the digital. This episode, Timothy Neale speaks to Jonah Lipton, a post-doctoral researcher based at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and the ESRC Centre for Public Authority and International Development at the London School of Economics. A specialist in the anthropology of West Africa, Lipton conducted fieldwork in Sierra Leone immediately before and during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and in this conversation he reflects on that work and how it is shaping his interpretation of the current COVID-19 pandemic. For more on Lipton's work visit: http://www.lse.ac.uk/africa/people/Researchers/JonahLipton or look him up on Twitter @Jonah_Lipton

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    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • We're changing up our schedule and format a little to bring you some mini-episodes of short and sharp conversations with anthropologists around the themes of crisis and the digital. The first conversation is with Adia Benton, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University. Adia is a cultural anthropologist with interests in global health, biomedicine, development and humanitarianism, and is the author of 'HIV Exceptionalism: Development through Disease in Sierra Leone' (University of Minnesota, 2015) and well as numerous articles. In the interview, Adia and Tim discuss the current COVID-19 pandemic, virality, relevance, and her article 'Ebola at a Distance: A Pathographic Account of Anthropology's Relevance' (Anthropological Quarterly, 90:2, 2017). Find more about Adia Benton at: https://ethnography911.org and https://twitter.com/ethnography911

  • Hello friends, how are you? Are you running out of listening content? We are back with a new episode, featuring a conversation recorded by Matt Barlow (in the days before physical distancing) with Rick Smith and Megan Warin. Rick is a biocultural anthropologist who is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Neukom Institute for Computational Science and the Department of Anthropology at Dartmouth, and Megan is a professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Adelaide. In this episode, they discuss epigenetics - its origins, politics, promise and potential risks - and what anthropology can contribute to this field of biological research.Many thanks to Alex Fimeri and his team at the Learning Enhancement and Innovation Unit at the University of Adelaide for their assistance in the recording of this episode. DOHaD (https://dohadsoc.org/)Indigenous STS Lab (https://indigenoussts.com/)Scholarship mentioned:Alaimo, Stacy. 2010. Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Barad, Karen. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham: Duke University Press. Barker, David. 1994. Mothers, babies, and health in later life. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingston. Bolnick, Deborah. 2015. ‘Combating Racial Health Disparities through Medical Education: The Need for Anthropological and Genetic Perspectives in Medical Training.’ Human Biology. 87(4): 361-371. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Coole, Diane and Samantha Frost. 2010. New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics. Durham: Duke University Press. Kimmerer, Robin Wall. 2013. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions. Roberts, Elizabeth. 2019. ‘Bioethnography and the Birth Cohort: A Method for Making New Kinds of Anthropological Knowledge about Transmission (which is what anthropology has been about all along).’ Somatosphere. November 19. http://somatosphere.net/2019/bioethnography-anthropological-knowledge-transmission.html/Sharp, Gemma G; Deborah A Lawlor; Sarah S Richardson. 2018. ‘It’s the mother!: How assumptions about the causal primacy of maternal effects influence research on the developmental origins of health and disease’. Social Science & Medicine. Vol. 213: 20-27. Smith, Rick and Deborah Bolnick. 2019. ‘Situating Science: Doing Biological Anthropology as a View from Somewhere.’ In: Vital Topics Forum—How Academic Diversity is Transforming Scientific Knowledge in Biological Anthropology. American Anthropologist. 121(2): 465-467. Tallbear, Kim. 2013. Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Verran, Helen. 2001. Science and an African Logic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Warin, Megan and Tanya Zivkovic. 2019. Fatness, Obesity, and Disadvantage in the Australian Suburbs: Unpalatable Politics. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. Warin, Megan; Emma Kowal; Maurizio Meloni. 2020. ‘Indigenous Knowledge in a Postgenomic Landscape: The Politics of Epigenetic Hope and Reparation in Australia.’ Science, Technology, & Human Values. 45(1): 87-111. Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • We’ve got a roving mic on the loose. In this episode, that mic is in the hands of David Giles, as he roamed the halls of the 2019 joint meeting of the American Anthropological Association and Canadian Anthropology Society in Tkaronto/Toronto. There, David caught up with two bright minds of migration studies, namely Jason De León and Teresa Mares. What does an anthropological framework bring to the study of borders? How do you do an ethnography of borders? This episode covers some big contemporary questions. Jason is Professor of Anthropology and Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, and Director of the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a long-term study of clandestine border crossing on the Mexico-USA border. Teresa is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont, and has conducted extensive ethnographic research on food access and food security among Latino/a in the United States.

    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at https://conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • We are back for 2020 with a new episode, a new name and a new and larger collective to bring you further conversations about the state of anthropology and what it has to tell us in the twenty-first century. In this episode, we present a conversation between Timothy and Michael M.J. Fischer recorded at the Society for the Social Studies of Science 2019 conference in New Orleans. Dr Fischer is Professor of Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of several books including 'Anthropological Futures' (Duke University Press, 2009) and, most recently, 'Anthropology in the Meantime' (Duke University Press, 2018). He conducts fieldwork in the Caribbean, Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and writes on an extensive range of topics including anthropological methods and the anthropology of biosciences, media circuits, and emergent forms of life. To find out more, visit his faculty website at https://anthropology.mit.edu/people/faculty/michael-fischer

    Conversations in Anthropology is a podcast about life, the universe, and anthropology produced by David Boarder Giles, Timothy Neale, Cameo Dalley, Mythily Meher and Matt Barlow. This podcast is made in partnership with the American Anthropological Association and supported by the Faculty of Arts & Education at Deakin University. Find us at https://conversationsinanthropology.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @AnthroConvo

  • A late festive treat? An early new year surprise? Our new episode features a conversation with the renowned anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Across their illustrious career, Nancy has researched social suffering and structural violence in a variety of contexts, including Ireland, Brazil, South Africa and, internationally, through the global trade in kidneys and other organs. Most recently, she has written about the scandal of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. She is the author of 'Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland’ (1979), 'Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil’ (1989) and 'The Last Commodity: Post-Human Ethics, Global (In)Justice and the Traffic in Organs’ (2008), as well as numerous articles, edited collections, and other book chapters. She is also the co-founder of Organs Watch, a watchdog organisation that monitors organ trafficking. In this episode, we twist and turn through a number of topics, discussing Nancy’s childhood, solidarity and militant anthropology today, disagreement as intellectual practice, relating to the Pope and much much more.

    This episode is hosted and produced by Timothy Neale and David Boarder Giles and features guest host Tanya King. This podcast is made with support from the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University and in partnership with the American Anthropological Association.

    For more on Nancy Scheper-Hughes see: https://anthropology.berkeley.edu/nancy-scheper-hughes

  • Episode 26 takes us back to Aotearoa New Zealand and our ongoing interest in how anthropology reaches its established and emerging audiences. In this episode, Tim speaks to Dr Catherine Trundle and Dr Eli Elinoff, both Senior Lecturers in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at Victoria University of Wellington and both members of the Senior Editorial Collective of the new anthropology journal ‘Commoning Ethnography’. The journal is self-described as ‘an off-centre, annual, international, peer-engaged, open access, online journal dedicated to examining, criticizing, and redrawing the boundaries of ethnographic research, teaching, knowledge, and praxis’. So, understandably the conversation not only goes to Eli and Catherine’s respective interests in environmental and medical anthropology, but also the state of journal publishing today? Why start a journal now? How might we think of the purpose of journals a little differently?

    Conversations in Anthropology at Deakin is produced by David Giles and Timothy Neale with support from the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University and in partnership with the American Anthropological Association.

  • It's our 25th excursion! In this episode, Tim and David are in conversation with Associate Professor Tess Lea (University of Sydney) to talk about the anthropology of policymaking, cultures of remedialism and much more. Tess is an anthropologist with a fundamental interest in with issues of (dys)function: how it occurs and to what, whom and how it is ascribed. Looking at extraction industries, everyday militarisation, houses, infrastructure, schools, and efforts to create culturally congruent forms of employment and enterprise from multiple perspectives, her work asks why the path to realising seemingly straightforward ambitions is so dense with obstacles. Tess is the Chief Investigator of the Housing for Health Incubator and the author of two books: Bureaucrats and Bleeding Hearts (2008) and Darwin (2014). This episode ALSO features special guest host Dr Cameo Dalley (Deakin University), a socio-cultural and economic anthropologist whose work focuses on the politics of belonging, indigeneity, and land.

  • On the road again! In our 24th episode, we bring you two conversations recorded by Tim at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) annual meeting, which was hosted at the University of Waikato in Aotearoa New Zealand. The first interview is with geographer Heather Dorries (University of Toronto) and sociologist Robert Henry (University of Calgary), two of the editors of the forthcoming collection 'Settler City Limits: Indigenous Resurgence and Colonial Violence in the Urban Prairie West'. The second interview is with anthropologist William Lempert (Bowdoin College), an ethnographer and filmmaker, and editor of the 2018 special issue of Cultural Anthropology on 'Indigenous Media Futures'. How to summarise all this? It's impossible! Colonialism and land planning, the erasure of urban Indigenous life, the search for extraterrestrial life, and so much more. Our thanks to the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association for support for this episode.

  • Our guest this episode is the marvellous and generous Dr Sally Babidge, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Queensland. Ahead of a seminar in Melbourne, we caught up with Sally to talk about second field sites, abandonment and dispossession, various Chile-Australia connections, the social lives of mines, and much more. Sally has been involved in extensive historical and anthropological research with Indigenous peoples in Queensland and Chile, and her research spans the anthropology of resource extraction, indigeneity, land rights, and applied Anthropology. In addition, as is often our custom, we’re joined by a guest host: Dr David Kelly, a postdoctoral researcher at Deakin’s HOME Research Hub whose current research focuses on urban space, housing, and displacement.

  • Who doesn’t love ECONOMIC anthropology? Even if Marx, Mauss, and Malinowski aren’t your thing, we are confident you will enjoy this episode, as David and Tim sit down for a chat with Dr Caroline Schuster, a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the Australian National University, and Dr Fabio Mattioli, a Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Melbourne. The conversation introduces our guests' respective field sites - Paraguay and the Republic of Northern Macedonia - and gets into some big issues around insurance, microcredit, illiberal politics and the temptations of 'innovation’. If you are interested in following up with some reading, Caroline is the author of 'Social Collateral: Women and Microfinance in Paraguay’s Smuggling Economy’ (University of California Press, 2015), and Fabio the author of the forthcoming 'Illiquidity and Power: The Economics of Authoritarianism at the Margins of Europe'.