Academic publications

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Landscapes of memory and impunity:

the Aftermath of the AmiA BOMBING in Jewish Argentina

Landscapes of Memory and Impunity (co-edited with A.H. Levine; Brill, 2015) chronicles the aftermath of the most significant terrorist attack in Argentina’s history—the 1994 AMIA bombing that killed eighty-five people, wounded hundreds, and destroyed the primary Jewish mutual aid society. This volume, edited by Annette H. Levine and Natasha Zaretsky, presents the first comprehensive, multidisciplinary work about this decisive turning point in Jewish Argentine history—examining the ongoing impact of this violence and the impunity that followed. Chapters explore political protest movements, musical performance, literature, and acts of commemoration. 

Image from the Park of Memory, Argentina  (photo Natasha Zaretsky)

Image from the Park of Memory, Argentina

(photo Natasha Zaretsky)

Reflecting on silence and anthropology

Reflecting on Silence and Anthropology (part of the Emergent Conversations series for Political and Legal Anthropology Review) explores the intersections of silence and ethnography.   How does silence shape our fieldwork and ethnographies, and consequently, inform the contours of the knowledge we produce as a discipline? What gets left out of our ethnographic texts? Which voices are included, and excluded, from our narratives? Why are anthropologists silent in many public debates about issues that matter to our discipline? These questions inspired the creation of the panel, Silence in/and Ethnography: Cartographies of Power and Knowledge in Anthropology and its Publics, an Invited Session sponsored by APLA and the Society for Linguistic Anthropology at the 2014 AAA Meeting, with papers drawing on fieldwork in the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, and the United States. As a session, we examined what silence reveals about the ongoing workings of violence and war, the tensions between structural violence and agency, the political uses of visibility, the public engagement of anthropologists in media representations, and how silence articulates with difference and alterity.

Memoria Activa  (Active Memory) in the Plaza Lavalle, facing the high courts (2004) (photo Natasha Zaretsky)

Memoria Activa (Active Memory) in the Plaza Lavalle, facing the high courts (2004) (photo Natasha Zaretsky)

"Betwixt and Between": The challenges of public ethnographic writing about ARgentina 

Published in Religious Studies and Theology (2015), this essay offers a series of reflections about the challenges that arise for an ethnographer writing in the public sphere, especially when addressing controversial issues or moments of political uncertainty in sites of long-term fieldwork. In this case, Argentina, where the author has conducted fieldwork for over fourteen years, experienced a political crisis stemming from the unexplained death of a prosecutor in January 2015. In such moments of crisis, this essay asks, what is the role and responsibility of the academic voice? Inevitably, challenges arise when presenting ethnographically inflected work for a public audience, often leaving the author in a liminal space, “betwixt and between” the academic world and the public sphere. Yet, these challenges and liminal spaces can also expand the boundaries of one’s field of study, engaging new audiences while also offering powerful insights into the production of academic knowledge.