Our Lives with Electric Things

Our lives with electric things are positively charged with meaning. Our bodies pulse with electrical activity. The electric appliances, devices, and technologies around us bring hope and anxiety, possibility and danger. Some have transformed our possibilities for reproducing, nurturing, and sustaining life. Some mediate human sociality across time and space, while others knit ecological and interspecies relationships together. Still others create possibilities for controlling, managing, exploiting, and ending life. Against this backdrop any anthropology of electricity seems to require electric things. Can we still imagine the possibility of lives without electric things? Can electric things help us to address the possibilities and limits of life with electricity? Can our lives with electricity ever be disentangled from electric things? What are the unique capacities and material politics of electric things in different global contexts? What circuits do they make or break? All the pieces in this series share a commitment to rethinking our lives with things, using electric artifacts and materials to push beyond the taken-for-granted vocabularies of material culture and to generate novel ethnographic insights. Together, we hope they will electrify anthropology, and inspire a generation of anthropologists to think electric.

Posts in This Series

Introduction: Our Lives with Electric Things

Our Bodies Electric

Our Electric Afterlives

Our Electric Air

Our Electric Backup

Our Electric Biomedicine

Our Electric Controls

Our Electric Exchanges

Our Electric Fictions

Our Electric H₂O

Our Electric Illuminations

Our Electric Infrastructures

Our Electric Metals

Our Electric Meters

Our Electric Monitors

Our Electric Sustenance

Our Electric Transitions

Our Electro-Homes