This post builds on the research article “Imperial Debris: Reflections on Ruins and Ruination,” which was published in the May 2008 issue of the Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Cultural Anthropology.
Other essays in this special issue are Nancy Hunt's "An Acoustic Register, Tenacious Images, and Congolese Scenes of Rape and Repetition", Valentine E. Daniel's "The Coolie", John Collins's ""But What if I Should Need to Defecate in Your Neighborhood, Madame?": Empire, Redemption, and the "Tradition of the Oppressed" in a Brazilian World Heritage Site", Karolina Szmagalska-Follis's "Repossession: Notes on Restoration and Redemption in Ukraine's Western Borderland", and Joseph Masco's ""Survival is Your Business": Engineering Ruins and Affect in Nuclear America".
Essays in previous issues of Cultural Anthropology have analyzed postcolonialism from numerous angles. See, for example, Danny Hoffman’s essay “The City as Barracks: Freetown, Monrovia, and the Organization of Violence in Postcolonial African Cities” (2007), Liam Buckley’s “Objects of Love and Decay: Colonial Photographs in a Postcolonial Archive” (2005), and Ana Maria Alonso’s “Conforming Disconformity: “Mestizaje,” Hybridity, and the Aesthetics of Mexican Nationalism” (2004).
Cultural Anthropology has also published essays that theorize how the past operates in and shapes the present, and future possibilities. See, for example, Rosalind Shaw’s “Displacing Violence: Making Pentecostal Memory in Postwar Sierra Leone” (2007), Carole McGranahan’s “Truth, Fear, and Lies: Exile Politics and Arrested Histories of the Tibetan Resistance” (2005), and Casey Blake’s “The Usable Past, the Contemporary Past, and the Civic Past: Memory in Contemporary America” (1999).