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In the Meantime: Toward an Anthropology of the Possible

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In the Meantime

Toward an Anthropology of the Possible

Edited by Adeline Masquelier and Deborah Durham

Afterword by Thomas Hylland Eriksen

240 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-886-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (March 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80073-887-4 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“[This volume] curates an extraordinary conversation about what it means to wait, seemingly without end, in a moment that is supposedly defined by instantaneity. The book’s timing and its framing could not be better.” • Bruce O'Neill, Saint Louis University

“This is a superb volume, on the subject of a particular temporal mode—what the editors call “the meantime”… this book is top-notch scholarship, on a cutting-edge subject that will make a significant contribution to not only anthropology but cognate fields.” • Anne Allison, Duke University


The “meantime” represents the gap between what is past and the unknown future. When considered as waiting, the meantime is defined as a period of suspension to be endured. By contrast, the contributors of this volume understand it as a space of “the possible” where calculation coexists with uncertainty, promises with disappointment, and imminence with deferral. Attending to the temporalities of emerging rather than settled facts, they put the stress on the temporal tactics, social commitments, material connections, dispositional orientations, and affective circuits that emerge in the meantime even in the most desperate times.

Adeline Masquelier is Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University. She is author of Women and Islamic Revival in a West African Town (Indiana, 2009) and Fada: Boredom and Belonging in Niger (Chicago, 2019). She is a former executive editor of the Journal of Religion in Africa and past president of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion.

Deborah Durham teaches at the University of Virginia. She conducts research in Botswana and Turkey and is the co-editor of Generations and Globalization: Youth, Age, and Family in the New World Economy (Indiana, 2007) and Elusive Adulthoods: The Anthropology of New Maturities (Indiana, 2017). She is an Editor at Hau Books and is Deputy Editor for Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory.

Subject: Anthropology (General)SociologyCultural Studies (General)


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