AES 2017 CfP for “Corporate Governmentality: Nation-Corporations, NGO-Corporations, and Other Emergent Subjectifying Corporate Forms”

If you are interested in participating in the following panel at the American Ethnological Society Meetings at Stanford University, March 30 to April 1, 2017, please contact me at marissas23@gmail.com by or on January 19th. The panel discussant is Elana Shever.

(Image: Coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics by official, state-funded broadcaster MNB sponsored by the Erdenet Mining Corporation)

This panel explores the shifting balance in relations between states, corporations, NGOs, and other powerful institutions as corporations are increasingly involved in the cultivation and redefinition of subjects as employees, customers, partners, and citizens. As anthropologists have focused on the personalization of the corporation itself in recent years, they have explored how states empower corporations as holders of rights articulated opportunistically and situationally (Bashkow 2014, Benson and Kirsch 2010a and 2010b, Kirsch 2014, Tsing 2004, Welker 2014), as well as how corporations call on pre-established narratives of nationalized personhood and blur the boundaries between their own personhood and that of human persons associated with them (Tsing 2004, Rajak 2011, 2014). The papers in this panel follow Golub (2014), Gordon (forthcoming, 2016), Rogers (2015), Shever (2012, 2013), and Yanagisako (2002, 2013) in attending to how corporate, civic, and familial forms of relational personhood are co-constitutive, while focusing on how corporate redefinitions of personhood are in tension with and altering those of nation states, NGOs, and other powerful institutions. This panel calls attention to how corporations challenge even states, attending to how the balance of power in these partnerships has shifted as corporations exercise powers previously associated with states to administer and reshape the rights of human persons as moral subjects, contributing not only to criticism but also to the legitimate authority (in the Weberian sense) now wielded by many corporations.

(Works Cited)

Bashkow,  Ira

2014    What Kind of Person is the Corporation? PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 37(2):296-307.

Benson, Peter

2008    Good Clean Tobacco: Phillip Morris, Biocapitalism, and the Social Course of Stigma in North Carolina. American Ethnologist 35(3):357-379.

Benson, Peter and Stuart Kirsch

2010a  Corporate Oxymorons. Dialectical Anthropology 34(1): 45-48.

2010b Capitalism and the Politics of Resignation. Current Anthropology 51(4): 459-486.

Golub, Alex

2014    Leviathans at the Gold Mine: Creating Indigenous and Corporate Actors in Papua New Guinea. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014.

Gordon, Gwendolyn

Forthcoming    Culture in Corporate Law or: A Black Corporation, a Christian Corporation, and a Māori Corporation Walk into a Bar…. Seattle University Law Review 39(2):353-396.

2016    Who Speaks the Culture of the Corporation?: Dissent in the Close Corporation After Hobby Lobby and Citizens United. Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review.

Foster, Robert

2014    Corporations as Partners: “Connected Capitalism” and the Coca-Cola Company. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 37(2): 246–258.

Kirsch, Suart

2014    Mining Capitalism: The Relationship Between Mining Corporations and Their Critics. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Rajak, Dinah

2011    In Good Company: An Anatomy of Corporate Social Responsibility. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

2014    Corporate Memory: Historical Revisionism, Legitimation and the Invention of Tradition in a Multinational Mining Company. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 37(2)

Rogers, Douglas

2015    The Depths of Russia: Oil, Power, and Culture after Socialism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Shever, Elana

2012    Resources for Reform: Oil and Neoliberalism in Argentina. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

2013    “I am a Petroleum Product”: Making Kinship Work on the Patgonian Front. In Vital Relations: Modernity and the Persistent Life of Kinship. Susan McKinnon and Fenella Cannell, eds. Pp. 85–109. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.

Welker, Marina

2014    Enacting the Corporation: An American Mining Firm in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Yanagisako, Sylvia Junko

2002    Producing Culture and Capital: Family Firms in Italy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

2013    Transnational Family Capitalism: Producing “Made in Italy” in China. In Vital Relations: Modernity and the Persistent Life of Kinship. Susan McKinnon and Fenella Cannell, eds. Pp. 85–109. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press.

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