Wykład prof. A. Jamiego Sarisa



Zapraszamy na wykład prof. Jamiego A. Sarisa (Maynooth University) “Addicts, the Undead and Social Theory”, który odbędzie się 24 X o godzinie 17:00 w sali 208 (ul. Szewska 36).


Opis wykładu: This lecuture explores the Western philosophical idea of “appetites” through the lens of “addiction.” I begin with a brief ethnographic description of a woman whose subjectivity seems to emerge only in the play of her unmanageable desire for various pharmaceuticals. In other words, she is a self-described “addict.” I then look at the relationships between addicts and the undead, especially vampires and zombies, who are seemingly enslaved to their appetites. This leads me to an analysis of the centrality of what I am calling “recursive need satisfaction” in much of Western (especially Anglophone and Francophone) Social Theory that, I argue, relies on a particular understanding of “appetite” in establishing the political-economic subjectivity that lies at the heart of market-oriented state. This same understanding also pushes this formation in a specific historical direction of increasing growth and organisational and technological complexity. As a globalised Western society in the last few decades has become ever more anxious of its place in the world, its impact on various interdependent systems, and the validity of the grand récits that served as its charter, such growth and complexity have emerged as objects of anxiety, even apocalyptic fear, and the terms “addict” and “addiction” have seemed ever more useful for modelling these concerns. I end with some reflections on how we use both zombies and addicts to think through some of the same issues of unchecked and damaging consumption.


Prof. Jamie A. Saris holds advanced degrees in Social-Cultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago (MA and PhD), and he has completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinically-Relevant Medical Anthropology in the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School.  He has been working for more than twenty years in medical and psychological anthropology in Ireland, North America, and parts of Africa, where he has researched and published on such diverse issues as the social life of mental hospitals, the experience of major mental illness, colonialism and its aftermath, structural violence and health risk, authenticity, health services research, drug use/abuse, professionalism in medical education.  He led one of the first national prevalence studies on opiate use in Ireland, and he directed the only anthropological projects to have won major support from the Health Research Board of Ireland. He sits of the Editorial Boards of Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry and Reviews in Anthropology, and he was Editor of The Irish Journal of Anthropology.