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The February 2023 issue of Cultural Anthropology is the first issue edited by the collective of Matilde Córdoba Azcárate, Alberto Corsín Jiménez, Julia Elyachar, Joanne Nucho, AbdouMaliq Simone, Manuel Tironi, and Ather Zia and features six research articles.

In “Of Feral and Obedient Cows,” Valentina Bonifacio offers an analysis of the relationship between cattle and humans in the colonization of the Paraguayan Chaco that reveals the history of “domestication” as a racialized operator of colonial and metropolitan extractivism. 

In “Evasion,” David C. Thompson engages with long-term travesti interlocutors in Rio de Janeiro, where the realities of racialized capture are not structurally attenuated, but are inhabited in ways that modulate the experiences of confinement and produce temporalities of provisional autonomy.

In her multi-sensorial ethnography of hereditary Muslim taxi drivers in Mumbai, Tarini Bedi takes us through the bumpy roads and dusty air of the city, illuminating how drivers’ skillful navigation of sensate ecologies redescribes our conventional understanding of sustainable urban environments. 

In his article, Liron Shani draws on long-term fieldwork in the Arava/Arabah region of southern Israel/Palestine to elucidate the networks of connections that make agriculture possible as a political enterprise. His case study of shifting definitions of alien/native species, and of boundaries between the human and non-human under Zionist regimes of settlement, sheds light on matters of  “agriculture infrastructure” more broadly. 

In “Future Returns,” Anna Simone Reumert shows how  incessant mobility is a defining element of the capacity to work in much of Sudan. Reumert links earning to indebtedness in an economy oriented around extracting profit from movement.

Ekin Kurtiç’s essay on dam maintenance through watershed rehabilitation in Turkey invites us to pay greater attention to breakdown and decay as vital to maintenance. Through her careful ethnography, Kurtiç calls for challenging a “maintenance-decay” binary in a way that is important to think with in this moment of catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Cover image by Tarini Bedi.