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Anthropology Symposium: Anna Eisenstein

Join us for a lecture by Anna Eisenstein as part of the fall Anthropology Symposium. Free and open to the public.

"Pregnant Pauses: Waiting on the Will of Others in Southwestern Uganda"

This talk is a distillation of a larger dissertation project – an ethnography of pregnancy in urbanizing, southwestern Uganda. Analyzing practices of maternal and child wellness, Eisenstein argues that motherhood in urbanizing Uganda is fundamentally a project of composition. As mothers actively advance some relationships, and close themselves off from others, they are working to compose a network of care around an expected child. In the talk, Eisenstein not only engages whom urban mothers want to connect to and why, but also how they cultivate their connections. Whereas previous discussions have treated therapy managing groups as given, preexisting entities, Eisenstein theorizes the composition of networks as an interactional process that unfolds as social actors read and respond to one another. What emerges is an account that recognizes subtle moments of female silence, submission, and patient waiting not as inaction or passive compliance, but as radical modes of exerting agency over her family’s health and strength.

Anna Eisenstein is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Virginia. She is especially interested in the role of language and communication in constructing persons, relationships, and wellbeing. Anna positions her scholarly work at the intersection of cultural, medical, and linguistic anthropology.

Monday, November 12, 2018 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Eliot Hall, 103
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

Event Type



Students, Open to the Public


Anthropology Symposium


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