Theories have histories and spatial locations. Certain foci of anthropological or historical reflection are, unsurprisingly, beholden to specific regions: spirit possession and postcolonialism gathered in relation to Africa, and India; revolution, to France, the U.S., Haiti, and Russia; territoriality and spatial semiotics to indigenous groups of the Americas or Australia; “ethnic nationalism,” to Germany and Eastern Europe; creolization and transculturation, to the Caribbean. These geo-theoretical productions inflect and act recursively on and in the lives of social actors who inherit them in those sites, and who live in their sediment.
Mischa Suter and Ceyda Karamursel in Conversation: Maintaining a clear ontological demarcation between persons and things is arduous work, as Latour and others remind us. It requires classification work, purification work, boundary work, language work, social work, and more. Even so, certain historical contexts and situations have rendered the clear line fuzzy, and persons and things remained thoroughly entangled.