Friday Seminar Series 7.2 : Sasha Newell “The Crowding of Clutter: Possession, Heterochrony, and Congestion in U.S. Domestic Life”

The Crowding of Clutter: Possession, Heterochrony, and Congestion in U.S. Domestic Life

Sasha Newell, Université Libre de Bruxelles

February 7th 2020, 2-4 PM, Unioninkatu 35, Room 113/4

Building upon ethnography in U.S homes , this paper excavates affective intimacies with objects in relation to the animacy of accumulation. Unlike curated collections, accumulations of belongings grow and seep of their own accord in darkened corners, gradually accruing mass and inserting affective hooks into the tissue of their owners’ sociality, until they burst forth into visible space in ways that threaten normative values. Those who fail to contain such accumulations are classified as hoarders, their deviance essentialized as mental disorder, while others anxiously patrol the frontiers of ordered domestic space in hopes of keeping clutter at bay. Clutter is not only spatial but temporal, allowing for arcing constellations of temporal connections that congest and confuse the social space of the home, but also allow for contact and contemplation with both past and future potentiality. Because stored things are often part of the non-conscious cognitive dispositif through which memory, kinship, and temporality are intertwined, the affective force of possessions resists both mental and material containment.

New publications on borders and topology by Sarah Green

”Lines, traces, and tidemarks: further reflections on forms of border” in 2018, The political materialities of borders: new theoretical directions. Demetriou, O. & Dimova, R. (eds.). 1 ed. Manchester: University of Manchester, Vol. 2. p. 67-83 17 p. (Rethinking Borders). You can access the paper through the research portal.

“Entangled Borders” 2019. in Archivio antropologico mediterraneo. 21:2, pp. 1-14. This is open access and available here:

“Crosscuts” 2019. In Cultural Anthropology, “Theorising the Contemporary”,

Border at the sea, Ouranopolis, Greece (Photo: Lena Malm). Part of ERC Advanced Grant research called Crosslocations, led by Sarah Green. 2017

New Publication by Anni Kajanus, together with Narges Afshordi and Felix Warneken, on how children’s understanding of hierarchical relations develops in China and the UK.

A. Kajanus, N. Afshordi*, & F. Warneken (2020), Children’s understanding of dominance and prestige in China and the UK, Evolution and Human Behavior, 41(19), 23-34.

(*joint first authors)

Open access link (valid until 29 February, 2020):

Kuvahaun tulos haulle Evolution and Human Behavior


Carna Brkovic: Bios, Zoe, Psyche? Forms of Life in a Refugee Camp in Montenegro

Carna Brkovic from University of Goettingen gave a talk on Friday the 17th of January 2020 titled “Bios, Zoe, Psyche? Forms of Life in a Refugee Camp in Montenegro”



Life in a refugee camp Konik in Podgorica, Montenegro, included efforts of the Red Cross humanitarians to “change the consciousness” of the displaced Roma and Balkan Egyptians. However, they were not the only one. Montenegrin citizens told themselves that they also had to “change their consciousness” about all sorts of issues if they ever wanted to join the European Union. Discussing how the fall of Yugoslav socialism has reshaped emic ideas on what it means to “change consciousness”, this talk explores how a “will to improve” emerged in the context of widespread indeterminacy and legal ambiguity of the asylum as a form of life.