Vårens seminarieserie arrangeras av Johan Lindquist och Mark Graham. Listan uppdateras kontinuerligt. För mer information kontakta Johan Lindquist eller Mark Graham.


January 20, 13.00-15.00, B600
Paula Uimonen, Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Chanjo ya Rushwa. An ethnographic road movie

Paula Uimonen presents her new film, which is based on her recent research on corruption in everyday life in Tanzania (2012-2013). Chanjo ya Rushwa (Vaccination against Corruption) is an ethnographic road movie about a campaign against corruption through music, mobiles and social media. In 2011-2012 Vitali Maembe & The Spirits carried out a music tour in Tanzania to vaccinate the population against corruption. The artists performed in public spaces, to give ordinary citizens a chance to speak up against corruption! This documentary film captures the campaign and the voices of people breaking the culture of silence on corruption. The film builds on anthropological research, which is also published in ‘Mediated Agency: Music and Media against Corruption in Tanzania’ (Uimonen 2013). The film is available online on YouTube and Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/paulauimonen.


January 27, 13.00-15.00, B600
Maris Gillette, Professor of Anthropology, Haverford College and EURIAS Fellow, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study

Labor and Precariousness in China’s Porcelain Capital

In recent years, scholars have turned to Bourdieu’s model of precariousness to understand workers’ experiences under neoliberal capitalism. In this presentation I look at Bourdieu’s ideas in relation to China’s most famous porcelain production site: the city of Jingdezhen. Bourdieu directs us toward shared the structural features of job insecurity, emphasizing the political consequences of workers’ alienation. Yet his universalist model cannot adequately explain how or why workers respond to precarious labor regimes as they do. In Jingdezhen, porcelain workers lost their state and collective sector jobs when the government mandated privatization and marketization. How they understood and responded to this experience was shaped by Jingdezhen’s particular history, including the ways that decades of government policies had promoted reliance on personal networks, made labor activism the exclusive purview of the state, and given many Chinese a negative view of mass mobilization.

Maris Gillette is a cultural anthropologist and filmmaker. Currently she is writing a book about ceramic production in China’s porcelain capital, from 1004 when Jingdezhen’s wares first caught the attention of the imperial court, through centuries of government sponsorship, until the early 21st century turn to private enterprise. Gillette has curated and co-curated exhibitions and installations on Chinese porcelain and other topics at a number of museums and galleries. She has worked on several community-based digital videos in Philadelphia, and made a film about Jingdezhen’s porcelain industry entitled Broken Pots Broken Dreams. Gillette has also written extensively about Chinese Muslims (Hui) in Xi’an. She is Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College and EURIAS Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study. In July 2014, she will become the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Museum Studies and Community History at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.



February 3, 13.00-15.00, B600
Jenny White, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Institute for Turkish Studies, Stockholm University and Professor of Anthropology, Boston University

On Writing Ethnography and Fiction

What is the difference between writing ethnography and writing fiction? The social anthropologist Jenny White, author of three scholarly books and three historical mystery novels about Turkey, talks about her experience and discusses the writing process, the question of truth, the reaction of her colleagues, and the very different public personae of writer and scientist.

Jenny White is Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies and a professor of anthropology at Boston University. She served as president of the Turkish Studies Association and of the American Anthropological Association Middle East Section. She is the author of Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks (chosen by Foreign Affairs as one of three best books on the Middle East in 2012); Islamist Mobilization in Turkey: A Study in Vernacular Politics (Winner of the 2003 Douglass Prize for best book in Europeanist anthropology); and Money Makes Us Relatives: Women’s Labor in Urban Turkey. She has authored numerous articles on Turkey and on Turks in Germany and lectures internationally on topics ranging from political Islam and nationalism to ethnic identity and gender issues. She also has written three historical novels set in nineteenth-century Istanbul, The Sultan’s Seal (2006), The Abyssinian Proof (2008), and The Winter Thief (2010). The Sultan’s Seal has appeared in fourteen languages. It was named one of the top ten first novels of 2006 by Booklist and was shortlisted for the 2006 Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award.


February 10, 13.00-15.00, B600
Lotta Björklund Larsen, PhD. Post doc, Tema T, Department of Thematic Studies – Technology and Social Change, Linköping University

Nurturing and Neglecting the Economic In Society. Practices and values in the application of law at the Swedish Tax Agency

The object of this paper is to explore how a governmental organization contributes to the economization of society. Economization are processes through which behaviour, organizations and institutions are constituted as being economic, thus how they are identified in financial terms (e.g. Çalişkan and Callon 2009, 2010).

In a high tax rate country like Sweden, the Swedish Tax Agency is seen as the main financial link between citizen and the state through its application of fiscal laws, audit work and tax collection. This fact is even more pertinent as the law states that all exchanges of work deemed having value are seen as income, regardless of compensation mode, and thus subject for tax.
The object for study is one risk assessment project at this Agency, a project meant to ensure that the Tax Agency is not put at risk of failing to fulfil its duties to collect tax. By participant observation and in depth interviews, this paper identifies the actors and practitioners at the Tax Agency who contribute to the economization of society. We will see by what way the Tax Agency’s application of the encompassing tax law nurtures, and also perhaps stalls, the economization of society. What values characterize the Tax Agency’s practices, and thus that of the Swedish state, when selecting exchanges of services for taxation?

Lotta Björklund Larsen, PhD. Post doc at Tema T, Department of Thematic Studies - Technology and Social Change, Linköping University.


February 17, 13.00-15.00, B600
Corinna Kruse, lecturer Department of Thematic Studies – Technology and Social Change, Linköping University

Traveling standards - when epistemic cultures collide and collude

This presentation discusses shared standards across professions in the Swedish judicial system, in particular standards shared between crime scene technicians and forensic scientists. These two professions collaborate in producing forensic evidence - crime scene technicians at the crime scene, and forensic scientists in the laboratory - but they also have very different foci, competences, and perspectives on that collaboration. Based on ethnographic data,  I will talk about how forensic scientists and crime scene technicians establish and maintain shared understandings and standards for their collaboration, and the translations and mediations such shared understandings and collaborations require.

Corinna Kruse is a lecturer at the Department of Thematic Studies - Technology and Social Change, Linköping University, Sweden. She is interested in processes of knowledge production, particularly how knowledge is produced, moved, translated, and used across contexts—particularly knowledge in the form of forensic evidence. She is the author of “Producing Absolute Truth: CSI Science as Wishful Thinking,” American Anthropologist 112(1): 79-91 (2010), “The Evidence Doesn’t Lie – CSI and Real-Life Forensic Evidence.” Anthropology Now 5(3): 1-8 (2013), and “The Bayesian approach to forensic evidence: Evaluating, communicating, and distributing responsibility,” Social Studies of Science 43(5): 657 – 680 (2013).


February 24, 13.00-15.00, B600
Professor J. Lorand Matory, Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Director, Center for African and African American Research, Duke University

Marx, Freud and the Gods People Make in West Africa: the Lessons of the Real-Life ‘Fetish’ for European Theory

Fetishism is one of the preeminent themes in the humanities and the social sciences, as well as one of the most exemplary habits of theory informed by the Atlantic slave trade and European imperialism.  This illustrated discussion of African and Afro-Latin American sacred objects also calls attention to the social positionality from which Marx, Freud and their forebears--as far back as the 16th century--identified the human-made gods of Africa and Latin America as a metaphor of misplaced value, errant subjectivity, and bad governance.  Based upon ethnographic research in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, Cuba and the Latin American diaspora in the US, this lecture shows that these gods and their makers would return the criticism, shedding new light upon a signature contribution of the Central European world to theory in the 20th century.

J. Lorand Matory is Director of the Center for African and African American Research and Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University.  For the prior 11 years, he was a tenured full Professor at Harvard University.  From 2003 to 2011, he also served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Cultural Property at the US Department of State.  He has conducted intensive field research in Brazil, Nigeria, Cuba, Benin Republic, Trinidad, Jamaica and the US. He received his bachelor’s from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he won the Roy D. Albert Prize for Excellence in the Graduate Study of Anthropology. In 2010, he received the Distinguished Africanist Award from the American Anthropological Association.

Choice magazine named his Sex and the Empire That Is No More: Gender and the Politics of Metaphor in Oyo Yoruba Religion an Outstanding Book of the Year in 1994, and his Black Atlantic Religion: Tradition, Transnationalism and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé won the Herskovits Prize for best book of 2005 from the African Studies Association.  The University of Chicago Press will soon publish his 2008 Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures under the title Stigma and Culture: Global Migrations and the Crisis of Identity in Black America.  He is the Executive Producer of three films: “Can We Talk?: Bridging the Social Science and the Humanities” (2012), “Human Traffic: Past and Present” (2012), and “Global Affirmative Action in a Neoliberal Age” (2013).  These and his 24 peer-reviewed articles are available at www.caaar.duke.edu.  A recipient of the Humboldt Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he is currently based in the Latin America Institute of the Freie Universität Berlin, where, in cooperation with the Berlin Ethnological Museum, he is developing a multi-media online museum exhibition based upon the Center for African and African American collection of sacred art from the African-inspired religions around the Atlantic perimeter.



March 3, 13.00-15.00, B600
Professor Karsten Paerregaard, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg

Anthropology and climate change: Global warming, water scarcity and the state in the Peruvian Andes

Peru is the tropical country in the world with most glaciers. These make up a critical water source for its rural and urban population but due to global warming, they are melting in an alarming speed causing water scarcity and social conflicts in throughout country. Climate change is also leading to a reconfiguration of the powers that Andean population believes control their lives. In many parts of Andes, people believe that the mountains which supply them with melt water to irrigate the fields are inhabited by deities. To appease these and ask them for more water, people make annual offerings. This paper discusses how these offerings and the cosmological order they are part of change meaning as the glaciers and ice caps of the Andes are melting. It also examines how the power vacuum created by the cosmological transformation of Andean society is replaced by the State, which has strengthened its presence in the Andes in the past two decades. The paper argues that even though climate change generates water scarcity in many parts of Peru and thus represents a huge challenge for Peruvian society, it also paves the way for a new social and ideological order forged and controlled by the State which gives rise to forms of citizenship in Peru. Moreover, it suggests that while the natural sciences so far have dominated the study of climate change, anthropologists have much to offer particularly by making field research of how people locally perceive environmental change and response to global warming.


March 11, 13.00-15.00, B600 NB Tuesday
Professor Katy Gardner, Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics

Transnational connections and 'development' disconnections: stories from Sylhet, Bangladesh

The metaphors of connection and its antonym, disconnection are a useful framing of discussions of migration. Indeed, a huge amount of work has been devoted to describing migration as enabled via connections in chains or networks, whilst the framing of transnationalism points directly to on-going relationships and connections between so-called ‘receiving’ and ‘sending’ countries. Yet if connections are made, these are  inevitably accompanied by disconnection, in the form of ruptured relationships, loss and the yearning for an imagined ‘home’ that has been so well described in the literature on diaspora. In this paper I push the metaphor a little further, using it to think not only about migration, but the broader processes and conditions that structure everyday struggles and opportunities in places such as Bangladesh. What I hope to show is how whilst migration is enabled by informal, social connections, it can lead to formal connectedness, in which these informal, socially based links become less important, via citizenship and access to employment in the formal sector. From this, we can use the metaphor of connection to think more broadly about ‘development’ in its various guises. The paper is based on stories drawn from a place I’m calling Duniyapur in Sylhet, NE Bangladesh, plus a brief sortie to Burnley, north east England. The setting is notable not only for its long history of transnational migration, but also because since 2007 the oil company Chevron has been operating a large gas plant there. It’s also the place where I’ve been doing fieldwork, and visiting, since 1987.


March 17, 13.00-15.00, B600
Professor Morten Pedersen, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

The Phantasmatic Powerplant: Imaginative Ignorance in Periurban Ulaanbaatar

In the peri-urban district of Ulaistai situated in the north-eastern corner of Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar, the livelihood of dozens of households have over the last five or so years been seriously affected by the political and economic reverberations from a large infrastructure project that is probably never going to be built. Known as "Power Plant # 5" by officials and residents alike, the 500 MW coal-heated plant was planned, commissioned and tendered by Ulaanbaatar's city municipality in 2008-2009 as part of a wider national strategy to beef up Mongolia's energy production capacities in light of the fast growing capital city and the rapidly increasing foreign investments in Mongolia's resource-extraction sector. Taking its departure in the tragicomical case of a poverty-stricken woman employed as a care-taker for a mysterious organization supposedly in charge of the potential power plant to be, this paper explores the "productive poetics of ignorance" by which lacking knowledge about this and other infrastructural projects feed into peoples' dreams about and plans for the future.

Morten Axel Pedersen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, and author of Not Quite Shamans: Spirit Worlds and Political Lives in Northern Mongolia (2011). Since the mid-1990s, he has conducted four years of fieldwork in Mongolia, the Russian Far East and in Western China on topics as diverse as shamanism, political cosmology, postsocialist transition, infrastructure, social networks, debt and hope. He is currently completing two co-authored book projects: a comparative ethnography of Chinese Resource-Extraction projects in Mongolia and Mozambique provisionally entitled "Collaborative Damage", and a monograph on Ulaanbaatar's dispossessed urban youth called "Urban Hunters: Dealing and Dreaming in Times of Transition".


March 24, 13.00-15.00, B600
Darcy Pan, Doctoral student, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Learning to gossip: Understanding the survival and development of grassroots non-governmental labor organizations in South China

Darcy’s research project sets out to understand how international development works on the ground with a case study of grassroots labor NGOs in South China and their connections with international civil society, which plays a key role in providing funding and facilitating knowledge and skills for these Chinese grassroots labor NGOs. This project examines how the Chinese grassroots labor NGOs carry out their work in a semi-authoritarian regime. More specifically, this research wants to explore several key questions: How do the Chinese grassroots labor NGOs deal with the state? How do these labor NGOs adapt to political and economic environments while trying to build labor solidarity? How do the funding sources affect the Chinese grassroots labor NGOs? How do international funds trickle down to these grassroots labor groups?

In the research seminar, Darcy will specifically talk about the relationship between gossip and ethnography based on her fieldwork in South China. In her talk, Darcy will discuss how she uses gossip as an ethnographic practice whereby she tries to understand the ways in which these labor NGOs manage their relationship with the Chinese state.


March 31, 13.00-15.00, B600
Dolly Kikon, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Carbon Cult: Resource Fantasies and Conflict in the Foothills of Northeast India

Throughout the history of the armed conflict in Northeast India, competing political groups have defined the foothill as either belonging to the hills or the plains. Those fighting for sovereign homelands in the hills and the plains have written their version of history, where the foothills and its residents appear as residual categories. In this presentation, I will discuss how extractive resource regimes, especially coal and oil, frame the aspirations of residents in the foothills either as fantasies of abundance or nightmares of scarcity. I will illustrate how these hydrocarbon fantasies permeate the social and political boundaries ranging from ethnic insurgents, politicians, landowners, to poor cultivators alike across the foothills of Northeast India, and explain how these aspirations will shape the future of natural resources, development, ethnic politics, and citizenship in this frontier region.

Dolly Kikon is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University. She is working with Associate Professor Bengt G. Karlsson on a Riksbankens Jubileumsfond funded project entitled: "The Indian Underbelly: Marginalisation, Migration and State Intervention in the Periphery". Her project focuses on the prospects associated with the expansion of developmental activities by the Indian state in areas that were traditionally associated with economic backwardness and protracted political conflict. She obtained her doctoral degree from the Department of Anthropology, Stanford University in 2013.



April 7, 13.00-15.00, B600
Mark Johnson, Reader in Social Anthropology, Department of Social Sciences, University of Hull

Masculine Domination within Colonial Fields of Power: Bourdieu, Feminism and the Limits of Reflexivity.

Bourdieu’s (2001) Masculine Domination draws on an analysis of Kabyle society as observed and documented in late 1950s and early 1960s colonial Algeria to uncover the long running historical relations and conditions that have rendered gender inequality the first among forms of naturalized distinctions. For Bourdieu, the highland peasants of Kabyle represent in distilled form the essence of masculine domination and the operations of symbolic violence that can be found equally among ‘the upper-class denizens’ of Bloomsbury: in short, the comparative juxtaposition of the Kabyle peasantry and Bloomsbury elite provides evidence, for Bourdieu, of the ‘transhistorical invariants’ of gender inequalities (2001: 84). For feminist theorists, by contrast, while Bourdieu provides some useful conceptual tools (subject to critical modifications), his anthropological analysis of the Kabyle cannot be used as the basis for a solid sociological understanding of the complexity of gender relations in modern societies precisely because it ignores the historical shifts and changes that distinguish the latter from the former, including among them, the rise of feminist analysis and activism. My contention is that underlying these apparent disagreements are unreflected assumptions that both Bourdieu and his feminist critics share; that is, that the Kabyle are in some sense a more primitive version of us. Given that both Bourdieusian and Feminist analyses put reflexivity at the heart of their respective projects, I want to ask about what, in Bourdieu’s terms, that recognized, misrecognized form, of classificatory power tells us about the limits and possibilities of reflexivity and whether or not we ought to abandon ‘participant objectivation’ in favour of other ways of conceiving the relations between, and investigations of, ‘own’ and ‘other’ cultures. 


April 14, 13.00-15.00, B600
Hege Høyer Leivestad, Doctoral student, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Caravan Commodities:”Feeling Quality” at the Caravanning Trade Fair

Every year, thousands of camping enthusiasts gather at European caravanning trade fairs where the latest caravan and motorhome models are displayed, marketed, imagined and sold. Trade fairs have in general drawn relatively little attention from anthropologists (Moeran 2010, Skov 2006), and in this paper I ask how we can understand the trade fair as an economic and social space where different forms of value is negotiated. With a particular focus on the Swedish caravanning industry I show how caravans in the trade fair setting are not only imbued by different actors with a variety of meanings, but also act as important mediators linking a range of interested parties. On a European level, the caravan industry markets and advertises their products drawing upon strong national stereotypes of good and bad quality, as well as particular imageries of mobility, freedom and family. The caravanners and buyers of caravan products, I suggest, establish similar evaluations of what they consider to be material “quality”. The social practice of making such judgements and the way these interrelate with complex processes of caravan exchange, contribute to embed the caravan with particular forms of economic and cultural value that draw upon notions of the temporary versus the permanent. 


April 28, 13.00-15.00, B600
Arvid Lundberg, Doctoral student, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Nation, Citizenship, and "Openmindedness": Divisions within the Arab Spring of Jordan

In this seminar, I will present the fieldwork I conducted in Jordan during 2011 and the beginning of 2012. I will show that "democracy" is a term too vague to describe the goals of the Jordanian demonstrations inspired by the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt; the protest movements are better understood through their relation to three distinction issues: al-watan (the nation), siase (politics), and infitah (openmindedness). These three concepts will help us understand the divisions within the protest movement that are apparent in political meetings, conferences, demonstrations, and attempts to form a leftist political party.

I have conducted fieldwork among political activists in Jordan's capital Amman and in a small village outside Madaba. The latter is an example of the area, outside the large cities, that in Jordan is called al-mohafazat and is politically important due to the role of its tribes in the Jordanian state. In the seminar, I will also briefly mention my other fieldwork sites: international private schools in Amman and monfateh (openminded) urban space.



May 5, 13.00-15.00, B600
Ward Keeler, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at Austin

Why is Burmese pop music so bland and so popular?

Burmese pop music is ubiquitous, highly conventional, and very popular. It has come to displace an earlier, fusion genre that combined Burmese and international pop styles, countering fond notions that when a global style gets localized it will generate something new. What are we outsiders to make of the fact that when Burmese take on foreign models wholesale, in what they call "copy songs" (kopi thehcin), they contravene all Western aesthetic standards, namely, our validation of originality, innovation, and emotional expressiveness? By what other criteria do they find the genre pleasurable?

Ward Keeler is a cultural anthropologist specializing in expressive culture, language, and gender studies. Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas, he received his BA from Cornell University and his Ph.d from the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought. The first part of his career he devoted to work in Indonesia (Java and Bali). In recent years he has worked more extensively in Burma. His publications include books on Javanese shadow puppets, a Javanese language textbook and a translation of an Indonesian novel, and several articles on the arts in Java, Bali, and Burma. Currently a fellow at IIAS, he is writing up the fruits of fieldwork he carried out in Mandalay in 2011-2012; the title of his project is Masculinity, Autonomy and Attachment in Buddhist Burma.


May 12, 13.00-15.00, B600
Ericka Johnson, Associate Professor, Senior lecturer, Department of Thematic Studies - Technology and Social Change, Linköping university

A Constant Torment - Tracing the Discursive Contours of the Aging Prostate

This talk will present a multifaceted, interdisciplinary social science research program on the aging prostate. It will conclude with some words about a specific study within the program: a philosophical analysis of the clinical guidelines for LUTS/BPH - the pathological but benign enlarged prostate.

Ericka Johnson is a senior lecturer at Tema Technology and Social Change, Linköping University. Her research on medical technology is at home at the intersection of STS (Science and Technology Studies) and Feminist Science Studies.


May 19, 13.00-15.00, B600
Beppe Karlsson, Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

In Another Country: Migration, Poverty and Belonging in Contemporary India

Much of the recent literature in human mobility deals with people that cross national borders, i.e. transnational migrants, diaspora communities and refugees. Such flows are taken to be critical in the contemporary globalizing world. The crossing of borders is also commonly assumed to be an especially traumatic and life-changing event. What tends to be forgotten or down-played in these discussions is the fact that most people who leave their homes to seek a better life elsewhere still remain within their respective states. In this paper, I will deal with migration within India. I will look at movements from India’s Northeastern region to the urban metropolises of the south. I will be concerned with basic questions of why people uproot themselves and how it is to settle in a place that in so many ways appear as a foreign country.


May 26, 13.00-15.00, B600
Haidy Geismar, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University College London

Can you wear a digital cloak?

This talk starts with a cloak in a museum collection and with a question about how to wear it. One of two beautifully woven flax cloaks from Aotearoa New Zealand the cloak is now part of the UCL Ethnography collections. There is little provenance regarding the cloak. We do not know who bought it, or when, and we do not know exactly when it came into the Collections. It was originally catalogued, by Darryl Forde, along with many other textiles from the Pacific and around the world, using the classificatory framework of “I: Cloth, Clothes and Mats.” For many years the cloak was hidden away within a teaching collection – but was too large and fragile to be used in class. In this presentation I want to explore how the process of digitization may not only open access to museum collections but allow us to rethink the nature of museum objects, and by extension contribute to material culture studies, in profound ways. It is increasingly apparent that the process of digitization has cultural effects that continue to open up collections to new dialogues about meaning, ownership and access. At is smallest, this is a project that explores the nature of digital objects, and possibilities of connection through digital communication, and the expansion of community access to UCL’s collections. At its broadest I am starting to explore cultural theories of the digital, digital theories of the material (and material theories of the digital), and to develop a nascent phenomenology of digital objects as events or processes as well as forms.



June 2, 13.00-15.00, B600
Johan Fischer, Associate Professor, The Department of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University

Global halal zones: Islam, regulation and technoscience

Halal (literally, ‘permissible’ or ‘lawful’) production, trade, and regulation have become essential to state-regulated Islam and to companies in contemporary Malaysia and Singapore, but also globally. In the rapidly expanding global market for halal products these two countries hold a special position, that is, they are the only two countries in the world where state bodies certify halal products as well as spaces (shops, factories and restaurants) and work processes. In shops around the world, consumers can find state halal-certified products from Malaysia and Singapore. Building on ethnographic material from Malaysia and Singapore, this paper provides an exploration of the role of halal production, trade and regulation. I use ‘zones’ to explain how the global markets for halal comprise divergent zones in which Islam, markets, regulatory institutions and technoscience interact and diverge.

Johan Fischer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Society and Globalization, Roskilde University, Denmark. His work focuses on modern Islam and consumer culture in Southeast Asia and Europe. More specifically, Johan explores the interfaces between class, consumption, market relations, Islam, and the state in a globalized world. A central focus in this research is the theoretical and empirical focus on the proliferation of halal commodities on a global scale. He is the author of Proper Islamic Consumption: Shopping among the Malays in Modern Malaysia (NIAS Press 2008), The Halal Frontier: Muslim Consumers in a Globalized Market (Palgrave Macmillan 2011) and the edited volume Halal Matters: Islam, Politics and Markets in Global Perspective (Routledge 2015) as well as numerous articles in journals and edited volumes.