Andrea Muehlebach, Ph.D. (University of Chicago, 2007)
Assistant Professor, UTM
(905) 569-4581 (Main)
Office: NB 267 (Main) and AP 305
Field: Socio-cultural anthropology; social theory; anthropology of the state and citizenship; ethics and personhood; neoliberalism; labor and affect; welfare; European public culture; Italy.
My research is situated at the point where economic, political, and ethical life meets. I first explored this intersection through a study of the rise of voluntarism in social service provisioning in the Northern Italian region of Lombardy, and I will continue to pursue it in a new project on the European "commons" movement in Italy, Germany, and France. Both projects are united by my interest in economic life as it gets mediated through and against particular moral forms.
My first book, entitled The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy, published in 2012 by the University of Chicago Press, is an exploration of morality and moral authoritarianism under neoliberal conditions. It sought to uncover why some projects of neoliberalization become so compelling to so many people across the political and social spectrum. The answer, I argued, lies in the fact that the state's mobilization of the population into the care of populations generates new forms of collective living and exchange - a gift economy that the state explicitly and productively contrasts with the alienation and precarity experienced by many Italians in their every-day lives. My next project, On the Labor of Commoning: Water, Politics and the Democratic Imagination grows out of my work in Italy, where citizens in 2011 soundly rejected the Italian government's proposed privatization of water. Here, I aim to explore the emergence - the struggles, challenges, and failures - of the social imaginary and political practice surrounding water as "bene comune" (commons) that citizens are articulating against dominant ideologies of the propertied individual. I am also writing about the museumization of Fordism (Fordist factories, machines, bodies, and forms of labor) in Sesto San Giovanni, the Northern Italian "City of Factories" where I continue to do fieldwork, as well as on the humanitarianization of white poverty in Italy.
Classes taught include: Social Theory; Money, Markets, and Gifts: Topics in Economic Anthropology; Globalization and the Changing World of Work; Anthropology of the Modern State; Metamorphosis of Citizenship.
2012 “The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy.” The University of Chicago Press.
2012 Editor (with Nitzan Shoshan) of a special issue entitled “Post-Fordist Affect,” Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 85, #2, Spring 2012.
2013 The Catholicization of Neoliberalism: On Love and Welfare in Lombardy, Italy. American Anthropologist Vol. 115, No. 3: 452-465.
2013 On Precariousness and the Ethical Imagination: The Year 2012 in Sociocultural Anthropology. American Anthropologist Vol. 115, No. 2: 297-311. AA Precariousness Ethical.pdf
2009 "Complexio Oppositorum: Notes on the Left in Neoliberal Italy." Public Culture. Vol. 21(3): 495-515
2006 "The Old World and its New Economy: On the “Third Age” in Contemporary Western Europe.” With Jessica Greenberg. In: Generations and Globalization. Jennifer Cole, Deborah Durham (eds.). Indiana University Press.
2003 “What Self in Self-Determination? Notes from the Frontiers of Transnational Indigenous Activism.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. Vol. 10(2): 241-268.
2001 “Making Place at the United Nations. An Anthropological Inquiry into the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.” Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 16(3): 415-435.
Book Reviews & Commentary
2013 Integration. Invited Commentary in "Field Notes on Affect." Cultural Anthropology "Fieldsites." Available at http://production.culanth.org/fieldsights/59-field-notes-on-affect
2013 Labor Disorders in Neoliberal Italy. In: Reviews and Critical
Commentary: A Forum for Research and Commentary on Europe. February 1,
2013. Available at http://councilforeuropeanstudies.org/critcom/labor-disorders-in-neoliberal-italy-mobbing-well-being-and-the-workplace/
2012 Times of Neoliberalism. Commentary. Etnofoor. Taste. Volume 24(2): 165-169
2012 Review of Hannes Grandits (ed.): Volume 1: The Century of Welfare: Eight Countries. Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 2010; and Patrick Heady and Peter Schweitzer (eds.): The View from Below: Nineteen Localities. Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 2010. Series: Family, Kinship and State in Contemporary Europe. Anthropos, 107.2012/2 (September).
2010 Review of "Wild Sardinia: Indigeneity and the Global Dreamtimes of Environmentalism." Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 83 (3): 709-715.