"Anti-Crisis incisively illuminates a core blind spot of modern understandings of history: the coupling of critique & crisis. Janet Roitman sunders this couple revealing the ties that have bound us and thereby opens up welcome new horizons for thought and action. Once the complacency of the self-importance of living in a crisis epoch is gone, then prophecy, denunciation and the speaker’s benefit can be bundled with other toxic waste and pawned off on those looking for assurance at bargain rates."—Paul Rabinow, coauthor of Demands of the Day: On the Logic of Anthropological Inquiry
“One of the great strengths of Roitman’s book is that by analysing how we come to view certain events as being indications of a ‘crisis’, she also sheds light on the way we construct our notion of ‘normalcy.’ . . . Anti-Crisis is clearly the product of a serious attempt to think outside the usual academic boxes, and as such it deserves much praise. It is to Roitman’s credit, and to the reader’s benefit, that she largely succeeds in her aim to illuminate the notion of crisis as an object of knowledge.”
(Luke McDonagh LSE Review of Books
"Anti-Crisis will become an instant classic. It is that good. Seeking to understand why crisis has become an 'omnipresent sign in almost all forms of narrative today,' Janet Roitman analyzes the constitution of crisis as a privileged object of knowledge, a ground to 'critical theory' and the human sciences more broadly, and an instigation to various modes of action in the world. Along the way, she makes crucial interventions in debates about what is critical about critical theory, what the critical human sciences are for, and how they ought to be sustained, or not, in the wake of the restructuring of U.S. higher education. This is a stunning, paradigm-shifting achievement."
(Bill Maurer, author of Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason
About the Author
Janet Roitman is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of Fiscal Disobedience: An Anthropology of Economic Regulation in Central Africa.