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[...] conversation called gyan-charcha --> knowledge-talk technique (<-- my favorite mode of reading of literature, and basically everything, is like that)

?which concept(s) you use to think through these things:
bonded and legitimate labor
power relations

}--> the fabric of human relatedness depends on it

*[lunar enlightenment]*
(Singh's beautiful lunar reterritorialization of “enlighting”:) what kind of light do we assume as our image of plenitude?
عجایب ماه #moon's inflow-ence, waxing and waning intensities, fluctuating thresholds, the rise and fall of gods, tutelage of moon, a lunar rather than a solar sense of enlightenment, blemished and inconstant, the moon is nondialectical, *neighbors lunacy*

Derridean moment of negative transcendence

waxing and waning plenitude of that flux

varying thresholds and intensities
logics of a/not-a
ethics and energetics @Sana

*** a shift of even a degree (say, a different mode of contract or force) could be the difference between social life and death, happiness and despair, or exploitation and freedom ***
(Singh teaching me to think about Tehranians)

دروغ بد را با دروغ بهتر جایگزین کنیم نه با حقیقت

Nietzsche's double affirmation, yes yes
Deleuze, “the ass does not know how to say no because he says yes to everything with is no” --> to affirm is “to release, to set free what lives”
--> the idea of “challage your presuppositions” --> this is a dialectical habit of thought: the idea that the signature moment of thinking is a determinate negation (of State, Islam, Europe, etc.) Singh asks: how did this particular mode of reflexivity come to stand in for “true” anthropological thought?

would it have been better to leave things more “fluid” and “complex and contradictory”? @Eszter

ethnographic labor:
1- a form of hunting and gathering impressions
2- sifting الک کردن and cultivating expressions

(my work in apass:) our relation to concepts becomes more explicit, as we turn impressions into considered thoughts


world multi species contingency assemblage human animal dog space society place [source: Peter Westenberg /] thinking postcolonial urbanism with Anand Taneja

(this is the question of the limitations of imagination:)
how (for a generation of scholars [or artists]) rural (india) [or syria, Iran, or South Korea] has become simply a space of disasters, statistics, and deaths ----> Anand's work is a counter-example [i am learning from him to be attentive to my own imagination's stopping-points. to resist stories that render life in those milieus unthinkable] --> that those spaces are not only of abjection but also of imagination and curiosity --> to think about alternative (conceptual) vocabularies to think about those abjected places, religion, and ajayeb [that does not only negate those milieus]
-to think about religion is super usefull and relevant, because it is also about what secularism is

how people (in rural areas) conceive of vitality and advancement?
*how people imagine a better life?* --> (to think non-unilateral and non-static) *picture of aspiration* (in a world like Tehran; #proposal to research on ‘the image of growth’ رشد roshd, slow growth, [roshd-e bi-raviye رشد بی رویه of toxins and species, and so on] in the context of contemporary Tehran)
-imitations of forms

(i am activating a rhizomatic mode of perception [learning from Anand learning from Deleuze and Guattari])--> how one aspect of life leads to another =/= paritioning of the milieu

anthropology of the state : how one engages the state in an every day level

*historically one crucial exit point from the system of ruler-relation was to become ascetic (زهد): disregard for sovereign authority (حاکم hakem, hakemiat) --> a different form of power that one let's to lead to self-rule

[bare life =? life without a way of life ----> there is no life without a way of life]
(Singh:) someone's life cut off from their source of vitality
a local body of thought (jinn, etc.)


(Anand asking) what does it means to live in a city of jinns?
the jinn:
serves as witnesses of times long gone
figures of authority whose shrine blesses remembered forms of urban religious life
forgotten by the amnesia of the postcolonial state
rendered unislamic by the selective amnesia of revivalist tradition

jinn --> revive that old orientalist trope, constituted not only by bazzar, mosque, and hammam, but also of the antinomian potentials that have long been part of the Islamic tradition


lives of saints
تذکرة الاولیا Tazkirat al-Awliya
concerned with canonization, education, and collective recollection of contemplative life
(vita as a biological genre recounting the lives of holly men and women in several religious traditions: Bhaktamala, Theravada buddhism, Therigata, etc.)

Singh asking: how would we narrate a scholarly life? (and i add to that: who could be oulia اولیا Arahant [further ones] today? queer or nonhuman)
*participated in the world historical “isms” (--> ajayeb)
--Singh--> narrating a conceptual life, vita

*uncertainties of reception* (in Attar's Tazkirat al-Awliya)

singularity of trajectory of Attar's saints =/= my random sampling of themes

anthropology: to write about anything that exists or imagined

can we talk affirmatively of a postmodern ethnography of ajayeb? =/= “totalizing vision” of culture

recovery of a human voice as a moral imperative (--> Hoda)

(?your history as a) telos of increasingly self-awareness

-Derrida's philosophical style tending to negative transcendence (différance: an absence that transcends ‘a’ and ‘not a’)
-Deleuze's tradition of affirmative immanence

(Singh Deleuze Strauss:) structure is composed of “pre-individual singularities” ~ nomadic distribution of potential --immanent--> contradictions, accidents, mutations


heretic --> reorder and obliterate the partitioning of categories that compose the structural order of religion [--> Veena on Sikhism and Hinduism: symbolism of Sikhism understood in relation to Hinduism structural order, annihilating the categorical prioritise (intellectual and social) of the medieval world. Sikhism rejecting the opposition between categories of: the rulers, the caste system, and the orders of renunciation --> investment of the virtues of all three *in a single body of faith* and conduct]

heterodox sects
rebellious thinkers
--> negation of the organizing conceptual order

(social and) ritual order generates its own forms of instability

...ambivalences of key concepts ==bring==> “play” to the structure, for good and ill ~ liminality

(Veena's) liminial situation: a form of instability where the individual experiences his social world as separated from the cosmic --> death: disarticulation --> must be undone by inhabiting the liminality : ritually rejoining the flow of life

similarities of ritual mourner and ascetic: transcending the categories of the social and the cosmic

incorporation of the liminal undead (preta) with ritually incorporated ancestors (pitri) [job of the mourner]

(crucial task of the) ritual: conveying the dead from the threshold of liminality into an ancestral flow of life

emphasis on the system is (always?) at the cost of the event
(eternal investment of the artists in foregrounding of the event rather than the structure --> rapture with structure as caste, tradition, state, norm, system, etc. at the cost of missing the practical kinship transcribed into the social contract, leadership, and laws of encounter)

***modernity is composed (neither by continuities nor rupture then, but) by transfigurations***
(Singh + Veena)

critical event
critical structure

[*]event: institute a new modality of historical action which is not inscribed in the inventory of that situation
(for Furet: French r[...]