Scott MacLochlainn

Johns Hopkins University
October 30 2023, 3:00 p.m. | 315 Haskell Hall
The Copy Generic book cover

ABSTRACT: Since 2016, continuing waves of extrajudicial killings, ostensibly as part of the Philippine “War on Drugs,” have drawn attention to how death emerges in its anonymous and abstracted forms—unnamed, unlocated, and decoupled from particular life histories. These killings (EJK) have also become a noted genre of death, foregrounding a particular set of death-ethics and visuality of the dead body. The abstraction and appropriation of these killings for both political and transcendent ends highlight the potential for death to be uniquely malleable to becoming a proxy in everything from state making and divine relationality, to the meaning and intimacies of the self. In this talk, I try to grapple with how dying is often swept up into its wider circulations as a type of death, the ethics of such, and more generally how we ethnographically encounter abstraction.

BIOGRAPHY: Scott MacLochlainn is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The Copy Generic: How the Nonspecific Makes Our Social Worlds (University of Chicago Press, 2022).

Please join us for a reception on Haskell’s mezzanine immediately following Dr. MacLochlainn’s talk.