¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Acknowledgements embed within them a thank you to those who have shared what they know (see also Nelson 2010). We wish there were a similarly sly way of emphasizing LABOR in our public record of gratitude since so many have made this project possible with their sweat, thinking, and time. The dozens of people who are part of this project have been driven by a conviction that writing anthropology matters, and that there are ways to do it outside of conventional academic journals. We are grateful to be able to share this book in both a modestly priced paperback version and in an open-access, freely-downloadable form.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Emily: In 2014, when I received a three-year grant from the Dutch Science Foundation to carry out social anthropology I remember being surprised. I was early into life in the Netherlands, still accustomed to the impoverished social science funding structures in the United States. “But of course social problems demand the input of social scientists,” colleagues reminded me, echoing a belief among Dutch taxpayers that engineers and economists alone will not hold the surrounding ocean at bay; attention must also be paid to the way people live and the stories that organize their lives. My initial gratitude, then, goes toward that Dutch sensibility, which has afforded me time to carry out work that did not need to be quantitative to be considered valuable, and with this, the intellectual space for thinking and editing this book.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Christine: My thanks about this book reach backwards to the women whose lives I investigated for my previous one, in that it was the remnants and untold aspects of their stories that catalyzed my interest in a project about cases. I am also enormously grateful to Emily and to all the contributors with whom I regularly edited and thought for over a year. This was one of the most collaborative academic endeavors in which I have been involved and, though it took on its own routines, I remain struck by the frequent and fleeting moments of joy and unexpected insight that these cases evoked, in both content and form. And though my most conspicuous academic location is that of Women’s and Gender Studies, I am forever grateful to the discipline of anthropology for providing me with a language and worldview that insists on talking about people in as many forms and with as much integrity as any other mode of collective storytelling.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 At the top of our shared list would be Eugene Rakhiel and others at Somatosphere for giving us a platform for putting the project into motion. Deanna Day and Greg Clinton contributed clever and consistently last-minute editing, and Harris Solomon and Tomas Matza’s gave us inspiration with their brilliant series Commonplaces. We also want to thank attendees at 2014’s STM business meeting at the AAAs, where this project was first imagined. Supportive feedback from the group led to an exchange of our contact information. An exploratory phone call helped project to take its initial shape; after this, it was the contributors who brought it to life. From the very beginning, the graphic designer Kim Lewis (whoislewis.com) supported the visual organization of the series with his bookCase design and Emily’s partner, Andrew Roper contributed valuable software expertise as he formatted the cases for wordpress in the project’s early months. When we decided to experiment further with the series by implementing a transparent, on-line peer review platform, the Health Care and the Body Research Group at the University of Amsterdam further supported our work with a sizable grant. Editors at Mattering Press – especially Joe Deville and Julien McHardy – contributed their support as well as countless hours of late-night work to seeing the transformation through. Nicholas Fisher did a fabulous job corresponding with reviewers. This project would not have succeeded without them.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Our greatest debt is to the authors, for sharing their stories with us– and to the lives of all the beings who are part of these pages.
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