Special Section

This special section was coedited by Amade M’charek and Katharina Schramm. From their introduction:

The face is everywhere and nowhere. In everyday life, the face is ubiquitous. Widely spread in our media, it enjoys solid cultural presence. Yet in social theory, the face as an object of critical inquiry is rather absent. While scholarship on the body—for example, in anthropology, science and technology studies (STS), or feminist and postcolonial studies—has taken firm shape, the critical turn to the face has not yet been made. In this special section, we start a theoretical conversation about the face, especially in relation to the current debate on race and science. “Encountering the Face—Unraveling Race” indicates two things. First, in line with feminist analysis of the body, our turn to the face seeks to denaturalize the face as a neutral abstraction and to focus on the relations through which it comes about. This also entails attention to the multiple kinds of work the face does, including the relations it generates. Second, we see the need to empirically engage with the many ways the face appears in scientific and other practices. We observe a “return of the phenotype” that calls for ethnographic attention.

Follow the links below to read the entire section.

Introduction
Encountering the Face—Unraveling Race
Amade M’charek and Katharina Schramm

Articles
A Colonial-Scientific Interface: The Construction, Viewing, and Circulation of Faces via a 1906 German Racial Atlas
Geertje Mak

Stuck in the Tearoom: Facial Reconstruction and Post-Apartheid Headache
Katharina Schramm

The Face of the Mexican: Race, Nation, and Criminal Identification in Mexico
Abigail Nieves Delgado

Tentacular Faces: Race and the Return of the Phenotype in Forensic Identification
Amade M’charek

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