introduction: animating intimacies, reanimating a World
1. Dreamworks can never be properly referenced, since they exceed the referential,
but readers interested in pursuing some of these threads might start here: News cover-
age from Indian Country Today is available at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork
.com/ and is highly recommended for anyone who presumes to think they know what
it means to be “American” (accessed April 22, 2016). Coverage of the devastation caused
by the mining of beaches and riverbeds for sand to mix into concrete can be found in
P. Anand (2013); Babu (2013); Chakravarty (2014); ht Correspondent (2013d); Rajput
(2013b); and Sinha (2013). For a timeless tale of another sort that plays with its historical
setting, see the story about Victorian repression that opens Foucault’s (1978) The His-
tory of Sexuality. I am grateful to Geeta Patel for making the connection.
2. I take my lead here from Harry Harootunian’s (2000: 33) account of the impos-
sibly contradictory task embedded in the project of overcoming modernity and Shan-
non Lee Dawdy’s (2010: 762) observations on “the slow death of modernity as a tem-
3. By “futures past” I have in mind the ruins of a once forward- looking modernity
so movingly portrayed in Tong Lam’s (2013) photographs of “abandoned futures”: the
gutted concrete shell of an apartment block listing to one side, the rounded bodywork
of an obsolete ﬁre engine rusting in a ﬁeld, the detached nose of a jetliner buﬀeted by
the very air currents it once mastered.
4. My thanks to Rosalind Morris for articulating this question in a way that helped
me in turn articulate my answer to it.
5. Even in the hands of theorists such as Elizabeth Povinelli (2006) and Ann Stoler
(2006, 2010), who would be the ﬁrst to acknowledge the importance of ecology for any
analysis of empire, intimacy largely conﬁnes itself to human relationships (e.g., the
ways that colonial rule enlisted intimacies associated with human kinship in the project
of governance). Likewise for the intricately theorized, often counterintuitive accounts
of intimacy oﬀered by Lauren Berlant (2000), for Lisa Lowe’s (2015) extension of inti-
macy to the reading practices that helped generate postcolonial critique, and for Nayan
Shah’s (2011) evocative use of the concept of “stranger intimacy” to examine sexual citi-
zenship and racialization in North American immigration history.