NOTES
chapter one.
Historical Violence
1. Armen Keteyian, “Suicide Epidemic among Veterans,” CBS News (February 11,
2009), cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/13/cbsnews_investigates/main3496471.shtml.
2. An important book on different kinds of maps is Hugh Brody’s Maps and Dreams
(1981). Our maps will be quite different from the kinds of First Nations maps he so well
described, but his book remains thought provoking about the social construction of
maps.
3. Coffee is a complex substance in its own right: people do seem to get somewhat
dependent on it, as it reduces headaches by opening the blood vessels in the frontal
part of the brain and also seems to facilitate bowel movements. In nineteenth- century
Greenland we are dealing with not just a desire for coffee, but a craving that led people
to the point of starvation and exposure.
4. This is a rejection of Foucault’s fantasies of the orderliness at the core of domina-
tion. In his book Discipline and Punish (1978), which opens with a central metaphor de-
rived from the design of a nineteenth- century prison in Pennsylvania that was organized
as a panopticon—with spokes of corridors radiating from a central observation point—
he makes the point that those in control could see all and control all. I went to visit this
prison. The spokes are far from straight, nor are they level, so that it is not easy to see
very far down most of them. Furthermore, the cells, being set back from the corridors,
were out of sight. On paper it looks like coherent and complete domination; in fact, it is
something much more complicated and messy.
5. The point here is analogous to Freud’s writings on what he termed “introspection”—
looking within oneself—as a way to understand. Introspection as an analytical tech-
nique is based on looking within yourself to sense your similarity with the person you
are trying to helpfully understand, for without this you cannot help, and yet at the very
same time to sense the difference, for without this you cannot get enough separation for
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