Indigenous scholarship, (in)visibility, ontology, Latour, modes of existence, psychiatry, Mexico
The “ontological turn” presents an opportunity to re-examine anthropological engagements with various phenomena across multiple modes of existence. One possible terrain for engagement is the acute ward of a psychiatric hospital in Yucatan, Mexico, where psychiatrists, patients, and various invisible beings coexist. By examining the actions and words of patients and doctors in the ward, I consider Latour’s engagement with invisible beings in his recent publication, AIME, alongside critiques from indigenous scholars who argue that scholarship in the ontological turn ignores indigenous frames of reference that already grant ontological status to nonhumans. I engage in an ontological reading of the concept of (in)visibility in the writing of indigenous scholars to explore how indigenous ontologies can inform my analysis. Finally, I build on my engagement with Latour and indigenous critique to introduce the concept of registers of visibility as a mode of existence that encompasses both what an actor is capable of seeing and how an actor renders themselves visible to others.
Reyes-Foster, Beatriz. 2016. “Latour’s AIME, Indigenous Critique, and Ontological Turns in a Mexican Psychiatric Hospital: Approaching Registers of Visibility in Three Conceptual Turns” Anthropological Quarterly 89(4): 1175-1200.
College of Sciences
Department of Anthropology
Reyes-Foster, Beatriz M., "Latour’s AIME, Indigenous Critique, and Ontological Turns in a Mexican Psychiatric Hospital: Approaching Registers of Visibility in Three Conceptual Turns" (2016). Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 110.