Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9780226280974 Published July 2009
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226280981 Published July 2009
E-book $7.00 to $25.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226280998 Published August 2009

The City at Its Limits

Taboo, Transgression, and Urban Renewal in Lima

Daniella Gandolfo

Daniella Gandolfo

288 pages | 10 halftones, 3 maps | 6 x 9 | © 2009
Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9780226280974 Published July 2009
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226280981 Published July 2009
E-book $7.00 to $25.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226280998 Published August 2009
In 1996, against the backdrop of Alberto Fujimori’s increasingly corrupt national politics, an older woman in Lima, Peru—part of a group of women street sweepers protesting the privatization of the city’s cleaning services—stripped to the waist in full view of the crowd that surrounded her. Lima had just launched a campaign to revitalize its historic districts, and this shockingly transgressive act was just one of a series of events that challenged the norms of order, cleanliness, and beauty that the renewal effort promoted. The City at Its Limits employs a novel and fluid interweaving of essays and field diary entries as Daniella Gandolfo analyzes the ramifications of this act within the city’s conflicted history and across its class divisions. She builds on the work of Georges Bataille to explore the relation between taboo and transgression, while Peruvian novelist and anthropologist José María Arguedas’s writings inspire her to reflect on her return to her native city in movingly intimate detail. With its multiple perspectives—personal, sociological, historical, and theoretical—The City at Its Limits is a pioneering work on the cutting edge of ethnography.

Society for Cultural Anthropology: Gregory Bateson Book Prize
Honorable Mention

View Recent Awards page for more award winning books.
Deborah Poole, The Johns Hopkins University
“This beautifully written ethnography carries us along the distinctive memory traces left by the diary, the fieldnote, and the archive to explore the boisterous street life, personal memories, and violent intimacies of political and social life in Lima. By bringing anthropological theories of transgression and taboo to bear on modern public and political life, Gandolfo gives us new insights into the workings of affect, place, and political performance, and she does so with a feel for language that sets a new standard for ethnographic writing.”
Kathleen Stewart, University of Texas at Austin
“This is a brilliant, beautifully and powerfully written book and a much-needed intervention into academic thought about the senses, affect, intensity, place, the city, and politics—I found it entirely convincing.”
Contents

Preface

1 Introduction: Taboo

2 First Diary

3 Beauty

4 Second Diary

5 Filth

6 Third Diary

7 Nakedness

8 Last Entry

   Notes Bibliography

  Acknowledgements   Illustration Credits

  Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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