Roger Owen Book Award
José Ciro Martínez
University of York
States of Subsistence: The Politics of Bread in Contemporary Jordan
Stanford University Press
Taking khubz arabi as “both an ethnographic object and analytic vantage point,” José Ciro Martínez chronicles how the state effect is produced and performed in and through the bakery. From the middle-out vantage point of this ubiquitous neighborhood staple, Martínez uncovers the important and underappreciated ways in which state-managed bread making defines both the state and the society it governs. Martínez’ creative, rigorous, and superbly written book allows us to think about the relationship between state and society in new ways with application far beyond the case of Jordan and its bakeries.