Andrea Muehlebach

Andrea Muehlebach

Andrea Muehlebach, Ph.D. (University of Chicago, 2007)
Associate Professor, Mississauga Campus (UTM)

(905) 569-4851
Office: HSB 392 (Main), AP 422 (St. George)

Research Keywords: Socio-cultural anthropology and social theory; anthropologies of welfare, state, and citizenship; neoliberalism, austerity, and labor; political ecology; water; anthropology of natural resources and resource management; human-environment relations; political anthropology; anthropologies of law, rights, citizenship and democracy; commons and commoning.

Research Region: Italy, Germany, France

Research Bio

My research explores the politics and ethics of economic life. My first book, “The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy,” explored neoliberalism’s moral authoritarianism through the privatization of social welfare in Northern Italy.  My second book tracks the politics of water privatization, financialization, and re-municipalization in austerity-era Europe. Here, I ask how new forms of political imagination and environmental citizenship take root as citizens and municipalities have attempted to reclaim ownership over water. This work aims to contribute to an anthropology of resource politics and democratic citizenship at a moment where the interlocking crises of capitalism, democracy, and the environment have become more apparent than ever before. Taken together, my work seeks to grasp the every-day life of processes of neoliberalization and to identify moments ranging from subsumption to refusal. In addition, I am an elected Member of the Executive Board for the Society for Cultural Anthropology, as well as on the Editorial boards of Cultural Anthropology, the Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, and Quaderni di Teoria Sociale.



In Progress    “A Vital Politics: Water Insurgencies in Europe.”

2012        “The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy.” The University of Chicago Press.

Special Issue

2012       Editor (with Nitzan Shoshan) of a special issue entitled “Post-Fordist Affect,” Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 85, #2, Spring 2012.

Recent Articles

2018       Commonwealth: On Democracy and Dispossession in Italy. Contribution to a Special Issue on Wealth, edited by Theodoros Rakoupolous and Knut Rio. History and Anthropology. Vol. 29(3): 342-358.

2018       What is a Life? On Poverty and Race in Humanitarian Italy. In: Messy Europe: Crisis and Whiteness in Postcolonial Europe. Edited by Kristin Loftsdottir, Andrea Smith, and Birgitte Hipfl. Berghahn University Press.

2017       The Price of Austerity  Anthropology Today Vol. 33(5): 20-23.

2017       The Body of Solidarity: On Memory and Materiality in Post-Industrial Italy. Comparative Studies in Society and History. January, 2017.

2016       Anthropologies of Austerity. History and Anthropology. Vol. 27, No. 3. DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2016.1167052

2013       The Catholicization of Neoliberalism: On Love and Welfare in Lombardy, Italy. American Anthropologist Vol. 115, No. 3: 452-465.

2013       On Precariousness and the Ethical Imagination: The Year 2012 in Sociocultural Anthropology. American Anthropologist Vol. 115, No. 2:  297-311.

2011       On Affective Labor in Post-Fordist Italy. Cultural Anthropology Vol. 26(1): 59-82.

2009       “Complexio Oppositorum: Notes on the Left in Neoliberal Italy.” Public Culture. Vol. 21(3): 495-515

Reviews, Commentary, and Other Writing

2019    On Possession, Use, and Financialized Infrastructure. Theorizing the Contemporary. Cultural Anthropology. Theorizing the Contemporary.

2018    Sister Water. In: The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Blackwood Gallery (University of Toronto @ Mississauga). Issue: Commuting. June 2018.

2018       Roundtable Review on Melinda Cooper’s “Family Values:  Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism.” Editors: Diane Labrosse and Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins. In: H-Diplo Volume XIX, No. 38 (2018) 1 June 2018.

2018      Geontologies by Elizabeth Povinelli. Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 91, No. 1, p. 445–450

2017      The Irish Water Insurgency: No More Blood From These Stones. Roar Magazine. February 6, 2017.

2016      Building an Archive of Vulnerability: #Guerrilla Archiving at #UofT. PPEH Lab. December 30, 2016.

2016      Time of Monsters. Cultural Anthropology Hot Spots Series “Crisis of Liberalism.”

2016      Camp in the City. Cultural Anthropology Hot Spots Series “Refugees and  the Crisis of Europe.” 

2016      “La lezione dei Gap e il diritto all’acqua.” Comune-info 27 April, 2016.

2016      At the End of Europe. Anthropology News.

2016      How to Kill the Demos. Roar Magazine. January 2016.

2015      Come Si Uccide la Democrazia. Comune Info. December 24, 2015.

2014      On Economic Suicide. Anthropology News. July 2014.

2013      Integration. Invited Commentary in “Field Notes on Affect.” Cultural Anthropology “Fieldsites.”

2013      Labor Disorders in Neoliberal Italy. In: Reviews and Critical Commentary: A Forum for Research and Commentary on Europe. February 1, 2013.

2012      Times of Neoliberalism. Commentary. Etnofoor. Taste. Volume 24(2): 165-169

Interviews & Podcasts

2018      Displacements Recap (w. Anand Pandian, Andrea Muehlebach & Marcel LaFlamme). CENHS/Energy Humanities Podcast. With Dominic Boyer. Click here for author interview.

2016      Alternatives to Austerity? A panel discussion at the London School of Economics, June 2016.

2016     “Fighting for Water and Democracy against the Neoliberal Flood.” This is Hell: Manufacturing Dissent since 1996. Click here for interview.

2011    “On Affective Labor in Post-Fordist Italy.” Cultural Anthropology. Vol. 26 (1): 59-82. Click here for author interview.

Graduate Students

Tessa Bonduelle

Salvatore Giusto

Hyun Joo Sandy Oh

Sardar Saadi

Bronwyn Frey

Ferda Nur Demirci

Justin Langille