Andrea Muehlebach, Ph.D. (University of Chicago, 2007)
Associate Professor, Mississauga Campus (UTM)
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
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 Progress “A Vital Politics: Water Insurgencies in Europe.”
2012 “The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy.” The University of Chicago Press.
2012 Editor (with Nitzan Shoshan) of a special issue entitled “Post-Fordist Affect,” Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 85, #2, Spring 2012.
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 Muehlebach 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
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 “La lezione dei Gap e il diritto all’acqua.” Comune-info 27 April, 2016. Available at http://comune-info.net/2016/04/gap-acqua/#_ftnref1
2016 At the End of Europe. Anthropology News. Available at http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2016/02/25/at-europes-end/
2016 How to Kill the Demos. Roar Magazine. January 2016. Available at
2015 Come Si Uccide la Democrazia. Comune Info. December 24, 2015. Available
2014 On Economic Suicide. Anthropology News. July 2014. Available at: https://www.academia.edu/11069156/On_Economic_Suicide
2013 Integration. Invited Commentary in “Field Notes on Affect.” Cultural Anthropology “Fieldsites.” Available at http://production.culanth.org/fieldsights/59-field-notes-on-affect
2013 Labor Disorders in Neoliberal Italy. In: Reviews and Critical Commentary: A Forum for Research and Commentary on Europe. February 1, 2013. Available at http://councilforeuropeanstudies.org/critcom/labor-disorders-in-neoliberal-italy-mobbing-well-being-and-the-workplace/
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 “Fighting for Water and Democracy against the Neoliberal Flood.” This is Hell: Manufacturing Dissent since 1996. Click here for interview.