4 April - Gravensteen Lecture: Sylvia Yanagisako (Stanford University)

How does research on transnational capitalism provoke new analytic approaches and the reconceptualization of key concepts in our understanding of capitalism? Professor Sylvia Yanagisako (Anthropology, Stanford) will give a lecture on: From ‘Made in Italy’ to Made in Translation: Italian-Chinese Ventures in Transnational Capitalism. Gravensteen 11, 3-5pm.

From ‘Made in Italy’ to Made in Translation: Italian-Chinese Ventures in Transnational Capitalism

Ethnographic research on collaborations between Chinese and Italian textile and clothing manufacturers reveals how the entrepreneurs and managers engaged in these transnational business ventures are themselves being refashioned along with the commodities they produce.  The formulation of entrepreneurial strategies and managerial practices in overseas production sites offer rich material for a re-examination of key analytic concepts in the study of capitalism, including labor power and value, affective labor, and the fetishism of commodities.  Professor Yanagisako’s lecture explores these topics by drawing on her earlier research on Italian family firms in the silk industry of northern Italy and her research in the last decade on the manufacture and sale of  “Made in Italy” clothing in China.

Chair: Ratna Saptari (CA/DS, Leiden)
Discussanr: Leo Lucassen (History, Leiden)

Speaker Bio

Sylvia Yanagisako is Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies and Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Her work has focused on kinship, gender, family capitalism, and transnational capitalism.  She has conducted ethnographic research in Italy, China, and the U.S.  Her publications include: Unwrapping the Sacred Bundle:  the Disciplining of Anthropology (2005), Producing Culture and Capital: Family Firms in Italy (2002), Naturalizing Power: Essays in Feminist Cultural Analysis (1995), Gender and Kinship: Towards a Unified Analysis (1987), and Transforming the Past: Tradition and Kinship among Japanese Americans (1985). She is currently writing a collaborative ethnography on Italian-Chinese joint ventures in the textile and garment industries to be published in Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture series.


The Gravensteen Lectures is a joint inititative started by LGI and AMT. This new series will bring out leading international scholars at the forefront of thinking through historic, contemporary, and emergent transcultural and international connections and their impacts. First Fridays, Gravensteen, 3:00-5:00pm. More the full schedule of speakers and more information about the series, click here.

Last Modified: 02-04-2014