Mauricio José Najarro
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCalifornia, Berkeley, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9918
Approve DateOctober 24, 2019
Project TitleNajarro, Mauricio (California, Berkeley, U. of) "Biochemical Poetics, Chemical Messengers, and Viral Clouds: Reassortments and Reactivities in the Biomediatization of the Opioid Epidemic in Indian Punjab"
MAURICIO NAJARRO, then a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded funding in October 2019 to aid research on “Biochemical Poetics, Chemical Messengers, and Viral Clouds: Reassortments and Reactivities in the Biomediatization of the Opioid Epidemic in Indian Punjab,’ supervised by Dr. Charles Briggs. Rather than framing the project of de-addiction or recovery from substance use disorders in northern India as the reincorporation of middle-class individuals into familial and social obligations of sober productivity, this project instead takes seriously the political question of freedom inherent in the language and pedagogies of desire used by people in recovery’resonant with local religious discursive traditions’to describe what happens in recovery and how people help each other. Thus, this project (retitled ‘Recovery and De-addiction: Practices and Dimensions of Freedom in Northern India’) attempts to think addiction and de-addiction in political terms’in the penumbra of the clinic’as projects relevant to both considerations of sovereignty, self-determination, and freedom as well as aspirational post-independence nonsecular Indian modernities. Drawing on extensive fieldwork conducted online during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in northern India, the research clearly demonstrates the importance of tacit religious idioms in therapeutic discourses and contributes to an understanding of the temporalities of addiction (cyclicality, endurance, emplotment, futurity) by seriously considering how therapeutic sodalities collectively encounter the nondual eternal’using figures and idioms adapted from north Indian religious discursive traditions.