Introduction: The Current Economy
Canay Özden-Schilling is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the National University of Singapore.
"With incredible ethnographic skill and formidable theoretical
insight,The Current Economy shows how things that we presume to be
singular, such as electric grids, can be multiplied, recast as
sources of profits, resisted as intrusions into middle class lives,
and much more. This is essential reading for all interested in
discovering how the dominant economic imagination is much more than
—Andrea Ballestero, Rice University
"Electricity is ordinary. Electricity is extraordinary. In this extraordinary ethnography, Canay Özden-Schilling re-introduces us to this mundane form of energy through its recent marketization process. At the cutting edge of anthropological approaches to capitalism and infrastructure, this is a masterful account of a commodity that kicks back."
—Hannah Appel, University of California, Los Angeles
"Özden-Schilling provides a fresh take on the ways in which technological and economic expertise shape and change contemporary capitalist markets while purposefully refraining from 'taking neo-liberalism as an allencompassing context' (p. 112)."—Darren Sierhuis, Urbanities
"[The Current Economy] is a great book with much to engage with in it. For anthropologists interested in expertise, energy, and the making of markets, it makes a timely contribution to these topics and is essential reading. Accessibly written, it will appeal to undergraduates, postgraduates, and seasoned researchers alike."—Sean Field, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
"Özden-Schilling's ethnography of US electricity markets is a compelling example of issue-oriented anthropology, as she navigates different sites to convey the state of market-making in wholesale electricity. ... Coming out in the wake of 2021 Texas electricity infrastructure failure, which demonstrated the importance of designing resilient and embedded electricity markets,The Current Economy: Electricity Markets and Techno-Economicsis a good resource for anyone who is interested market-building practices in general and electricity markets in particular."—Hikment Nazli Azergun, Journal for the Anthropology of North America