Ph.D. alum Scott MacLochlainn’s new book The Copy Generic was the featured topic for a roundtable discussion at the American Ethnological Society’s 2023 spring conference, “Indeterminacy,” at Princeton University. The event took place on Saturday, March 25 and included MacLochlainn, U-M Anthropology Assistant Professor Alyssa Paredes, and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, Rice University, Columbia University, and the New School.

From the Event Abstract: "Everywhere and nowhere, the 'generic' is discarded as the copy, the knock-off, the old and overgeneralized. In The Copy Generic, Scott MacLochlainn argues that the generic is instead remarkably neglected as a concept within anthropology and social theory. Implicated in everything from substitutes to shorthands, from to the universal and unmarked, the generic is arguably a universal semiotic tool, allowing us to move through the world with necessary outlines. Moreover, to begin to think about the generic is to consider long held concerns in how anthropology has understood the nature of category and typification, structure and practice. Within this context, and moving between a number of ethnographic settings in the Philippines, the United States, and Europe, The Copy Generic explores how the generic offers a critical vantage point in understanding the building blocks of contemporary social forms, including the indeterminate and the non-specific."