Reviewed by Rebecca Wolff (UCLA)
Published on H-AMCA (March, 2018)
Commissioned by Alessandra Amin (UCLA)
With calls for boycotts coming from all sides of the political spectrum, the publication of Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production is a particularly timely publication. Given the late capitalist state of the global economy, many individuals feel as if boycotting is the most effective way to assert political power. Indeed, as editors Carin Kuoni and Laura Raicovich herald in the opening line of their introduction, “Boycott is a tool of our time, a political and cultural strategy that has rarely been more prominent than now” (p. 7). In the art world, cultural boycotts in particular have surged within the past few years to draw attention to exhibitions’ and institutions’ ties to oppressive governments, labor practices, and corporations. The contributors to Assuming Boycott turn a critical eye on this phenomenon, exploring the reasons behind cultural boycotts, their implementation, and their possible ramifications.