What makes advertising successful or a politician charismatic? An important component that may hold the answer to these questions is referred to as 'mana' in William T.S. Mazzarella's latest work titled "The Mana of Mass Society." Scholars from Harvard, Columbia and Brown will convene for a book discussion as part of the Meet the Author series hosted by the Center for Contemporary South Asia. At the intersection of anthropology and critical theory, the book brings recent conversations around affect, sovereignty and emergence into contact with classic debates on religion, charisma, ideology and aesthetics. Speakers include Jean Comaroff, professor of anthropology, African and African American studies at Harvard University; Michael Taussig, professor of anthropology at Columbia University; and Brown faculty members Leela Gandhi, Aarti Sethi and Bhrigupati Singh. The event begins at 2 p.m. in the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer St.