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24 Bars to Kill
Hip Hop, Aspiration, and Japan's Social Margins
Armstrong, A. B.
The most clearly identifiable and popular form of Japanese hip-hop, “ghetto” or “gangsta” music has much in common with its corresponding American subgenres, including its portrayal of life on the margins, confrontational style, and aspirational “rags-to-riches” narratives. Contrary to depictions of an ethnically and economically homogeneous Japan, gangsta J-hop gives voice to the suffering, deprivation, and social exclusion experienced by many modern Japanese. 24 Bars to Kill offers a fascinating ethnographic account of this music as well as the subculture around it, showing how gangsta hip-hop arises from widespread dissatisfaction and malaise.
All Tomorrow's Cultures
Anthropological Engagements with the Future
Collins, S. G.
The first edition of All Tomorrow’s Cultures explored the legacy of futures-thinking in anthropology and marked the beginning of a resurgence of interest in anthropological futures. The new edition has been updated to reflect some of the outpouring of work since then, particularly in science and technology studies and in anthropological analyses of indigenous futures. In addition, Collins has updated the final chapter to expand the field of anthropological possibility in an age of both despair and hope.
Anthropology Now and Next
Essays in Honor of Ulf Hannerz
Eriksen, T. H., Garsten, C. & Randeria, S. (eds)
The scholarship of Ulf Hannerz is characterized by its extraordinary breadth and visionary nature. He has contributed to the understanding of urban life and transnational networks, and the role of media, paradoxes of identity and new forms of community, suggesting to see culture in terms of flows rather than as bounded entities. Contributions honor Hannerz’ legacy by addressing theoretical, epistemological, ethical and methodological challenges facing anthropological inquiry on topics from cultural diversity policies in Europe to transnational networks in Yemen, and from pottery and literature to multinational corporations.
The Anthropology of the Fetus
Biology, Culture, and Society
Han, S., Betsinger, T. K., & Scott, A. B. (eds)
As a biological, cultural, and social entity, the human fetus is a multifaceted subject which calls for equally diverse perspectives to fully understand. Anthropology of the Fetus seeks to achieve this by bringing together specialists in biological anthropology, archaeology, and cultural anthropology. Contributors draw on research in prehistoric, historic, and contemporary sites in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America to explore the biological and cultural phenomenon of the fetus, raising methodological and theoretical concerns with the ultimate goal of developing a holistic anthropology of the fetus.
Belonging in Oceania
Movement, Place-Making and Multiple Identifications
Hermann, E., Kempf, W. & Meijl, T. van (eds)
Ethnographic case studies explore what it means to “belong” in Oceania, as contributors consider ongoing formations of place, self and community in connection with travelling, internal and international migration. The chapters apply the multi-dimensional concepts of movement, place-making and cultural identifications to explain contemporary life in Oceanic societies. The volume closes by suggesting that constructions of multiple belongings—and, with these, the relevant forms of mobility, place-making and identifications—are being recontextualized and modified by emerging discourses of climate change and sea-level rise.
The Best We Share
Nation, Culture and World-Making in the UNESCO World Heritage Arena
The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is one of the most widely ratified international treaties, and a place on the World Heritage List is a widely coveted mark of distinction. Building on ethnographic fieldwork at Committee sessions, interviews and documentary study, the book links the change in operations of the World Heritage Committee with structural nation-centeredness, vulnerable procedures for evaluation, monitoring and decision-making, and loose heritage conceptions that have been inconsistently applied. As the most ambitious study of the World Heritage arena so far, this volume dissects the inner workings of a prominent global body, demonstrating the power of ethnography in the highly formalised and diplomatic context of a multilateral organisation.
Beyond the Veil
Reflexive Studies of Death and Dying
Thamann, A. & Christodoulaki, K. M. (eds)
Looking at the cultural responses to death and dying, this collection explores the emotional aspects that death provokes in humans, whether it is disgust, fear, awe, sadness, anger, or even joy. Whereas most studies of death and dying treat the subject from an objective viewpoint, the scholars in this collection recognize their inherent connection with death which allows for a new and more personal form of study. More broadly, this collection suggests a new paradigm in the study of death and dying.
Bloom and Bust
Urban Landscapes in the East since German Reunification
Cliver, G. & Smith-Prei, C. (eds)
More than two decades of deconstruction, renovation, and reconstruction have left the urban environments in the former German Democratic Republic completely transformed. This volume considers the changing urban landscapes in the former East — and how the filling of previous absences and the absence of previous presence — creates the cultural landscape of modern unified Germany. This broadens our understanding of this transformation by examining often-neglected cities, spaces, or structures, and historical narration and preservation.
Subjects: Urban Studies Cultural Studies (General)
The Global Story of Terroir
Drawing on more than twenty years of fieldwork, this book explores the professional, social, and cultural world of Burgundy wines, the role of terroir, and its transnational deployment in China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand. It demystifies the terroir ideology by providing a unique long-term ethnographic analysis of what lies behind the concept. While the Burgundian model of terroir has gone global by acquiring UNESCO world heritage status, its very legitimacy is now being challenged amongst the vineyards where it first took root.
Chiasmus and Culture
Wiseman, B. & Paul, A. (eds)
Anyone who has heard of chiasmus is likely to think of it as no more than a piece of rhetorical playfulness, at times challenging, though useful for supplying a memorable sententious note or for performing a pirouette of syntax and thought. Going beyond traditional rhetoric, this volume is concerned with the possibility of using the figure of chiasmus to model a broad array of phenomena, from human relations to artistic creation. In the process, it provides the first book-length study not of chiasmus, the rhetorical figure, but of chiastic thought. The contributors are concerned with chiastic inversion and its place in social interactions, cultural creation, and more generally human thought and experience.They explore from a variety of angles what the unsettling logic of chiasmus (from the Greek meaning “cross-wise”), has to tell us about the world, human relations, cultural patterns, psychology, and artistic and poetic creation.
Subjects: Cultural Studies (General) Literary Studies
The Unwritten Rules of Academia
Analyzing the workings of boundary maintenance in the areas of anthropology, energy, gender, and law, Nader contrasts dominant trends in academia with work that pushes the boundaries of acceptable methods and theories. Although the selections illustrate the history of one anthropologist’s work over half a century, the wider intent is to label a field as contrarian to reveal unwritten rules that sometimes hinder transformative thinking and to stimulate boundary crossing in others.
Creativity in Transition
Politics and Aesthetics of Cultural Production Across the Globe
Svašek, M. & Meyer, B. (eds)
In an era of intensifying globalization and transnational connectivity, the dynamics of cultural production and the very notion of creativity are in transition. Exploring creative practices in various settings, the book does not only call attention to the spread of modernist discourses of creativity, from the colonial era to the current obsession with ‘innovation’ in neo-liberal capitalist cultural politics, but also to the less visible practices of copying, recycling and reproduction that occur as part and parcel of creative improvization.
Critique of Identity Thinking
Recent world-wide political developments have persuaded many people that we are again living in what Hannah Arendt called “dark times.” Jackson’s response to this age of uncertainty is to remind us how much experience falls outside the concepts and categories we habitually deploy in rendering life manageable and intelligible. Drawing on such critical thinkers as Hannah Arendt, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and Karl Jaspers, whose work was profoundly influenced by the catastrophes that overwhelmed the world in the middle of the last century, Jackson explores the transformative and redemptive power of marginalized voices in the contemporary conversation of humankind.
Culture Change and Ex-Change
Syncretism and Anti-Syncretism in Bena, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea
How is cultural change perceived and performed by members of the Bena Bena language group, who live in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea? In her analysis, Knapp draws upon existing bodies of work on ‘culture change’, ‘exchange’ and ‘person’ in Melanesia but brings them together in a new way by conjoining traditional models with theoretical approaches of the new Melanesian ethnography and with collaborative, reflexive and reverse anthropology.
Culture, Catastrophe, and Rhetoric
The Texture of Political Action
Hariman, R. & Cintron, R. (eds)
This volume explores political culture, especially the catastrophic elements of the global social order emerging in the twenty-first century. By emphasizing the texture of political action, the book theorizes how social context becomes evident on the surface of events and analyzes the performative dimensions of political experience. The attention to catastrophe allows for an understanding of how ordinary people contend with normal system operation once it is indistinguishable from system breakdown. Through an array of case studies, the book provides an account of change as it is experienced, negotiated, and resisted in specific settings that define a society’s capacity for political action.
Cutting and Connecting
'Afrinesian' Perspectives on Networks, Relationality, and Exchange
Myhre, K. C. (ed)
Questions regarding the origins, mobility, and effects of analytical concepts continue to emerge as anthropology endeavors to describe similarities and differences in social life around the world. Cutting and Connecting rethinks this comparative enterprise by calling in a conceptual debt that theoretical innovations from Melanesian anthropology owe to network analysis originally developed in African contexts. On this basis, the contributors adopt and employ concepts from recent studies of Melanesia to analyze contemporary life on the African continent and to explore how this exchange influences the borrowed anthropological perspectives. By focusing on ways in which networks are cut and connections are made, these empirical investigations show how particular relationships are created in today’s Africa. In addition, the volume aims for an approach that recasts relationships between theory and place and concepts and ethnography, in a manner that destabilizes the distinction between fieldwork and writing.
Areas: Africa Asia-Pacific
Don't Need No Thought Control
Western Culture in East Germany and the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The fall of the Berlin Wall is typically understood as the culmination of political-economic trends that fatally weakened the East German state. Meanwhile, comparatively little attention has been paid to the cultural dimension of these dramatic events, particularly the role played by Western mass media and consumer culture. With a focus on the 1970s and 1980s, Don’t Need No Thought Control explores the dynamic interplay of popular unrest, intensifying economic crises, and cultural policies under Erich Honecker. It shows how the widespread influence of (and public demands for) Western cultural products forced GDR leaders into a series of grudging accommodations that undermined state power to a hitherto underappreciated extent.
Subjects: History: 20th Century to Present Media Studies Cultural Studies (General) Film and Television Studies
Dreams Made Small
The Education of Papuan Highlanders in Indonesia
For the last five decades, the Dani of the central highlands of West Papua, along with other Papuans, have struggled with the oppressive conditions of Indonesian rule. Formal education holds the promise of escape from stigmatization and violence. Dreams Made Small offers an in-depth, ethnographic look at journeys of education among young Dani men and women, asking us to think differently about education as a trajectory for transformation and belonging, and ultimately revealing how dreams of equality are shaped and reshaped in the face of multiple constraints.
Engaging with Chaucer
Practice, Authority, Reading
Moseley, C.W.R.D. (ed)
Why do we still read and discuss Chaucer? The answer may be simple: he is fun, and he challenges our intelligence and questions our certainties. This collected volume represents an homage to a toweringly great poet, as well as an acknowledgement of the intellectual excitement, challenges, and pleasure that readers owe to him as even today, his poems have the capacity to change the way we engage with fundamental questions of knowledge, understanding, and beauty.
Subjects: Media Studies Cultural Studies (General)
Ethnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space
Place-Making in the New Northern Ireland
Komarova, M. & Svašek, M. (eds)
Exploring the complex dynamics of twenty-first century spatial sociality, this volume provides a much-needed multi-dimensional perspective that undermines the dominant image of Northern Ireland as a conflict-ridden place. Despite touching on memories of “the Troubles” and continuing unionist-nationalist tensions, the volume refuses to consider people in the region as purely political beings, or to understand processes of placemaking solely through ethnic or national contestations and territoriality. Topics such as the significance of friendship, gender, and popular culture in spatial practices are considered, against the backdrop of the growing presence of migrants, refugees and diasporic groups.
The Event of Charlie Hebdo
Imaginaries of Freedom and Control
Zagato, A. (ed)
The January 2015 shooting at the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the subsequent attacks that took place in the Île-de-France region were staggeringly violent events. They sparked an enormous discussion among citizens and intellectuals from around Europe and beyond. By analyzing the effects the attacks have had in various spheres of social life, including the political, ideology, collective imaginaries, the media, and education, this collection of essays aims to serve as a contribution as well as a critical response to that discussion. The volume observes that the events being attributed to Charlie Hebdo go beyond sensationalist reports of the mainstream media, transcend the spatial confines of nation states, and lend themselves to an ever-expanding number of mutating discursive formations.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Cultural Studies (General) Media Studies Political and Economic Anthropology
Nineteenth-Century Museum Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution
Nichols, C. A.
As an historical account of the exchange of “duplicate specimens” between anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution and museums, collectors, and schools around the world in the late nineteenth century, this book reveals connections between both well-known museums and little-known local institutions, created through the exchange of museum objects. It explores how anthropologists categorized some objects in their collections as “duplicate specimens,” making them potential candidates for exchange. This historical form of what museum professionals would now call deaccessioning considers the intellectual and technical requirement of classifying objects in museums, and suggests that a deeper understanding of past museum practice can inform mission-driven contemporary museum work.
Representing a cutting-edge study of the junction between theoretical anthropology, material culture studies, religious studies and museum anthropology, this study examines the interaction between the human and the nonhuman in a museum setting usually defined as ‘non-Western’, ‘non-scientific’ and ‘religious.’ Combining an on-site analysis of exhibitive spaces with archival research and interviews with museum curators, the chapters highlight contradictions of museum practices, and suggests that museum practitioners use museum spaces and artefacts as a way of formulating new theoretical stances in material culture studies, thus viewing museums as producers of theories together with affective engagements.
The Conundrum of Cultural Difference, From Tunisia to Japan
Foucault lived in Tunisia for two years and travelled to Japan and Iran more than once. Yet throughout his critical scholarship, he insisted that the cultures of the “Orient” constitute the “limit” of Western rationality. Using archival research supplemented by interviews with key scholars in Tunisia, Japan and France, this book examines the philosophical sources, evolution as well as contradictions of Foucault’s experience with non-Western cultures. Beyond tracing Foucault’s journey into the world of otherness, the book reveals the personal, political as well as methodological effects of a radical conception of cultural difference that extolled the local over the cosmopolitan.
Areas: Asia-Pacific Africa
Gender in Georgia
Feminist Perspectives on Culture, Nation, and History in the South Caucasus
Barkaia, M. & Waterston, A. (eds)
As Georgia seeks to reinvent itself as a nation-state in the post-Soviet period, Georgian women are maneuvering, adjusting, resisting and transforming the new economic, social and political order. In Gender in Georgia, editors Maia Barkaia and Alisse Waterston bring together an international group of feminist scholars to explore the socio-political and cultural conditions that have shaped gender dynamics in Georgia from the late 19th century to the present. In doing so, they provide the first-ever woman-centered collection of research on Georgia, offering a feminist critique of power in its many manifestations, and an assessment of women’s political agency in Georgia.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Exuberance and the Emergence of Layered Mobility, 1900–1980
Why has “car society” proven so durable, even in the face of mounting environmental and economic crises? In this follow-up to his magisterial Atlantic Automobilism, Gijs Mom traces the global spread of the automobile in the postwar era and investigates why adopting more sustainable forms of mobility has proven so difficult. Drawing on archival research as well as wide-ranging forays into popular culture, Mom reveals here the roots of the exuberance, excess, and danger that define modern automotive culture.
Subjects: Transport Studies History: 20th Century to Present Cultural Studies (General) Mobility Studies
A Goddess in Motion
Visual Creativity in the Cult of María Lionza
The current practice of the cult of María Lionza is one of the most important and yet unexplored religious practices in Venezuela. Based on long-term fieldwork, this book explores the role of images and visual culture within the cult. By adopting a relational approach, A Goddess in Motion shows how the innumerable images of this goddess—represented as an Indian, white or mestizo woman—move constantly from objects to bodies, from bodies to dreams, and from the religion domain to the art world. In short, this book is a fascinating study that sheds light on the role of visual creativity in contemporary religious manifestations.
Heading for the Scene of the Crash
The Cultural Analysis of America
American anthropologists have long advocated cultural anthropology as a tool for cultural critique, yet seldom has that approach been employed in discussions of major events and cultural productions that impact the lives of tens of millions of Americans. This collection of essays aims to refashion cultural analysis into a hard-edged tool for the study of American society and culture, addressing topics including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, abortion, sports doping, and the Jonestown massacre-suicides. Grounded in the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, the essays advance an inquiry into the nature of culture in American society.
Area: North America
How Materials Matter
Design, Innovation and Materiality in the Pacific
How does design and innovation shape people’s lives in the Pacific? Focusing on plant materials from the region, How Materials Matter reveals ways in which a variety of people – from craftswomen and scientists to architects and politicians – work with materials to transform worlds. Recognizing the fragile and ephemeral nature of plant fibres, this work delves into how the biophysical properties of certain leaves and their aesthetic appearance are utilized to communicate information and manage different forms of relations. It breaks new ground by situating plant materials at the centre of innovation in a region.
Humour, Comedy and Laughter
Obscenities, Paradoxes, Insights and the Renewal of Life
Sciama, L.D. (ed)
Anthropological writings on humor are not very numerous or extensive, but they do contain a great deal of insight into the diverse mental and social processes that underlie joking and laughter. On the basis of a wide range of ethnographic and textual materials, the chapters examine the cognitive, social, and moral aspects of humor and its potential to bring about a sense of amity and mutual understanding, even among different and possibly hostile people. Unfortunately, though, cartoons, jokes, and parodies can cause irremediable distress and offence. Nevertheless, contributors’ cross-cultural evidence confirms that the positive aspects of humor far outweigh the danger of deepening divisions and fueling hostilities
In Memory of Times to Come
Ironies of History in Southeastern Papua New Guinea
Drawing on twenty years of research, this book examines the historical perspective of a Pacific people who saw “globalization” come and go. Suau people encountered the leading edge of missionization and colonialism in Papua New Guinea and were active participants in the Second World War. In Memory of Times to Come offers a nuanced account of how people assess their own experience of change over the course of a critical century. It asks two key questions: What does it mean to claim that global connections are in the past rather than the present or the future, and what does it mean to claim that one has lost one’s culture, but not because anyone else took it away or destroyed it?
The Impact of Migration on Romanipe from the Romani Perspective
Marinov, A. G.
At present, Roma are an integral part of Europe, though they face structural and social inequalities and different forms of exclusion and discrimination. Inward Looking seeks to understand the relationship between Romani identity, performance and migration. Particularly, it studies the idea of ‘Romanipe’ through the prism of the personal accounts of Romani migrants. It also seeks to understand the relationships between the Romani groups in Europe, due to their increased travel and convergence, and predict the effects of migration on (new) Romani consciousness. The findings are based on qualitative data gathered from Romani migrants from three towns in Bulgaria.
Lewis Henry Morgan's Comparisons
Reassessing Terminology, Anarchy and Worldview in Indigenous Societies of America, Australia and Highland Middle India
About 150 years ago Lewis Henry Morgan compared relationship terminologies, societal forms and ideas of property to recognize the interdependence of the three domains. From a new perspective, the book re-examines, confirms and criticizes Morgan’s findings to conclude that reciprocal affinal relations determine most ‘classificatory’ terminologies and regulate many non-state societies, their property notions and their rituals. Apart from references to American and Australian features, such holistic socio-cultural constructs are exemplified by elaborate descriptions of little known contemporary Indigenous societies in Highland Middle India, altogether comprising many millions of members.
The Long Journey
Exploring Travel and Travel Writing
Di Bella, M. P. & Yothers, B. (eds)
Travel writing has, for centuries, composed an essential historical record and wide-ranging literary form, reflecting the rich diversity of travel as a social and cultural practice, metaphorical process, and driver of globalization. This interdisciplinary volume brings together anthropologists, literary scholars, social historians, and other scholars to illuminate travel writing in all its forms. With studies ranging from colonial adventurism to the legacies of the Holocaust, The Long Journey offers a unique dual focus on experience and genre as it applies to three key realms: memory and trauma, confrontations with the Other, and the cultivation of cultural perspective.
Management and Morality
An Ethnographic Exploration of Management Consultancy Seminars
Drawing on extended ethnographic studies of management consultancies in the Oslo region of Norway, this book seeks to find a richer understanding of their role in contemporary work life and the attraction their practices exert on people. The author shows that management consultancy is an arena of meaning that should be analysed as a ‘cultural space’. With a detailed investigation into consultancy as a cultural phenomenon, Henningsen argues that its services can be viewed as a ‘micro-utopian’ vision which can lead to a happier working environment for individuals.
Area: Northern Europe
Mimesis and Pacific Transcultural Encounters
Making Likenesses in Time, Trade, and Ritual Reconfigurations
Mageo, J. & Hermann, E. (eds)
How do images circulating in Pacific cultures and exchanged between them and their many visitors transform meanings for all involved? This fascinating collection explores how through mimesis, wayfarers and locales alike borrow images from one another to expand their cultural repertoire of meanings or borrow images from their own past to validate their identities.
Mirrors of Passing
Unlocking the Mysteries of Death, Materiality, and Time
Seebach, S. & Willerslev, R. (eds)
Without exception, all people are faced with the inevitability of death, a stark fact that has immeasurably shaped societies and individual consciousness for the whole of human history. Mirrors of Passing offers a powerful window into this oldest of human preoccupations by investigating the interrelationships of death, materiality, and temporality across far-flung times and places. Stretching as far back as Ancient Egypt and Greece and moving through present-day locales as diverse as Western Europe, Central Asia, and the Arctic, each of the richly illustrated essays collected here draw on a range of disciplinary insights to explore some of the most fundamental, universal questions that confront us.
Money at the Margins
Global Perspectives on Technology, Financial Inclusion, and Design
Maurer, B., Musaraj, S., & Small, I. V. (eds)
Mobile money, e-commerce, cash cards, retail credit cards, and more—as new monetary technologies become increasingly available, the global South has cautiously embraced these mediums as a potential solution to the issue of financial inclusion. How, if at all, do new forms of dematerialized money impact people’s everyday financial lives? In what way do technologies interact with financial repertoires and other socio-cultural institutions? How do these technologies of financial inclusion shape the global politics and geographies of difference and inequality? These questions are at the heart of Money at the Margins, a groundbreaking exploration of the uses and socio-cultural impact of new forms of money and financial services.
Gambling in a Papua New Guinea Town
Pickles, A. J.
Gambling in Papua New Guinea, despite being completely absent prior to the Colonial era, has come to supersede storytelling as the region’s main nighttime activity. Money Games is an ethnographic monograph which reveals the contemporary importance of gambling in urban Papua New Guinea. Rich ethnographic detail is coupled with cross-cultural comparison which span the globe. This anthropological study of everyday economics in Melanesia thereby intersects with theories of money, value, play, informal economy, social change and leadership.
Exploring the Ethical Drives in Human Life
Mattingly, C., Dyring, R., Louw, M., & Schwarz Wentzer, T. (eds)
In the past fifteen years, there has been a virtual explosion of anthropological literature arguing that morality should be considered central to human practice. Out of this explosion new and invigorating conversations have emerged between anthropologists and philosophers. Moral Engines: Exploring the Ethical Drives in Human Life includes essays from some of the foremost voices in the anthropology of morality, offering unique interdisciplinary conversations between anthropologists and philosophers about the moral engines of ethical life, addressing the question: What propels humans to act in light of ethical ideals?
Multiple Nature-Cultures, Diverse Anthropologies
Bruun Jensen, C. & Morita, A. (eds)
Over time, the role of nature in anthropology has evolved from being a mere backdrop for social and cultural diversity to being viewed as an integral part of the ontological entanglement of human and nonhuman agents. This transformation of the role of nature offers important insight into the relationships between diverse anthropological traditions. By highlighting natural-cultural worlds alongside these traditions, Multiple Nature-Cultures, Diverse Anthropologies explores the potential for creating more sophisticated conjunctions of anthropological knowledge and practice.
The Museum of Mankind
Man and Boy in the British Museum Ethnography Department
The Museum of Mankind was an innovative and popular showcase for minority cultures from around the non-Western world from 1970 to 1997. This memoir is a critical appreciation of its achievements in the various roles of a national museum, of the personalities of its staff and of the issues raised in the representation of exotic cultures. Issues of changing museum theory and practice are raised in a detailed case-study that also focuses on the social life of the museum community. This is the first history of a remarkable museum and a memorable interlude in the long history of one of the world’s oldest and greatest museums. Although not presented as an academic study, it should be useful for museum and cultural studies as a well as a wider readership interested in the British Museum.
Area: Northern Europe
Non-Humans in Amerindian South America
Ethnographies of Indigenous Cosmologies, Rituals and Songs
Rivera Andía, J. J. (ed)
Drawing on fieldwork from diverse Amerindian societies whose lives and worlds are undergoing processes of transformation, adaptation, and deterioration, this volume offers new insights into the indigenous constitutions of humanity, personhood, and environment characteristic of the South American highlands and lowlands. The resulting ethnographies – depicting non-human entities emerging in ritual, oral tradition, cosmology, shamanism and music – explore the conditions and effects of unequally ranked life forms, increased extraction of resources, continuous migration to urban centers, and the (usually) forced incorporation of current expressions of modernity into indigenous societies.
Foodways and Humanity in an African Town
In this accessible ethnography of a small town in northern Mozambique, everyday cultural knowledge and behaviors about food, cooking, and eating reveal the deeply human pursuit of a nourishing life. This emerges less through the consumption of specific nutrients than it does in the affective experience of alimentation in contexts that support vitality, compassion, and generative relations. Embedded within central themes in the study of Africa south of the Sahara, the volume combines insights from philosophy and food studies to find textured layers of meaning in a seemingly simple cuisine.
Objects and Imagination
Perspectives on Materialization and Meaning
Fuglerud, Ø. & Wainwright, L. (eds)
Despite the wide interest in material culture, art, and aesthetics, few studies have considered them in light of the importance of the social imagination - the complex ways in which we conceptualize our social surroundings. This collection engages the “material turn” in the arts, humanities, and social sciences through a range of original contributions on creativity in diverse global and contemporary social settings. The authors engage with everyday objects, art, rituals, and ethnographic exhibitions to analyze the relationship between material culture and the social imagination. What results is a better understanding of how the material embodies and influences our idea of the social world.
On the Geopragmatics of Anthropological Identification
On the Geopragmatics of Anthropological Identification explores the discursive spaces of our speaking position, or what has routinely been referred to in the literature as the poetics and politics of writing culture. At issue here are its problematic underlying notions of cultural identity, authorial subjectivity and postcolonial critique. Contrary to the widespread assumption that cultural studies and the social sciences share a common discourse of culture and society, Allen Chun argues that 'modern' disciplinary practices and axioms have in fact produced inherently incompatible theories. Anthropology's ethical relativism has also created obstacles for a critical theory of culture and society.
Perspectives in Motion
Engaging the Visual in Dance and Music
Stepputat, K & Diettrich, B. (eds)
Focusing on visual approaches to performance in global cultural contexts, Perspectives in Motion explores the work of Adrienne L. Kaeppler, a pioneering researcher who has made a number of interdisciplinary contributions over five decades to dance and performance studies. Through a diverse range of case studies from Oceania, Asia, and Europe, and interdisciplinary approaches, this edited collection offers new critical and ethnographic frameworks for understanding and experiencing practices of music and dance across the globe.
Political Graffiti in Critical Times
The Aesthetics of Street Politics
Campos, R., Pavoni, A., & Zaimakis, Y. (eds)
Whether aesthetically or politically inspired, graffiti is among the oldest forms of expression in human history, one that becomes especially significant during periods of social and political upheaval. With a particular focus on the demographic, ecological, and economic crises of today, this volume provides a wide-ranging exploration of urban space and visual protest. Assembling case studies that cover topics such as gentrification in Cyprus, the convulsions of post-independence East Timor, and opposition to Donald Trump in the American capital, it reveals the diverse ways in which street artists challenge existing social orders and reimagine urban landscapes.
The Power of Death
Contemporary Reflections on Death in Western Society
Blanco, M.-J. & Vidal, R. (eds)
The social and cultural changes of the last century have transformed death from an everyday fact to something hidden from view. Shifting between the practical and the theoretical, the professional and the intimate, the real and the fictitious, this collection of essays explores the continued power of death over our lives. It examines the idea and experience of death from an interdisciplinary perspective, including studies of changing burial customs throughout Europe; an account of a“dying party” in the Netherlands; examinations of the fascination with violent death in crime fiction and the phenomenon of serial killer art; analyses of death and bereavement in poetry, fiction, and autobiography; and a look at audience reactions to depictions of death on screen. By studying and considering how death is thought about in the contemporary era, we might restore the natural place it has in our lives.
Punks and Skins United
Identity, Class and the Economics of an Eastern German Subculture
Germany has one of the liveliest and well-developed punk scenes in the world. However, punk in this country is not just a style-based music community. This book provides an anthropological examination of how punk reflects the larger changes and contradictions in post-reunification Germany, such as social segmentation, east-west tensions and local politics. Punk in eastern Germany is a reaction to the marginalization of the working class. As a cultural, social and economic niche, punks create their own controversial “substitute society” to compensate for their low status in mainstream society.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology Cultural Studies (General) Political and Economic Anthropology
Clientelism and Connections in Italy
Zinn, D. L.
The issue of patronage-clientelism has long been of interest in the social sciences. Based on long-term ethnographic research in southern Italy, this book examines the concept and practice of raccomandazione: the omnipresent social institution of using connections to get things done. Viewing the practice both from an indigenous perspective – as a morally ambivalent social fact – and considering it in light of the power relations that position southern Italy within the nesting relations of global Norths and Souths, it builds on and extends past scholarship to consider the nature of patronage in a contemporary society and its relationship to corruption.
Area: Southern Europe
Strathernian Conversations on Ethnography, Knowledge and Politics
Lebner, A. (ed)
Marilyn Strathern is among the most creative and celebrated contemporary anthropologists, and her work draws interest from across the humanities and social sciences. Redescribing Relations brings some of Strathern’s most committed and renowned readers into conversation in her honour – especially on themes she has rarely engaged. The volume not only deepens our understanding of Strathern’s work, it also offers models of how to extend her relational insights to new terrains. With a comprehensive introduction, a complete list of Strathern's publications and a historic interview published in English for the first time, this is an invaluable resource for Strathern’s old and new interlocutors alike.
Language, Life Force and History in Kilimanjaro
Myhre, K. C.
A group of Chagga-speaking men descend the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro to butcher animals and pour milk, beer, and blood on the ground, requesting rain for their continued existence. Returning Life explores how this event engages activities where life force is transferred and transformed to afford and affect beings of different kinds. Historical sources demonstrate how the phenomenon of life force encompasses coffee cash-cropping, Catholic Christianity, and colonial and post-colonial rule, and features in cognate languages from throughout the area. As this vivid ethnography explores how life projects through beings of different kinds, it brings to life concepts and practices that extend through time and space, transcending established analytics.
Shakespeare and Biography
Scheil, K. & Holderness, G. (eds)
From Shakespeare’s religion to his wife to his competitors in the world of early modern theatre, biographers have approached the question of the Bard’s life from numerous angles. Shakespeare & Biography offers a fresh look at the biographical questions connected with the famous playwright’s life, through essays and reflections written by prominent international scholars and biographers.
Subjects: Literary Studies Cultural Studies (General)
Spaces of Solidarity
Karen Activism in the Thailand-Burma Borderlands
Exploring notions of activism and space as narrated by Karen displaced persons and refugees in the Thai-Burma borderlands, this book looks beyond refugees as passive victims or a ‘humanitarian case’. Instead, the book examines the active engagement the Karen have with their persecution and displacement and their subsequent emplacement in the borderlands. A key focus of the book is to look at this engagement in terms of spaces of solidarity – constructed through patterns of activism, paths of connectivity and processes of cultural recovery. The book also studies the spatial configuration of borderlands, examining the impact of cross-border activities and their inter-related nature.
Historical and Cultural Perspectives
Magnussen, A. (ed)
Spanish comics represent an exciting and diverse field, yet one that is often overlooked outside of Spain. Spanish Comics offers an overview on contemporary scholarship on Spanish comics, focusing on a wide range of comics dating from the Francoist dictatorship, 1939-1975; the Political Transition, 1970-1985; and Democratic Spain since the early 1980s including the emergence of the graphic novel in 2000. Touching on themes of memory, gender, regional identities, and history, the chapters in this collection demonstrate the historical and cultural significance of Spanish comics.
Subjects: Cultural Studies (General) Media Studies
Area: Southern Europe
Sustaining Indigenous Songs
Contemporary Warlpiri Ceremonial Life in Central Australia
As an ethnography of Central Australian singing traditions and ceremonial contexts, this book asks questions about the vitality of the cultural knowledge and practices highly valued by Warlpiri people and fundamental to their cultural heritage. Set against a discussion of the contemporary vitality of Aboriginal musical traditions in Australia and embedded in the historical background of this region, the book lays out the features of Warlpiri songs and ceremonies, and centers on a focal case study of the Warlpiri Kurdiji ceremony to illustrate the modes in which core cultural themes are being passed on through song to future generations.
Textures of Belonging
Senses, Objects and Spaces of Romanian Roma
The longstanding European conception that Roma and non-Roma are separated by unambiguous socio-cultural distinctions has led to the construction of Roma as “non-belonging others.” Challenging this conception, Textures of Belonging explores how Roma negotiate and feel belonging at the everyday level. Inspired by material culture, sensorial anthropology, and human geography approaches, this book uses ethnographic research to examine the role of domestic material forms and their sensorial qualities in nurturing connections with people and places that transcend socio-political boundaries.
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Travel and Representation
Lean, G., Staiff, R., & Waterton, E. (eds)
Travel and Representation is a timely volume of essays that explores and re-examines the various convergences between literature, art, photography, television, cinema and travel. The essays do so in a way that appreciates the entanglement of representations and travel at a juncture in theoretical work that recognizes the limits of representation, things that lie outside of representation and the continuing power of representation. The emphasis is on the myriad ways travelers/scholars employ representation in their writing/analyses as they re-think the intersections between travelers, fields of representation, imagination, emotions and corporeal experiences in the past, the present and the future.
A Twisted Style
The Culture of Dreadlocks in “Western” Societies
Jerrentrup, M. T.
In "western" cultures, some people have chosen a dreadlock hairstyle, despite many in mainstream society looking at it in a negative light. This book deals with contradictions surrounding the hairstyle such as often representing a protest against the prevailing right-wing political systems, yet also emphasizing the white person’s power to appropriate any style. Based on interviews and close observations in social media, the book offers insights into the culture(s) surrounding dreadlocks and ultimately interprets the phenomenon as a postmodern form of individuality.
Unlocking the Love-Lock
The History and Heritage of a Contemporary Custom
A padlock is a mundane object, designed to fulfil a specific – and secular – purpose. A contemporary custom has given padlocks new significance. This custom is ‘love-locking’, where padlocks are engraved with names and attached to bridges in declaration of romantic commitment. This custom became popular in the 2000s, and its dissemination was rapid, geographically unbound, and highly divisive, with love-locks emerging in locations as diverse as Paris and Taiwan; New York and Seoul; Melbourne and Moscow. This book explores the worldwide popularity of the love-lock as a ritual token of love and commitment by considering its history, symbolism, and heritage.
Cars, Canoes, and Other Metaphors of Moral Imagination
Lipset, D. & Handler, R. (eds)
Metaphor, as an act of human fancy, combines ideas in improbable ways to sharpen meanings of life and experience. Theoretically, this arises from an association between a sign—for example, a cattle car—and its referent, the Holocaust. These “sign-vehicles” serve as modes of semiotic transportation through conceptual space. Likewise, on-the-ground vehicles can be rich metaphors for the moral imagination. Following on this insight, Vehicles presents a collection of ethnographic essays on the metaphoric significance of vehicles in different cultures. Analyses include canoes in Papua New Guinea, pedestrians and airplanes in North America, lowriders among Mexican-Americans, and cars in contemporary China, Japan, and Eastern Europe, as well as among African-Americans in the South. Vehicles not only “carry people around,” but also “carry” how they are understood in relation to the dynamics of culture, politics and history.
Postsocialist Nostalgia and the Politics of Heroism in Czech Popular Culture
Scholars of state socialism have frequently invoked “nostalgia” to identify an uncritical longing for the utopian ambitions and lived experience of the former Eastern Bloc. However, this concept seems insufficient to describe memory cultures in the Czech Republic and other contexts in which a “retro” fascination with the past has proven compatible with a steadfast critique of the state socialist era. This innovative study locates a distinctively retro aesthetic in Czech literature, film, and other cultural forms, enriching our understanding of not only the nation’s memory culture, but also the ways in which popular culture can structure collective memory.
Subjects: Cultural Studies (General) History: 20th Century to Present Film and Television Studies Memory Studies
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
The Ritual Everyday on a Dammed River in Amazonia
In Brazil, where forest meets savanna, new towns, agribusiness and hydroelectricity plants form a patchwork with the indigenous territories. Here, agricultural work, fishing, songs, feasts and exchanges occupy the Enawenê-nawê for eight months of each year, during a season called Yankwa. Vital Diplomacy focuses on this major ceremonial cycle to shed new light on classic Amazonian themes such as kinship, gender, manioc cultivation and cuisine, relations with non-humans and foreigners, and the interplay of myth and practice, exploring how ritual contains and diverts the threat of violence by reconciling antagonistic spirits, coordinating social and gender divides, and channelling foreign relations and resources.
The Wheel of Autonomy
Rhetoric and Ethnicity in the Omo Valley
How do the Kara, a small population residing on the eastern bank of the Omo River in southern Ethiopia, manage to be neither annexed nor exterminated by any of the larger groups that surround them? Through the theoretical lens of rhetoric, this book offers an interactionalist analysis of how the Kara negotiate ethnic and non-ethnic differences among themselves, the relations with their various neighbors, and eventually their integration in the Ethiopian state. The model of the “Wheel of Autonomy” captures the interplay of distinction, agency and autonomy that drives these dynamics and offers an innovative perspective on social relations.