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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.
An American Icon in Puerto Rico
Barbie, Girlhood, and Colonialism at Play
Aguiló-Pérez, E. R.
Focusing on multigenerational Puerto Rican women and girls, Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez masterfully illustrates how Barbie dolls impact femininity, body image, and cultural identity.
Since her debut in 1959, Barbie has transcended boundaries and transformed into a global symbol of femininity, capturing the imaginations of girls all around the world. An American Icon in Puerto Rico offers a captivating study of that iconic influence by focusing on a group of multigenerational Puerto Rican women and girls.
Through personal narratives and insights, author Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez unveils the emotional attachment that these women and girls have formed with the doll during their formative years. This connection serves as a powerful lens to explore the intricate relationships girls have with their Barbie dolls and the complex role Barbie plays in shaping their identities.
Aguiló-Pérez boldly confronts the challenges and contradictions that arise, offering a compelling analysis of how playing with Barbie dolls can impact a girl's perception of femininity, body image, race, and even national identity. Through these nuanced explorations, she unearths the potential pitfalls of these influences, encouraging readers to reflect on their own relationships with the iconic doll.
By weaving together personal anecdotes, historical context, and sociocultural analysis, Aguiló-Pérez masterfully illustrates how these women and girls navigate the diverse landscapes of femininity, body image, and cultural identity, with Barbie serving as both a facilitator and a reflection of their growth. In doing so, she redefines the significance of Barbie in the lives of Puerto Rican women and girls, prompting readers from all around the world to reevaluate their perceptions of femininity and embrace a more inclusive understanding of beauty, body image, and self-expression.
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.
An Anthropology of Intellectual Exchange
Interactions, Transactions and Ethics in Asia and Beyond
Copeman, J., Long, N. J., Chau, L. M., Cook, J. & Marsden, M.(eds)
Dialogues, encounters and interactions through which particular ways of knowing, understanding and thinking about the world are forged lie at the centre of anthropology. Such ‘intellectual exchange’ is also central to anthropologists’ own professional practice: from their interactions with research participants and modes of pedagogy to their engagements with each other and scholars from adjacent disciplines. This collection of essays explores how such processes might best be studied cross-culturally. Foregrounding the diverse interactions, ethical reasoning, and intellectual lives of people from across the continent of Asia, the volume develops an anthropology of intellectual exchange itself.
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.
Bigger Fish to Fry
A Theory of Cooking as Risk, with Greek Examples
Sutton, D. E.
What defines cooking as cooking, and why does cooking matter to the understanding of society, cultural change and everyday life? This book explores these questions by proposing a new theory of the meaning of cooking as a willingness to put oneself and one’s meals at risk on a daily basis. Richly illustrated with examples from the author’s anthropology fieldwork in Greece, Bigger Fish to Fry proposes a new approach to the meaning of cooking and how the study of cooking can reshape our understanding of social processes more generally.
Area: Southern Europe
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
“Demossier’s engrossing analysis of Burgundy—the wine, the place, the brand—should be imbibed (pun intended!) on many levels—and slowly, for best appreciation.”—foodanthro.com
Drawing on more than twenty years of fieldwork, this book explores the professional, social, and cultural world of Burgundy wines, the role of terroir (the environmental factors that affect a crop's character), 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.
From the introduction:
Superficially then, Burgundy might appear to be simply acquiring recognition for its unchanging landscape, tradition and culture. Yet, for all the power of its rich local identity, folklore and culture which is broadcast to the world, there hides underneath the comforting blanket of this seamless place, untouched by change or conflict, a far more complex reality. Burgundy’s listing as a World Heritage landscape emphasises its international reputation as a traditional and historical site of wine production and opens a new chapter in the production and marketing of its quality, differentiation and authenticity. It is also about readjusting Burgundy and the grands crus in response to a changing global market and the shifting kaleidoscope of world wine values.
How Aesthetics Shapes Politics in Mursiland, Ethiopia
Loving cows, then killing them. The relation with cattle in Mursi country is shaped by the dichotomy between the value given to it during life and the death imposed upon it. The killing of cattle may be brief and inflicted with few words, but it is preceded by a series of intense aesthetic practices, such as body painting and adornments, colour poetics, poems and oratory art. This book investigates the link between the nurturing and killing of cattle with Mursi daily life and finds that these rituals cut across pastoralism, social organisation and politics in forming the very fabric of Mursi society.
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
Organization, Vision, and Resistance in the 21st Century
Schindler, S., Fadaere, S., Brockington, D. (eds)
Contemporary megaprojects have evolved from the discreet, modernist projects undertaken in the past by centralized authorities to encompass everything from large-scale construction to space exploration. Contemporary Megaprojects explores how these projects have been impacted by cutting-edge technology, the private sector, and the processes of decentralization and dematerialization. With case studies ranging from mega-plantations in Southeast Asia to ocean mapping to sports events, the contributions in this collected volume demonstrate the increasing ambition and pervasiveness of these projects, as well as their significant impact on both society and the environment.
Museum Collections in Political, Epistemic and Artistic Processes of Return
Bodenstein, F., Otoiu, D., & Troelenberg, E.-M. (eds)
Going beyond strictly legal and property-oriented aspects of the restitution debate, restitution is considered as part of a larger set of processes of return that affect museums and collections, as well as notions of heritage and object status. Covering a range of case studies and a global geography, the authors aim to historicize and bring depth to contemporary debates in relation to both the return of material culture and human remains. Defined as contested holdings, differing museum collections ranging from fine arts to physical anthropology provide connections between the treatment and conceptualization of collections that generally occupy separate realms in the museum world.
Roma Identities, State and Kinship
Roma identities have often been presented in literature as collectively constructed and in opposition to those who are not Roma. Contesting Moralities challenges these preconceptions about Roma identification by disentangling the binaries between Roma and non-Roma, state and non-state, public and private. It explores topics resonating in contemporary Romani studies that are in need of further exploration through individual perspectives, including history, activism, kinship, childhood, and gender hierarchies. The book paints a complex picture of inequality and how it is negotiated amid conflicting, ambiguous and contradictory regimes of power and moral demands, including those of state and kin.
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.
A Cognitive Anthropology Through Chinese Divination
Humans are unique in their ability to create systematic accounts of the world – theories based on guiding cosmological principles. This book is about the role of cognition in creating cosmologies, and explores this through the ethnography and history of Yijing divination in China. Diviners explain the cosmos in terms of a single substance, qi, unfolding across scales of increasing complexity to create natural phenomena and human experience. Combined with an understanding of human cognition, it shows how this conception of scale offers a new way for anthropologists and other social scientists to think about cosmology, comparison and cultural difference.
The Cracked Art World
Conflict, Austerity, and Community Arts in Northern Ireland
This book presents a nuanced view of Northern Ireland, a place at once deeply mired in its past and seeking to forge a new future for itself as a ‘post-post-conflict’ place within the context of a changing United Kingdom, a disintegrating Europe, and a globalized world. This is a Northern Ireland that is conflicted, segregated, and marginalized within modern Europe, but also hopeful and forward looking, seeking to articulate for itself a new place in the contemporary world.
Crafting Chinese Memories
The Art and Materiality of Storytelling
Swancutt, K. (ed)
Through an interdisciplinary conversation with contributors from social anthropology, religious studies, film studies, literary studies, cultural studies, and history, Crafting Chinese Memories is a novel book which addresses how works of art shape memories, and offers new ways of conceptualising storytelling, memory-making, art, and materiality. It explores the memories of artists, filmmakers, novelists, storytellers, and persons who come to terms with their own histories even as they reveal the social memories of watershed events in modern China.
Creation and Creativity in Indigenous Lowland South America
Halbmayer, E. & Goletz, A. (eds)
Investigating local Indigenous processes of creation and creativity, this book uses ethnographic and comparative anthropological perspectives to enquire about creative transformative practices in lowland South America. The volume shows how people create and reinforce their conditions of being by employing different genres of transgression and by creatively shifting contexts of significance. Local socio-cosmic orders, the interrelation of creative genres (myth, verbal art, song, ritual, and handicrafts), and their changing frames of reference (from communal celebrations to wider political and commercial realms) demonstrate the relational, generative, and processual quality of Amerindian creativity.
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
Dictionary of Authentic American Proverbs
Dictionary of Authentic American Proverbs offers a comprehensive reference guide for distinctly American proverbs. Compiled by Wolfgang Mieder, a key figure in the field of proverb studies, this compendium features nearly 1,500 proverbs with American origins, spanning the 17th century to present day, including a scholarly introduction exploring the history of proverbs in America, the structure and variants of these proverbs, known authors and sources, and cultural values expressed in these proverbs. Along with a comprehensive bibliography of proverb collections and interpretive scholarship, this dictionary offers a glimpse into the history of American social and cultural attitudes through uniquely American language.
Area: North America
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.
Menswear in the Age of Social Media
Bluteau, J. M.
What does men’s fashion say about contemporary masculinity? How do these notions operate in an increasingly digitized world? To answer these questions, author Joshua M. Bluteau combines theoretical analysis with vibrant narrative, exploring men’s fashion in the online world of social media as well as the offline worlds of retail, production, and the catwalk. Is it time to reassess notions of masculinity? How do we construct ourselves in the online world, and what are the dangers of doing so? From the ateliers of London to the digital landscape of Instagram, Dressing Up re-examines the ways men dress, and the ways men post.
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
Engaging with Jolting Events in Art and Fieldwork
Rethmann, P. & Wulff, H. (eds)
Looking at encounters that can puncture or jolt us, this volume uses art as a lens through which to register and understand exceptional experiences. The volume also includes the fieldworker’s experience of unexpected events that can lead to key understandings, as well as revelatory moments that happen during artistic creation and while looking at art. By exploring exceptional experiences through art, the volume asks probing questions for anthropology. In recognizing that art is all-encompassing – including, as it does, narrative, performance, dance and images – Exceptional Experiences situates itself within a number of conversations on methodological and conceptual issues in anthropology and beyond.
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.
Extremism, Society, and the State
Loperfido, G. (ed)
Extremism does not happen in a vacuum. Rather, extremism is a relative concept that often emerges in crisis situations, taking shape within the tense and contradictory relations that tie marginal spaces, state orders, and mainstream culture. This collected volume brings together leading anthropologists and cultural analysts to offer a concise look at the narratives, symbolic, and metaphoric fields related to extremism, systematizing an approach to extremism, and placing these ideologies into historical, political, and geo-systemic contexts.
Fairies, Ghosts, and Santa Claus
Tinted Glasses, Fetishes, and the Politics of Seeing
Doerr, N. M.
Investigating the politics of seeing and its effects, this book draws on Slavoj Žižek’s notion of fetish and Walter Benjamin’s notion of the optical unconscious to offer newer concepts: “tinted glasses”, through which we see the world; “unit-thinking”, which renders the world as consisting of discrete units; and “coherants”, which help fragmented experiences cohere into something intelligible. Examining experiences at a Japanese heritage language school, a study-abroad trip to Sierra Leone, as well as in college classrooms, this book reveals the workings of unit-thinking and fetishism in diverse contexts and explores possibilities for social change.
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
Heritage, Gentrification and Resistance in the Neoliberal City
Hammami, F., Jewesbury, D., & Valli, C. (eds)
What happens when versions of the past become silenced, suppressed, or privileged due to urban restructuring? In what ways are the interpretations and performances of ‘the past’ linked to urban gentrification, marginalization, displacement, and social responses? Authors explore a variety of attempts to interrupt and interrogate urban restructuring, and to imagine alternative forms of urban organization, produced by diverse coalitions of resisting groups and individuals. Armed with historical narratives, oral histories, objects, physical built environment, memorials, and intangible aspects of heritage that include traditions, local knowledge and experiences, memories, authors challenge the ‘devaluation’ of their neighborhoods in official heritage and development narratives.
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?
In the Meantime
Toward an Anthropology of the Possible
Masquelier, A. & Durham, D. (eds)
The “meantime” represents the gap between what is past and the unknown future. When considered as waiting, the meantime is defined as a period of suspension to be endured. By contrast, the contributors of this volume understand it as a space of “the possible” where calculation coexists with uncertainty, promises with disappointment, and imminence with deferral. Attending to the temporalities of emerging rather than settled facts, they put the stress on the temporal tactics, social commitments, material connections, dispositional orientations, and affective circuits that emerge in the meantime even in the most desperate times.
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.
Living Like a Girl
Agency, Social Vulnerability and Welfare Measures in Europe and Beyond
Vogel, M. & Arnell, L. (eds)
In recent decades, large-scale social changes have taken place in Europe. Ranging from neoliberal social policies to globalization and the growth of EU, these changes have significantly affected the conditions in which girls shape their lives. Living Like a Girl explores the relationship between changing social conditions and girls’ agency, with a particular focus on social services such as school programs and compulsory institutional care. The contributions in this collected volume seek to expand our understanding of contemporary European girlhood by demonstrating how social problems are managed in different cultural contexts, political and social systems.
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.
Once Upon a Time is Now
A Kalahari Memoir
Fifty years after her first fieldwork with Ju/'hoan San hunter-gatherers, anthropologist Megan Biesele has written this exceptional memoir based on personal journals she wrote at the time.
The treasure trove of vivid learning experiences and nightly ponderings she found has led to a memoir of rare value to anthropology students and academics as well as to general readers. Her experiences focus on the long-lived healing dance, known to many as the trance dance, and the intricate beliefs, artistry, and social system that support it.
She describes her immersion in a creative community enlivened and kept healthy by that dance, which she calls "one of the great intellectual achievements of humankind."
From the Preface:
A few years ago I finally got around to looking back into the box of personal field journals I had not opened for over forty years. I found a treasure trove. It was an overwhelming experience. So much that I had forgotten came vividly alive: I laughed, wept, and was terrified all over again at my temerity in taking on what I had taken on. To do justice to the richness of these notebooks, I realized, I would have to do a completely different sort of writing from anything I had ever done before.
Translations and Transmutations
Engels-Schwarzpaul, A.-C., Lopesi, L., & Refiti, A. L. (eds)
Delving into Pacific spaces from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and interpretations, this book looks at how the anthropological and architectural can be connected. The contributors to this book – architectural practitioners, architectural and spatial design theorists, anthropologists and historians – show not only how new theoretical perspectives can arise out of comparing aspects specific to one discipline with their equivalents of another, but also demonstrate how a space of emergence is created for something that goes beyond both, enhancing both fields of potentialities.
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.
The Power of the Story
Writing Disasters in Haiti and the Circum-Caribbean
Joos, V., Munro, M. & Ribó, J. (eds)
A cross-disciplinary volume that combines and puts into dialogue perspectives on disasters, this book includes contributions from anthropology, history, cultural studies, sociology, and literary studies. Offering a rich and diverse set of arguments and analyses on the ever-relevant theme of catastrophe in the circum-Caribbean, it will encourage debate and collaboration between scholars working on disasters from a range of disciplinary perspectives.
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.
Representing 21st-Century Migration in Europe
Performing Borders, Identities and Texts
González Ortega, N. & Martínez García, A. B. (eds)
The 21st century has witnessed some of the largest human migrations in history. Europe in particular has seen a major influx of refugees, redefining notions of borders and national identity. This interdisciplinary volume brings together leading international scholars of migration from perspectives as varied as literature, linguistics, area and cultural studies, media and communication, visual arts, and film studies. Together, they offer innovative interpretations of migrants and contemporary migration to Europe, enriching today’s political and media landscape, and engaging with the ongoing debate on forced mobility and rights of both extra-European migrants and European citizens.
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.
Self in the World
Connecting Life's Extremes
Eminent anthropologist Keith Hart draws on the humanities, popular culture and his own experiences to help readers explore their own place in history.
We each embark on two life journeys – one out into the world, the other inward to the self. With these journeys in mind, anthropologist, amateur economist and globetrotter Keith Hart reflects on a life of learning, sharing and remembering to offer readers the means of connecting life’s extremes – individual and society, local and global, personal and impersonal dimensions of existence and explores what it is that makes us fully human.
“This is a work of great originality. Keith Hart has had an unorthodox academic career and it has liberated him in many ways from academic pieties. His background in African ethnography gives him a fascinating angle on all sorts of things, not least the possibility of a more African-influenced global future. The book is full of surprises and mind-shifting observations. I actually couldn't put it down.”—Sherry B. Ortner, UCLA
From the introduction:
People have many sides, but I will focus here on two. Each of us is a biological organism with a historical personality that together make us a unique individual. But we cannot live outside society which shapes us in unfathomable ways. Human beings must learn to be self-reliant (not self-interested) in small and large ways: no-one will brush your teeth for you or save you from being run over while crossing the street. We each must also learn to belong to others, merging personal identity in a plethora of social relations and categories. Modern ideology insists that being individual and mutual is problematic. The culture of capitalist societies anticipates a conflict between them. Yet they are inseparable aspects of human nature.
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
Stories from an Ancient Land
Perspectives on Wa History and Culture
The Wa people have a rich civilization of their own, and a deep history in the mountains of Southeast Asia. Their mythology suggests their land is the first place inhabited by humans, which they care for on behalf of the world. This book introduces aspects of Wa culture, including their approach to the world’s troubles and the lessons others might learn from it. It also presents a new interpretation of Wa headhunting, questioning explanations that see it as a primitive custom, and instead placing it within the fraught history of the last few centuries.
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
Theorizing Relations in Indigenous South America
González Gálvez, M., Di Giminiani, P., & Bacchiddu, G. (eds)
Whether invented, discovered, implicit, or directly addressed, relations remain the main focus of most anthropological inquiries. These relations, once conceptualized in ethnographic fieldwork as self-evident connections between discrete social units, have been increasingly explored through local ontological theories. This collected volume explores how ethnographies of indigenous South America have helped to inspire this analytic shift, demonstrating the continued importance of ethnographic diversity. Most importantly, this volume asserts that comparative ethnographic research can help illustrate complex questions surrounding relations vis-à-vis the homogenizing effects of modern coloniality.
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
Explores the worldwide popularity of the love-lock as a ritual token of love and commitment by considering its history, symbolism, and heritage.
“[T]his is an eminently enjoyable and thorough investigation of a popular phenomenon through the lens of heritage and folk tradition.”—Sara De Nardi, Western Sydney University
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.
From the introduction:
I was distractedly perusing the photo frame aisle, my eyes skimming the generically sentimental stock pictures of happy families smiling at the camera, pretty landscapes, cute pets and couples walking hand-in-hand, when I came across one that jumped out at me…. I recognised the image instantly as a photograph of love-locks: the padlocks that had been appearing en masse on bridges and other public structures on a global scale since the early 2000s. And, having been researching the custom known as lovelocking for about five years at that point, it was with a peculiar sense of pride that I realised love-locks had accomplished the status of a stock image.
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 hydroelectric 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.
Working the Fabric
Resourcefulness, Belonging and Island Life in Scotland’s Harris Tweed Industry
Trademark-protected since 1910, the famous woollen cloth known as Harris Tweed can only be produced in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland – yet it is exported to over 50 countries around the world. Examining contemporary experiences of work and life, this book is the first in-depth anthropological study of the renowned textile industry, complementing and updating existing historical and ethnographic research. Drawing on one year of ethnographic fieldwork research in the Outer Hebrides, it offers an intimate account of industry workers’ lived experiences and contributes to anthropological debates on work and labour, cultural production, inclusive belonging and place-making in global capitalism.
Area: Northern Europe