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Essays toward a Literary Anthropology of Nigeria
Nigeria is a country shaped by internal diversity and transnational connections, past and present. Leading Nigerian writers from Chinua Achebe, Amos Tutuola and Wole Soyinka to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Teju Cole have portrayed these Nigerian issues, and have also written about some of the momentous events in Nigerian history. Afropolitan Horizons discusses their work alongside other novelists and commentators, as well as describing the ways in which Nigeria has appeared in foreign news reporting. It is all interwoven with the author’s own anthropological field research in a town in Central Nigeria.
Comparative Perspectives on the Voices and Silences of the Dead
Panagiotopoulos, A. & Espírito Santo, D. (eds)
Going beyond the frameworks of the anthropology of death, Articulate Necrographies offers a dramatic new way of studying the dead and their interactions with the living. Traditional anthropology has tended to dichotomize societies where death “speaks” from those where death is “silent” – the latter is deemed “scientific” and the former “religious” or “magical”. The collection introduces the concept of “necrography” to describe the way death and the dead create their own kinds of biographies in and among the living, and asks what kinds of articulations and silences this in turn produces in the lives of those affected.
Concepts and Intersections
Schimanski, J. & Wolfe, S. F. (eds)
Few concepts are as central to understanding the modern world as borders, and the now-thriving field of border studies has already produced a substantial literature analyzing their legal, ideological, geographical, and historical aspects. Such studies have hardly exhausted the subject’s conceptual fertility, however, as this pioneering collection on the aesthetics of borders demonstrates. Organized around six key ideas—ecology, imaginary, in/visibility, palimpsest, sovereignty and waiting—the interlocking essays collected here provide theoretical starting points for an aesthetic understanding of borders, developed in detail through interdisciplinary analyses of literature, audio-visual borderscapes, historical and contemporary ecologies, political culture, and migration.
Contemporary Australian and Canadian Literature and Film beyond the Victim Paradigm
Transitional justice and national inquiries may be the most established means for coming to terms with traumatic legacies, but it is in the more subtle social and cultural processes of “memory work” that the pitfalls and promises of reconciliation are laid bare. This book analyzes, within the realms of literature and film, recent Australian and Canadian attempts to reconcile with Indigenous populations in the wake of forced child removal. As Hanna Teichler demonstrates, their systematic emphasis on the subjectivity of the victim is problematic, reproducing simplistic narratives and identities defined by victimization. Such fictions of reconciliation venture beyond simplistic narratives and identities defined by victimization, offering new opportunities for confronting painful histories.
Areas: North America Asia-Pacific
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
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
Franz Baermann Steiner
A Stranger in the World
Adler, J. & Fardon, R.
Franz Baermann Steiner (1909-52) provided the vital link between the intellectual culture of central Europe and the Oxford Institute of Anthropology in its post-Second World War years.
This book demonstrates his quiet influence within anthropology, which has extended from Mary Douglas to David Graeber, and how his remarkable poetry reflected profoundly on the slavery and murder of the Shoah, an event which he escaped from. Steiner’s concerns including inter-disciplinarity, genre, refugees and exile, colonialism and violence, and the sources of European anthropology speak to contemporary concerns more directly now than at any time since his early death.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology Literary Studies
House of the Waterlily
A Novel of the Ancient Maya World
Set in the Maya civilization’s Late Classic Period House of the Waterlily is a historical novel centered on Lady Winik, a young Maya royal. Through tribulations that mirror the political calamities of the Late Classic world, Winik’s personal story immerses the reader not only in her daily life, but also in the difficult decisions Maya men and women must have faced as they tried to navigate a rapidly changing world. Kelli Carmean’s novel brings to life a people and an era remote from our own, yet recognizably human all the same.
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.
On the Nervous Edge of an Impossible Paradise
Affect, Tourism, Belize
There are beastly forces in Belize. Forces that are actively involved in making paradise impossible. On the Nervous Edge of an Impossible Paradise is a collection of seven stories about local lives in the fictional village of Wallaceville. They turn rogue in the face of runaway forces that take the form and figure of a Belize beast-time, which can appear as a comic mishap, social ruin, tragic excess, or wild guesses. Inciting the affective politics of life in the region, this fable of emergence evokes the unnerving uncertainties of life in the tourist state of Belize.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Literary Studies
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.
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.
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)
Performance, Politics and Oral Poetry
Ní Shíocháin, T.
Considered by many to be the greatest Irish song poet of her generation, Máire Bhuí Ní Laeire (Yellow Mary O’Leary; 1774–1848) was an illiterate woman unconnected to elite literary and philosophical circles who powerfully engaged the politics of her own society through song. As an oral arts practitioner, Máire Bhuí composed songs whose ecstatic, radical vision stirred her community to revolt and helped to shape nineteenth-century Irish anti-colonial thought. This provocative and richly theorized study explores the re-creative, liminal aspect of song, treating it as a performative social process that cuts to the very root of identity and thought formation, thus re-imagining the history of ideas in society.
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.