Cannibal Metaphysics

Author: Eduardo Viveiros De Castro

Publisher: Univocal

ISBN: 9781517905316

Category:

Page: 229

View: 2367

The iconoclastic Brazilian anthropologist and theoretician Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, well known in his discipline for helping initiate its "ontological turn," offers a vision of anthropology as "the practice of the permanent decolonization of thought." After showing that Amazonian and other Amerindian groups inhabit a radically different conceptual universe than ours--in which nature and culture, human and nonhuman, subject and object are conceived in terms that reverse our own--he presents the case for anthropology as the study of such "other" metaphysical schemes, and as the corresponding critique of the concepts imposed on them by the human sciences. Along the way, he spells out the consequences of this anthropology for thinking in general via a major reassessment of the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, arguments for the continued relevance of Deleuze and Guattari, dialogues with the work of Philippe Descola, Bruno Latour, and Marilyn Strathern, and inventive treatments of problems of ontology, translation, and transformation. Bold, unexpected, and profound, Cannibal Metaphysics is one of the chief works marking anthropology's current return to the theoretical center stage.

Beyond Nature and Culture

Author: Philippe Descola

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022614500X

Category: Social Science

Page: 488

View: 5862

Philippe Descola has become one of the most important anthropologists working today, and Beyond Nature and Culture has been a major influence in European intellectual life since its French publication in 2005. Here, finally, it is brought to English-language readers. At its heart is a question central to both anthropology and philosophy: what is the relationship between nature and culture? Culture—as a collective human making, of art, language, and so forth—is often seen as essentially different from nature, which is portrayed as a collective of the nonhuman world, of plants, animals, geology, and natural forces. Descola shows this essential difference to be, however, not only a specifically Western notion, but also a very recent one. Drawing on ethnographic examples from around the world and theoretical understandings from cognitive science, structural analysis, and phenomenology, he formulates a sophisticated new framework, the “four ontologies”— animism, totemism, naturalism, and analogism—to account for all the ways we relate ourselves to nature. By thinking beyond nature and culture as a simple dichotomy, Descola offers nothing short of a fundamental reformulation by which anthropologists and philosophers can see the world afresh.

Dark Shamans

Kanaimà and the Poetics of Violent Death

Author: Neil L. Whitehead

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822384302

Category: Social Science

Page: 324

View: 8237

On the little-known and darker side of shamanism there exists an ancient form of sorcery called kanaimà, a practice still observed among the Amerindians of the highlands of Guyana, Venezuela, and Brazil that involves the ritual stalking, mutilation, lingering death, and consumption of human victims. At once a memoir of cultural encounter and an ethnographic and historical investigation, this book offers a sustained, intimate look at kanaimà, its practitioners, their victims, and the reasons they give for their actions. Neil L. Whitehead tells of his own involvement with kanaimà—including an attempt to kill him with poison—and relates the personal testimonies of kanaimà shamans, their potential victims, and the victims’ families. He then goes on to discuss the historical emergence of kanaimà, describing how, in the face of successive modern colonizing forces—missionaries, rubber gatherers, miners, and development agencies—the practice has become an assertion of native autonomy. His analysis explores the ways in which kanaimà mediates both national and international impacts on native peoples in the region and considers the significance of kanaimà for current accounts of shamanism and religious belief and for theories of war and violence. Kanaimà appears here as part of the wider lexicon of rebellious terror and exotic horror—alongside the cannibal, vampire, and zombie—that haunts the western imagination. Dark Shamans broadens discussions of violence and of the representation of primitive savagery by recasting both in the light of current debates on modernity and globalization.

Truth in Motion

The Recursive Anthropology of Cuban Divination

Author: Martin Holbraad

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226349209

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 810

Embarking on an ethnographic journey to the inner barrios of Havana among practitioners of Ifá, a prestigious Afro-Cuban tradition of divination, Truth in Motion reevaluates Western ideas about truth in light of the practices and ideas of a wildly different, and highly respected, model. Acutely focusing on Ifá, Martin Holbraad takes the reader inside consultations, initiations, and lively public debates to show how Ifá practitioners see truth as something to be not so much represented, as transformed. Bringing his findings to bear on the discipline of anthropology itself, he recasts the very idea of truth as a matter not only of epistemological divergence but also of ontological difference—the question of truth, he argues, is not simply about how things may appear differently to people, but also about the different ways of imagining what those things are. By delving so deeply into Ifá practices, Truth in Motion offers cogent new ways of thinking about otherness and how anthropology can navigate it.

A Final Story

Science, Myth, and Beginnings

Author: Nasser Zakariya

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022650073X

Category: Science

Page: 608

View: 7441

Popular science readers embrace epics—the sweeping stories that claim to tell the history of all the universe, from the cosmological to the biological to the social. And the appeal is understandable: in writing these works, authors such as E. O. Wilson or Steven Weinberg deliberately seek to move beyond particular disciplines, to create a compelling story weaving together natural historical events, scientific endeavor, human discovery, and contemporary existential concerns. In A Final Story, Nasser Zakariya delves into the origins and ambitions of these scientific epics, from the nineteenth century to the present, to see what they reveal about the relationship between storytelling, integrated scientific knowledge, and historical method. While seeking to transcend the perspectives of their own eras, the authors of the epics and the debates surrounding them are embedded in political and social struggles of their own times, struggles to which the epics in turn respond. In attempts to narrate an approach to a final, true account, these synthesizing efforts shape and orient scientific developments old and new. By looking closely at the composition of science epics and the related genres developed along with them, we are able to view the historical narrative of science as a form of knowledge itself, one that discloses much about the development of our understanding of and relationship to science over time.

Notes on Love in a Tamil Family

Author: Margaret Trawick

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520912809

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 3034

Love, as a force in human affairs, is still not given much attention or credency by social scientists. With Notes on Love in a Tamil Family, Margaret Trawick places the notion of love prominently in social scientific discourse. Her unforgettable and profusely illustrated study is a significant contribution to anthropology and to South Asian studies. Trawick lived for a time in the midst of one large South Indian family and sought to understand the multiple and mutually shared expressions of anpu--what in English we call love. Often enveloping the author herself, changing her as she inevitably changed her hosts, this family performed before the young anthropologist's eyes the meaning of anpu: through poetry and conversation, through the not always gentle raising of children, through the weaving of kinship tapestries, through erotic exchanges among women, among men, and across the great sexual boundary. She communicates with grace and insight what she learned from this Tamil family, and we discover that love is no less universal than selfishness and individualism.

The Ecology of Others

Author: Philippe Descola,Geneviève Godbout

Publisher: Prickly Paradigm

ISBN: 9780984201020

Category: Nature

Page: 91

View: 4026

Since the end of the nineteenth century, the division between nature and culture has been fundamental to Western thought. In this groundbreaking work, renowned anthropologist Philippe Descola seeks to break down this divide, arguing for a departure from the anthropocentric model and its rigid dualistic conception of nature and culture as distinct phenomena. In its stead, Descola proposes a radical new worldview, in which beings and objects, human and nonhuman, are understood through the complex relationships that they possess with one another. The Ecology of Others presents a compelling challenge to anthropologists, ecologists, and environmental studies scholars to rethink the way we conceive of humans, objects, and the environment. Thought-provoking and engagingly written, it will be required reading for all those interested in moving beyond the moving beyond the confines of this fascinating debate.

The Ends of the World

Author: Déborah Danowski,Eduardo Viveiros de Castro

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1509503994

Category: Social Science

Page: 180

View: 3645

The end of the world is a seemingly interminable topic Ð at least, of course, until it happens. Environmental catastrophe and planetary apocalypse are subjects of enduring fascination and, as ethnographic studies show, human cultures have approached them in very different ways. Indeed, in the face of the growing perception of the dire effects of global warming, some of these visions have been given a new lease on life. Information and analyses concerning the human causes and the catastrophic consequences of the planetary ‘crisis’ have been accumulating at an ever-increasing rate, mobilising popular opinion as well as academic reflection. In this book, philosopher Déborah Danowski and anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro offer a bold overview and interpretation of these current discourses on ‘the end of the world’, reading them as thought experiments on the decline of the West’s anthropological adventure Ð that is, as attempts, though not necessarily intentional ones, at inventing a mythology that is adequate to the present. This work has important implications for the future development of ecological practices and it will appeal to a broad audience interested in contemporary anthropology, philosophy, and environmentalism.

Partial Connections

Author: Marilyn Strathern

Publisher: Rowman Altamira

ISBN: 0759114935

Category: Social Science

Page: 188

View: 3534

Updated with a new Preface, this seminal work challenges the routine ways in which anthropologists have thought about the complexity and quantity of their materials. Marilyn Strathern focuses on a problem normally regarded as commonplace; that of scale and proportion. She combines a wide-ranging interest in current theoretical issues with close attention to the cultural details of social life, attempting to establish proportionality between them. Strathern gives equal weight to two areas of contemporary debate: The difficulties inherent in anthropologically representing complex societies, and the future of cross-cultural comparison in a field where 'too much' seems known. The ethnographic focus of this book emphasizes the context through which Melanesianists have managed the complexity of their own accounts, while at the same time unfolding a commentary on perception and the mixing of indigenous forms. Revealing unexpected replications in modes of thought and in the presentation of ambiguous images, Strathern has fashioned a unique contribution to the anthropological corpus. This book was originally published under the sponsorship of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania.

Cartography of Exhaustion

Nihilism Inside Out

Author: Peter Pal Pelbart

Publisher: Univocal Publishing

ISBN: 9781937561512

Category: Philosophy

Page: 300

View: 6858

In a contemporary landscape of communicative and connective excess, a very novel contemporary exhaustion exacerbated by our relation to the postdigital terrain is ever present. The Brazilian philosopher and schizoanalyst Peter Pál Pelbart pushes the vital question of our nihililstic age to the limits: how can one learn to be left alone, live alone, and perhaps, by way of a Deleuzian "absolute solitude," conjure a vitality for living again and, indeed, finding something truly "worthy of saying"? Through various poetic meanderings, meditations, and building on the works of Blanchot, Musil, Guattari, and Delingy, among others, Pelbart reestablishes the possibility of fighting off the exhaustion of our current state of affairs. For Pelbart, we must chart the cartography of exhaustion as if it were a sort of molecular symptomology.

The Fiction

Author: Curt Pires

Publisher: BOOM

ISBN: 1613985290

Category: Comics & Graphic Novels

Page: 112

View: 9131

Four childhood friends discover a box of strange books that, when read aloud, can transport them to the beautiful, imaginary worlds described within. But when one of them goes missing, the others vow never to reveal where they've been and what they've seen. Years later, when one of the remaining kids, now an adult, also mysteriously disappears, it's up to the last two of the group to dig up their dusty books to find him and finally figure out what happened to their friend all those years ago.

Post-history

Author: Vilém Flusser,Rodrigo Maltez-Novaes

Publisher: Univocal Pub Llc

ISBN: 9781937561093

Category: Philosophy

Page: 167

View: 7221

In Post-History, Vilém Flusser asks the essential question: Is there any room left for freedom in a programmed world? Written as a series of lectures to be delivered at universities in Brazil, Israel, and France, this first English translation of Post-History brings to an anglophone readership Flusser's first critique of apparatus as the aesthetic, ethical, and epistemological model of present times.

The Relative Native

Essays on Indigenous Conceptual Worlds

Author: Eduardo Viveiros De Castro

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780990505037

Category: Social Science

Page: 412

View: 2159

This volume is the first major collection of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro's best yet hitherto scattered essays and lectures, including his momentous 1998 Cambridge University Lectures, "Cosmological perspectivism in Amazonia and Elsewhere." Included are new English translations of essays from the original Portuguese and previously unpublished material. A force to be reckoned with, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro's "ouevre" has gained immense popularity in anthropology over the past two decades, most notably through his elucidation of Amazonian perspectivism--a major influence on discipline's recent "ontological turn." Here is Viveiros de Castro at his finest--philosopher and anthropologist, ethnographer and ethnologist, superbly engaging with classic topics such as kinship yet subverting nature/culture ideologies, and taking us into the theoretical depths of magic, cosmology, ontology, and history.

Popol Vuh

Literal Poetic Version

Author: Allen J. Christenson

Publisher: John Hunt Publishing

ISBN: 9781903816578

Category: Religion

Page: 319

View: 5633

The Popol Vuh is one of the world's greatest creation stories, comparable to the power and beauty of Genesis. The fruit of ten years of research, this great classic of central American spirituality is now available in an authoritative, scholarly and accessible translation.

The End of Sacrifice

Religious Transformations in Late Antiquity

Author: Susan Emanuel,Guy G. Stroumsa

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 1459627520

Category:

Page: 232

View: 7504

The religious transformations that marked late antiquity represent an enigma that has challenged some of the West's greatest thinkers. But, according to Guy Stroumsa, the oppositions between paganism and Christianity that characterize prevailing theories have endured for too long. Instead of describing this epochal change as an evolution within the Greco - Roman world from polytheism to monotheism, he argues that the cause for this shift can be found not so much around the Mediterranean as in the Near East. The End of Sacrifice points to the role of Judaism, particularly its inventions of new religious life following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. The end of animal sacrifice gave rise to new forms of worship, with a concern for personal salvation, scriptural study, rituals like praying and fasting, and the rise of religious communities and monasticism. It is what Christianity learned from Judaism about texts, death, and, above all, sacrifice that allowed it to supersede Greco - Roman religions and, Stroumsa argues, transform religion itself. A concise and original approach to a much - studied moment in religious history, The End of Sacrifice will be heralded by all scholars of late antiquity.

From the Enemy's Point of View

Humanity and Divinity in an Amazonian Society

Author: Eduardo Viveiros de Castro

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226858012

Category: Social Science

Page: 407

View: 5392

"Translated and revised version of author's 1986 doctoral thesis, one of the most influential monographs in Brazilian ethnology of the last decade. Describes and interprets cosmology and social philosophy of the Arawete, a Tupi-Guarani people of easternA

Vital Diplomacy

The Ritual Everyday on a Dammed River in Amazonia

Author: Chloe Nahum-Claudel

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 1785334077

Category: Social Science

Page: 302

View: 4560

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.

Environmental Law and Governance for the Anthropocene

Author: Louis Kotzé

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1509906541

Category: Law

Page: 408

View: 6618

The era of eco-crises signified by the Anthropocene trope is marked by rapidly intensifying levels of complexity and unevenness, which collectively present unique regulatory challenges to environmental law and governance. This volume sets out to address the currently under-theorised legal and consequent governance challenges presented by the emergence of the Anthropocene as a possible new geological epoch. While the epoch has yet to be formally confirmed, the trope and discourse of the Anthropocene undoubtedly already confront law and governance scholars with a unique challenge concerning the need to question, and ultimately re-imagine, environmental law and governance interventions in the light of a new socio-ecological situation, the signs of which are increasingly apparent and urgent. This volume does not aspire to offer a univocal response to Anthropocene exigencies and phenomena. Any such attempt is, in any case, unlikely to do justice to the multiple implications and characteristics of Anthropocene forebodings. What it does is to invite an unrivalled group of leading law and governance scholars to reflect upon the Anthropocene and the implications of its discursive formation in an attempt to trace some initial, often radical, future-facing and imaginative implications for environmental law and governance.

Wonderful Blood

Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond

Author: Caroline Walker Bynum

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812220196

Category: History

Page: 402

View: 672

Bynum argues that Christ's blood as both object and symbol was central to late medieval art, literature, and religious life. As cult object, blood provided a focus of theological debate about the nature of matter, body, and God and an occasion for Jewish persecution; as motif, blood became a central symbol in popular devotion.

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093566

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 5230

In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.