The Relative Native

Essays on Indigenous Conceptual Worlds

Author: Eduardo Viveiros De Castro

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780990505037

Category: Social Science

Page: 412

View: 5695

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 Included are new English translations of essays from the original Portuguese and previously unpublished material.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.

Plants and Health

New Perspectives on the Health-Environment-Plant Nexus

Author: Elizabeth Anne Olson,John Richard Stepp

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 331948088X

Category: Science

Page: 175

View: 7659

This volume showcases current ethnobiological accounts of the ways that people use plants to promote human health and well-being. The goal in this volume is to highlight some contemporary examples of how plants are central to various aspects of healthy environments and healthy minds and bodies. Authors employ diverse analytic frameworks, including: interpretive and constructivist, cognitive, political-ecological, systems theory, phenomenological, and critical studies of the relationship between humans, plants and the environment. The case studies represent a wide geographical range and explore the diversity in the health appeals of plants and herbs. The volume begins by considering how plants may intrinsically be ‘healthful’ and the notion that ecosystem health may be a literal concept used in contemporary efforts to increase awareness of environmental degradation. The book continues with the exploration of the ways in which medically-pluralistic societies demonstrate the entanglements between the environment, the state and its citizens. Profit driven models for the extraction and production of medicinal plant products are explored in terms of health equity and sovereignty. Some of the chapters in this volume work to explore medicinal plant knowledge and the globalization of medicinal plant knowledge. The translocal and global networks of medicinal plant knowledge are pivotal to productions of medicinal and herbal plant remedies that are used by people in all variety of societies and cultural groups. Humans produce health through various means and interact with our environments, especially plants, in order to promote health. The ethnographic accounts of people, plants, and health in this volume will be of interest to the fields of anthropology, biology and ethnobiology, as well as allied disciplines.

Beyond Nature and Culture

Author: Philippe Descola

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022614500X

Category: Social Science

Page: 488

View: 6261

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.

Thinking Through Things

Theorising Artefacts Ethnographically

Author: Amiria Henare,Martin Holbraad,Sari Wastell

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135392722

Category: Social Science

Page: 248

View: 7652

Drawing upon the work of some of the most influential theorists in the field, Thinking Through Things demonstrates the quiet revolution growing in anthropology and its related disciplines, shifting its philosophical foundations. The first text to offer a direct and provocative challenge to disciplinary fragmentation - arguing for the futility of segregating the study of artefacts and society - this collection expands on the concerns about the place of objects and materiality in analytical strategies, and the obligation of ethnographers to question their assumptions and approaches. The team of leading contributors put forward a positive programme for future research in this highly original and invaluable guide to recent developments in mainstream anthropological theory.

Truth in Motion

The Recursive Anthropology of Cuban Divination

Author: Martin Holbraad

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226349209

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 7844

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.

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: 4474

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.

Storytelling Globalization from the Chaco and Beyond

Author: Mario Blaser

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 082239118X

Category: Social Science

Page: 316

View: 8294

For more than fifteen years, Mario Blaser has been involved with the Yshiro people of the Paraguayan Chaco as they have sought to maintain their world in the face of conservation and development programs promoted by the state and various nongovernmental organizations. In this ethnography of the encounter between modernizing visions of development, the place-based “life projects” of the Yshiro, and the agendas of scholars and activists, Blaser argues for an understanding of the political mobilization of the Yshiro and other indigenous peoples as part of a struggle to make the global age hospitable to a “pluriverse” containing multiple worlds or realities. As he explains, most knowledge about the Yshiro produced by non-indigenous “experts” has been based on modern Cartesian dualisms separating subject and object, mind and body, and nature and culture. Such thinking differs profoundly from the relational ontology enacted by the Yshiro and other indigenous peoples. Attentive to people’s unique experiences of place and self, the Yshiro reject universal knowledge claims, unlike Western modernity, which assumes the existence of a universal reality and refuses the existence of other ontologies or realities. In Storytelling Globalization from the Chaco and Beyond, Blaser engages in storytelling as a knowledge practice grounded in a relational ontology and attuned to the ongoing struggle for a pluriversal globality.

The Ontological Turn

An Anthropological Exposition

Author: Martin Holbraad,Morten Axel Pedersen

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316883191

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 4412

A new and often controversial theoretical orientation that resonates strongly with wider developments in contemporary philosophy and social theory, the so-called 'ontological turn' is receiving a great deal of attention in anthropology and cognate disciplines at present. This book provides the first anthropological exposition of this recent intellectual development. It traces the roots of the ontological turn in the history of anthropology and elucidates its emergence as a distinct theoretical orientation over the past few decades, showing how it has emerged in the work of Roy Wagner, Marilyn Strathern and Viveiros de Castro, as well a number of younger scholars. Distinguishing this trajectory of thinking from related attempts to put questions of ontology at the heart of anthropological research, the book articulates critically the key methodological and theoretical tenets of the ontological turn, its prime epistemological and political implications, and locates it in the broader intellectual landscape of contemporary social theory.

Deleuzian Intersections

Science, Technology, Anthropology

Author: Casper Bruun Jensen,Kjetil Rodje

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 085745658X

Category: Social Science

Page: 286

View: 6482

Science and technology studies, cultural anthropology and cultural studies deal with the complex relations between material, symbolic, technical and political practices. In a Deleuzian approach these relations are seen as produced in heterogeneous assemblages, moving across distinctions such as the human and non-human or the material and ideal. This volume outlines a Deleuzian approach to analyzing science, culture and politics.

Archeology of Violence

Author: Pierre Clastres

Publisher: Semiotext

ISBN: N.A

Category: Social Science

Page: 335

View: 3973

Clastres's final, posthumous book on the affirmative role of violence in "primitive societies."

Tree Leaf Talk

A Heideggerian Anthropology

Author: James F. Weiner

Publisher: Berg Publishers

ISBN: 9781859737217

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 3720

This is the first book to explore the relationship between Martin Heidegger's work and modern anthropology. Heidegger attracts much scholarly interest among social scientists, but few have explored his ideas in relation to current anthropological debates. The discipline's modernist foundations, the nature of cultural constructionism and of art ñ even what an anthropology of art must include ñ are all informed and illuminated by Heidegger's work. The author argues that many contemporary anthropologists, in their concern to return subjectivity and 'voice' to their interlocutors, neglect to recognize that language and other representational practices conceal the world and human subjectivity as much as reveal it. The author also suggests that Heidegger's critique of western technology provides the basis for a return to anthropology's sociological foundations. Emerging from over ten years of original research, and drawing on a rich knowledge of Australian and Melanesian ethnography, this book reassesses the underlying framework of modern and, particularly, visual anthropology. Innovative and provocative, it will be of interest to all anthropologists, philosophers and students of art and culture.

Cannibal Metaphysics

Author: Eduardo Viveiros De Castro

Publisher: Univocal

ISBN: 9781517905316

Category:

Page: 229

View: 6849

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.

Before and After Gender

Sexual Mythologies of Everyday Life

Author: Marilyn Strathern,Judith Butler

Publisher: Hau

ISBN: 9780986132537

Category: Sex role

Page: 280

View: 3317

Written in the early 1970s amidst widespread debate over the causes of gender inequality, Marilyn Strathern's Before and After Gender was intended as a widely accessible analysis of gender as a powerful cultural code and sex as a defining mythology. But when the series for which it was written unexpectedly folded, the manuscript went into storage, where it remained for more than four decades. This book finally brings it to light, giving the long-lost feminist work--accompanied here by an afterword from Judith Butler--an overdue spot in feminist history. Strathern incisively engages some of the leading feminist thinkers of the time, including Shulamith Firestone, Simone de Beauvoir, Ann Oakley, and Kate Millett. Building with characteristic precision toward a bold conclusion in which she argues that we underestimate the materializing grammars of sex and gender at our own peril, she offers a powerful challenge to the intransigent mythologies of sex that still plague contemporary society. The result is a sweeping display of Strathern's vivid critical thought and an important contribution to feminist studies that has gone unpublished for far too long.

Hunters, Predators and Prey

Inuit Perceptions of Animals

Author: Frédéric Laugrand,Jarich Oosten†

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 1782384065

Category: Social Science

Page: 418

View: 4305

Inuit hunting traditions are rich in perceptions, practices and stories relating to animals and human beings. The authors examine key figures such as the raven, an animal that has a central place in Inuit culture as a creator and a trickster, and qupirruit, a category consisting of insects and other small life forms. After these non-social and inedible animals, they discuss the dog, the companion of the hunter, and the fellow hunter, the bear, considered to resemble a human being. A discussion of the renewal of whale hunting accompanies the chapters about animals considered 'prey par excellence': the caribou, the seals and the whale, symbol of the whole. By giving precedence to Inuit categories such as 'inua' (owner) and 'tarniq' (shade) over European concepts such as 'spirit 'and 'soul', the book compares and contrasts human beings and animals to provide a better understanding of human-animal relationships in a hunting society.

The Inconstancy of the Indian Soul

The Encounter of Catholics and Cannibals in 16th-century Brazil

Author: Eduardo Batalha Viveiros de Castro

Publisher: Prickly Paradigm

ISBN: 9780984201013

Category: History

Page: 104

View: 4333

In the mid-sixteenth century, Jesuit missionaries working in what is now Brazil were struck by what they called the inconstancy of the people they met, the indigenous Tupi-speaking tribes of the Atlantic coast. Though the Indians appeared eager to receive the Gospel, they also had a tendency to forget the missionaries’ lessons and “revert” to their natural state of war, cannibalism, and polygamy. This peculiar mixture of acceptance and rejection, compulsion and forgetfulness was incorrectly understood by the priests as a sign of the natives’ incapacity to believe in anything durably. In this pamphlet, world-renowned Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro situates the Jesuit missionaries’ accounts of the Tupi people in historical perspective, and in the process draws out some startling and insightful implications of their perceived inconstancy in relation to anthropological debates on culture and religion.

Comparative Metaphysics

Ontology After Anthropology

Author: Pierre Charbonnier,Gildas Salmon,Peter Skafish

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield International

ISBN: 9781783488582

Category: Philosophy

Page: 400

View: 8041

An advanced introduction to the new philosophical anthropology and an understanding of the most contemporary developments in it.

Two Lenins

A Brief Anthropology of Time

Author: Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov

Publisher: Malinowski Monographs

ISBN: 9780997367539

Category: History

Page: 112

View: 1639

Highly innovative and theoretically incisive, Two Lenins is the first book-length anthropological examination of how social reality can be organized around different yet concurrent ideas of time. Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov grounds his theoretical exploration in fascinating ethnographic and historical material on two Lenins: the first is the famed Soviet leader of the early twentieth century, and the second is a Siberian Evenki hunter--nicknamed "Lenin"--who experienced the collapse of the USSR during the 1990s. Through their intertwined stories, Ssorin-Chaikov unveils new dimensions of ethnographic reality by multiplying our notions of time. Ssorin-Chaikov examines Vladimir Lenin at the height of his reign in 1920s Soviet Russia, focusing especially on his relationship with American businessperson Armand Hammer. He casts this scene against the second Lenin--the hunter on the far end of the country, in Siberia, at the far end of the century, the 1990s, who is tasked with improvising postsocialism in the economic and political uncertainties of post-Soviet transition. Moving from Moscow to Siberia to New York, and traveling form the 1920s to the 1960s to the 1990's, Ssorin-Chaikov takes readers beyond a simple global history or cross-temporal comparison, instead using these two figures to enact an ethnographic study of the very category of time that we use to bridge different historical contexts.

Mistrust

An Ethnographic Theory

Author: Matthew Carey

Publisher: Malinowski Monographs

ISBN: 9780997367522

Category: Social Science

Page: 134

View: 718

Trust occupies a unique place in contemporary discourse. Seen as both necessary and virtuous, it is variously depicted as enhancing the social fabric, lowering crime rates, increasing happiness, and generating prosperity. It allows for complex political systems, permits human communication, underpins financial instruments and economic institutions, and generally holds society together. Against these overwhelmingly laudable qualities, mistrust often goes unnoticed as a positive social phenomenon, treated as little more than a corrosive absence, a mere negative of trust itself. With this book, Matthew Carey proposes an ethnographic and conceptual exploration of mistrust that raises it up as legitimate stance in its own right. While mistrust can quickly ruin relationships and even dissolve extensive social ties, Carey shows that it might have other values. Drawing on fieldwork in Morocco s High Atlas Mountains as well as comparative material from regions stretching from Eastern Europe to Melanesia, he examines the impact of mistrust on practices of conversation and communication, friendship and society, and politics and cooperation. In doing so, he demonstrates that trust is not the only basis for organizing human society and cooperating with others. The result is a provocative but enlightening work that makes us rethink social issues such as suspicion, doubt, and uncertainty. "

Ontologies for Developing Things

Making Health Care Futures Through Technology

Author: Casper Bruun Jensen

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9789460912085

Category: Education

Page: 181

View: 2008

Ontologies for Developing Things offers a series of conceptually inventive analyses of the future-making processes put in motion in contemporary health care systems with the introduction of electronic patient records and other communication technologies. The book shows how such technological development and implementation processes are bound up with multiple other issues: professional, social, economic and political. Through such processes health care ontologies gradually change, often with unanticipated effects. In analyzing these effects, Jensen offers a highly innovative interpretation of where science and technology studies could be headed - towards performative, non- humanist modes of inquiry. Casper Bruun Jensen is one of the most intellectually accomplished and creative theorists of second-generation Science and Technology Studies (STS) as well as one of the most active and productive researchers in the field. In Ontologies for Developing Things, he offers a series of highly original delineations and vigorous defenses of recent developments--or, as he calls them "dispositions"--in STS (ontological, performative, pragmatist, and so forth) through a series of parallel narrations of his own onsite studies of the introduction of new medical-information technologies in Denmark and Canada. Ontologies for Developing Things is a work of unflagging intelligence and intellectual energy, spilling over with new ideas, surprising angles, sharp perceptions and interesting juxtapositions, and written with correspondingly attractive punch and force. Readers interested in information technologies, contemporary developments in social studies of science, and related cultural and political theory will find the book immensely engaging and endlessly useful. - Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Duke University and Brown University [author of Scandalous Knowledge: Science Truth and the Human and Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religion] This superb book is all of empirically rich, politically engaged, ontologically profound and lucid. Any three of the four makes a very good book; all four makes an outstanding one. - Geoffrey C. Bowker, Professor in Cyberscholarship, University of Pittsburg (Author of Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (With Susan Leigh Star) and Memory Practices in the Sciences).

Anthropological Locations

Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science

Author: Akhil Gupta,James Ferguson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520206809

Category: Social Science

Page: 275

View: 3663

"A vitally important contribution to anthropology. . . . Most importantly, although the critique is sharply directed, the tone of the volume is constructive rather than destructive--or deconstructive."--Joan Vincent, Barnard College "A rich, thought-provoking, and highly original collection. . . . The research presented is new and the perspectives original. This collection of essays casts significant new light on phenomena and practices which have long been central to anthropology, while at the same time introducing new substantive materials."--Don Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruz