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New books - May
The Paradox of Openness by
The 'open society' has become a watchword of liberal democracy and the market system in the modern globalized world. Openness stands lot individual opportunity and collective reason, as well as bottom-up empowerment and top-down transparency. It has become a cherished value, despite its vagueness and the connotation of vulnerability that surrounds it. Scandinavia has long considered itself a model of openness, citing traditions of freedom of information and inclusive policy making. This collection of essays traces the conceptual origins, development, and diverse challenges of openness in the Nordic countries and Austria. It examines some of the many paradoxes that openness encounters and the tensions it arouses when it addresses such divergent ends as democratic deliberation ant market transactions, freedom of speech and sensitive information, compliant decision making and political and administrative transparency, and consensual procedures and the toleration of dissent. Book jacket.
Ancient Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World by
Paquimé, the great multistoried pre-Hispanic settlement also known as Casas Grandes, was the center of an ancient region with hundreds of related neighbors. It also participated in massive networks that stretched their fingers through northwestern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. Paquimé is widely considered one of the most important and influential communities in ancient northern Mexico and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World, edited by Paul E. Minnis and Michael E. Whalen, summarizes the four decades of research since the Amerind Foundation and Charles Di Peso published the results of the Joint Casas Grandes Expeditions in 1974.   The Joint Casas Grandes Expedition revealed the extraordinary nature of this site: monumental architecture, massive ball courts, ritual mounds, over a ton of shell artifacts, hundreds of skeletons of multicolored macaws and their pens, copper from west Mexico, and rich political and religious life with Mesoamerican-related images and rituals. Paquimé was not one sole community but was surrounded by hundreds of outlying villages in the region, indicating a zone that sustained thousands of inhabitants and influenced groups much farther afield.   In celebration of the Amerind Foundation's seventieth anniversary, sixteen scholars with direct and substantial experience in Casas Grandes archaeology present nine chapters covering its economy, chronology, history, religion, regional organization, and importance. The two final chapters examine Paquimé in broader geographic perspectives. This volume sheds new light on Casas Grandes/Paquimé, a great town well-adapted to its physical and economic environment that disappeared just before Spanish contact.
Living and Leaving by
The Mesa Verde migrations in the thirteenth century were an integral part of a transformative period that forever changed the course of Pueblo history. For more than seven hundred years, Pueblo people lived in the Northern San Juan region of the U.S. Southwest. Yet by the end of the 1200s, tens of thousands of Pueblo people had left the region. Understanding how it happened and where they went are enduring questions central to Southwestern archaeology. Much of the focus on this topic has been directed at understanding the role of climate change, drought, violence, and population pressure. The role of social factors, particularly religious change and sociopolitical organization, are less well understood. Bringing together multiple lines of evidence, including settlement patterns, pottery exchange networks, and changes in ceremonial and civic architecture, this book takes a historical perspective that naturally forefronts the social factors underlying the depopulation of Mesa Verde. Author Donna M. Glowacki shows how "living and leaving" were experienced across the region and what role differing stressors and enablers had in causing emigration. The author's analysis explains how different histories and contingencies--which were shaped by deeply rooted eastern and western identities, a broad-reaching Aztec-Chaco ideology, and the McElmo Intensification--converged, prompting everyone to leave the region. This book will be of interest to southwestern specialists and anyone interested in societal collapse, transformation, and resilience.
The Anthropology of Childhood by
How are children raised in different cultures? What is the role of children in society? How are families and communities structured around them? Now available in a revised edition, this book sets out to answer these questions, and argues that our common understandings about children are narrowly culture-bound. Enriched with anecdotes from ethnography and the daily media, the book examines family structure, reproduction, profiles of children's caretakers within family or community, their treatment at different ages, their play, work, schooling, and transition to adulthood. The result is a nuanced and credible picture of childhood in different cultures, past and present. Organised developmentally, moving from infancy through to adolescence and early adulthood, this new edition reviews and catalogues the findings of over 100 years of anthropological scholarship dealing with childhood and adolescence, drawing on over 750 newly added sources, and engaging with newly emerging issues relevant to the world of childhood today.
New books - May
The Northern Titicaca Basin Survey by
This landmark book synthesizes the results of more than a decade of fieldwork in southern Peru¿where Stanish and his team systematically surveyed more than 1000 square kilometers in the northern Titicaca Basin¿and it details several hundred new sites in the Huancané-Putina River valley. Stanish's team recovered data on the entire sequence of occupation¿from Archaic period workshops, Qaluyu and Pukara period regional centers, and Tiwanaku sites to the massive Late Intermediate and Inca period settlements. The meticulous analysis of the entire ceramic sequence by Cecilia Chávez represents a monumental achievement for understanding the chronology of development in this region and has major implications for future research. The authors describe hundreds of previously unknown sites as well as the pottery, chipped stone, and stone sculptures of the region. Their synthesis of the settlement dynamics over several millennia represents a major contribution to our understanding of primary state formation. This book will be invaluable for those interested in the evolution of state-level societies, evolutionary and hierarchical shifts in chiefly societies, and the nature of political and economic change over the span of millennia.
Secrets from the Greek Kitchen by
Secrets from the Greek Kitchen explores how cooking skills, practices, and knowledge on the island of Kalymnos are reinforced or transformed by contemporary events. Based on more than twenty years of research and the author’s videos of everyday cooking techniques, this rich ethnography treats the kitchen as an environment in which people pursue tasks, display expertise, and confront culturally defined risks. Kalymnian islanders, both women and men, use food as a way of evoking personal and collective memory, creating an elaborate discourse on ingredients, tastes, and recipes. Author David E. Sutton focuses on micropractices in the kitchen, such as the cutting of onions, the use of a can opener, and the rolling of phyllo dough, along with cultural changes, such as the rise of televised cooking shows, to reveal new perspectives on the anthropology of everyday living.
Email from Ngeti by
Email from Ngeti is a captivating story of sorcery, redemption, and transnational friendship in the globalized twenty-first century. When the anthropologist James Smith returns to Kenya to begin fieldwork for a new research project, he meets Ngeti Mwadime, a young man from the Taita Hills who is as interested in the United States as Smith is in Taita. Ngeti possesses a savvy sense of humor and an unusual command of the English language, which he teaches himself by watching American movies and memorizing the Oxford English Dictionary. Smith and Mwadime soon develop a friendship that comes to span years and continents, impacting both men in profound and unexpected ways. For Smith, Ngeti can be understood as an exemplar of a young generation of Africans navigating the multiplicity of contemporary African life--a process that is augmented by globalized culture and the Internet. Keenly aware of the world outside Taita and Kenya, Ngeti dreams big, with endless plans for striking it rich. As he struggles to free himself from what he imagines to be the hold of the past, he embarks on an odyssey that takes him to local diviners, witch-finders, Pentecostal preachers, and prophets. This is the fascinating ethnography of Mwadime and Smith, largely told through their shared emails, journals, and recorded conversations in the field. Throughout, the reader is struck by the immediacy and poignancy of coauthor Ngeti's narrative, which marks a groundbreaking shift in the nature of anthropological fieldwork and writing.
The Excavation of the Prehistoric Burial Tumulus at Lofkënd, Albania by
The burial tumulus of Lofkënd lies in one of the richest archaeological areas of Albania (ancient "Illyria"), home to a number of burial tumuli spanning the Bronze and Iron Ages of later prehistory. Some were robbed long ago, others were reused for modern burials; few were excavated under scientific conditions. Modern understanding of the pre- and protohistory of Illyria has largely been shaped by the contents of such burial mounds. What inspired the systematic exploration of Lofkënd by UCLA was more than the promise of an unplundered necropolis; it was also a chance to revisit the significance of this tumulus and its fellows for the emergence of urbanism and complexity in ancient Illyria. In addition to artifacts, the recovery of surviving plant remains, bones, and other organic material contribute insights into the environmental and ecological history of the region.