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New Books - April
Shamans, Queens, and Figurines by
Sarah Nelson, recognized as one of the key figures in studying gender in the ancient world and women in archaeology, brings together much of the work she has done over three decades into a single volume. The book covers her theoretical contributions, her extensive studies of gender in the archaeology of East Asia, and her literary work on the subject. Included with the selections of her writing-- taken from diverse articles and books published in a variety of places-- is an illuminating commentary about the development of her professional and personal understanding of how gender plays out in ancient societies and modern universities and her current thinking on both topics.
Recasting Commodity and Spectacle in the Indigenous Americas by
Indigenous artists frequently voice concerns over the commodification of their cultures, a process acutely felt by those living with the consequences of colonialism. This timely book, which features color illustrations throughout, examines the ways in which contemporary indigenous peoples in different parts of the Americas have harnessedperformance practices to resist imposed stereotypes and shape their own complex identities. Essays by leading academics and practitioners show the vibrancy of a wide array of indigenous arts and cultural events in the United States, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Canada,Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Belize. As well as analyzing performance idioms, the authors trace the circulation of creative products and practices as commodities, as cultural capital, and/or as heritage. Making reference to aesthetic forms, intellectual property, and political empowerment, these essays weigh the impact of music, festivities, film, photography, theater, and museum installations among diverse audiences and discuss ways in which spectacles of cultural difference are remodeled in the hands of indigenous practitioners.
Performing Afro-Cuba by
Visitors to Cuba will notice that Afro-Cuban figures and references are everywhere: in popular music and folklore shows, paintings and dolls of Santería saints in airport shops, and even restaurants with plantation themes. In Performing Afro-Cuba, Kristina Wirtz examines how the animation of Cuba’s colonial past and African heritage through such figures and performances not only reflects but also shapes the Cuban experience of Blackness. She also investigates how this process operates at different spatial and temporal scales#151;from the immediate present to the imagined past, from the barrio to the socialist state. nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Wirtz analyzes a variety of performances and the ways they construct Cuban racial and historical imaginations. She offers a sophisticated view of performance as enacting diverse revolutionary ideals, religious notions, and racial identity politics, and she outlines how these concepts play out in the ongoing institutionalization of folklore as an official, even state-sponsored, category. Employing Bakhtin’s concept of #147;chronotopes”#151;the semiotic construction of space-time#151;she examines the roles of voice, temporality, embodiment, imagery, and memory in the racializing process. The result is a deftly balanced study that marries racial studies, performance studies, anthropology, and semiotics to explore the nature of race as a cultural sign, one that is always in process, always shifting. nbsp;
Ageing Ritual and Social Change by
Exploring European changes in religious and secular beliefs and practices related to life passages, this book provides a deeper understanding of the impacts of social change on personal identity and adjustment across the life course. Drawing on fascinating oral histories of older people's memories in both Eastern and Western Europe, this book presents illuminating views on peoples' quests for existential meaning in later life and an invaluable resource for all those exploring issues of ageing.
Evolution of Production Organization in a Maya Community by
In The Evolution of Ceramic Production Organization in a Maya Community, Dean E. Arnold continues his unique approach to ceramic ethnoarchaeology, tracing the history of potters in Ticul, Yucatán, and their production space over a period of more than four decades. This follow-up to his 2008 work Social Change and the Evolution of Ceramic Production and Distribution uses narrative to trace the changes in production personnel and their spatial organization through the changes in production organization in Ticul. Although several kinds of production units developed, households were the most persistent units of production in spite of massive social change and the reorientation of pottery production to the tourist market. Entrepreneurial workshops, government-sponsored workshops, and workshops attached to tourist hotels developed more recently but were short-lived, whereas pottery-making households extended deep into the nineteenth century. Through this continuity and change, intermittent crafting, multi-crafting, and potters' increased management of economic risk also factored into the development of the production organization in Ticul. Illustrated with more than 100 images of production units, The Evolution of Ceramic Production Organization in a Maya Community is an important contribution to the understanding of ceramic production. Scholars with interests in craft specialization, craft production, and demography, as well as specialists in Mesoamerican archaeology, anthropology, history, and economy, will find this volume especially useful.
Dams and Development in China by
China is home to half of the world's large dams and adds dozens more each year. The benefits are considerable: dams deliver hydropower, provide reliable irrigation water, protect people and farmland against flooding, and produce hydroelectricity in a nation with a seeimingly insatiable appetite for energy. As hydropower responds to a larger share of energy demand, dams may also help to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, welcome news in a country where air and water pollution have become dire and greenhouse gas emissions are the highest in the world. Yet the advantages of dams come at a high cost for river ecosystems and for the social and economic well-being of local people, who face displacement and farmland loss. This book examines the array of water-management decisions faced by Chinese leaders and their consequences for local communities. Focusing on the southwestern province of Yunnan--a major hub for hydropower development in China--which encompasses one of the world's most biodiverse temperate ecosystems and one of China's most ethnically and culturally rich regions, Bryan Tilt takes the reader from the halls of decision-making power in Beijing to Yunnan's rural villages. In the process, he examines the contrasting values of government agencies, hydropower corporations, NGOs, and local communities and explores how these values are linked to longstanding cultural norms about what is right, proper, and just. He also considers the various strategies these groups use to influence water-resource policy, including advocacy, petitioning, and public protest. Drawing on a decade of research, he offers his insights on whether the world's most populous nation will adopt greater transparency, increased scientific collaboration, and broader public participation as it continues to grow economically.
Of Rocks and Water by
People are drawn to places where geology performs its miracles: ice-cold spring waters gushing from the rock, mysterious caves which act as conduits for ancestors and divinities traveling back and forth to the underworld, sacred bodies of water where communities make libations and offer sacrifices. This volume presents a series of archaeological landscapes from the Iranian highlands to the Anatolian Plateau, and from the Mediterranean borderlands to Mesoamerica. Contributors all have a deep interest in the making and the long-term history of unorthodox places of human interaction with the mineral world, specifically the landscapes of rocks and water. Working with rock reliefs, sacred springs and lakes, caves, cairns, ruins and other meaningful places, they draw attention to the need for a rigorous field methodology and theoretical framework for working with such special places. At a time when network models, urban-centered and macro-scale perspectives dominate discussions of ancient landscapes, this unusual volume takes us to remote, unmappable places of cultural practice, social imagination and political appropriation. It offers not only a diverse set of case studies approaching small meaningful places in their special geological grounding, but also suggests new methodologies and interpretive approaches to understand places and the processes of place-making.
Babylon: for eons its very name has been a byword for luxury and wickedness. "By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept," wrote the psalmist, "as we remembered Zion." One of the greatest cities of the ancient world, Babylon has been eclipsed by its own sinful reputation. For two thousand years the real, physical metropolis lay buried while another, ghostly city lived on, engorged on accounts of its own destruction. More recently the site of Babylon has been the centre of major excavation, yet the spectacular results of this work have done little to displace the many other fascinating ways in which the city has endured and reinvented itself in culture. Saddam Hussein, for one, notoriously exploited the Babylonian myth to associate himself and his regime with its glorious past. Why has Babylon so creatively fired the human imagination, with results both good and ill? Why has it been so enthralling to so many, and for so long? In exploring answers, Michael Seymour's book ranges extensively over space and time and embraces art, archaeology, history and literature. From Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, via Strabo and Diodorus, to the Book of Revelation, Brueghel, Rembrandt, Voltaire, William Blake and modern interpreters like Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino and Gore Vidal, the author brings to light a carnival of disparate sources dominated by powerful and intoxicating ideas such as the Tower of Babel and the city of sin. Yet captivating as this dark mythology was and has continued to be, at its root lies a remarkable and sophisticated imperial civilization whose complex state-building, law-making and religion dominated Mesopotamia and beyond for millennia, before its incorporation into the still wider Persian empire of the Achaemenid kings. Babylon: Legend, History and the Ancient City weighs idea against reality, fiction against fact, conjuring the fascinating story of this ancient metropolis and its legacy to brilliant life as never before.
Patriarchal Africa by
An extraordinary photographic journey through disappearing African cultures. The camera lens of Sergey Yastrzhembsky is focused on scenes of the patriarchal daily routine of Africans, who try to preserve their adherence to the traditions of their forefathers in everyday life, customs, and religion regardless of the rising pressure of pervasive globalization.
New Books - April
Social Matter(S) by
This book is inspired by material culture studies. Essays center on the idea that matter and materiality are integral dimensions of social life. The diversity of their subjects is reflected in the various approaches that bring together archeology, cultural heritage, artifacts, commodities, the human body, and the study of space. United by a common interest in various social matter(s), and coming from diverse schools of thought and academic traditions, the book is by no means an effort to present a clear, cohesive, collective manifesto. On the contrary, there might be differences in the way each of the contributors discusses materiality, matter, thingness, things, and artifacts. There are varied understandings of the terms and there are references to different sources and schools of thought. (Series: Ethnologie: Forschung und Wissenschaft - Vol. 23)
Prescribing HIV Prevention by
Critical health communication scholars point out that the acceptance of HIV risk prevention methods are bound inside inequitable structures of power and knowledge. Nicola Bulled’s in-depth ethnographic account of how these messages are selected, transmitted and reacted to by young adults in the AIDS-torn population of Lesotho in southern Africa provides a crucial example of the importance of a culture-centered approach to health communication. She shows the clash between traditional western perceptions of how increased knowledge will increase compliance with western ideas of prevention, and mixed messages offered by local religious, educational, and media institutions. Bulled also demonstrates how structural and geographical forces prevent the delivery and acceptance of health messages, and how local communities shape their own knowledge of health, disease and illness. This volume will be of interest to medical anthropologists and sociologists, to those in health communication, and to researchers working on issues related to HIV.
Consuming Ocean Island by
Consuming Ocean Island tells the story of the land and people of Banaba, a small Pacific island, which, from 1900 to 1980, was heavily mined for phosphate, an essential ingredient in fertilizer. As mining stripped away the island's surface, the land was rendered uninhabitable, and the indigenous Banabans were relocated to Rabi Island in Fiji. Katerina Martina Teaiwa tells the story of this human and ecological calamity by weaving together memories, records, and images from displaced islanders, colonial administrators, and employees of the mining company. Her compelling narrative reminds us of what is at stake whenever the interests of industrial agriculture and indigenous minorities come into conflict. The Banaban experience offers insight into the plight of other island peoples facing forced migration as a result of human impact on the environment.
Women after All by
There is a human genetic fluke that is surprisingly common, due to a change in a key pair of chromosomes. In the normal condition the two look the same, but in this disorder one is malformed and shrunken beyond recognition. The result is a shortened life span, higher mortality at all ages, an inability to reproduce, premature hair loss, and brain defects variously resulting in attention deficit, hyperactivity, conduct disorder, hypersexuality, and an enormous excess of both outward and self-directed aggression.It is called maleness.In Women After All, Melvin Konner traces the arc of evolution to explain the relationships between women and men. With patience and wit he explores the knotty question of whether men are necessary in the biological destiny of the human race. He draws on multiple, colorful examples from the natural world--such as the mating habits of the octopus, black widow, angler fish, and jacana--and argues that maleness in humans is hardly necessary to the survival of the species.In characteristically humorous and engaging prose, Konner sheds light on our biologically different identities, while noting the poignant exceptions that challenge the male/female divide. We meet hunter-gatherers such as those in Botswana, whose culture gave women a prominent place, invented the working mother, and respected women's voices around the fire. Recent human history has upset this balance, as a dense world of war fostered extreme male dominance. But our species has been recovering over the past two centuries, and an unstoppable move toward equality is afoot. It will not be the end of men, but it will be the end of male supremacy and a better, wiser world for women and men alike. Provocative and richly informed, Women After All is bound to be controversial across the sexes.
Tezcatlipoca: Trickster and Supreme Deity brings archaeological evidence into the body of scholarship on #147;the lord of the smoking mirror,” one of the most important Aztec deities. While iconographic and textual resources from sixteenth-century chroniclers and codices have contributed greatly to the understanding of Aztec religious beliefs and practices, contributors to this volume demonstrate the diverse ways material evidence expands on these traditional sources. The interlocking complexities of Tezcatlipoca’s nature, multiple roles, and metaphorical attributes illustrate the extent to which his influence penetrated Aztec belief and social action across all levels of late Postclassic central Mexican culture. Tezcatlipoca examines the results of archaeological investigations#151;objects like obsidian mirrors, gold, bells, public stone monuments, and even a mosaic skull#151;and reveals new insights into the supreme deity of the Aztec pantheon and his role in Aztec culture.
Texts from the Late Old Babylonian Period by
This volume publishes and discusses 186 cuneiform documents from the Late Old Babylonian period (1683-1595 B.C.), including 95 hand copies, mostly from Sippar texts in British Museum collections. The Late O.B. epoch marks the last of five centuries of uninterrupted textual production in lower Mesopotamia. This selection of texts focuses mostly on less well-known text types of the time, reflecting innovations in documentary practices - some isolated to the period, others precursive to the Kassite period. In extensive notes, the reader will find discussions of provisioning systems, chronology, terminologies, land redistribution and ritual and military economies, in addition to the expected apparatus of indexes, concordances and catalogues.
Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology by
The Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology, now in its second edition, maintains a strong benchmark for understanding the scope of contemporary anthropological field methods. Avoiding divisive debates over science and humanism, the contributors draw upon both traditions to explore fieldwork in practice. The second edition also reflects major developments of the past decade, including: the rising prominence of mixed methods, the emergence of new technologies, and evolving views on ethnographic writing. Spanning the chain of research, from designing a project through methods of data collection and interpretive analysis, the Handbook features new chapters on ethnography of online communities, social survey research, and network and geospatial analysis. Considered discussion of ethics, epistemology, and the presentation of research results to diverse audiences round out the volume. The result is an essential guide for all scholars, professionals, and advanced students who employ fieldwork.
Emergence and Diversity of Modern Human Behavior in Paleolithic Asia by
Despite the obvious geographic importance of eastern Asia in human migration, its discussion in the context of the emergence and dispersal of modern humans has been rare. Emergence and Diversity of Modern Human Behavior in Paleolithic Asia focuses long-overdue scholarly attention on this under-studied area of the world. Arising from a 2011 symposium sponsored by the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, this book gathers the work of archaeologists from the Pacific Rim of Asia, Australia, and North America, to address the relative lack of attention given to the emergence of modern human behavior as manifested in Asia during the worldwide dispersal from Africa.
New Books - April
Genetic Geographies by
What might be wrong with genetic accounts of personal or shared ancestry and origins? Genetic studies are often presented as valuable ways of understanding where we come from and how people are related. In Genetic Geographies, Catherine Nash pursues their troubling implications for our perception of sexual and national, as well as racial, difference. Bringing an incisive geographical focus to bear on new genetic histories and genetic genealogy, Nash explores the making of ideas of genetic ancestry, indigeneity, and origins; the global human family; and national genetic heritage. In particular, she engages with the science, culture, and commerce of ancestry in the United States and the United Kingdom, including National Geographic's Genographic Project and the People of the British Isles project. Tracing the tensions and contradictions between the emphasis on human genetic similarity and shared ancestry, and the attention given to distinctive patterns of relatedness and different ancestral origins, Nash challenges the assumption that the concepts of shared ancestry are necessarily progressive. She extends this scrutiny to claims about the "natural" differences between the sexes and the "nature" of reproduction in studies of the geography of human genetic variation. Through its focus on sex, nation, and race, and its novel spatial lens, Genetic Geographies provides a timely critical guide to what happens when genetic science maps relatedness.
Disasters in Field Research by
From ravenous ants and temperamental gear to debilitating illness and unpredictable politics, field research can be fraught with challenges and opportunities for mishap. Disasters in Field Research is your guide to what can go wrong while conducting fieldwork and what you can do to avoid or minimize the impact of unexpected events. Ice, Dufour, and Stevens address the issues confronting both students and professional researchers as they embark on field research. For example, permits may be difficult to obtain or even revoked at the last minute. Cultural differences and misunderstandings can disrupt data collection. Equipment can be held up by customs or fail to work as expected. The authors offer practical advice on preparing for such possibilities, while active researchers from a wide array of disciplines relate, in brief first-person narratives, their own encounters with disaster, how they solved (or failed to solve) the problem, and their recommendations for avoiding similar issues in the future. Each thematic chapter concludes with strategies and suggestions for making the most of your preparations, recovering from missteps, and coping with calamity. The result is an excellent companion book for field methods courses in a variety of disciplines and an excellent companion to carry with you into the field."
Critical Animal Geographies by
Critical Animal Geographies provides new geographical perspectives on critical animal studies, exploring the spatial, political, and ethical dimensions of animals' lived experience and human-animal encounter. It works toward a more radical politics andtheory directed at the shifting boundary between human and animal. Chapters draw together feminist, political-economic, post-humanist, anarchist, post-colonial, and critical race literatures with original case studies in order to see how efforts by some humans to control and order life - human and not - violate, constrain, and impinge upon others. Central to all chapters is a commitment to grappling with the stakes - violence, death, life, autonomy - of human-animal encounters. Equally, the work in the collection addresses head-on the dominant forces shaping and dependent on these encounters: capitalism, racism, colonialism, and so on. In doing so, the book pushes readers to confront how human-animal relations are mixed up with overlapping axes of power and exploitation, including gender, race, class, and species.
Contemporary Issues in Cultural Heritage Tourism by
The perceived quality of a destination's cultural offering has long been a significant factor in determining tourist choices of destination. More recently, the need to present touristic offerings that include cultural experiences and heritage has become widely recognised, that this aspect of the tourism experience is an important differentiator of destinations, as well as being amongst the most manageable. This has also led to an increase in the management of such experiences through special exhibitions, events and festivals, as well as through ensuring more routine and controlled access to heritage sites. Reflecting the increasing application of cultural heritage as a driver for tourism and development, this book provides for the first time a cohesive volume on the subject that is theoretically rich, practically applied and empirically grounded. Written by expert scholars and practitioners in the field, the book covers a broad range of theoretical perspectives of cultural heritage tourism; regeneration, policy, stakeholders, marketing, socio-economic development, impacts, sustainability, volunteering and ICT. It takes a broad view, integrating international examples of sites, monuments as well as intangible cultural heritage, motor vehicle heritage events and modern art museums. This significant book furthers knowledge of the theory and application of tourism within the context of cultural heritage and will be of interest to students, researchers and practitioners in a range of disciplines.
Archaeology of Wak'as by
In this edited volume, Andean wak'as—idols, statues, sacred places, images, and oratories—play a central role in understanding Andean social philosophies, cosmologies, materialities, temporalities, and constructions of personhood. Top Andean scholars from a variety of disciplines cross regional, theoretical, and material boundaries in their chapters, offering innovative methods and theoretical frameworks for interpreting the cultural particulars of Andean ontologies and notions of the sacred. Wak'as were understood as agentive, nonhuman persons within many Andean communities and were fundamental to conceptions of place, alimentation, fertility, identity, and memory and the political construction of ecology and life cycles. The ethnohistoric record indicates that wak'as were thought to speak, hear, and communicate, both among themselves and with humans. In their capacity as nonhuman persons, they shared familial relations with members of the community, for instance, young women were wed to local wak'as made of stone and wak'as had sons and daughters who were identified as the mummified remains of the community's revered ancestors. Integrating linguistic, ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and archaeological data, The Archaeology of Wak'as advances our understanding of the nature and culture of wak'as and contributes to the larger theoretical discussions on the meaning and role of–"the sacred” in ancient contexts.
Transforming Archaeology by
Archaeology for whom? The dozen well-known contributors to this innovative volume suggest nothing less than a transformation of the discipline into a service-oriented, community-based endeavor. They wish to replace the primacy of meeting academic demands with meeting the needs and values of those outside the field who may benefit most from our work. They insist that we employ both rigorous scientific methods and an equally rigorous critique of those practices to ensure that our work addresses real-world social, environmental, and political problems. A transformed archaeology requires both personal engagement and a new toolkit. Thus, in addition to the theoretical grounding and case materials from around the world, each contributor offers a personal statement of their goals and an outline of collaborative methods that can be adopted by other archaeologists.
Thinking Through Sociality by
As issues and circumstances investigated by anthropologists are becoming ever more diverse, the need to address social affiliation in contemporary situations of mobility, urbanity, transnational connections, individuation, media, and capital flows, has never been greater. Thinking Through Sociality combines a review of classical theories with recent theoretical innovations across a wide range of issues, locales, situations and domains. In this book, an international group of contributors train attention on the concepts of disjuncture, field, social space, sociability, organizations and network, mid-range concepts that are "good to think with." Neither too narrowly defined nor too sweeping, these concepts can be used to think through a myriad of ethnographic situations.
Economy and Ritual by
According to accepted wisdom, rational practices and ritual action are opposed. Rituals drain wealth from capital investment and draw on a mode of thought different from practical ideas. The studies in this volume contest this view. Comparative, historical, and contemporary, the six ethnographies extend from Macedonia to Kyrgyzstan. Each one illuminates the economic and ritual changes in an area as it emerged from socialism and (re-)entered market society. Cutting against the idea that economy only means markets and that market action exhausts the meaning of economy, the studies show that much of what is critical for a people's economic life takes place outside markets and hinges on ritual, understood as the negation of the everyday world of economising.