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New Books - June
Multiculturalism and Conflict Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific by
This book is open access under a CC BY license. Japan has recently promoted a number of initiatives that can be termed an opening to the world and the Asia-Pacific in particular. These have origins in Japan's globalization generally and multicultural policies more specifically. The chapters in this book are grouped in three parts—theories, language, and migration—and they explicate details of multiculturalism in the Asia-Pacific, largely focused on Japan, but including cases that extend beyond Japan as well. Alternative understandings based on analyzing conflicts and moving towards reconciliation underscore the urgency of viewing multiculturalism in Japan and the Asia-Pacific from perspectives that are firmly based in the region. Themes such as immigration, identity, foreign language education, politics and language, English language policies, dual citizenship, foreign labor policies and movements, and higher education are all addressed in the individual chapters. This book will be of interest to scholars of multiculturalism in a wide variety of fields.
Reanimating Industrial Spaces by
Reanimating Industrial Spaces explores the relationships between people and the places of former industry through approaches that incorporate and critique memory-work. The chapters in this volume consider four broad questions: What is the relationship between industrial heritage and memory? How is memory involved in the process of place-making in regards to industrial spaces? What are the strengths and pitfalls of conducting memory-work? What can be learned from cross-disciplinary perspectives and methods? The contributors have created a set of diverse case studies (including iron-smelting in Uganda, Puerto Rican sugar mills and concrete factories in Albania) which examine differing socio-economic contexts and approaches to industrial spaces both in the past and in contemporary society. A range of memory-work is also illustrated: from ethnography, oral history, digital technologies, excavation, and archival and documentary research.
Cousin Marriages by
Juxtaposing contributions from geneticists and anthropologists, this volume provides a contemporary overview of cousin marriage and what is happening at the interface of public policy, the management of genetic risk and changing cultural practices in the Middle East and in multi-ethnic Europe. It offers a cross-cultural exploration of practices of cousin marriage in the light of new genetic understanding of consanguineous marriage and its possible health risks. Overall, the volume presents a reflective, interdisciplinary analysis of the social and ethical issues raised by both the discourse of risk in cousin marriage, as well as existing and potential interventions to promote "healthy consanguinity" via new genetic technologies. nbsp;
Deer and People by
Deer have been central to human cultures throughout time and space: whether as staples to hunter-gatherers, icons of Empire, or the focus of sport. Their social and economic importance has seen some species transported across continents, transforming landscape as they went with the establishment of menageries and park. The fortunes of other species have been less auspicious, some becoming extirpated, or being in threat of extinction, due to pressures of over-hunting and/or human-instigated environmental change. In spite of their diverse, deep-rooted and long standing relations with human societies, no multi-disciplinary volume of research on cervids has until now been produced. This volume draws together research on deer from wide-ranging disciplines and in so doing substantially advances our broader understanding of human-deer relationships in the past and the present. Themes include species dispersal, exploitation patterns, symbolic significance, material culture and art, effects on the landscape and management. The temporal span of research ranges from the Pleistocene to the modern day and covers Europe, North America and Asia.
Everyone Is African by
What does science say about race? In this book a distinguished research geneticist presents abundant evidence showing that traditional notions about distinct racial differences have little scientific foundation.aIn short, racism is not just morally wrong; it has no basis in fact. The author lucidly describes in detail the factors that have led to the current scientific consensus about race. Both geneticists and anthropologists now generally agree that the human species originated in sub-Saharan Africa and darkly pigmented skin was the ancestral state of humanity. Moreover, worldwide human diversity is so complex that discrete races cannot be genetically defined. And for individuals, ancestry is more scientifically meaningful than race. Separate chapters are devoted to controversial topics: skin color and the scientific reasons for the differences; why ancestry is more important to individual health than race; intelligence and human diversity; and evolutionary perspectives on the persistence of racism. This is an enlightening book that goes a long way toward dispelling the irrational notions at the heart of racism.
From Cahokia to Larson to Moundville by
The orthodox view of the Mississippian social world hinges on the idea that chiefdoms-dominance based hierarchical societies in the Eastern Woodlands of North America-vied for power, often violently but at times cooperatively, through political and economic avenues. These chiefdoms represented something of a feudal state in prehistoric North America, which lasted up to the contact period with Europeans around 1500 A.D. In From Cahokia to Larson to Moundville, noted archaeologist A. Martin Byers challenges these assumptions and offers a contrasting view by deconstructing the chiefdom model and offering instead an autonomous social world that focused on spiritual renewal and sacred rituals. Byers presents his case through the archaeological record of Cahokia, Larson, and Moundville's monumental earthworks and, in doing so, reveals the Mississippian social community to be more complex, and more cooperative, than previously envisioned. Book jacket.
New Books - June
Politics of Catastrophe by
This book explores the governmentality of terroras a complex discursive and institutional formation deployed at the horizon of a catastrophic future.
Archaeologies of Text by
Scholars working in a number of disciplines - archaeologists, classicists, epigraphers, papyrologists, Assyriologists, Egyptologists, Mayanists, philologists, and ancient historians of all stripes - routinely engage with ancient textual sources that are either material remains from the archaeological record or historical products of other connections between the ancient world and our own.Examining the archaeology-text nexus from multiple perspectives, contributors to this volume discuss current theoretical and practical problems that have grown out of their work at the boundary of the division between archaeology and the study of early inscriptions. In 12 representative case-studies drawn from research in Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean, and Mesoamerica, scholars use various lenses to critically examine the interface between archaeology and the study of ancient texts, rethink the fragmentation of their various specialized disciplines, and illustrate the best in current approaches to contextual analysis.The collection of essays also highlights recent trends in the development of documentation and dissemination technologies, engages with the ethical and intellectual quandaries presented by ancient inscriptions that lack archaeological context, and sets out to find profitable future directions for interdisciplinary research.
Excavating the Afterlife by
In Excavating the Afterlife, Guolong Lai explores the dialectical relationship between sociopolitical change and mortuary religion from an archaeological perspective. By examining burial structure, grave goods, and religious documents unearthed from groups of well-preserved tombs in southern China, Lai shows that new attitudes toward the dead, resulting from the trauma of violent political struggle and warfare, permanently altered the early Chinese conceptions of this world and the afterlife. The book grounds the important changes in religious beliefs and ritual practices firmly in the sociopolitical transition from the Warring States (ca. 453–221 BCE) to the early empires (3rd century–1st century BCE). A methodologically sophisticated synthesis of archaeological, art historical, and textual sources, Excavating the Afterlife will be of interest to art historians, archaeologists, and textual scholars of China, as well as to students of comparative religions.
Deaf Space in Adamorobe by
Shared signing communities consist of a relatively high number of hereditarily deaf people living together with hearing people in relative isolation. In the United States, Martha's Vineyard gained mythical fame as a paradise for deaf people where everyone signed up until the 19th century. That community disappeared when deaf people left the island, newcomers moved in, married locals, and changed the gene pool. These unique communities still exist, however, one being the Akan village in Ghana called Adamorobe. Annelies Kusters, a deaf anthropologist, traveled to Adamorobe to conduct an ethnographic study of how deaf and hearing people live together in the village. In her new book, Kusters reveals how deaf people in Adamorobe did not live in a social paradise and how they created "deaf spaces" by seeking each other out. Deaf Space in Adamorobe reveals one example of the considerable variation in shared signing communities regarding rates of sign language proficiency and use, deaf people's marriage rates, deaf people's participation in village economies and politics, and the role of deaf education. Kusters describes spaces produced by both deaf and hearing people as a cohesive community where living together is an integral fact of their sociocultural environments. At the same time, Kusters identifies tension points between deaf and hearing perspectives and also between outside perspectives and discourses that originated within the community. Because of these differences and the relatively high number of deaf people in the community, Kusters concludes it is natural that they form deaf spaces within the shared space of the village community.
The Lienzo of Tlapiltepec by
For centuries, indigenous rulers of Mesoamerica commissioned elaborate pictorial histories to maintain their claims to power, land, and privilege--a practice they continued under Spanish authority after the conquest. The Lienzo of Tlapiltepec is one such history. An intricate pictographic document on cotton cloth measuring 156 by 66.5 inches, the lienzo was produced by an Indian painter-scribe of great skill during the sixteenth century in the northern Mixteca, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It depicts events dating from the eleventh century to the early years of the Spanish colony. Housed since 1919 in the Royal Ontario Museum of Canada, the lienzo is a work of such complexity and reach that few scholars possess the tools to understand its message and context. The contributors to this volume are among that select few. In four chapters, front matter, and two appendices accompanied by detailed, full-color illustrations, scholars Arni Brownstone, Nicholas Johnson, Bas van Doesburg, Eckehard Dolinski, Michael Swanton, and Elizabeth Hill Boone describe what a lienzo is and how it was made. They also explain the particular origin, format, and content of the Lienzo of Tlapiltepec--as well as its place within the larger world of Mexican painted history. The contributors furthermore explore the artistry and visual experience of the work. A final essay documents past illustrations of the lienzo, including the one rendered for this book, which employed innovative processes to recover long faded colors. Unique in its detail, scope, and depth, this is the first volume to offer a full description and analysis of the Lienzo of Tlapiltepec and to grant widespread access to this extraordinary repository of history.
Trapped in the Gap by
In Australia, a 'tribe' of white, middle-class, progressive professionals is actively working to improve the lives of Indigenous people. This book explores what happens when well-meaning people, supported by the state, attempt to help without harming. 'White anti-racists' find themselves trapped by endless ambiguities, contradictions, and double binds - a microcosm of the broader dilemmas of postcolonial societies. These dilemmas are fueled by tension between the twin desires of equality and difference: to make Indigenous people statistically the same as non-Indigenous people (to 'close the gap') while simultaneously maintaining their 'cultural' distinctiveness. This tension lies at the heart of failed development efforts in Indigenous communities, ethnic minority populations and the global South. This book explains why doing good is so hard, and how it could be done differently.
New Books - June
Suicide in Sri Lanka by
Why people kill themselves remains an enduring and unanswered question. With a focus on Sri Lanka, a country that for several decades has reported 'epidemic' levels of suicidal behaviour, this book develops a unique perspective linking the causes and meanings of suicidal practices to social processes across moments, lifetimes and history. Extending anthropological approaches to practice, learning and agency, anthropologist Tom Widger draws from long-term fieldwork in a Sinhala Buddhist community to develop an ethnographic theory of suicide that foregrounds local knowledge and sets out a charter for prevention. The book highlights the motives of children and adults becoming suicidal and how certain gender, age, class relationships and violence are prone to give rise to suicidal responses. By linking these experiences to emotional states, it develops an ethnopsychiatric model of suicide rooted in social practice. Widger then goes on to examine how suicides are resolved at village and national levels, tracing the roots of interventions to the politics of colonial and post-colonial social welfare and health regimes. Exploring local accounts of suicide as both 'evidence' for the suicide epidemic and as an 'ethos' of suicidality shaping subjective worlds, Suicide in Sri Lanka shows how anthropological analysis can offer theoretical as well as policy insights. With the inclusion of straightforward summaries and implications for prevention at the end of each chapter, this book has relevance for specialists and non-specialists alike. It represents an important new contribution to South Asian Studies, Social Anthropology and Medical Anthropology, as well as to cross-cultural Suicidology.
Extraordinary Encounters by
Given the anthropological focus on ethnography as a kind of deep immersion, the interview poses theoretical and methodological challenges for the discipline. This volume explores those challenges and argues that the interview should be seen as a special, productive site of ethnographic encounter, a site of a very particular and important kind of knowing. In a range of social contexts and cultural settings, contributors show how the interview is experienced and imagined as a kind of space within which personal, biographic and social cues and norms can be explored and interrogated. The interview possesses its own authenticity, therefore-true to the persons involved and true to their moment of interaction-whilst at the same time providing information on human capacities and proclivities that is generalizable beyond particular social and cultural contexts.
Meet Me in Atlantis by
"Adventurous, inquisitive and mirthful, Mark Adams gamely sifts through the eons of rumor, science, and lore to find a place that, in the end, seems startlingly real indeed." -Hampton Sides "Infused with humor and pop culture references, Adams makes what could have been a tedious recitation of theories into an exciting adventure." -Chicago Tribune "Writing with the same jaunty style as Turn Right at Machu Picchu, Adams merrily entertains the lost-cities audience." -Booklist A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery: Far from alien conspiracy theories and other pop culture myths, everything we know about the legendary lost city of Atlantis comes from the work of one man, the Greek philosopher Plato. Stranger still: Adams learned there is an entire global sub-culture of amateur explorers who are still actively and obsessively searching for this sunken city, based entirely on Plato's detailed clues. What Adams didn't realize was that Atlantis is kind of like a virus--and he'd been exposed. In Meet Me in Atlantis, Adams racks up frequent-flier miles tracking down these Atlantis obsessives, trying to determine why they believe it's possible to find the world's most famous lost city--and whether any of their theories could prove or disprove its existence. The result is a classic quest that takes readers to fascinating locations to meet irresistible characters; and a deep, often humorous look at the human longing to rediscover a lost world.
Kabul Carnival by
After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the plight of Afghan women under Taliban rule was widely publicized in the United States as one of the humanitarian issues justifying intervention. Kabul Carnival explores the contradictions, ambiguities, and unintended effects of the emancipatory projects for Afghan women designed and imposed by external organizations. Building on embodiment and performance theory, this evocative ethnography describes Afghan women's responses to social anxieties about identity that have emerged as a result of the military occupation. Offering one of the first long-term on-the-ground studies since the arrival of allied forces in 2001, Julie Billaud introduces readers to daily life in Afghanistan through portraits of women targeted by international aid policies. Examining encounters between international experts in gender and transitional justice, Afghan civil servants and NGO staff, and women unaffiliated with these organizations, Billaud unpacks some of the paradoxes that arise from competing understandings of democracy and rights practices. Kabul Carnival reveals the ways in which the international community's concern with the visibility of women in public has ultimately created tensions and constrained women's capacity to find a culturally legitimate voice.
The Archaeology of Race in the Northeast by
"A thorough and thoughtful analysis of the material dimensions of life along the color line. The collection helps us reimagine the ways race has shaped the apparently prosaic landscapes of the various reaches of the Northeast."--Paul Mullins, author of The Archaeology of Consumer Culture "A fantastic collection of cases and an amazing cross section of the research and relevance of historical archaeologies of race in a region often identified as free from such 'tainted' pasts."--Katherine Howlett Hayes, author of Slavery before Race Historical and archaeological evidence shows that racism defined the social fabric of the northeastern states as much as it did the Deep South. This collection of essays looks at both new sites and well-known areas to explore race, resistance, and white supremacy in the region. With essays covering rural communities, small towns, and cities from the early seventeenth century to the late nineteenth century, the contributors examine the marginalization of minorities and use the material culture to illustrate the significance of race to daily life, community, and identity. Drawing on historical resources, material culture, landscapes, and critical race theory, they highlight the different experiences of various groups, including African American and Native American communities. The treatment of race extends beyond individuals of color to include whites as a racialized group. The contributors explore not only the complex landscapes of slavery and freedom and the changing definition of "enslavement" and "emancipation," but also the prescriptive racial behaviors that triggered the emergence of whiteness in the Northeast and the perceived hierarchy of race.