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New Books - December
Theory in Africa, Africa in Theory by Stephanie Wynne-Jones (Editor); Jeffrey Fleisher (Editor)
Theory in Africa, Africa in Theory explores the place of Africa in archaeological theory, and the place of theory in African archaeology. The centrality of Africa to global archaeological thinking is highlighted, with a particular focus on materiality and agency in contemporary interpretation. As a means to explore the nature of theory itself, the volume also addresses differences between how African models are used in western theoretical discourse and the use of that theory within Africa. Providing a key contribution to theoretical discourse through a focus on the context of theory-building, this volume explores how African modes of thought have shaped our approaches to a meaningful past outside of Africa. A timely intervention into archaeological thought, Theory in Africa, Africa in Theory deconstructs the conventional ways we approach the past, positioning the continent within a global theoretical discourse and blending Western and African scholarship. This volume will be a valuable resource for those interested in the archaeology of Africa, as well as providing fresh perspectives to those interested in archaeological theory more generally.
Defining the Sacred by Nicola Laneri (Editor)
Religion is a phenomenon that is inseparable from human society. It brings about a set of emotional, ideological and practical elements that are pervasive in the social fabric of any society and can be characterized by a number of features. These include the establishment of intermediaries in the relationship between humans and the divine; the construction of ceremonial places for worshipping the gods and practicing ritual performances; and the creation ritual paraphernalia. Investigating the religious dimensions of ancient societies encounters problems in defining such elements, especially with regard to societies that lack textual evidences and has tended to lead towards the identification of differentiation between the mental dimension, related to religious beliefs, and the material one associated with religious practices, resulting in a separation between scholars able to investigate, and possibly reconstruct, ritual practices (i.e., archaeologists), and those interested in defining the realm of ancient beliefs (i.e., philologists and religious historians).The aim of this collection of papers is to attempt to bridge these two dimensions by breaking down existing boundaries in order to form a more comprehensive vision of religion among ancient Near Eastern societies. This approach requires that a higher consideration be given to those elements (either artificial -- buildings, objects, texts, etc. -- or natural -- landscapes, animals, trees, etc.) that are created through a materialization of religious beliefs and practices enacted by members of communities. These issues are addressed in a series of specific case-studies covering a broad chronological framework that from the Pre-pottery Neolithic to the Iron Age. (Cover illustration © German Archaeological Institute, photo N. Becker)
Traditional Medicine Making of the 'Emu' by Kingsley Ifeanyi Owete
As newer medical problems surface and existing ones appear to resist modern solutions, Africans are increasingly reaching for traditional healing practices and customary protective medicines. Using historical and phenomenological approaches, Traditional Medicine Making of the «Emu»: Continuity and Change investigates religious belief and herbal practices of Emu people. This documentation of medical practices of the Emu people of Nigeria in the context of change transcends the structuralist and functional perspective employed by anthropologists.
Tobacco Goes to College by Elizabeth Crisp Crawford
This is the first book to document the history of cigarette advertising on college and university campuses. From the 1920s to the 1960s, such advertisers had a strong financial grip on student media. And, through its support of the student paper and other campus media, the tobacco industry held a degree of financial power over colleges and universities across the nation. In fact, the industry's strength was so great many doubted whether student newspapers and other campus media could survive without tobacco money. When the Tobacco Institute, the organisation that governed the tobacco industry, decided to pull their advertising in June of 1963 nearly 2,000 student publications needed to recover up to 50 percent of their newly lost revenue. Although student newspapers are the main focus of this book, tobacco's presence on campus permeated more than just the student paper. Cigarette brands were promoted at football games, on campus radio and through campus representatives and promotional items were placed on campus in locations such as university stores and the student union.
An 1860 English-Hopi Vocabulary Written in the Deseret Alphabet by Kenneth R. Beesley; Dirk Elzinga
In 1859, Brigham Young sent two Mormon missionaries to live among the Hopi and "reduce their dialect to a written language" i.e., create a writing system for the Hopi language. The goal was to teach this orthography to the Hopi so that they would be able to read the Book of Mormon is their own language. This new orthography was based on the Deseret Alphabet, a non-Roman phonemic alphabet that Young was promoting in place of the traditional Latin alphabet. The Deseret Alphabet faded out of use by 1875, and the Book of Mormon was never translated into Hopi, but a suspected Indian vocabulary of almost 500 words, written completely in the Deseret Alphabet, survived unidentified in the archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Authors Beesley and Elzinga have now identified the mystery language of this document as Hopi, traced it to one of the 1859 missionaries, and researched the history behind the mission. The resulting book includes a complete reproduction of the original vocabulary, identifies the Hopi words in modern dictionaries, and adds comments and transcriptions from the Desert Alphabet into the International Phonetic Alphabet. An 1860 English-Hopi Vocabulary Written in the Deseret Alphabet offers a fascinating mix of linguistics, Mormon history Native American studies, and a fascinating story. Book jacket.
Nature in Translation by Shiho Satsuka
Nature in Translation is an ethnographic exploration in the cultural politics of the translation of knowledge about nature. Shiho Satsuka follows the Japanese tour guides who lead hikes, nature walks, and sightseeing bus tours for Japanese tourists in Canada's Banff National Park and illustrates how they aspired to become local "nature interpreters" by learning the ecological knowledge authorized by the National Park. The guides assumed the universal appeal of Canada's magnificent nature, but their struggle in translating nature reveals that our understanding of nature--including scientific knowledge--is always shaped by the specific socio-cultural concerns of the particular historical context. These include the changing meanings of work in a neoliberal economy, as well as culturally-specific dreams of finding freedom and self-actualization in Canada's vast nature. Drawing on nearly two years of fieldwork in Banff and a decade of conversations with the guides, Satsuka argues that knowing nature is an unending process of cultural translation, full of tensions, contradictions, and frictions. Ultimately, the translation of nature concerns what counts as human, what kind of society is envisioned, and who is included and excluded in the society as a legitimate subject.
New Books - December
Phenomenology in Anthropology by Kalpana Ram (Editor); Christopher Houston (Editor); Michael Jackson (Afterword by); Tomaso Wilkoszewski (Photographer)
This volume explores what phenomenology adds to the enterprise of anthropology, drawing on and contributing to a burgeoning field of social science research inspired by the phenomenological tradition in philosophy. Essays by leading scholars ground their discussions of theory and method in richly detailed ethnographic case studies. The contributors broaden the application of phenomenology in anthropology beyond the areas in which it has been most influential--studies of sensory perception, emotion, bodiliness, and intersubjectivity--into new areas of inquiry such as martial arts, sports, dance, music, and political discourse.
Beyond Germs by Catherine M. Cameron (Editor); Paul Kelton (Editor); Alan C. Swedlund (Editor)
There is no question that European colonization introduced smallpox, measles, and other infectious diseases to the Americas, causing considerable harm and death to indigenous peoples. But though these diseases were devastating, their impact has been widely exaggerated. Warfare, enslavement, land expropriation, removals, erasure of identity, and other factors undermined Native populations. These factors worked in a deadly cabal with germs to cause epidemics, exacerbate mortality, and curtail population recovery. Beyond Germs: Native Depopulation in North America challenges the "virgin soil" hypothesis that was used for decades to explain the decimation of the indigenous people of North America. This hypothesis argues that the massive depopulation of the New World was caused primarily by diseases brought by European colonists that infected Native populations lacking immunity to foreign pathogens. In Beyond Germs, contributors expertly argue that blaming germs lets Europeans off the hook for the enormous number of Native American deaths that occurred after 1492. Archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians come together in this cutting-edge volume to report a wide variety of other factors in the decline in the indigenous population, including genocide, forced labor, and population dislocation. These factors led to what the editors describe in their introduction as "systemic structural violence" on the Native populations of North America. While we may never know the full extent of Native depopulation during the colonial period because the evidence available for indigenous communities is notoriously slim and problematic, what is certain is that a generation of scholars has significantly overemphasized disease as the cause of depopulation and has downplayed the active role of Europeans in inciting wars, destroying livelihoods, and erasing identities.
Witchcraft, Witches, and Violence in Ghana by Mensah Adinkrah
Witchcraft violence is a feature of many contemporary African societies. In Ghana, belief in witchcraft and the malignant activities of putative witches is prevalent. Purported witches are blamed for all manner of adversities including inexplicable illnesses and untimely deaths. As in other historical periods and other societies, in contemporary Ghana, alleged witches are typically female, elderly, poor, and marginalized. Childhood socialization in homes and schools, exposure to mass media, and other institutional mechanisms ensure that witchcraft beliefs are transmitted across generations and entrenched over time. This book provides a detailed account of Ghanaian witchcraft beliefs and practices and their role in fueling violent attacks on alleged witches by aggrieved individuals and vigilante groups.
Domestic Animals and Leisure by Neil Carr (Editor)
This volume offers both an insight into the current state of research on domestic animals in leisure and a lens through which to begin to chart the future of research in this field. Ongoing debates about human-animal relationships and the rights and welfare of the latter underpin the contributions, with analysis of a range of different animals including horses and dogs. Domestic Animals and Leisure will appeal to scholars of Leisure and Tourism studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Geography and Zoology, and anyone with an interest in enhancing the understanding of human-animal relationships.
Ottawa Stories from the Spring by Howard Webkamigad (Editor)
Sometimes things come to people out of the blue and seemingly for a reason. The Anishinaabe word for this is nigika. The stories contained in this collection reached Howard Webkamigad nearly eighty years after they were recorded, after first being kept in their original copper wire format by the American Philosophical Society and later being converted onto cassettes and held by Dr. James McClurken of Michigan State University. These rich tales, recorded by Anishinaabe people in the Harbor Springs area of Michigan, draw on the legends, fables, trickster stories, parables, and humor of Anishinaabe culture. Reaching back to the distant past but also delving into more recent events, this book contains a broad swath of the history of the Ojibwe/Chippewa, Ottawa, Pottawatomi, Algonkian, Abenaki, Saulteau, Mashkiigowok/Cree, and other groups that make up the broad range of the Anishinaabe-speaking peoples. Provided here are original stories transcribed from Anishinaabe-language recordings alongside Howard Webkamigad’s English translations. These stories not only provide a textured portrait of a complex people but also will help Anishinaabe-language learners see patterns in the language and get a sense of how it flows. Featuring side-by-side Anishinaabe/English translations.