Ethnographic Sorcery

Author: Harry G. West

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226894126

Category: Social Science

Page: 128

View: 7870

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According to the people of the Mueda plateau in northern Mozambique, sorcerers remake the world by asserting the authority of their own imaginative visions of it. While conducting research among these Muedans, anthropologist Harry G. West made a revealing discovery—for many of them, West’s efforts to elaborate an ethnographic vision of their world was itself a form of sorcery. In Ethnographic Sorcery, West explores the fascinating issues provoked by this equation. A key theme of West’s research into sorcery is that one sorcerer’s claims can be challenged or reversed by other sorcerers. After West’s attempt to construct a metaphorical interpretation of Muedan assertions that the lions prowling their villages are fabricated by sorcerers is disputed by his Muedan research collaborators, West realized that ethnography and sorcery indeed have much in common. Rather than abandoning ethnography, West draws inspiration from this connection, arguing that anthropologists, along with the people they study, can scarcely avoid interpreting the world they inhabit, and that we are all, inescapably, ethnographic sorcerers.

Obeah and Other Powers

The Politics of Caribbean Religion and Healing

Author: Diana Paton,Maarit Forde

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822351331

Category: History

Page: 354

View: 5429

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This collection looks at Caribbean religious history from the late 18th century to the present including obeah, vodou, santeria, candomble, and brujeria. The contributors examine how these religions have been affected by many forces including colonialism, law, race, gender, class, state power, media represenation, and the academy.

Theologically Engaged Anthropology

Author: J. Derrick Lemons

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192518747

Category: Religion

Page: 432

View: 6455

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After years of discussion within the field of anthropology concerning how to properly engage with theology, a growing number of anthropologists now want to engage with theology as a counterpart in ethnographic dialogue. Theologically Engaged Anthropology focuses on the theological history of anthropology, illuminating deeply held theological assumptions that humans make about the nature of reality, and illustrating how these theological assumptions manifest themselves in society. This volume brings together leading anthropologists and theologians to consider what theology can contribute to cultural anthropology and ethnography. It provides anthropologists and theologians with a rationale and framework for using theology in anthropological research.

Global Knowledge Production in the Social Sciences

Made in Circulation

Author: Dr Christian Ersche,Dr Ercüment Çelik,Dr Veronika Wöhrer,Dr Wiebke Keim

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 1472426193

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 2874

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An innovative contribution to debates on the internationalization and globalization of the social sciences, this book pays particular attention to their theoretical and epistemological reconfiguration in the light of postcolonial critiques and critiques of Eurocentrism. Bringing together theoretical contributions and empirical case studies from around the world, including India, the Americas, South Africa, Australia and Europe, it engages in debates concerning public sociology and explores South-South research collaborations specific to the social sciences. Contributions transcend established critiques of Eurocentrism to make space for the idea of global social sciences and truly transnational research. Thematically arranged and both international and interdisciplinary in scope, this volume reflects the different theoretical and thematic backgrounds of the contributing authors, who enter into dialogue and debate with one another in the development of a more inclusive, more representative and more theoretically relevant stage for the social sciences. A rigorous critique of the contemporary state of the social sciences as well as an attempt to find another way of doing transnational sociology, Global Knowledge Production in the Social Sciences will appeal to scholars of sociology, political science and social theory with interests in the production of social scientific knowledge, postcolonialism and transnationalism in research.

Not Quite Shamans

Spirit Worlds and Political Lives in Northern Mongolia

Author: Morten Axel Pedersen

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801461415

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 2594

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The forms of contemporary society and politics are often understood to be diametrically opposed to any expression of the supernatural; what happens when those forms are themselves regarded as manifestations of spirits and other occult phenomena? In Not Quite Shamans, Morten Axel Pedersen explores how the Darhad people of Northern Mongolia's remote Shishged Valley have understood and responded to the disruptive transition to postsocialism by engaging with shamanic beliefs and practices associated with the past. For much of the twentieth century, Mongolia's communist rulers attempted to eradicate shamanism and the shamans who once served as spiritual guides and community leaders. With the transition from a collectivized economy and a one-party state to a global capitalist market and liberal democracy in the 1990s, the people of the Shishged were plunged into a new and harsh world that seemed beyond their control. "Not-quite-shamans"-young, unemployed men whose undirected energies erupted in unpredictable, frightening bouts of violence and drunkenness that seemed occult in their excess- became a serious threat to the fabric of community life. Drawing on long-term fieldwork in Northern Mongolia, Pedersen details how, for many Darhads, the postsocialist state itself has become shamanic in nature. In the ideal version of traditional Darhad shamanism, shamans can control when and for what purpose their souls travel, whether to other bodies, landscapes, or worlds. Conversely, caught between uncontrollable spiritual powers and an excessive display of physical force, the "not-quite-shamans" embody the chaotic forms-the free market, neoliberal reform, and government corruption-that have created such upheaval in peoples' lives. As an experimental ethnography of recent political and economic transformations in Mongolia through the defamiliarizing prism of shamans and their lack, Not Quite Shamans is an attempt to write about as well as theorize postsocialism, and shamanism, in a new way.

The Empty Seashell

Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island

Author: Nils Bubandt

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801471966

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 7883

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The Empty Seashell explores what it is like to live in a world where cannibal witches are undeniably real, yet too ephemeral and contradictory to be an object of belief. In a book based on more than three years of fieldwork between 1991 and 2011, Nils Bubandt argues that cannibal witches for people in the coastal, and predominantly Christian, community of Buli in the Indonesian province of North Maluku are both corporeally real and fundamentally unknowable. Witches (known as gua in the Buli language or as suanggi in regional Malay) appear to be ordinary humans but sometimes, especially at night, they take other forms and attack people in order to kill them and eat their livers. They are seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The reality of gua, therefore, can never be pinned down. The title of the book comes from the empty nautilus shells that regularly drift ashore around Buli village. Convention has it that if you find a live nautilus, you are a gua. Like the empty shells, witchcraft always seems to recede from experience. Bubandt begins the book by recounting his own confusion and frustration in coming to terms with the contradictory and inaccessible nature of witchcraft realities in Buli. A detailed ethnography of the encompassing inaccessibility of Buli witchcraft leads him to the conclusion that much of the anthropological literature, which views witchcraft as a system of beliefs with genuine explanatory power, is off the mark. Witchcraft for the Buli people doesn't explain anything. In fact, it does the opposite: it confuses, obfuscates, and frustrates. Drawing upon Jacques Derrida’s concept of aporia—an interminable experience that remains continuously in doubt—Bubandt suggests the need to take seriously people’s experiential and epistemological doubts about witchcraft, and outlines, by extension, a novel way of thinking about witchcraft and its relation to modernity.

(2009)

Author: K. G. Saur Verlag GmbH & Company

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 9783598694523

Category:

Page: 2563

View: 1795

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The IBR, published again since 1971 as an interdisciplinary, international bibliography of reviews, offers book reviews of literature dealing primarily with the humanities and social sciences published in 6,000 mainly European scholarly journals. This unique bibliography contains over 1.2 millions book reviews. 60,000 entries are added every year with details on the work reviewed and the review.

Kupilikula

Governance and the Invisible Realm in Mozambique

Author: Harry G. West

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226894058

Category: History

Page: 362

View: 8997

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On the Mueda plateau in northern Mozambique, sorcerers are said to feed on their victims, sometimes "making" lions or transforming into lions to literally devour their flesh. When the ruling FRELIMO party subscribed to socialism, it condemned sorcery beliefs and counter-sorcery practices as false consciousness, but since undertaking neoliberal reform, the party—still in power after three electoral cycles—has "tolerated tradition," leaving villagers to interpret and engage with events in the idiom of sorcery. Now, when the lions prowl plateau villages ,suspected sorcerers are often lynched. In this historical ethnography of sorcery, Harry G. West draws on a decade of fieldwork and combines the perspectives of anthropology and political science to reveal how Muedans expect responsible authorities to monitor the invisible realm of sorcery and to overturn or, as Muedans call it, "kupilikula" sorcerers' destructive attacks by practicing a constructive form of counter-sorcery themselves. Kupilikula argues that, where neoliberal policies have fostered social division rather than security and prosperity, Muedans have, in fact, used sorcery discourse to assess and sometimes overturn reforms, advancing alternative visions of a world transformed.

Religion Against the Self : An Ethnography of Tamil Rituals

An Ethnography of Tamil Rituals

Author: Isabelle Nabokov Assistant Professor of Anthropology Princeton University

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198027354

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 7728

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In this comprehensive analysis of South Indian village Hinduism, Isabelle Nabokov shows that a wide spectrum of Tamil rituals effects transformations of identity through similar processual and symbolic operations. She reveals that such operations may lead participants to adopt personalities which are at odds with themselves.

Email from Ngeti

An Ethnography of Sorcery, Redemption, and Friendship in Global Africa

Author: James H. Smith,Ngeti Mwadime

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 052095940X

Category: Social Science

Page: 235

View: 2391

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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 Sorcerer's Burden

The Ethnographic Saga of a Global Family

Author: Paul Stoller

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319318055

Category: Social Science

Page: 209

View: 9581

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This book emerges from the author's 35 years of research and thought about the Songhay people of Niger. This ethnographic novel follows the life of Omar Dia, the oldest son of a West African sorcerer. When his father falls ill and dies, the great sorcerer vomits a small metal chain onto his chest. Following the path of his ancestors, Omar swallows the chain, becoming his father's successor, which means that he takes on the sorcerer's burden. The book also describes how custodians of traditional knowledge are creatively adapting to the forces of globalization—all in a highly accessible narrative text.

Tensegrity

die magischen Bewegungen der Zauberer

Author: Carlos Castaneda

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783100102140

Category:

Page: 217

View: 1478

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Religion Against the Self

An Ethnography of Tamil Rituals

Author: Isabelle Nabokov

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780195354362

Category: Religion

Page: 230

View: 1531

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This book provides a holistic description of Hinduism, showing how different types of Hinduism form a "total" or systematic cosmology and repeat crucial values through different symbols. Looking at Tamil religious practices, Isabelle Nabokov reveals that Tamil religion is primarily concerned with transformations of identity and subjectivity, both in this world and in the hereafter.

Human Rights and African Airwaves

Mediating Equality on the Chichewa Radio

Author: Harri Englund

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 294

View: 4851

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Human Rights and African Airwaves focuses on Nkhani Zam'maboma, a popular Chichewa news bulletin broadcast on Malawi's public radio. The program often takes authorities to task and questions much of the human rights rhetoric that comes from international organizations. Highlighting obligation and mutual dependence, the program expresses, in popular idioms and local narrative forms, grievances and injustices that are closest to Malawi's impoverished public. Harri Englund reveals broadcasters' everyday struggles with state-sponsored biases and a listening public with strong views and a critical ear. This fresh look at African-language media shows how Africans effectively confront inequality, exploitation, and poverty.

The Religion of Fools?

Superstition Past and Present

Author: Stephen Anthony Smith,Alan Knight

Publisher: Oxford Journals Oxford University Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Religion

Page: 350

View: 566

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