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Latest episodes from New Books in Anthropology

Lisa Uperesa, "Gridiron Capital: How American Football Became a Samoan Game" (Duke UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 66:09

Since the 1970s, a “Polynesian Pipeline” has brought football players from American Sāmoa to Hawaii and the mainland United States to play at the collegiate and professional levels. In Gridiron Capital: How American Football Became a Samoan Game (Duke University Press, 2022) Dr. Lisa Uperesa charts the cultural and social dynamics that have made football so central to Samoan communities. For Samoan athletes, football is not just an opportunity for upward mobility; it is a way to contribute to, support, and represent their family, village, and nation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, and media analysis, Dr. Uperesa shows how the Samoan ascendancy in football is underpinned by the legacies of US empire and a set of imperial formations that mark Indigenous Pacific peoples as racialized subjects of US economic aid and development. Samoan players succeed by becoming entrepreneurs: building and commodifying their bodies and brands to enhance their football stock and market value. Uperesa offers insights into the social and physical costs of pursuing a football career, the structures that compel Pacific Islander youth toward athletic labor, and the possibilities for safeguarding their health and wellbeing in the future. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

William Matthews, "Cosmic Coherence: A Cognitive Anthropology Through Chinese Divination" (Berghahn Books, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2022 102:58

Today I spoke to anthropologist William Mathews about his new book, Cosmic Coherence: A Cognitive Anthropology Through Chinese Divination (Berghahn Books, 2021). This book explores how humans are unique in their ability to create systematic accounts of the world – theories based on guiding cosmological principles. Mathews explains the role that cognition plays in creating cosmologies, and explores this through the ethnography and history of Yijing divination in China. Diviners explain the cosmos in terms of a single substance, qi, unfolding across scales of increasing complexity to create natural phenomena and human experience. Combined with an understanding of human cognition, it shows how this conception of scale offers a new way for anthropologists and other social scientists to think about cosmology, comparison and cultural difference. Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Eviatar Zerubavel, "Generally Speaking: An Invitation to Concept-Driven Sociology" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 29:45

Defying the conventional split between “theory” and “methodology,” Eviatar Zerubavel's Generally Speaking: An Invitation to Concept-Driven Sociology (Oxford UP, 2020) introduces a yet unarticulated and thus far never systematised method of theorising designed to reveal abstract social patterns. Insisting that such methodology can actually be taught, it tries to make the mental processes underlying the practice of a “concept-driven sociology” more explicit. Many sociologists tend to study the specific, often at the expense of also studying the generic. To correct this imbalance, the book examines the theoretico-methodological process by which we can “distil” generic social patterns from the culturally, historically, and situationally specific contexts in which we encounter them. It thus champions a “generic sociology” that is pronouncedly transcontextual (transcultural, transhistorical, transsituational, and translevel) in its scope. In order to uncover generic, transcontextual social patterns, data need to be collected in a wide range of social contexts. Such contextual diversity is manifested multi-culturally, multi historically, multi situationally, as well as at multiple levels of social aggregation. True to its message, the book illustrates generic social patterns by drawing on numerous examples from diverse cultural contexts and historical periods and a wide range of diverse social domains, as well as by disregarding scale. Emphasising cross-contextual commonality, generic sociology tries to reveal formal “parallels” across seemingly disparate contexts. This book features the four main types of cross-contextual analogies generic sociologists tend to use (cross-cultural, cross-historical, cross-domain, and cross-level), disregarding conventionally noted substantive differences in order to note conventionally disregarded formal equivalences. Rituparna Patgiri is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests lie in the areas of food, media, gender and public. She is also one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology. Patgiri can be reached at @Rituparna37 on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Minh-Ha T. Pham, "Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Social Media's Influence on Fashion, Ethics, and Property" (Duke UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 51:26

In 2016, social media users in Thailand called out the Paris-based luxury fashion house Balenciaga for copying the popular Thai “rainbow bag,” using Balenciaga's hashtags to circulate memes revealing the source of the bags' design.  In Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Social Media's Influence on Fashion, Ethics, and Property (Duke UP, 2022), Minh-Ha T. Pham examines the way social media users monitor the fashion market for the appearance of knockoff fashion, design theft, and plagiarism. Tracing the history of fashion antipiracy efforts back to the 1930s, she foregrounds the work of policing that has been tacitly outsourced to social media. Despite the social media concern for ethical fashion and consumption and the good intentions behind design policing, Pham shows that it has ironically deepened forms of social and market inequality, as it relies on and reinforces racist and colonial norms and ideas about what constitutes copying and what counts as creativity. These struggles over ethical fashion and intellectual property, Pham demonstrates, constitute deeper struggles over the colonial legacies of cultural property in digital and global economies. Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of intimacies, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Anastasia Shesterinina, "Mobilizing in Uncertainty: Collective Identities and War in Abkhazia" (Cornell UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 61:20

Anastasia Shesterinina begins Mobilizing in Uncertainty: Collective Identities and War in Abkhazia (Cornell University Press, 2021) with an account of Georgian troops crossing into eastern Abkhazia, in the Southern Caucasus region adjacent Russia, on August 14, 1992. Thus the war that is the book's subject began. Yet, people didn't know it at the time. In fact, the question on people's lips was: is this a war? The answer to the question was: yes. But the uncertainty to which the question gave voice led Shesterinina to the questions motivating this book, namely: how do ordinary people deal with uncertainty in civil war? How do they decide whether and in what way to mobilise, and for whom? On this episode of New Books in Interpretive Political and Social Science Anastasia Shesterinina discusses her answers to these questions. Along the way, she also reflects on the inadequacies of theories that underestimate or overlook the uncertainty that pervades wartime conditions, particularly in wars' earliest days; on the conduct and ethics of interview and ethnographic research in post-war settings; and, on the relevance of her research on Abkhazia for our understanding of the war in Ukraine today—and on why comparison of the two is, for her, not just an intellectually or politically interesting exercise. Mobilizing in Uncertainty is (with Mona El-Ghobashy's Bread and Freedom: Egypt's Revolutionary Situation, Stanford, 2021) joint winner of the 2022 Charles Taylor Book Award, awarded annually by the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods group of the American Political Science Association for the best book in political science that employs or develops interpretive methodologies and methods. Nick Cheesman is associate professor in the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University and in Fall 2022 a fellow at the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, University at Buffalo. He is a committee member of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods group of the American Political Science Association and co-convenes the Interpretation, Method, Critique network at the ANU. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

David R. Stroup, "Pure and True: The Everyday Politics of Ethnicity for China's Hui Muslims" (U Washington Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 67:47

Compared to their Uyghur and Kazakh co-religionists in Xinjiang, China's largest single Muslim group – the Hui – has received less media and scholarly attention lately, perhaps understandably so since the former groups have borne the brunt of the campaigns of ethnic enclosure and erasure launched in recent years by the Chinese Communist Party. But as a near-ubiquitous presence across China and thus a community deeply involved in the waves of migration and urbanisation affecting many PRC citizens in recent decades, the Hui offer a compelling case through which to examine how religious, ethnic, class and other identities intersect with these processes. Focusing on communities in four diverse Chinese cities, David Stroup's Pure and True: The Everyday Politics of Ethnicity for China's Hui Muslims (U Washington Press, 2022) provides a careful dissection of the complex negotiations of intersecting identities that face today's Hui. Based on dozens of interviews and ethnographic observation, this clearly written and persuasive book has much to say about how people's day-to-day understandings of ‘Huiness' intersect with the categories put forward by the state, and how local debates unfolding internally within Hui communities may be reframed as they themselves fall under the gaze of the ‘people's war on terror.' Ed Pulford is an Anthropologist and Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and indigeneity in northeast Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Michael J. Hathaway, "What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 67:40

What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make (Princeton University Press, 2022) by Dr. Michael Hathaway pushes today's mushroom renaissance in compelling new directions. For centuries, Western science has promoted a human- and animal-centric framework of what counts as action, agency, movement, and behavior. But, as Michael Hathaway shows, the world-making capacities of mushrooms radically challenge this orthodoxy by revealing the lively dynamism of all forms of life. The book tells the fascinating story of one particularly prized species, the matsutake, and the astonishing ways it is silently yet powerfully shaping worlds, from the Tibetan plateau to the mushrooms' final destination in Japan. Many Tibetan and Yi people have dedicated their lives to picking and selling this mushroom—a delicacy that drives a multibillion-dollar global trade network and that still grows only in the wild, despite scientists' intensive efforts to cultivate it in urban labs. But this is far from a simple story of humans exploiting a passive, edible commodity. Rather, the book reveals the complex, symbiotic ways that mushrooms, plants, humans, and other animals interact. It explores how the world looks to the mushrooms, as well as to the people who have grown rich harvesting them. Dr. Hathway gives us a surprise-filled journey into science and human culture, this exciting and provocative book shows how fungi shape our planet and our lives in strange, diverse, and often unimaginable ways. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

On Online Churches

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 66:51

Dr. Tim Hutchings is a sociologist of digital religion. His Ph.D. (Durham University, 2010) was an ethnographic study of five online Christian churches. Dr. Hutchings is interested in the relationship between religion, media and culture, with particular attention to digital forms of Christianity. His research has included studies of online worship; digital evangelism and formation; online community; digital publishing and e-reading; apps and games; and death and dying. His research led to the publication of his book Creating Church Online: Ritual, Community and New Media (Routledge, 2017). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Maya Mikdashi, "Sextarianism: Sovereignty, Secularism, and the State in Lebanon" (Stanford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 65:39

The Lebanese state is structured through religious freedom and secular power sharing across sectarian groups. Every sect has specific laws that govern kinship matters like marriage or inheritance. Together with criminal and civil laws, these laws regulate and produce political difference. But whether women or men, Muslims or Christians, queer or straight, all people in Lebanon have one thing in common—they are biopolitical subjects forged through bureaucratic, ideological, and legal techniques of the state. With this book, Maya Mikdashi offers a new way to understand state power, theorizing how sex, sexuality, and sect shape and are shaped by law, secularism, and sovereignty. Drawing on court archives, public records, and ethnography of the Court of Cassation, the highest civil court in Lebanon, Mikdashi shows how political difference is entangled with religious, secular, and sexual difference. She presents state power as inevitably contingent, like the practices of everyday life it engenders, focusing on the regulation of religious conversion, the curation of legal archives, state and parastatal violence, and secular activism. Sextarianism: Sovereignty, Secularism, and the State in Lebanon (Stanford UP, 2022) locates state power in the experiences, transitions, uprisings, and violence that people in the Middle East continue to live. Maya Mikdashi is Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and a Lecturer in the Middle East Studies Program at Rutgers University. Alize Arıcan is an anthropologist whose research focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current Anthropology, City & Society, JOTSA, Radical Housing Journal, and entanglements. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Victoria Reyes, "Academic Outsider: Stories of Exclusion and Hope" (Stanford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 71:49

In Academic Outsider: Stories of Exclusion and Hope (Stanford University Press, 2022), sociologist Victoria Reyes combines her personal experiences with research findings to examine how academia creates conditional citizenship for its marginalized members. Reyes draws from her family background, experiences during routine university life, and academic scholarship to theorize the academic outsiders as those who "are constantly reminded that our presence in the academy is contingent and in constant flux" (10-11). She elaborates on how love and worth are assessed in the university and her experiences as a mother in the academy. The final chapter calls for academic justice and offers practical strategies to combat the academy's exclusionary practices. In this book Reyes contributes to important conversations in the university on the experiences of people of color, women, and those from marginalized backgrounds. This book will be of interest to those who experience the academy's conditional citizenship, those who want to understand how the university perpetuates inequality, and those who want to challenge these conditions.  Victoria Reyes is Associate Professor in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Global Borderlands (Stanford, 2019). Reighan Gillam is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media (Illinois, 2022).  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Paul A. Djupe et al. "The Knowledge Polity: Teaching and Research in the Social Sciences" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 66:11

Paul A. Djupe, Anand Edward Sokhey, and Amy Erica Smith, The Knowledge Polity: Teaching and Research in the Social Sciences (Oxford UP, 2022) explores a more holistic understanding of knowledge production in the social sciences, moving beyond the publication process often required by those in tenure/tenure-track positions to thinking about the role of community in the construction of knowledge. Political Scientists Paul A. Djupe (Denison University), Anand Edward Sokhey (University of Colorado-Boulder), and Amy Erica Smith (Iowa State University) emphasize the idea of academics as citizens in communities and institutions, endowed with certain rights and responsibilities with regard to knowledge production, exchange, and promotion. These actions go beyond simply research; knowledge production incorporates teaching, reviewing, blogging, podcasting, commenting, mentoring, and other similar actions, all of which inherently depend on collaboration and community. Djupe, Smith, and Sokhey all have first-hand experience in the “publication pipeline” process. They accurately and intricately detail aspects of community that are overlooked within the academia. The collaborative nature of The Knowledge Polity speaks to the power of co-authorship in political science and sociology. The research indicates that building relationships with peers and mentors alike provides scholars with access to people whose advice is trusted, people who they consider friends, and people who know other scholars whose advice can also be trusted and valued. Similar to co-authorship, peer review is another dimension of knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the rights and responsibilities of the knowledge polity. The review process is reciprocal, and there is an innate sense that it is a duty, especially when the authors discuss “reviewer debt” (reviewing fewer papers than one is submitting) and how it is usually “paid off” when scholars reach tenure and have more time and capacity to give back to the community. Most academics would like to do more reviews, proving there is a powerful desire to participate in this important act of knowledge production. The authors use data from an extensive Professional Activity in the Social Sciences (PASS) study, which sampled responses from 1,700 sociology and political science faculty about their publications, and experiences with regard to the process. They integrate different aspects of all of these findings in each chapter, examining for differences across disciplines, methodology, gender, race, and age, among other variables. The Knowledge Polity: Teaching and Research in the Social Sciences integrates a diversity of empirical research, qualitative inputs, and sophisticated analysis to better understand knowledge production within the social sciences. It becomes clear that the idea of the solitary scholar, alone in his/her office, creating knowledge is much more of a myth, since the reality is that knowledge production is much more of a collective undertaking and experience. Emma R. Handschke assisted in the production of this podcast. Lilly J. Goren is a professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Tema Milstein and José Castro-Sotomayor, "Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity" (Routledge, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 50:12

The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (Routledge, 2020) brings the ecological turn to sociocultural understandings of self. Tema Milstein and José Castro-Sotomayor introduce a broad, insightful assembly of original theory and research on planetary positionalities in flux in the Anthropocene – or what in this Handbook cultural ecologist David Abram presciently renames the Humilocene, a new “epoch of humility.” Forty international authors craft a kaleidoscopic lens, focusing on the following key interdisciplinary inquiries: Part I illuminates identity as always ecocultural, expanding dominant understandings of who we are and how our ways of identifying engender earthly outcomes. Part II examines ways ecocultural identities are fostered and how difference and spaces of interaction can be sources of environmental conviviality. Part III illustrates consequential ways the media sphere informs, challenges, and amplifies particular ecocultural identities. Part IV delves into the constitutive power of ecocultural identities and illuminates ways ecological forces shape the political sphere. Part V demonstrates multiple and unspooling ways in which ecocultural identities can evolve and transform to recall ways forward to reciprocal surviving and thriving. The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity provides an essential resource for scholars, teachers, students, protectors, and practitioners interested in ecological and sociocultural regeneration. The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity has been awarded the 2020 Book Award from the National Communication Association's (USA) Environmental Communication Division. Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi'i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Mark Solovey, "Social Science for What? Battles over Public Funding for the 'Other Sciences' at the National Science Foundation" (MIT Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 50:51

This is part two of a two part interview. Mark Solovey's ‘Social Science for What?' is essential reading for anyone in either the history of science policy or the history of the social sciences in the United States. The book is not, as the subtitle might imply, merely an institutional history of the social sciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Rather, Solovey's follow-up to his 2013 book, ‘Shaky Foundations: The Politics-Patronage-Social Science Nexus in Cold War America', is a commanding explanation of certain characteristics of academic social science as commonly practiced in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. — Audra J. Wolfe, PhD. history and sociology of science, in ISIS Vol. 113, No. 2, June 2022 In our first episode, Professor Solovey shared some of the political and legislative history establishing the National Science Foundation; heated controversy over the social sciences that undermined the effort to include them in the initial legislation for the new science agency; how they nevertheless became included on a small and cautious basis grounded in a scientistic strategy; and some of the landmark developments, controversies, and interesting individuals involved from roughly the mid-1940s to the late 1960s. This included Senator Harris's remarkable legislative proposal in the mid-to-late 1960s to establish a separate national social science foundation. This second part of the interview opens with the late 1960s' controversy over Project Camelot and draws on Mark's 2001 journal article in the Social Studies of Science, titled ‘Project Camelot and the 1960s Epistemological Revolution: Rethinking the Politics–Patronage–Social Science Nexus' - which remains the professor's most often cited scholarly article. We then move up through the dark days of the Reagan years, along the way discussing key figures, from David Stockman to Talcott Parsons, Clifford Geertz, Thomas Kuhn, Milton Friedman, and Richard Atkinson, the emergence and impact of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), alternatives to the scientistic strategy, and persistent challenges faced by the social sciences at the levels of institutional representation, leadership and funding constraints relative to the natural sciences - all of which continue to the present day. We end with Professor Solovey's call for reviving the idea of a new federal agency for the social sciences, a National Social Science Foundation, as first introduced by Senator Harris of Oklahoma, and finally, with some book recommendations. An open access edition of Social Science for What?: Battles over Public Funding for the "Other Sciences' at the National Science Foundation (MIT Press, 2020) was made possible by generous funding from the MIT Libraries. Mark Solovey is professor at the University of Toronto's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. His research focuses on the development of the social sciences in the United States, and especially the controversies regarding the scientific identity of the social sciences, private and public funding for them, and public policy implications of social science expertise. He has written and co-edited a number of books related to the Cold War and social science history. Keith Krueger lectures in the SILC Business School at Shanghai University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Jin Feng, "Tasting Paradise on Earth: Jiangnan Foodways" (U Washington Press, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 41:01

Today I talked to Jin Feng of Grinnell College about her fascinating book Tasting Paradise on Earth: Jiangnan Foodways (U Washington Press, 2019). Preparing and consuming food is an integral part of identity formation, which in contemporary China embodies tension between fast-forward modernization and cultural nostalgia. Jin Feng's wide-ranging exploration of cities in the Lower Yangzi Delta--or Jiangnan, a region known for its paradisiacal beauty and abundant resources--illustrates how people preserve culinary inheritance while also revamping it for the new millennium. Throughout Chinese history, food nostalgia has generated cultural currency for individuals. Feng examines literary treatments of Jiangnan foodways from late imperial and twentieth-century China, highlighting the role played by gender and tracing the contemporary metamorphosis of this cultural landscape, with its new platforms for food culture, such as television and the internet. As communities in Jiangnan refashion their regional heritage, culinary arts shine as markers of ethnic and social distinction. Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Ghassan Hage, "The Diasporic Condition: Ethnographic Explorations of the Lebanese in the World" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2022 50:12

Bridging the gap between migration studies and the anthropological tradition, Ghassan Hage illustrates that transnationality and its attendant cultural consequences are not necessarily at odds with classic theory. In The Diasporic Condition, Ghassan Hage engages with the diasporic Lebanese community as a shared lifeworld, defining a common cultural milieu that transcends spatial and temporal distance—a collective mode of being here termed the “diasporic condition.” Encompassing a complicated transnational terrain, Hage's long-term ethnography takes us from Mehj and Jalleh in Lebanon to Europe, Australia, South America, and North America, analyzing how Lebanese migrants and their families have established themselves in their new homes while remaining socially, economically, and politically related to Lebanon and to each other. At the heart of The Diasporic Condition lies a critical anthropological question: How does the study of a particular sociocultural phenomenon expand our knowledge of modes of existing in the world? As Hage establishes what he terms the “lenticular condition,” he breaks down the boundaries between “us” and “them,” “here” and “there,” showing that this convergent mode of existence increasingly defines everyone's everyday life. Ghassan Hage is professor of anthropology and social theory at the University of Melbourne in Australia. He is the author of several books, including White Nation, Against Paranoid Nationalism, Alter-Politics, and Is Racism an Environmental Threat? Alize Arıcan is an anthropologist whose research focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current Anthropology, City & Society, JOTSA, Radical Housing Journal, and entanglements. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Suman Nath, "Democracy and Social Cleavage in India: Ethnography of Riots, Everyday Politics and Communalism in West Bengal (2012-2021)" (Routledge, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 27:57

Suman Nath's book Democracy and Social Cleavage in India: Ethnography of Riots, Everyday Politics and Communalism in West Bengal (2012-2021) (Routledge, 2022) explores the emergence of identity politics and violence at the forefront of political life in an Indian state. Through a close reading of everyday politics in West Bengal, India, which until recently boasted of the longest-serving elected communist government in the world, the volume presents unique observations on Indian politics and its trajectories. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Monika Kostera, "After The Apocalypse: Finding Hope in Organizing" (John Hunt, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 56:21

Our times of crumbling structures and decaying social bonds are often depicted as apocalyptic. Monika Kostera's book After The Apocalypse: Finding Hope in Organizing (John Hunt, 2020) takes the apocalypse as a metaphor to help us in the search for meaning in our everyday realities. Yes, the apocalypse is when social structures and institutions fall apart and we are terrified and suffocated by the debris raining down upon us. But “apocalypse" also means “revelation”. The very collapse reveals what dissipating institutions were constructed upon: where there ought to have been foundational common values, most often there is violence and raw power. Yet the values are there, too, and they can be found. This book is a guide to these values, showing how they can be of help to organizers and organizational dreamers. Joan Francisco Matamoros-Sanin is an anthropologist with a PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Mexico´s National Autonomous University (UNAM). He is devoted to both research and teaching, as well as public education through digital means. Some of his work revolves around the study of masculinities in relation to ethnicity, the body, space and the sociocultural contexts in which people live out their lives and its dramas. He has done ethnographic fieldwork across different areas of Mexico and in Saraguro, Ecuador. He also teaches courses in San Luis Potosí´s Autonomous University and in UNESCO´s Regional Cooperation Centre for Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean. One of his publications in English. A recent publication in Spanish. Here is some of his work related to research and public education in anthropology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Culturally Competent Health Care, Equality in Health Care: The Case of Muslims and Jews in the UK

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 29:09

The health care sector frequently emphasizes “Cultural competence”, an elastic concept that stretches from the simplest recognition of diversity of patient populations, to include policy implications of patients' overall worldviews re the body, health, and decision-making. The issue, highlighted again in the recent U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision, gained prominence during Covid-19 pandemic, with the challenge of so-called marginal groups' access to and compliance with vaccination programs. Legislation for equality impacts minority health care. It has brought both benefits and unintended consequences. We will talk about these important issues with today's guest, Ben Kasstan, Ph.D., an anthropologist at the University of Bristol and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research explores public health, specifically, what health protection means and according to whom. Ben's published works on public health issues include maternity care, childhood vaccinations, and sexuality education. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Kecia Ali, ed., "Tying the Knot: A Feminist/Womanist Guide to Muslim Marriage in America" (Open BU, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 59:16

Are you a born, revert, or convert Muslim who is trying to navigate the puzzle that is Muslim marriage in America? Do you want an egalitarian and fair Muslim marriage? Have you ever wondered how you can institute equality, respect, and care in your marital relationship? Do you want an interfaith and/or a non-heteronormative marriage? Are you planning or drafting a marriage contract that is more suitable for you and your marital goals? How can you build an ethics of care that facilitates and accommodates you, your partner, and your broader community? If you are curious about these and other questions related to Muslim marriages, then Tying the Knot: A Feminist/Womanist Guide to Muslim Marriage in America (Open BU, 2021) is the book for you. This book is edited by Dr Kecia Ali and advances the conversation that Dr Ali, along with her contributors, initiated in a reader, Half of Faith: American Muslim Marriage and Divorce in the Twenty-First Century. Tying the Knot is a collection of reflections and guides to facilitate Muslim women on their path to marriage. It addresses curiosities, questions, controversies, and needs of women from diverse Muslim communities in America. It also provides the solutions, guides, and sample contract drafts to equip them with the tools that they need to make the best decision for themselves before, during, or after their marriages. The book contains chapters that address issues as diverse as Muslim women's interfaith/interracial/interethnic marriages, Muslim LGBTQ+ marriages, Muta'h marriage, pre-marital counseling and contracts, officiating the diverse Muslim marriages, and Muslim widows and their challenges. This book is available open-access here.  Iqra Shagufta Cheema (@so_difoucault) is a researcher, writer, teacher, and a chronic procrastinator. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Othon Alexandrakis, "Radical Resilience: Athenian Topographies of Precarity and Possibility" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 59:29

Radical Resilience: Athenian Topographies of Precarity and Possibility (Cornell UP, 2022) relates narratives of Athenians struggling to survive the impoverishment of relentless austerity measures, compounding emergencies, and human disasters of successive national crises in Greece since 2010.  Drawing on eight years of fieldwork, Othon Alexandrakis examines the effects of injury, erosion, and upheaval on individuals already pushed beyond their limits but holding on against all odds. Through analysis of everyday scenes across different social locations in the city, he documents the often slow, difficult work of picking up the pieces of one's life and moving them around—and the worlds that fade and the ones that become visible in the process. He shares the stories of a disillusioned anarchist organizer, an exhausted nurse helping a father search for his lost daughter, a misunderstood Romani man rejected by his friends and family, and an undocumented migrant who discovers hope in the trash—stories of individuals finding solace and possibility within, with, and against the tragedies of their lives. Alexandrakis shows how these stories lead to a potentially transformative coming to resilience. In Radical Resilience, Alexandrakis traces the bare edges of radical possibility from within the efforts of those continuing on beyond their limits. Othon Alexandrakis is Associate Professor of Anthropology at York University. He is the editor of Impulse to Act. Alize Arıcan is an anthropologist whose research focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current Anthropology, City & Society, JOTSA, Radical Housing Journal, and entanglements. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Sarah Lamb, "Being Single in India: Stories of Gender, Exclusion, and Possibility" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 52:41

Today, the majority of the world's population lives in a country with falling marriage rates, a phenomenon with profound impacts on women, gender, and sexuality.  In Being Single in India: Stories of Gender, Exclusion, and Possibility (U California Press, 2022), Sarah Lamb probes the gendered trend of single women living in India, examining what makes living outside marriage for women increasingly possible and yet incredibly challenging. Featuring the stories of never-married women as young as 35 and as old as 92, the book offers a remarkable portrait of a way of life experienced by women across class and caste divides, from urban professionals and rural day laborers, to those who identify as heterosexual and lesbian, to others who evaded marriage both by choice and by circumstance. For women in India, complex social-cultural and political-economic contexts are foundational to their lives and decisions, and evading marriage is often an unintended consequence of other pressing life priorities. Arguing that never-married women are able to illuminate their society's broader social-cultural values, Lamb offers a new and startling look at prevailing systems of gender, sexuality, kinship, freedom, and social belonging in India today. Garima Jaju is currently a post-doc at Cambridge University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Heejung Chung, "The Flexibility Paradox: Why Flexible Working Leads To (Self-)Exploitation" (Polity Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 40:20

Why are we working harder? In The Flexibility Paradox: Why Flexible Working Leads To (Self-)Exploitation (Polity Press, 2022), Heejung Chung, a professor of sociology and social policy at the University of Kent, looks a contemporary employment practices to tell the story of the rise of flexible working and its impact on workers, individuals, and families. The book sets out the paradox that even though flexible working seems to offer more control over work, it leads to a worse work/life balance and makes more demands on staff. The paradox is also not evenly distributed, and the book pays close attention to the importance of gender in understanding how flexible work interacts with domestic labour to impact on women's lives. Packed with rich, cross-national data, along with analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the book is essential across social science disciplines and for anyone interested in contemporary working life! Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Mark Solovey, "Social Science for What?: Battles over Public Funding for the 'Other Sciences' at the National Science Foundation" (MIT Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 47:13

This is part one of a two part interview. "The social sciences have prospered best in the federal government where they have been included under broad umbrella classifications of the scientific disciplines. … In close company with scientific areas which enjoy the prestige and status of biological or physical sciences, the social sciences have enjoyed a protection and nourishment which they normally do not have when they are identified as such and stand exposed, 'naked and alone.'" — Harry Alpert, sociologist and first social science policy architect, 1960 (Solovey: Ch. 1 lead-in) In the early Cold War years, the U.S. government established the National Science Foundation (NSF), a civilian agency that soon became widely known for its dedication to supporting first-rate science. The agency's 1950 enabling legislation made no mention of the social sciences, although it included a vague reference to “other sciences.” Nevertheless, as Mark Solovey shows in this book, the NSF also soon became a major—albeit controversial—source of public funding for them. Solovey's analysis underscores the long-term impact of early developments, when the NSF embraced a “scientistic” strategy wherein the natural sciences represented the gold standard, and created a social science program limited to “hard-core” studies. Along the way, Solovey shows how the NSF's efforts to support scholarship, advanced training, and educational programs were shaped by landmark scientific and political developments, including McCarthyism, Sputnik, reform liberalism during the 1960s, and a newly energized conservative movement during the 1970s and 1980s. Finally, he provides a balanced assessment of the NSF's relevance in a “post-truth” era. Solovey's study of the battles over public funding is crucial for understanding the recent history of the social sciences as well as ongoing debates over their scientific status and social value. In this first part of two episodes the professor takes us from the mid-1940s up to the tumultuous 1960s and the (ultimately unsuccessful) legislative proposal for a National Social Science Foundation. Look for the second part which moves from the late 1960s' controversy over Project Camelot up through the dark days of the Reagan years, culminating in a call to revive discussion about the need to create a new federal agency, a National Social Science Foundation. An open access edition of Social Science for What?: Battles over Public Funding for the "Other Sciences' at the National Science Foundation (MIT Press, 2020) was made possible by generous funding from the MIT Libraries. Mark Solovey is professor at the University of Toronto's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. His research focuses on the development of the social sciences in the United States, and especially the controversies regarding the scientific identity of the social sciences, private and public funding for them, and public policy implications of social science expertise. He has written and co-edited a number of books related to the Cold War and social science history. Keith Krueger lectures in the SILC Business School at Shanghai University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Gonçalo Santos, "Chinese Village Life Today: Building Families in an Age of Transition" (U Washington Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 96:14

Today I had the pleasure of talking to Professor Gonçalo Santos (University of Coimbra), about his new book, Chinese Village Life Today: Building Families in an Age of Transition, which was published in 2021 by University of Washington Press. Chinese Village Life Today is based on more than twenty years of Gonçalo Santos's field research. The book paints a richly detailed portrait of a rural township in Guangdong Province, north of the industrialized Pearl River Delta region, to consider the intimate choices that village families make in the face of larger forces of modernization. Filled with vivid anecdotes and keen observations, the book offers a fresh perspective on China's urban-rural divide and a grounded theoretical approach to understand how China's rural transformation is changing the ways that local people shape their intimate daily lives - from marriage, childbirth, and childcare to personal hygiene and public sanitation. I highly recommend the book for anyone who wants to understand village life in China today, and more broadly for those interested in studies on medical anthropology and the workings of technocratic frameworks of governance. Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Anne-Linda Amira Augustin, "South Yemen's Independence Struggle: Generations of Resistance" (American University in Cairo Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2022 56:05

At its beginning in 2007, the Southern Movement in South Yemen was a loose merger of different people, most of them former army personnel and state employees of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) who were forced from their jobs after the war in 1994, only four years after the unification between the PDRY and the Yemen Arab Republic. In South Yemen's Independence Struggle: Generations Of Resistance (American University of Cairo Press, 2021), Dr. Anna-Linda Amira Augustin presents a bold ethnographic account of a persistent Arab uprising, in a rarely studied corner of the Middle East. She explores why the Southern Movement has grown so tremendously during the last decade, and how it developed from a primarily social movement demanding social rights into a mass protest movement claiming independence for a state that had long vanished from the world map. She asks why so many young people born after 1990 joined the movement and demanded the re-establishment of a state that they had never themselves experienced. At the core of South Yemeni resistance lies the transmission from generation to generation of a dominant counternarrative, which may be seen as the continuation and rehabilitation of the PDRY's national narrative. This narrative, amplified through everyday communication in families and neighborhoods, but also by media-makers, journalists, school and university teachers, civil society actors, and by the movement's activists, opposes the national-unity narrative of the Republic of Yemen and intensifies the demands for an independent state. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Siniša Malešević, "Why Humans Fight: The Social Dynamics of Close-Range Violence" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2022 60:48

In his book Why Humans Fight: The Social Dynamics of Close-Range Violence (2022, Cambridge University Press), Siniša Malešević emphasises the centrality of the social and historical contexts that make fighting possible. He argues that fighting is not an individual attribute, but a social phenomenon shaped by one's relationships with other people. Drawing on recent scholarship across a variety of academic disciplines as well as his own interviews with the former combatants, Malešević shows that one's willingness to fight is a contextual phenomenon shaped by specific ideological and organisational logic. This book explores the role biology, psychology, economics, ideology, and coercion play in one's experience of fighting, emphasising the cultural and historical variability of combativeness. By drawing from numerous historical and contemporary examples from all over the world, Malešević demonstrates how social pugnacity is a relational and contextual phenomenon that possesses autonomous features. Siniša Malešević is the chair of the sociology department at University College, Dublin. His main research interests include the study of war and violence, ethnicity, nation-states, and nationalism, empires, ideology, sociological theory and comparative historical sociology. Christian Axboe Nielsen is associate professor of history and human security at Aarhus University in Denmark. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Tony Perman, "Signs of the Spirit: Music and the Experience of Meaning in Ndau Ceremonial Life" (U Illinois Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 42:34

In 2005, Tony Perman attended a ceremony alongside the living and the dead. His visit to a Zimbabwe farm brought him into contact with the madhlozi, outsider spirits that Ndau people rely upon for guidance, protection, and their collective prosperity. Perman's encounters with the spirits, the mediums who bring them back, and the accompanying rituals form the heart of his ethnographic account of how the Ndau experience ceremonial musicking. As Perman witnessed other ceremonies, he discovered that music and dancing shape the emotional lives of Ndau individuals by inviting them to experience life's milestones or cope with its misfortunes as a group. Signs of the Spirit: Music and the Experience of Meaning in Ndau Ceremonial Life (U Illinois Press, 2020) explores the historical, spiritual, and social roots of ceremonial action and details how that action influences the Ndau's collective approach to their future. The result is a vivid ethnomusicological journey that delves into the immediacy of musical experience and the forces that transform ceremonial performance into emotions and community. Tony Perman is an associate professor music at Grinnell College.  Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Laura A. Ogden, "Loss and Wonder at the World's End" (Duke UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 63:55

In this podcast Laura A. Ogden, cultural anthropologist at Dartmouth College, introduces her beautifully crafted book Loss and Wonder at the World's End (Duke University Press, 2021). In Loss and Wonder at the World's End, Ogden brings together animals, people, and things—from beavers, stolen photographs, lichen, American explorers, and birdsong—to catalog the ways environmental change and colonial history are entangled in the Fuegian Archipelago of southernmost Chile and Argentina. Repeated algal blooms have closed fisheries in the archipelago. Glaciers are in retreat. Extractive industries such as commercial forestry, natural gas production, and salmon farming along with the introduction of nonnative species are rapidly transforming assemblages of life. Ogden archives forms of loss—including territory, language, sovereignty, and life itself—as well as forms of wonder, or moments when life continues to flourish even in the ruins of these devastations. Her account draws on long-term ethnographic research with settler and Indigenous communities; archival photographs; explorer journals; and experiments in natural history and performance studies. Loss and Wonder at the World's End frames environmental change as imperialism's shadow, a darkness cast over the earth in the wake of other losses. Elize Mazadiego is an art historian in Modern and Contemporary art (PhD, University of California San Diego), with a specialism in Latin American art. She is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Amsterdam and author of the book Dematerialization and the Social Materiality of Art: Experimental Forms in Argentina, 1955-1968 (Brill, 2021). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Eray Çayli, "Victims of Commemoration: The Architecture and Violence of Confronting the Past in Turkey" (Syracuse UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 67:33

“Confronting the past” has become a byword for democratization. How societies and governments commemorate their violent pasts is often appraised as a litmus test of their democratization claims. Regardless of how critical such appraisals may be, they tend to share a fundamental assumption: commemoration, as a symbol of democratization, is ontologically distinct from violence. The pitfalls of this assumption have been nowhere more evident than in Turkey whose mainstream image on the world stage has rapidly descended from a regional beacon of democracy to a hotbed of violence within the space of a few recent years. In Victims of Commemoration: The Architecture and Violence of Confronting the Past in Turkey (Syracuse UP, 2021), Eray Çaylı draws upon extensive fieldwork he conducted in the prelude to the mid-2010s when Turkey's global image fell from grace. This ethnography—the first of its kind—explores both activist and official commemorations at sites of state-endorsed violence in Turkey that have become the subject of campaigns for memorial museums. Reversing the methodological trajectory of existing accounts, Çaylı works from the politics of urban and architectural space to grasp ethnic, religious, and ideological marginalization. Victims of Commemoration reveals that, whether campaigns for memorial museums bear fruit or not, architecture helps communities concentrate their political work against systemic problems. Sites significant to Kurdish, Alevi, and revolutionary-leftist struggles for memory and justice prompt activists to file petitions and lawsuits, organize protests, and build new political communities. In doing so, activists not only uphold the legacy of victims but also reject the identity of a passive victimhood being imposed on them. They challenge not only the ways specific violent pasts and their victims are represented, but also the structural violence which underpins deep-seated approaches to nationhood, publicness and truth, and which itself is a source of victimhood. Victims of Commemoration complicates our tendency to presume that violence ends where commemoration begins and that architecture's role in both is reducible to a question of symbolism. Eray Çaylı is the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the European Institute at the London School of Economics. Alize Arıcan is a Postdoctoral Associate at Rutgers University's Center for Cultural Analysis. She is an anthropologist whose research focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current Anthropology, City & Society, JOTSA, Radical Housing Journal, and entanglements. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, "Second-Class Daughters: Black Brazilian Women and Informal Adoption as Modern Slavery" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2022 51:37

A legacy of the transatlantic slave trade, Brazil is home to the largest number of African descendants outside Africa and the greatest number of domestic workers in the world. Drawing on ten years of interviews and ethnographic research, Second-Class Daughters: Black Brazilian Women and Informal Adoption as Modern Slavery (Cambridge University Press, 2022) examines the lives of marginalized informal domestic workers who are called 'adopted daughters' but who live in slave-like conditions in the homes of their adoptive families. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman traces a nuanced and, at times, disturbing account of how adopted daughters, who are trapped in a system of racial, gender, and class oppression, live with the coexistence of extreme forms of exploitation and seemingly loving familial interactions and affective relationships. Highlighting the humanity of her respondents, Hordge-Freeman examines how filhas de criação (raised daughters) navigate the realities of their structural constraints and in the context of pervasive norms of morality, gratitude, and kinship. In all, the author clarifies the link between contemporary and colonial forms of exploitation, while highlighting the resistance and agency of informal domestic workers. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman is an Associate Professor of sociology, interim Vice President for Institutional Equity, and Senior Advisor to the President and Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at The University of South Florida. Reighan Gillam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Reena Kukreja, "Why Would I Be Married Here?: Marriage Migration and Dispossession in Neoliberal India" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 51:13

Why Would I Be Married Here?: Marriage Migration and Dispossession in Neoliberal India (Cornell UP, 2022) examines marriage migration undertaken by rural bachelors in North India, unable to marry locally, who travel across the breadth of India seeking brides who do not share the same caste, ethnicity, language, or customs as themselves. Combining rich ethnographic evidence with Dalit feminist and political economy frameworks, Reena Kukreja connects the macro-political violent process of neoliberalism to the micro-personal level of marriage and intimate gender relations to analyze the lived reality of this set of migrant brides in cross-region marriages among dominant-peasant caste Hindus and Meo Muslims in rural North India. Why Would I Be Married Here? reveals how predatory capitalism links with patriarchy to dispossess many poor women from India's marginalized Dalit and Muslim communities of marriage choices in their local communities. It reveals how, within the context of the increasing spread of capitalist relations, these women's pragmatic cross-region migration for marriage needs to be reframed as an exercise of their agency that simultaneously exposes them to new forms of gender subordination and internal othering of caste discrimination and ethnocentrism in conjugal communities. Why Would I Be Married Here? offers powerful examples of how contemporary forces of neoliberalism reshape the structural oppressions compelling poor women from marginalized communities worldwide into making compromised choices about their bodies, their labor, and their lives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Robin Dunbar, "How Religion Evolved: And Why It Endures" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2022 65:11

What is the evolutionary purpose of religion, and are some individuals more inclined than others to be religious? Our species diverged from the great apes six to eight million years ago. Since then, our propensity toward spiritual thinking and ritual emerged. How, when, and why did this occur, and how did the earliest, informal shamanic practices evolve into the world religions familiar to us today? In How Religion Evolved: And Why It Endures (Oxford UP, 2022), Robin Dunbar explores these and other questions, mining the distinctions between religions of experience--as practiced by the earliest hunter-gatherer societies--and doctrinal religions, from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and their many derivatives. Examining religion's origins, social functions, its effects on the brain and body, and its place in the modern era, Dunbar offers a fascinating and far-reaching analysis of the quintessentially human impulse to reach beyond. Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network's Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at reneeg@vanleer.org.il. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

W. Puck Brecher, "Animal Care in Japanese Tradition: A Short History" (Association for Asian Studies, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 34:08

In Animal Care in Japanese Tradition: A Short History (Association for Asian Studies, 2022), Brecher offers a brief overview of animals in Japanese culture and society from ancient times to the 1950s. Brecher questions common assumptions about the treatment and care of animals in Japan, correcting ahistorical understandings of the human-animal relationship that have gained widespread acceptance.  The subject itself is fascinating in its own right, but learning about it carries an additional benefit: it helps us challenge two pervasive assumptions about Japan. The first is that Japan differs fundamentally from other, particularly Western, nations. This premise reinforces the view that cultural differences carry greater historical importance than similarities. The second assumption is that societal changes connected to Japanese modernization are of greater historical importance than continuities, a notion that foregrounds modern Japan's departure from its native traditions and its assimilation of Western ones. This volume's historical overview of Japan's relationship with animals does not dwell at length on these points, but its discussion of traditional animal care does enable us to revisit and reassess these issues in a new light. It also allows us to scrutinize Japanese tradition and interrogate ahistorical claims about Japan's culturally endemic “love” and empathy for the natural world. Departing from existing scholarship on the subject, the book discovers theoretical and practical commonalities between “Japanese” and “Western” approaches to animal care and shows how this partially shared tradition facilitated Japanese modernization. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Pallavi Banerjee, "The Opportunity Trap: High-Skilled Workers, Indian Families, and the Failures of the Dependent Visa Program" (NYU Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 74:07

The Opportunity Trap: High-Skilled Workers, Indian Families, and the Failures of the Dependent Visa Program (NYU Press, 2022) is the first book to look at the impact of the H-4 dependent visa programs on women and men visa holders in Indian families in America. Comparing two distinct groups of Indian immigrant families -families of male high-tech workers and female nurses-Pallavi Banerjee reveals how visa policies that are legally gender and race neutral in fact have gendered and racialized ramifications for visa holders and their spouses. Drawing on interviews with fifty-five Indian couples, Banerjee highlights the experiences of high-skilled immigrants as they struggle to cope with visa laws, which forbid their spouses from working paid jobs. She examines how these unfair restrictions destabilize-if not completely dismantle-families, who often break under this marital, financial, and emotional stress. Banerjee shows us, through the eyes of immigrants themselves, how the visa process strips them of their rights, forcing them to depend on their spouses and the government in fundamentally challenging ways. The Opportunity Trap provides a critical look at our visa system, underscoring how it fails immigrant families. Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of intimacies, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Xinling Li, "Black Masculinity and Hip-Hop Music: Black Gay Men Who Rap" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 62:42

In Black Masculinity and Hip-Hop Music: Black Gay Men Who Rap (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), XinLing Li offers an interdisciplinary study of hip-hop music written and performed by rappers who are black gay men. This study examines the storytelling mechanisms of gay themed lyrics, and how these form protests and become enabling tools for (black) gay men to discuss issues such as living on the down-low and HIV/AIDS. It considers how the biased promotion of feminized gay male artists/characters in the mainstream entertainment industry have rendered masculinity an exclusively male heterosexual property, providing a representational framework for men to identify with a form of “homosexual masculinity” – one that is constructed without having to either victimize anything feminine or necessarily convert to femininity. The book makes a strong case that it is possible for individuals (like gay rappers) to perform masculinity against masculinity, and open up a new way of striving for gender equality. XinLing Li received his PhD in sociology from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Sushmita Pati, "Properties of Rent: Community, Capital and Politics in Globalising Delhi" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2022 65:47

We live in cities whose borders have always been subject to expansion. What does such transformation of rural spaces mean for cities and vice-versa? Properties of Rent: Community, Capital and Politics in Globalising Delhi (Cambridge UP, 2022) looks at the spatial transformation of villages brought into Delhi's urban fray in the 1950s. As these villages transform physically; their residents, an agrarian-pastoralist community - the Jats - also transform into dabblers in real estate. A study of two villages - Munirka and Shahpur Jat - both in the heart of bustling urban economies of Delhi, reveal that it is 'rent' that could define this suburbanisation. 'Bhaichara', once a form of land ownership in colonial times, transforms into an affective claim of belonging, and managing urban property in the face of a steady onslaught from the 'city'. Properties of Rent is a study of how a vernacular form of capitalism and its various affects shape up in opposition to both state, finance capital and the city in contemporary urban Delhi. Sushmita Pati is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. She studied Political Science at Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is interested in studying the intersections of Urban Politics and Political Economy. Her recent book, Properties of Rent: Community, Capital and Politics in Globalising Delhi is now out from Cambridge University Press. Saronik Bosu (@SaronikB on Twitter) is a doctoral candidate in English at New York University. He is writing his dissertation on literary rhetoric and economic thought. He co-hosts the podcast High Theory and is a co-founder of the Postcolonial Anthropocene Research Network. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Elsa L. Fan, "Commodities of Care: The Business of HIV Testing in China" (U Minnesota Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2022 54:08

Commodities of Care: The Business of HIV Testing in China (U Minnesota Press, 2021) examines the unanticipated effects of global health interventions, ideas, and practices as they unfold in communities of men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. Targeted for the scaling-up of HIV testing, Elsa L. Fan examines how the impact of this initiative has transformed these men from subjects of care into commodities of care: through the use of performance-based financing tied to HIV testing, MSM have become a source of economic and political capital. In ethnographic detail, Fan shows how this particular program, ushered in by global health donors, became the prevailing strategy to control the epidemic in China in the late 2000s. Fan examines the implementation of MSM testing and its effects among these men, arguing that the intervention produced new markets of men, driven by the push to meet testing metrics. Fan shows how men who have sex with men in China came to see themselves as part of a global MSM category, adopting new selfhoods and socialities inextricably tied to HIV and to testing. Wider trends in global health programming have shaped national public health responses in China and, this book reveals, have radically altered the ways health, disease, and care are addressed. Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi'i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Kuba Szreder, "The ABC of the Projectariat: Living and Working in a Precarious Art World" (Manchester UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2022 75:04

Labour has taken an about-turn. From Adam Smith's proposal for specialisation which saw the factory line reorganised so that each worker needed to understand only a small aspect of the production process, many industries now rely on access to specialised skills and resources that are commanded at-hoc in discrete, time- and output-bound chunks. This is the logic of projects. The workforce no longer dedicates itself to the making of a singular commodity, as it was the case with Smith, but bids for discrete pieces of work when those are in demand. In some industries, for example, in the art world, the workforce is also charged with building the demand for their work by initiating the project which would then employ them. The ABC of the Projectariat: Living and Working in a Precarious Art World (Manchester UP, 2021) by Kuba Szreder contributes new thinking on and practical responses to the widespread problem of precarious labour in contemporary art. It is both a critical analysis and a practical handbook, speaking to and about the vast cohort of artistic freelancers worldwide. Kuba Szreder speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about the artistic project, and the effects of projectarisation on workers' solidarity, communal governance, and the precarity of artistic activity. Kuba Szreder is a lecturer in the department of art theory at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He combines his research with independent curatorial practice. His previous publications include Joy Forever: Political Economy of Social Creativity (2011) and Art Factory: Division of Labor and Distribution of Resources in the Field of Contemporary Art in Poland (2014). In 2018, together with Kathrin Böhm, he initiated Centre for Plausible Economies, a cluster devoted to reimagining economies of contemporary art and using artistic imagination to redraw the economy at large. A report on the Free/Slow University of Warsaw Pierre's interview with François Matarasso on community art Pierre's essay on the social artist's absorption into the professional-managerial class Kuba's work with Kathrin Böhm (Company Drinks/myvillages) on the Centre for Plausible Economies, which contributed to Documenta 15 A New Books Network Interview with Dave O'Brien et al on Culture is Bad for You Pierre's review of Sam Friedman's and Daniel Laurison's The Class Ceiling Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Roberto J. González, "War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data, and Predict the Future" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2022 63:15

A critical look at how the US military is weaponizing technology and data for new kinds of warfare—and why we must resist. War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data, and Predict the Future (University of California Press, 2022) is the story of how scientists, programmers, and engineers are racing to develop data-driven technologies for fighting virtual wars, both at home and abroad. In this landmark book, Roberto J. González gives us a lucid and gripping account of what lies behind the autonomous weapons, robotic systems, predictive modeling software, advanced surveillance programs, and psyops techniques that are transforming the nature of military conflict. González, a cultural anthropologist, takes a critical approach to the techno-utopian view of these advancements and their dubious promise of a less deadly and more efficient warfare. With clear, accessible prose, this book exposes the high-tech underpinnings of contemporary military operations—and the cultural assumptions they're built on. Chapters cover automated battlefield robotics; social scientists' involvement in experimental defense research; the blurred line between political consulting and propaganda in the internet era; and the military's use of big data to craft new counterinsurgency methods based on predicting conflict. González also lays bare the processes by which the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies have quietly joined forces with Big Tech, raising an alarming prospect: that someday Google, Amazon, and other Silicon Valley firms might merge with some of the world's biggest defense contractors. War Virtually takes an unflinching look at an algorithmic future—where new military technologies threaten democratic governance and human survival. Dr. Gonzalez is Professor and Chair of the San Jose State University Anthropology Department. He has authored four books including Connected: How a Mexican Village Built Its Own Cell Phone Network and Militarizing Culture: Essays on the Warfare State. You can learn more about his work here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Daniel Silva, "Embodying Modernity: Global Fitness Culture and Building the Brazilian Body" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2022 42:06

Daniel Silva's Embodying Modernity: Global Fitness Culture and Building the Brazilian Body (U Pittsburgh Press, 2022) examines the current boom of fitness culture in Brazil in the context of the white patriarchal notions of race, gender, and sexuality through which fitness practice, commodities, and cultural products traffic. The book traces the imperial meanings and orders of power conveyed through “fit” bodies and their different configurations of muscularity, beauty, strength, and health within mainstream visual media and national and global public spheres. Drawing from a wide range of Brazilian visual media sources including fitness magazines, television programs, film, and social media, Daniel F. Silva theorizes concepts and renderings of modern corporality, its racialized and gendered underpinnings, and its complex relationship to white patriarchal power and capital. This study works to define the ubiquitous parameters of fitness culture and argues that its growth is part of a longer collective nationalist project of modernity tied to whiteness, capitalist ideals, and historical exceptionalism. Patricio Simonetto a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Institute of the Americas (University College London). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Carla Power, "Home, Land, Security: Deradicalization and the Journey Back from Extremism" (One World, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 66:35

In the Pulitzer Prize finalist book Home, Land, Security: Deradicalisation and the Journey Back from Extremism (One World, 2021), Carla Power explores: what are the roots of radicalism? Journalist Carla Power came to this question well before the January 6, 2021, attack in Washington, D.C., that turned the US' attention to the problem of domestic radicalization. Her entry point was a different wave of radical panic—the way populists and pundits encouraged us to see the young people who joined ISIS or other terrorist organizations as simple monsters. Power wanted to chip away at the stereotypes by focusing not on what these young people had done but why: What drew them into militancy? What visions of the world—of home, of land, of security for themselves and the people they loved—shifted their thinking toward radical beliefs? And what visions of the world might bring them back to society? Power begins her journey by talking to the mothers of young men who'd joined ISIS in the UK and Canada; from there, she travels around the world in search of societies that are finding new and innovative ways to rehabilitate former extremists. We meet an American judge who has staked his career on finding new ways to handle terrorist suspects, a Pakistani woman running a game-changing school for former child soldiers, a radicalized Somali American who learns through literature to see beyond his Manichean beliefs, and a former neo-Nazi who now helps disarm white supremacists. Along the way Power gleans lessons that get her closer to answering the true question at the heart of her pursuit: Can we find a way to live together? An eye-opening, page-turning investigation, Home, Land, Security speaks to the rise of division and radicalization in all forms, both at home and abroad. In this richly reported and deeply human account, Carla Power offers new ways to overcome the rising tides of extremism, one human at a time. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

Gina Louise Hunter, "Edible Insects: A Global History" (2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 38:42

From grasshoppers to grubs, an eye-opening look at insect cuisine around the world. An estimated two billion people worldwide regularly consume insects, yet bugs are rarely eaten in the West. Why are some disgusted at the thought of eating insects while others find them delicious? Edible Insects: A Global History (Reaktion Books, 2021) provides a broad introduction to the role of insects as human food, from our prehistoric past to current food trends—and even recipes. On the menu are beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, and grubs of many kinds, with stories that highlight traditional methods of insect collection, preparation, consumption, and preservation. But we not only encounter the culinary uses of creepy-crawlies across many cultures. We also learn of the potential of insects to alleviate global food shortages and natural resource overexploitation, as well as the role of world-class chefs in making insects palatable to consumers in the West. From grasshoppers to grubs, an eye-opening look at insect cuisine around the world. An estimated two billion people worldwide regularly consume insects, yet bugs are rarely eaten in the West. Why are some disgusted at the thought of eating insects while others find them delicious? Edible Insects: A Global History provides a broad introduction to the role of insects as human food, from our prehistoric past to current food trends—and even recipes. On the menu are beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, and grubs of many kinds, with stories that highlight traditional methods of insect collection, preparation, consumption, and preservation. But we not only encounter the culinary uses of creepy-crawlies across many cultures. We also learn of the potential of insects to alleviate global food shortages and natural resource overexploitation, as well as the role of world-class chefs in making insects palatable to consumers in the West. Edible Insects is part of the Edible Series published by Reaktion Books. It is a revolutionary series of books on food and drink which explores the rich history of man's consumption. Each book provides an outline for one type of food or drink, revealing its history and culture on a global scale. 50 striking illustrations, with approximately 25 in colour, accompany these engaging and accessible texts, and offer intriguing new insights into their subject. Key recipes as well as reference material accompany each title. Also available through The University of Chicago Press. See our other episodes on Edible Series: Avocado by Jeff Miller Coffee by Jonathan Morris Vanilla by Rosa Abreu-Runkel Mustard by Demet Güzey Saffron by Ramin Ganeshram Tomato by Clarissa Hyman More episodes from this series to come… Dr. Gina Hunter is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Illinois State University. She has published research on women's reproductive health, foodways and food systems, the ethnography of the university, and pedagogy and research methods. At Illinois State, she is director of the Office of Student Research, co-Director of the Food Studies Minor, and is affiliated with the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program. Her regional specialty is Brazil and has twice led a study abroad program in Brazil.  Amir Sayadabdi is Lecturer in Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington. He is mainly interested in anthropology of food and its intersection with gender studies, migration studies, and studies of race, ethnicity, and nationalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

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