• Social Science

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: 5971
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.

    • History

The Empty Seashell

Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island
Author: Nils Bubandt
Publisher: NUS Press
ISBN: 9971698633
Category: History
Page: 293
View: 3855
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.

    • History

The Empty Seashell

Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island
Author: Nils Bubandt
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801471974
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 3025
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.

    • Social Science

Encounters with Witchcraft

Field Notes from Africa
Author: Norman N. Miller
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438443595
Category: Social Science
Page: 240
View: 1111
A renowned authority on East Africa examines the effects of witchcraft beliefs on African culture, politics, and family life.

    • Religion

Restless Souls

The Making of American Spirituality
Author: Leigh Eric Schmidt
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520954114
Category: Religion
Page: 360
View: 1256
Yoga classes and Zen meditation, New-Age retreats and nature mysticism—all are part of an ongoing religious experimentation that has surprisingly deep roots in American history. Tracing out the country’s Transcendentalist and cosmopolitan religious impulses over the last two centuries, Restless Souls explores America’s abiding romance with spirituality as religion’s better half. Now in its second edition, including a new preface, Leigh Eric Schmidt's fascinating book provides a rich account of how this open-road spirituality developed in American culture in the first place as well as a sweeping survey of the liberal religious movements that touted it and ensured its continued vitality.

    • History

Intimate Indigeneities

Race, Sex, and History in the Small Spaces of Andean Life
Author: Andrew Canessa
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822352672
Category: History
Page: 325
View: 5494
Analyzing the nuances of identity formation in rural Andean culture, Andrew Canessa draws on two decades of ethnographic research in a remote indigenous community in Bolivia's highlands.

    • Social Science

In the Realm of the Diamond Queen

Marginality in an Out-of-the-way Place
Author: Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691000510
Category: Social Science
Page: 350
View: 2887
In this highly original and much-anticipated ethnography, Anna Tsing challenges not only anthropologists and feminists but all those who study culture to reconsider some of their dearest assumptions. By choosing to locate her study among Meratus Dayaks, a marginal and marginalized group in the deep rainforest of South Kalimantan, Indonesia, Tsing deliberately sets into motion the familiar and stubborn urban fantasies of self and other. Unusual encounters with her remarkably creative and unconventional Meratus friends and teachers, however, provide the opportunity to rethink notions of tradition, community, culture, power, and gender--and the doing of anthropology. Tsing's masterful weaving of ethnography and theory, as well as her humor and lucidity, allow for an extraordinary reading experience for students, scholars, and anyone interested in the complexities of culture. Engaging Meratus in wider conversations involving Indonesian bureaucrats, family planners, experts in international development, Javanese soldiers, American and French feminists, Asian-Americans, right-to-life advocates, and Western intellectuals, Tsing looks not for consensus and coherence in Meratus culture but rather allows individual Meratus men and women to return our gaze. Bearing the fruit from the lively contemporary conversations between anthropology and cultural studies, In the Realm of the Diamond Queen will prove to be a model for thinking and writing about gender, power, and the politics of identity.

    • Social Science

Magical Interpretations, Material Realities

Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa
Author: Henrietta L. Moore,Todd Sanders
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134575572
Category: Social Science
Page: 272
View: 6532
'Magical Interpretations, Material Realities brings together many of today's best scholars of contemporary Africa. The theme of "witchcraft" has long been associated with exoticizing portraits of a "traditional" Africa, but this volume takes the question of occult as a point of entry into the moral politics of some very modern African realities.' - James Ferguson, University of California, USA 'These essays bear eloquent testimony to the ongoing presence and power of the occult imaginary, and of the intimate connection between global capitalism and local cosmology, in postcolonial Africa. A major contribution to scholarship that aims to rework the divide between modernity and tradition.' - Charles Piot, Duke University, USA This volume sets out recent thinking on witchcraft in Africa, paying particular attention to variations in meanings and practices. It examines the way different people in different contexts are making sense of what 'witchcraft' is and what it might mean. Using recent ethnographic materials from across the continent, the volume explores how witchcraft articulates with particular modern settings for example: the State in Cameroon; Pentecostalism in Malawi; the university system in Nigeria and the IMF in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The editors provide a timely overview and reconsideration of long-standing anthropological debates about 'African witchcraft', while simultaneously raising broader concerns about the theories of the western social sciences.

    • Social Science

Witches and Demons

A Comparative Perspective on Witchcraft and Satanism
Author: Jean La Fontaine
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1785330861
Category: Social Science
Page: 156
View: 5311
Devil worship, black magic, and witchcraft have long captivated anthropologists as well as the general public. In this volume, Jean La Fontaine explores the intersection of expert and lay understandings of evil and the cultural forms that evil assumes. The chapters touch on public scares about devil-worship, misconceptions about human sacrifice and the use of body parts in healing practices, and mistaken accusations of children practicing witchcraft. Together, these cases demonstrate that comparison is a powerful method of cultural understanding, but warns of the dangers and mistaken conclusions that untrained ideas about other ways of life can lead to.

    • Social Science

The Republic Unsettled

Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism
Author: Mayanthi L. Fernando
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822376288
Category: Social Science
Page: 328
View: 490
In 1989 three Muslim schoolgirls from a Paris suburb refused to remove their Islamic headscarves in class. The headscarf crisis signaled an Islamic revival among the children of North African immigrants; it also ignited an ongoing debate about the place of Muslims within the secular nation-state. Based on ten years of ethnographic research, The Republic Unsettled alternates between an analysis of Muslim French religiosity and the contradictions of French secularism that this emergent religiosity precipitated. Mayanthi L. Fernando explores how Muslim French draw on both Islamic and secular-republican traditions to create novel modes of ethical and political life, reconfiguring those traditions to imagine a new future for France. She also examines how the political discourses, institutions, and laws that constitute French secularism regulate Islam, transforming the Islamic tradition and what it means to be Muslim. Fernando traces how long-standing tensions within secularism and republican citizenship are displaced onto France's Muslims, who, as a result, are rendered illegitimate as political citizens and moral subjects. She argues, ultimately, that the Muslim question is as much about secularism as it is about Islam.

    • Philosophy

Ethnographies of Doubt

Faith and Uncertainty in Contemporary Societies
Author: Mathijs Pelkmans
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1848858108
Category: Philosophy
Page: 276
View: 3673
This title shows that a focus on uncertainty and doubt is indispensible for grasping the role of ideas in social action. Drawing on a wide-range of cases, it analyses the ways in which doubt is overcome and, conversely, how belief-systems collapse.

    • Social Science

On the Road of the Winds

An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands before European Contact, Revised and Expanded Edition
Author: Patrick Vinton Kirch
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520968891
Category: Social Science
Page: 408
View: 7150
The Pacific Ocean covers one-third of the earth’s surface and encompasses many thousands of islands that are home to numerous human societies and cultures. Among these indigenous Oceanic cultures are the intrepid Polynesian double-hulled canoe navigators, the atoll dwellers of Micronesia, the statue carvers of remote Easter Island, and the famed traders of Melanesia. Decades of archaeological excavations—combined with allied research in historical linguistics, biological anthropology, and comparative ethnography—have revealed much new information about the long-term history of these societies and cultures. On the Road of the Winds synthesizes the grand sweep of human history in the Pacific Islands, beginning with the movement of early people out from Asia more than 40,000 years ago and tracing the development of myriad indigenous cultures up to the time of European contact in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. This updated edition, enhanced with many new illustrations and an extensive bibliography, synthesizes the latest archaeological, linguistic, and biological discoveries that reveal the vastness of ancient history in the Pacific Islands.

    • Social Science

Ethical Life

Its Natural and Social Histories
Author: Webb Keane
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400873592
Category: Social Science
Page: 304
View: 3043
The human propensity to take an ethical stance toward oneself and others is found in every known society, yet we also know that values taken for granted in one society can contradict those in another. Does ethical life arise from human nature itself? Is it a universal human trait? Or is it a product of one's cultural and historical context? Webb Keane offers a new approach to the empirical study of ethical life that reconciles these questions, showing how ethics arise at the intersection of human biology and social dynamics. Drawing on the latest findings in psychology, conversational interaction, ethnography, and history, Ethical Life takes readers from inner city America to Samoa and the Inuit Arctic to reveal how we are creatures of our biology as well as our history—and how our ethical lives are contingent on both. Keane looks at Melanesian theories of mind and the training of Buddhist monks, and discusses important social causes such as the British abolitionist movement and American feminism. He explores how styles of child rearing, notions of the person, and moral codes in different communities elaborate on certain basic human tendencies while suppressing or ignoring others. Certain to provoke debate, Ethical Life presents an entirely new way of thinking about ethics, morals, and the factors that shape them.

    • Social Science

Harvests, Feasts, and Graves

Postcultural Consciousness in Contemporary Papua New Guinea
Author: Ryan Schram
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501711024
Category: Social Science
Page: 276
View: 1982
Ryan Schram explores the experiences of living in intercultural and historical conjunctures among Auhelawa people of Papua New Guinea in Harvests, Feasts, and Graves. In this ethnographic investigation, Schram ponders how Auhelawa question the meaning of social forms and through this questioning seek paths to establish a new sense of their collective self. Harvests, Feasts, and Graves describes the ways in which Auhelawa people, and by extension many others, produce knowledge of themselves as historical subjects in the aftermath of diverse and incomplete encounters with Christianity, capitalism, and Western values. Using the contemporary setting of Papua New Guinea, Schram presents a new take on essential topics and foundational questions of social and cultural anthropology. If, as Marx writes, "the tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living," Harvests, Feasts, and Graves asks: Which history weighs the most? And how does the weight of history become salient as a ground for subjective consciousness? Taking cues from postcolonial theory and indigenous studies, Schram rethinks the "ontological turn" in anthropology and develops a new way to think about the nature of historical consciousness. Rather than seeing the present as either tragedy or farce, Schram argues that contemporary historical consciousness is produced through reflexive sociality. Like all societies, Auhelawa is located in an intercultural conjuncture, yet their contemporary life is not a story of worlds colliding, but a shattered mirror in which multiple Auhelawa subjectivities are possible.

    • Fiction

The Help


Author: Kathryn Stockett
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0425245136
Category: Fiction
Page: 534
View: 2201
Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, three women, including an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend and a recently graduated white woman, team up for a clandestine project against a backdrop of the budding civil rights era. Includes reading-group guide. Reissue. A #1 best-selling novel.

    • Science

Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062316109
Category: Science
Page: 464
View: 5551
New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

    • Psychology

Methland

The Death and Life of an American Small Town
Author: Nick Reding
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1608192075
Category: Psychology
Page: 269
View: 2267
Traces the efforts of a small Iowa community to counter the pervasiveness of crystal methamphetamine, in an account that offers insight into the drug's appeal while chronicling the author's numerous visits with the town's doctor, the local prosecutor and a long-time addict. Reprint. A best-selling book.

    • Juvenile Fiction

City of Bones


Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1481455923
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Page: 544
View: 5221
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

    • Social Science

Witchcraft, Intimacy, and Trust

Africa in Comparison
Author: Peter Geschiere
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022604775X
Category: Social Science
Page: 312
View: 1019
In Dante’s Inferno, the lowest circle of Hell is reserved for traitors, those who betrayed their closest companions. In a wide range of literatures and mythologies such intimate aggression is a source of ultimate terror, and in Witchcraft, Intimacy, and Trust, Peter Geschiere masterfully sketches it as a central ember at the core of human relationships, one brutally revealed in the practice of witchcraft. Examining witchcraft in its variety of forms throughout the globe, he shows how this often misunderstood practice is deeply structured by intimacy and the powers it affords. In doing so, he offers not only a comprehensive look at contemporary witchcraft but also a fresh—if troubling—new way to think about intimacy itself. Geschiere begins in the forests of southeast Cameroon with the Maka, who fear “witchcraft of the house” above all else. Drawing a variety of local conceptions of intimacy into a global arc, he tracks notions of the home and family—and witchcraft’s transgression of them—throughout Africa, Europe, Brazil, and Oceania, showing that witchcraft provides powerful ways of addressing issues that are crucial to social relationships. Indeed, by uncovering the link between intimacy and witchcraft in so many parts of the world, he paints a provocative picture of human sociality that scrutinizes some of the most prevalent views held by contemporary social science. One of the few books to situate witchcraft in a global context, Witchcraft, Intimacy, and Trust is at once a theoretical tour de force and an empirically rich and lucid take on a difficult-to-understand spiritual practice and the private spaces throughout the world it so greatly affects.

    • History

Sovereign Women in a Muslim Kingdom


Author: Sher Banu A.L Khan
Publisher: Flipside Digital Content Company Inc.
ISBN: 9813250054
Category: History
Page: N.A
View: 7833
The Islamic kingdom of Aceh was ruled by queens for half of the 17th century. Was female rule an aberration? Unnatural? A violation of nature, comparable to hens instead of roosters crowing at dawn? Indigenous texts and European sources offer different evaluations. Drawing on both sets of sources, this book shows that female rule was legitimised both by Islam and adat (indigenous customary laws), and provides original insights on the Sultanah's leadership, their relations with male elites, and their encounters with European envoys who visited their court. The book challenges received views on kingship in the Malay world and the response of indigenous polities to east-west encounters in Southeast Asia's Age of Commerce.