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Shabana Mir's powerful ethnographic study of women on Washington, D.C., college campuses reveals that being a young female Muslim in post-9/11 America means experiencing double scrutiny - scrutiny from the Muslim community as well as from the dominant non-Muslim community. Muslim American Women on Campus illuminates the processes by which a group of ethnically diverse American college women, all identifying as Muslim and all raised in the United States, construct their identities during one of the most formative times in their lives. Mir, an anthropologist of education, focuses on key leisure practices - drinking, dating, and fashion - to probe how Muslim American students adapt to campus life and build social networks that are seamlessly American, Muslim, and youthful. In this lively and highly accessible book, we hear the women's own often poignant voices as they articulate how they find spaces within campus culture as well as their Muslim student communities to grow and assert themselves as individuals, women, and Americans. Mir concludes, however, that institutions of higher learning continue to have much to learn about fostering religious diversity on campus.
Foraging persists as a viable economic strategy both in remote regions and within the bounds of developed nation-states. Given the economic alternatives available, why do some groups choose to maintain their hunting and gathering lifeways? Through a series of detailed case studies, the contributors to this volume examine the decisions made by modern-day foragers to sustain a predominantly hunting and gathering way of life. What becomes clear is that hunter-gatherers continue to forage because the economic benefits of doing so are high relative to the local alternatives and, perhaps more importantly, because the social costs of not foraging are prohibitive; in other words, hunter-gatherers value the social networks built through foraging and sharing more than the potential marginal gains of a new means of subsistence. Why Forage? shows that hunting and gathering continues to be a viable and vibrant way of life even in the twenty-first century.
In this sensitive and personal investigation into Benin's occult world, Douglas J. Falen wrestles with the challenges of encountering a reality in which magic, science, and the Vodun religion converge into a single universal force. He takes seriously his Beninese interlocutors' insistence that the indigenous phenomenon known as aze ("witchcraft") is an African science, credited with fantastic and productive deeds, such as teleportation and supernatural healing. Although the Beninese understanding of aze reflects positive scientific properties in its use of specialized knowledge to harness nature's energy and realize economic success, its boundless power is inherently ambivalent because it can corrupt its users, who dispense death and destruction. Witches and healers are equivalent to supervillains and superheroes, locked in epic battles over malevolent and benevolent human desires. Beninese people's discourse about such mystical confrontations expresses a philosophy of moral duality and cosmic balance. Falen demonstrates how a deep engagement with another lived reality opens our minds and contributes to understanding across cultural difference.
In 1856 and 1857, in response to a prophet's command, the Xhosa people of southern Africa killed their cattle and ceased planting crops; the resulting famine cost tens of thousands of lives. Much like other millenarian, anticolonial movements - such as the Ghost Dance in North America and the Birsa Munda uprising in India - these actions were meant to transform the world and liberate the Xhosa from oppression. Despite the movement's momentous failure to achieve that goal, the event has continued to exert a powerful pull on the South African imagination ever since. It is these afterlives of the prophecy that Jennifer Wenzel explores in Bulletproof. Wenzel examines literary and historical texts to show how writers have manipulated images and ideas associated with the cattle killing-harvest, sacrifice, rebirth, devastation - to speak to their contemporary predicaments. Widening her lens, Wenzel also looks at how past failure can both inspire and constrain movements for justice in the present, and her brilliant insights into the cultural implications of prophecy will fascinate readers across a wide variety of disciplines.
An American institution, Sun Records has a history with many chapters -- its Memphis origins with visionary Sam Phillips, the breakthrough recordings of Elvis Presley, and the studio's immense influence on the sound of popular music. But behind the company's chart toppers and legendary musicians there exists another story, told by Barbara Barnes Sims. In the male-dominated workforce of the 1950s, 24-year-old Sims found herself thriving in the demanding roles of publicist and sales promotion coordinator at Sun Records. Sims's job placed her in the studio with Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, Carl Perkins, and other Sun entertainers, as well as the unforgettable Phillips, whose work made the music that defined an era. The Next Elvis: Searching for Stardom at Sun Records chronicles Sims's career at the studio, a pivotal time at this recording mecca, as she darted from disc jockeys to distributors. Sims not only entertains with personal stories of big personalities, but also brings humor to the challenges of a young woman working in a fast and tough industry. Her disarming narrative ranges from descriptions of a disgraced Jerry Lee Lewis to the remarkable impact and tragic fall of DJ Daddy-O Dewey to the frenzied Memphis homecoming of Elvis after his military service. Collectively, these vignettes offer a rare and intimate look at the people, the city, and the studio that permanently shifted the trajectory of rock 'n' roll.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and a major cultural and religious center, Damascus is a repository of numerous civilizations, ancient and modern, that embody the collective national as well as Arab/Islamic memory. Although a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, the Old City only attracted the interest of investors toward the end of the last century. The historic neighborhoods of greater Damascus became the focus of private investment when the government encouraged a more market-based national economy. Distinguished from other neighborhoods by the large number of religious buildings, historic monuments, and a wall with foundations in the Roman period, the Old City is important for government efforts to promote heritage tourism as part of their entry into the global economy. In Preserving the Old City of Damascus, Totah examines the recent gentrification of the historic urban core of the Syrian capital and the ways in which urban space becomes the site for negotiating new economic and social realities. The book illustrates how long-term inhabitants of the historic quarter, developers, and government officials offer at times competing interpretations of urban space and its use as they vie for control over the representation of the historic neighborhoods. Based on over two years of ethnographic and archival research, this book expands our understanding of neoliberal urbanism in non-Western cities.
The inception of the Ghost Dance religion in 1890 marked a critical moment in Lakota history. Yet, because this movement alarmed government officials, culminating in the infamous massacre at Wounded Knee of 250 Lakota men, women, and children, historical accounts have most often described the Ghost Dance from the perspective of the white Americans who opposed it. In A Whirlwind Passed through Our Country, historian Rani-Henrik Andersson instead gives Lakotas a sounding board, imparting the multiplicity of Lakota voices on the Ghost Dance at the time. Whereas early accounts treated the Ghost Dance as a military or political movement, A Whirlwind Passed through Our Country stresses its peaceful nature and reveals the breadth of Lakota views on the subject. The more than one hundred accounts compiled here show that the movement caused friction within Lakota society even as it spurred genuine religious belief. These accounts, many of them never before translated from the original Lakota or published, demonstrate that the Ghost Dance's message resonated with Lakotas across artificial ""progressive"" and ""nonprogressive"" lines. Although the movement was often criticized as backward and disconnected from the harsh realities of Native life, Ghost Dance adherents were in fact seeking new ways to survive, albeit not those that contemporary whites envisioned for them. The Ghost Dance, Andersson suggests, might be better understood as an innovative adaptation by the Lakotas to the difficult situation in which they found themselves - and as a way of finding a path to a better life. By presenting accounts of divergent views among the Lakota people, A Whirlwind Passed through Our Country expands the narrative of the Ghost Dance, encouraging more nuanced interpretations of this significant moment in Lakota and American history.
Between 1940 and 2010, the black population of the American West grew from 710,400 to 7 million. With that explosive growth has come a burgeoning interest in the history of the African American West - an interest reflected in the remarkable range and depth of the works collected in Freedom's Racial Frontier. Editors Herbert G. Ruffin II and Dwayne A. Mack have gathered established and emerging scholars in the field to create an anthology that links past, current, and future generations of African American West scholarship. The volume's sixteen chapters address the African American experience within the framework of the West as a multicultural frontier. The result is a fresh perspective on western-U.S. history, centered on the significance of African American life, culture, and social justice in almost every trans-Mississippi state. Examining and interpreting the twentieth century while mindful of events and developments since 2000, the contributors focus on community formation, cultural diversity, civil rights and black empowerment, and artistic creativity and identity. Reflecting the dynamic evolution of new approaches and new sites of knowledge in the field of western history, the authors consider its interconnections with fields such as cultural studies, literature, and sociology. Some essays deal with familiar places, while others look at understudied sites such as Albuquerque, Oahu, and Las Vegas, Nevada. By examining black suburbanization, the Information Age, and gentrification in the urban West, several authors conceive of a Third Great Migration of African Americans to and within the West. The West revealed in Freedom's Racial Frontier is a place where black Americans have fought - and continue to fight - to make their idea of freedom live up to their expectations of equality; a place where freedom is still a frontier for most persons of African heritage.
Twenty-first century Cuba is a cultural stew. Tommy Hilfiger and socialism. Nike products and poverty in Africa. The New York Yankees and the meaning of ""blackness."" The quest for American consumer goods and the struggle in Africa for political and cultural independence inform the daily life of Cubans at every cultural level, as anthropologist Paul Ryer argues in Beyond Cuban Waters. Focusing on the everyday world of ordinary Cubans, this book examines Cuban understandings of the world and of Cuba's place in it, especially as illuminated by two contrasting notions: ""La Yuma,"" a distinctly Cuban concept of the American experience, and ""Aacute;frica,"" the ideological understanding of that continent's experience. Ryer takes us into the homes of Cuban families, onto the streets and nightlife of bustling cities, and on boat journeys that reach beyond the typical destinations, all to better understand the nature of the cultural life of a nation. This pursuit of Western status symbols represents a uniquely Cuban experience, set apart from other cultures pursuing the same things. In the Cuban case, this represents neither an acceptance nor rejection of the American cultural influence, but rather a co-opting or ""Yumanizing"" of these influences.
As the first collection dedicated to the relationship between television and the U.S. South, Small-Screen Souths addresses the growing interest in how mass culture represents the region and influences popular perceptions of it. In sixteen essays divided into three thematic sections, scholars of southern culture analyse representations of the South in a variety of television shows spanning the history of the medium, from classic network programs such as The Andy Griffith Show and Designing Women to some of today's popular franchises like Duck Dynasty and The Walking Dead. The first section, ""Politics and Identity in the Televisual South,"" focuses on how television constructs understandings of race, gender, sexuality, and class, often adapting to changing configurations of community and identity. The next section, ""Caricatures, Commodities, and Catharsis in the Rural South,"" examines the tension between depictions of southern rural communities and assumptions about abject whiteness, particularly conceptions of poverty and profitized culture. The concluding section, ""(Dis)Locating the South,"" considers the influence of postcolonialism, globalization, and cosmopolitanism in understanding television featuring the region. Throughout, the essays investigate the profuse, often contradictory ways that the U.S. South has been represented on television, seeking to expand and pluralize myopic perspectives of the region. By analysing depictions of the South from the classical network era to the contemporary post-broadcast age, Small-Screen Souths offers a broad historical scope and a multiplicity of theoretical and interdisciplinary perspectives on what it means to see the South from the television screen.
The average size of human bodies all over the world has been steadily rising over recent decades. The total count of people clinically labeled "obese" is now at least three times what it was in 1980. Fat Planet represents a collaborative effort to consider at a global scale what fat stigma is and what it does to people. Making use of an array of social science perspectives applied in multiple settings, the authors examine the interplay of weight, wealth, history, culture, and meaning to fat and its social rejection. They explore the notion of symbolic body capital-the power of non-fat bodies to do what people need or want. In so doing, they illustrate the complex and quickly shifting dynamics in thinking about fat-often considered personal yet powerfully influenced by and influential upon the broader world in which we live.
Colonial Jerusalem explores a vibrant urban center at the core of the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict and shows how colonialism, far from being simply a fixture of the past, remains a crucial component of Palestinian and Israeli realities today.
Despite centuries of suppression and oppression, American Indian music survives today as a profound cultural force. Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow celebrates in depth the vibrant soundscape of Native North America, from the ""heartbeat"" of intertribal drums and ""warble"" of Native flutes to contemporary rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews with musicians, producers, ethnographers, and record-label owners, author and musician Craig Harris conjures an aural tapestry in which powwow drums and end-blown woodwinds resound alongside operatic and symphonic strains, jazz and reggae, country music, and blues. Harris begins with an exploration of the powwow, from sacred ceremonies to intertribal gatherings. He examines the traditions of the Native American flute and its revival with artists such as two-time Grammy winners R. Carlos Nakai and Mary Youngblood. Singers and songwriters, including Buffy Sainte-Marie, Keith Secola, and Joanne Shenandoah, provide insights into their music and their lives as American Indians. Harris also traces American Indian rock, reggae, punk, and pop over four decades, punctuating his survey with commentary from such artists as Tom Bee, founder of Native America's first rock band, XIT. Grammy-winner Taj Mahal recalls influential guitarist Jesse Ed Davis; ex-bandmates reflect on Rock Hall of Fame inductee Redbone; Robbie Robertson, Pura Fe, and Rita Coolidge describe how their groundbreaking 1993 album, Music for the Native Americans, evolved; and DJs A Tribe Called Red discuss their melding of archival powwow recordings into fiery dance music. The many voices and sounds that weave throughout Harris's engaging, accessible account portray a sonic landscape that defies stereotyping and continues to expand. Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow is the story - told by those who live it - of resisting a half-millennium of cultural suppression to create new sounds while preserving old roots. Listen in! Visit this book's page on the oupress.com website for a link to the book's Spotify playlist.
This collection is the first to specifically address our current understanding of the evolution of human childhood, which in turn significantly affects our interpretations of the evolution of family formation, social organization, cultural transmission, cognition, ontogeny, and the physical and socioemotional needs of children. Moreover, the importance of studying the evolution of childhood has begun to extend beyond academic modeling and into real-world applications for maternal and child health and well-being in contemporary populations around the world. Combined, the chapters show that what we call childhood is culturally variable yet biologically based and has been critical to the evolutionary success of our species; the significance of integrating childhood into models of human life history and evolution cannot be overstated. This volume further demonstrates the benefits of interdisciplinary investigation and is sure to spur further interest in the field.
As bodies are revealed, so are hidden and often incommensurate understandings of the body after death. The theme of "disturbing bodies" has a double valence, evoking both the work that anthropologists do and also the ways in which the dead can, in turn, disturb the living through their material qualities, through dreams and other forms of presence, and through the political claims often articulated around them. These may include national or ethnic narratives that lay claims to bodies, personal memories and histories maintained by relatives, or the constitution of the corpse through performative acts of exhumation, display, and analysis. At the center of this work are forensic anthropologists. Although often considered narrowly in terms of its technical and methodological aspects, forensic practice draws upon multiple dimensions of anthropology, and this volume offers a range of anthropological perspectives on the work of exhumation and the attendant issues.
Mexican statues and paintings of figures like the Virgin of Guadalupe and the Lord of Chalma are endowed with sacred presence and the power to perform miracles. Millions of devotees visit these miraculous images to request miracles for health, employment, children, and countless everyday matters. When requests are granted, devotees reciprocate with votive offerings. Collages, photographs, documents, texts, milagritos, hair and braids, clothing, retablos, and other representative objects cover walls at many shrines. Miraculous Images and Votive Offerings in Mexico studies such petitionary devotion-primarily through extensive fieldwork at several shrines in Guanajuato, Jalisco, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, and Zacatecas. Graziano is interested in retablos not only as extraordinary works of folk art but: as Mexican expressions of popular Catholicism comprising a complex of beliefs, rituals, and material culture; as archives of social history; and as indices of a belief system that includes miraculous intercession in everyday life. Previous studies focus almost exclusively on commissioned votive paintings, but Graziano also considers the creative ex votos made by the votants themselves. Among the many miraculous images treated in the book are the Cristo Negro de Otatitlan, Nino del Cacahuatito, Senor de Chalma, and the Virgen de Guadalupe. The book is written in two voices, one analytical to provide an understanding of miracles, miraculous images, and votive offerings, and the other narrative to bring the reader closer to lived experiences at the shrines. This book appears at a moment of transition, when retablos are disappearing from church walls and beginning to appear in museum exhibitions; when the artistic value of retablos is gaining prominence; when the commercial value of retablos is increasing, particularly among private collectors outside of Mexico; and when traditional retablo painters are being replaced by painters with a more commercial and less religious approach to their trade. Graziano's book thus both records a disappearing tradition and charts the way in which it is being transformed.
Written by world-renowned social anthropologist, Jean Lave, with an afterword by Brazilian anthropologist Ana Maria R. Gomes, this book weaves together ethnographic accounts of work and learning, apprenticeship and everyday life, through a critical theory of practice. Each chapter explores in different ways the proposition that learning is a collective, transformative process of change in the historically political complex relations of everyday life. At the same time, the book demonstrates the changing character of Lave's own research practice over two decades. Lave addresses work practices and everyday life and discusses the problem of context and decontextualization. Analyzing two decades of ethnographic studies of craft apprenticeship, she explores teaching as learning and examines the reciprocal effects of theories of everyday life and learning.
The nine Native tribes of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula - the Hoh, Skokomish, Squaxin Island, Lower Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S'Klallam, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Quinault, Quileute, and Makah - share complex histories of trade, religion, warfare, and kinship, as well as reverence for the teaching of elders. However, each indigenous nation's relationship to the Olympic Peninsula is unique. Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula: Who We Are traces the nine tribes' common history and each tribe's individual story. This second edition is updated to include new developments since the volume's initial publication - especially the removal of the Elwha River dams - thus reflecting the ever-changing environment for the Native peoples of the Olympic Peninsula. Nine essays, researched and written by members of the subject tribes, cover cultural history, contemporary affairs, heritage programs, and tourism information. Edited by anthropologist Jacilee Wray, who also provides the book's introduction, this collection relates the Native peoples' history in their own words and addresses each tribe's current cultural and political issues, from the establishment of community centers to mass canoe journeys. The volume's updated content expands its findings to new audiences. More than 70 photographs and other illustrations, many of which are new to this edition, give further insight into the unique legacy of these groups, moving beyond popular romanticized views of American Indians to portray their lived experiences. Providing a foundation for outsiders to learn about the Olympic Peninsula tribes' unique history with one another and their land, this volume demonstrates a cross-tribal commitment to education, adaptation, and cultural preservation. Furthering these goals, this updated edition offers fresh understanding of Native peoples often seen from an outside perspective only.
Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world--and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made? A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction. By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.
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