In this culmination of his search for anthropological concepts and practices appropriate to the twenty-first century, Paul Rabinow contends that to make sense of the contemporary anthropologists must invent new forms of inquiry. He begins with an extended rumination on what he gained from two of his formative mentors: Michel Foucault and Clifford Geertz. Reflecting on their lives as teachers and thinkers, as well as human beings, he poses questions about their critical limitations, unfulfilled hopes, and the lessons he learned from and with them.
This spirit of collaboration animates The Accompaniment, as Rabinow assesses the last ten years of his career, largely spent engaging in a series of intensive experiments in collaborative research and often focused on cutting-edge work in synthetic biology. He candidly details the successes and failures of shifting his teaching practice away from individual projects, placing greater emphasis on participation over observation in research, and designing and using websites as a venue for collaboration. Analyzing these endeavors alongside his efforts to apply an anthropological lens to the natural sciences, Rabinow lays the foundation for an ethically grounded anthropology ready and able to face the challenges of our contemporary world.
In Art to Come Terry Smith—who is widely recognized as one of the world's leading historians and theorists of contemporary art—traces the emergence of contemporary art and further develops his concept of contemporaneity. Smith shows that embracing contemporaneity as both a historical concept and a condition of the globalized world allows us to grasp how contemporary art exists in a fluid space of increasing interdependencies, multiple contemporaneous modernities, and persistent inequalities. Throughout these essays, Smith offers systematic proposals for writing contemporary art's histories while assessing how curators, critics, philosophers, artists, and art historians are currently doing so. Among other topics, Smith examines the intersection of architecture with other visual arts, Chinese art since the Cultural Revolution, how philosophers are theorizing concepts associated with the contemporary, Australian Indigenous art, and the current state of art history. Art to Come will be essential reading for artists, art students, curators, gallery workers, historians, critics, and theorists.
Bollywood movies have long been known for their colorful song-and-dance numbers and knack for combining drama, comedy, action-adventure, and music. But these exciting and often amusing films rarely reflect the reality of life on the Indian subcontinent. Exploring the nature of mainstream Hindi cinema, the strikingly illustrated Bollywood’s Indiaexamines its nonrealistic depictions of everyday life in India and what it reveals about Indian society.
Showing how escapism and entertainment function in Bollywood cinema, Rachel Dwyer argues that Hindi cinema’s interpretations of India over the last two decades are a reliable guide to understanding the nation’s changing hopes and dreams. She looks at the ways Bollywood has imagined and portrayed the unity and diversity of the country—what it believes and feels, as well as life at home and in public. Using Dwyer’s two decades spent working with filmmakers and discussing movies with critics and moviegoers,Bollywood’s India is an illuminating look at Hindi cinema.
In this compact volume two of anthropology’s most influential theorists, Paul Rabinow and George E. Marcus, engage in a series of conversations about the past, present, and future of anthropological knowledge, pedagogy, and practice. James D. Faubion joins in several exchanges to facilitate and elaborate the dialogue, and Tobias Rees moderates the discussions and contributes an introduction and an afterword to the volume. Most of the conversations are focused on contemporary challenges to how anthropology understands its subject and how ethnographic research projects are designed and carried out. Rabinow and Marcus reflect on what remains distinctly anthropological about the study of contemporary events and processes, and they contemplate productive new directions for the field. The two converge in Marcus’s emphasis on the need to redesign pedagogical practices for training anthropological researchers and in Rabinow’s proposal of collaborative initiatives in which ethnographic research designs could be analyzed, experimented with, and transformed.
Both Rabinow and Marcus participated in the milestone collection Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Published in 1986, Writing Culture catalyzed a reassessment of how ethnographers encountered, studied, and wrote about their subjects. In the opening conversations of Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary, Rabinow and Marcus take stock of anthropology’s recent past by discussing the intellectual scene in which Writing Culture intervened, the book’s contributions, and its conceptual limitations. Considering how the field has developed since the publication of that volume, they address topics including ethnography’s self-reflexive turn, scholars’ increased focus on questions of identity, the Public Culture project, science and technology studies, and the changing interests and goals of students. Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary allows readers to eavesdrop on lively conversations between anthropologists who have helped to shape their field’s recent past and are deeply invested in its future.
Designs on the Contemporary pursues the challenge of how to design and put into practice strategies for inquiring into the intersections of philosophy and anthropology. Drawing on the conceptual repertoires of Max Weber, Michel Foucault, and John Dewey, among others, Paul Rabinow and Anthony Stavrianakis reflect on and experiment with how to give form to anthropological inquiry and its aftermath, with special attention to the ethical formation and ramifications of this mode of engagement.
The authors continue their prior explorations of the contemporary in past works: How to conceptualize, test, and give form to breakdowns of truth and conduct, as well as how to open up possibilities for the remediation of such breakdowns. They offer a surprising and contrasting pair of case studies of two figures who engaged with contemporary breakdowns: Salman Rushdie and Gerhard Richter. Approaching Richter’s artistic struggles with form and technique in the long wake of modernism and Rushdie’s struggles to find a narrative form—as well as a form for living—to respond to the Iranian fatwa issued against him, they show how both men formulated different new approaches to anthropology for the twenty-first century.
The political involvement of earlier waves of immigrants and their children was essential in shaping the American political climate in the first half of the twentieth century. Immigrant votes built industrial trade unions, fought for social protections and religious tolerance, and helped bring the Democratic Party to dominance in large cities throughout the country. In contrast, many scholars find that today's immigrants, whose numbers are fast approaching those of the last great wave, are politically apathetic and unlikely to assume a similar voice in their chosen country. E Pluribus Unum? delves into the wealth of research by historians of the Ellis Island era and by social scientists studying today's immigrants and poses a crucial question: What can the nation's past experience teach us about the political path modern immigrants and their children will take as Americans? E Pluribus Unum? explores key issues about the incorporation of immigrants into American public life, examining the ways that institutional processes, civic ideals, and cultural identities have shaped the political aspirations of immigrants. The volume presents some surprising re-assessments of the past as it assesses what may happen in the near future. An examination of party bosses and the party machine concludes that they were less influential political mobilizers than is commonly believed. Thus their absence from today's political scene may not be decisive. Some contributors argue that the contemporary political system tends to exclude immigrants, while others remind us that past immigrants suffered similar exclusions, achieving political power only after long and difficult struggles. Will the strong home country ties of today's immigrants inhibit their political interest here? Chapters on this topic reveal that transnationalism has always been prominent in the immigrant experience, and that today's immigrants may be even freer to act as dual citizens. E Pluribus Unum? theorizes about the fate of America's civic ethos—has it devolved from an ideal of liberal individualism to a fractured multiculturalism, or have we always had a culture of racial and ethnic fragmentation? Research in this volume shows that today's immigrant schoolchildren are often less concerned with ideals of civic responsibility than with forging their own identity and finding their own niche within the American system of racial and ethnic distinction. Incorporating the significant influx immigrants into American society is a central challenge for our civic and political institutions—one that cuts to the core of who we are as a people and as a nation. E Pluribus Unum? shows that while today's immigrants and their children are in some ways particularly vulnerable to political alienation, the process of assimilation was equally complex for earlier waves of immigrants. This past has much to teach us about the way immigration is again reshaping the nation.
Full Metal Jhacket
Matthew Derby University of Michigan Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3604.E73A6 2015 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Two boys discover that the title of their stop-motion animated film about Vietnam has been taken by director Stanley Kubrick. A 150-year-old woman on the run from the government is tracked down by the company who extended her life. A military contractor carrying his robot son in a gym bag struggles to find his way out of the Nigerian delta during a bloody civil war. The wife of an up-and-coming politician grieves his infidelity by prowling rooftops with a sniper rifle. Following his celebrated debut collection, Super Flat Times, Matthew Derby delivers a disturbing new set of stories that plunges us into a lonely heartland of misfits, outcasts, and would-be assassins who lurk in the shadows, searching for connection and meaning in all the wrong places.
Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies No. 77
Going to Court to Change Japan examines the relationship between social movements and the law in bringing about social change in Japan. Six fascinating case studies take us inside movements dealing with causes as disparate as death by overwork, the rights of the deaf, access to prisoners on death row, consumer product safety, workers whose companies go bankrupt, and persons convicted of crimes they did not commit. Each of the case studies stands on its own as a detailed account of how a social movement has persisted against heavy odds to pursue a cause through the use of the courts.
The studies pay particular attention to the relationship between the social movement and the lawyers who handle their cases, usually pro bono or for minimal fees. Through these case studies we learn much about how the law operates in Japan as well as how social movements mobilize and innovate to pursue their goals using legal channels. The book also provides a general introduction to the Japanese legal system and a look at how recent legal reforms are working.
Going to Court to Change Japan will interest social scientists, lawyers, and anyone interested in the inner workings of contemporary Japan. It is suitable for use in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses on Japan in social sciences and law, and can also provide a comparative perspective to general courses in these fields.
Contributors include: John H. Davis, Jr., Daniel H. Foote, Patricia L. Maclachlan, Karen Nakamura, Scott North, Patricia G. Steinhoff, and Christena Turner.
A powerful delineation of the complex relationships in a traditional Indian family, between husband and wife, parents and daughter, brother and sister, and the joys and tragedies that grow within. A moving picture of friendships and social hierarchies played out against a backdrop some brutal and bizarre events that took place in Eastern India in the turbulent 1970s. An arresting cast of characters, some clinging to the vestiges of the British Raj, set in the shadow of the Himalayas and the teeming city of Kolkata.
A second novel, LESS THAN CHARMING tells the story of a world beyond a veil in which all of the characters writers have ever created are alive and living in their own society. As writers in the other—human world—constantly write new characters into existence, those characters emerge into this mirror world. A hierarchy evolves as every retelling of existing characters is layered onto the original, adding to and changing their personality, knowledge base, and sometimes their emotional stability. Prince Charming conspires to rule the society of characters, which includes every protagonist and foil you’ve ever found in a story or a book, and the prince is not as charming as you first imagine.
One character sands in the Prince’s way—Princess Sophia from Grimm’s lesser known “12 Dancing Princesses.” She’s stable—mostly—but Prince Charming is most definitely not. The good Storyteller and the First Character have tasked Sophia with stopping the Prince from destroying their world, and, by extension, ours.
The Lightning Jar
Christian Felt University of Iowa Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3606.E435L55 2018 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
The Lightning Jar is about lonely children. It may be more about lonely children than any other book. These children are good at making imaginary friends but have trouble keeping them. For instance, there’s the Morra, who plunges the world into eternal winter. But she also teaches Mons the meaning of love and helps him burn down his house after some Gypsies turn it into a middle school.
Then there’s the Gorbel. Amanda invented it to scare the Guest, but it ended up liking him best. A bit like a cat but more like a spider, it turned out a lot cuter than she’d intended.
And the Wisps—they’re pretty unhappy about being dead. Karl accidentally turned his smallest cousin into a Wisp. They were trying to catch some lightning in a jar, but they caught the smallest cousin’s ghost instead. Karl had to drown it for its own good. Something similar happened with his grandma Astrid and a rock named Melisande.
But the loneliest character is probably Christian. He insists on being from Jämtland, where Karl and Amanda live. When his cousin Eskild got married, Christian rewrote their past so it’s like The Little Mermaid, except Eskild drowns and Christian doesn’t earn a soul.
In the spirit of Tove Jansson, William Blake, and Calvin & Hobbes, The Lightning Jar contains a volatile mix of innocence and experience, faith and doubt, nostalgia and a sense of all there is to gain by accepting reality on fresh terms.
This hilarious send-up of outlandish Southern characters includes a beautician, a luncheonette waitress, a radio evangelist, the widow of a gas and oil distributror and the residents of a fictional mobile home park in Arkansas as they find uproarious ways to enjoy life, needle each other, and remember the dear-departed.
A woman meets a man and falls in love. She is sixty, a writer and lifelong New Yorker raised by garmentos. She thought this kind of thing wouldn’t happen again. He is English, so who knows what he thinks. He is fifty-six, a professor now living in Arizona, the son of a bespoke tailor. As the first of Laurie Stone’s linked stories begins, the writer contemplates what life would be like in the desert with the professor. As we learn how she became the person she is, we also come to know the artists and politics of the downtown scene of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, a cultural milieu that remains alive in her. In sharply etched prose, Stone presents a woman constantly seduced by strangers, language, the streets— even a wildlife trail. Her characters realize that they feel at home in dislocation—in always living in two places at the same time: east and west, past and present, the bed and the grave (or copper urn). Love may not last, the writer knows. Then again, when has anything you thought about the future turned out right?
As the image of anthropologists exploring exotic locales and filling in blanks on the map has faded, the idea that cultural anthropology has much to say about the contemporary world has likewise diminished. In an increasingly smaller world, how can anthropology help us to tackle the concerns of a global society? David A. Westbrook argues that the traditional tool of the cultural anthropologist—ethnography—can still function as an intellectually exciting way to understand our interconnected, yet mysterious worlds.
Navigators of the Contemporary describes the changing nature of ethnography as anthropologists use it to analyze places closer to home. Westbrook maintains that a conversational style of ethnography can help us look beyond our assumptions and gain new insight into arenas of contemporary life such as corporations, financial institutions, science, the military, and religion. Westbrook’s witty, absorbing book is a friendly challenge to anthropologists to shed light on the present and join broader streams of intellectual life. And for those outside the discipline, his inspiring vision of ethnography opens up the prospect of understanding our own world in much greater depth.
A sequel to ‘Krishna, A Love Story’, ‘Rahul’ is set against the backdrop of two critical events that impacted Indian political history in the late 1960s and early 1970s. One was the rise of a Maoist movement espousing the cause of landless farmers; the other, India’s war with Pakistan, which led to the creation of Bangladesh.
Like thousands of young students, many from affluent families, Rahul, himself the son of a landowner, is drawn to the Maoists. Eventually, the movement was infiltrated by the CIA. With he movement’s collapse, many Maoists (also known as Naxalites) found refuge in North America. Rahul was one such beneficiary.
Haunted by representations of black women that resist the reality of the body's vulnerability, Kimberly Juanita Brown traces slavery's afterlife in black women's literary and visual cultural productions. Brown draws on black feminist theory, visual culture studies, literary criticism, and critical race theory to explore contemporary visual and literary representations of black women's bodies that embrace and foreground the body's vulnerability and slavery's inherent violence. She shows how writers such as Gayl Jones, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, and Jamaica Kincaid, along with visual artists Carrie Mae Weems and María Magdalena Campos-Pons, highlight the scarred and broken bodies of black women by repeating, passing down, and making visible the residues of slavery's existence and cruelty. Their work not only provides a corrective to those who refuse to acknowledge that vulnerability, but empowers black women to create their own subjectivities. In The Repeating Body, Brown returns black women to the center of discourses of slavery, thereby providing the means with which to more fully understand slavery's history and its penetrating reach into modern American life.
This is the fourth and final part of Kreeft’s four-volume history of philosophy . . . on ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy.
Kreeft focuses on the “big ideas” that have influenced present people and present times, and includes relevant biographical data, proportionate to its importance for each thinker. Moreover, the aim of the work is to stimulate philosophizing, controversy, and argument. It uses ordinary language and logic, not jargon and symbolic logic, and it is commonsensical (like Aristotle) and existential in the sense that it sees philosophy as something to be lived and experienced in life. Philosophy, after all, is not about philosophy but reality . . . about wisdom, life and death, good and evil, and God.
Kreeft seeks to be simple and direct and clear. But it is not dumbed down and patronizing. It will stretch the reader, but it is meant for beginnings, not just scholars. It can be used for college classes or do-it-yourselfers. It emphasizes surprises; remember, “philosophy begins in wonder.” And it includes visual aids: charts, cartoons, line drawings, and drawings of philosophers.
Peter Kreeft teaches philosophy at Boston College and is a very prolific author of philosophy and theology texts, including, from St. Augustine’s Press, Socratic Logic, An Ocean Full of Angels, The Philosophy of Jesus, Jesus-Shock, The Sea Within, I Surf Therefore I Am, If Einstein Had Been a Surfer, the first nine titles in his Socrates Meets series, including Philosophy 101 by Socrates and the titles on Machiavelli, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Marx, and Sartre, and the first three volumes of this series, Socrates’ Children: Ancient, Socrates’ Children: Medieval, and Socrates’ Children: Modern.
Whither China? presents an in-depth and wide-angled picture of Chinese intellectual life during the last decade of the millennium, as China struggled to move beyond the shadow of the Tiananmen tragedy. Because many cultural and intellectual paradigms of the previous decade were left in ruins by that event, Chinese intellectuals were forced in the early 1990s to search for new analytical and critical frameworks. Soon, however, they found themselves engulfed by tidal waves of globalization, surrounded by a new social landscape marked by unabashed commodification, and stunned by a drastically reconfigured socialist state infrastructure. The contributors to Whither China? describe how, instead of spearheading the popular-mandated and state-sanctioned project of modernization, intellectuals now find themselves caught amid rapidly changing structures of economic, social, political, and cultural relations that are both global in nature and local in an irreducibly political sense. Individual essays interrogate the space of Chinese intellectual production today, lay out the issues at stake, and cover major debates and discursive interventions from the 1990s. Those who write within the Chinese context are joined by Western observers of contemporary Chinese cultural and intellectual life. Together, these two groups undertake a truly international intellectual struggle not only to interpret but to change the world.
Contributors. Rey Chow, Zhiyuan Cui, Michael Dutton, Gan Yang, Harry Harootunian, Peter Hitchcock, Rebecca Karl, Louisa Schein, Wang Hui, Wang Shaoguang, Xudong Zhang