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Exquisite Corpses and backward glances: European social anthropology 2019

Dominic Martin

This article provides an overview of the main European social anthropology journals during 2019. It uses the concept of Exquisite Corpses, a technique devised by the Surrealists, an avant‐garde art group of the early 20th century, to suggest a practice of transmitting knowledge across periods of fracture. It argues that this process characterises the way that some aspects of social anthropology’s canon continue to be transmitted and remain influential, despite having been superseded by time, fashion and changes in social and academic attitudes. A wide range of scholarship is highlighted. Topics focused on include time, relations, borders, bureaucracy, ethics, and the challenges faced by academics in general and anthropologists in particular. These challenges are driven by the emergence of an authoritarian spirit across a number of fields in Europe and beyond, continuing austerity following on from the economic crisis, and the consolidation of an audit culture that drives the university in an ever more neoliberal direction. Despite the current rigorous climate, European social anthropology continues to be vital and relevant.

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Pelkmans, M. 2017. Fragile conviction – changing ideological landscapes in urban Kyrgyzstan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 213 pp. Pb.: US$26.95. ISBN 978‐1501705144.

Dominic Martin

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Harnessing fortune. Personhood, memory and place in Mongolia by Empson, Rebecca M

DOMINIC MARTIN

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Foreign front – third world politics in sixties Germany, by Slobodian, Quinn

Dominic Martin

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Emerging Evangelicals: faith, modernity and the desire for authenticity, by Bielo, James

Dominic Martin

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Mary Douglas. Cultures and crises ‐ understanding risk and resolution by Fardon, Richard

Dominic Martin

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Bialecki, Jon. 2017. A diagram for fire: miracles and variation in an American charismatic movement. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. 236 pp. Pb.: £27.00. ISBN: 978‐0‐520‐29421‐9.

Dominic Martin

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‘Not as single spies’: a review of European Social Anthropology 2020

Dominic Martin

This review article surveys all of the articles published in the major Anglophone European social anthropology journals in 2020. Taking a perspective from Joel Robbins’ theorising of ‘the anthropology of the good’ as a critique of the primacy of ‘dark anthropology’, it highlights the rich range of ethnography and analysis recently produced. Focusing on the continuing interest in ontology, environment, relations and the problems inherent in anthropological comparison, the review article identifies how – during the crisis of the COVID‐19 pandemic – the discipline has continued to respond with vigour and resilience. An ongoing resurgence of the anthropology of religion is noted, as is the emergence of powerful emic exploration of such global phenomena as care, debt and corporate capitalism. The review article concludes with a reflection on the ideological and epistemological challenges social anthropology continues to face, both in the academy and more widely.

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Between loss and opportunity

The fate of place after postsocialism

Dace Dzenovska, Volodymyr Artiukh, and Dominic Martin

Abstract

Many places in the post-socialist world undergo emptying: a loss of their constitutive elements—people, infrastructure, services, and futures past. Some people see this emptying as a loss, others as an opportunity. We argue that the shift from loss to opportunity—or vice versa—is a site of the political, that is, a moment of decision about the place of the present in a framework of meaning that gives form and direction to life. Drawing on contributions to the theme section, as well as on literature on hegemony, the political, and Anthropocene, we identify a potential tension between re-politicization on the scale of geopolitics and de- politicization on the scale of the planetary.

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Book Reviews

Yunnan Ye, Mariske Westendorp, Remus Gabriel Anghel, Dominic Martin, and Dhruv Gautam

Nucho, Joanne R. 2016. Everyday Sectarianism in Urban Lebanon: Infrastructures, Public Services, and Power. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 192 pp. Ebook: US$29.95. ISBN: 9781400883004.

Schorch, Philipp, Martin Saxer and Marlen Elders (eds.). 2020. Exploring Materiality and Connectivity in Anthropology and Beyond. London: UCL Press. 282 pp. Pb.: £20.00. ISBN: 9781787357495.

Cvajner, Martina. 2019. Soviet Signoras. Personal and Collective Transformations in East European Migration. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 279 pp. Pb.: US$30.00. ISBN: 978-0226662398.

McGonigle, Ian. 2021. Genomic Citizenship: The Molecularization of Identity in the Contemporary Middle East. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 220 pp. Pb.: US$75.00. ISBN: 9780262542944.

Sax, William and Claudia Lang. 2021. The Movement for Global Mental Health: Critical Views from South and Southeast Asia. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 346 pp. Hb.: €129.00. ISBN: 9789463721622.