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Introduction

The Global Idea of 'the Commons'

Donald M. Nonini

What is now at stake at this point in world history is control over ‘the commons’—the great variety of natural, physical, social, intellectual, and cultural resources that make human survival possible. By ‘the commons’ I mean those assemblages and ensembles of resources that human beings hold in common or in trust to use on behalf of themselves, other living human beings, and past and future generations of human beings, and which are essential to their biological, cultural, and social reproduction.

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What Is Analysis?

Between Theory, Ethnography, and Method

Martin Holbraad, Sarah Green, Alberto Corsín Jiménez, Veena Das, Nurit Bird-David, Eduardo Kohn, Ghassan Hage, Laura Bear, Hannah Knox and Bruce Kapferer

Recent years in anthropology have seen a noticeable trend, moving from debates about theory to a concern with method. So while some generations ago we would tend to identify ourselves as anthropologists with reference to particular theoretical paradigms—for example, Marxism, (post-)structuralism, cognitivism, cultural materialism, interpretivism—these days our tendency is to align ourselves, often eclectically, with proposals conceived as methodological: entanglements, assemblages, ontologies, technologies of description, epistemic partnerships, problematizations, collaborative anthropology, the art of noticing, and so on.

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Cultivating and Contesting Order

'European Turks' and Negotiations of Neighbourliness at 'Home'

Susan Rottmann

This article examines how Turks returning from Germany to Turkey self-fashion as 'orderly neighbours'. By maintaining aesthetically pleasing homes and gardens, keeping public spaces clean, and obeying rules and laws in public, return migrants believe they act as modern 'European-Turks' and exemplify good neighbourliness. Many neighbours, however, feel these actions are unnecessary or even disruptive to Turkish communities. In conversation with the burgeoning anthropology of ethics, this research explores how local, national and transnational assemblages foster reflections and debates on neighbourly ethics. Further, this study highlights anxieties about individualism, reciprocity, 'modernity' and 'European-ness' in today's Turkey.

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John Clarke

This article examines the modernisation of universities in the U.K., arguing that heterogeneous policy objectives and strategies have become condensed in the construction of higher education as a governable system and the university as a corporate enterprise. It argues that managerialism has displaced and subordinated professional and administrative logics for the coordination of universities, articulating them into supporting roles. Finally, it examines some of the cultural psychological states associated with the contradictory and uncomfortable assemblage that is the modernized university: identifying fantasy, dissociation and professional melancholia. It concludes with an argument that nostalgia for a lost academic community cannot be a foundation for political challenges to the present model.

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Paul Apostolidis, William E. Connolly, Jodi Dean, Jade Schiff and Romand Coles

Romand Coles, Visionary Pragmatism: Radical and Ecological Democracy in Neoliberal Times (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016), 240 pp., ISBN: 978-0-8223-6064-3 Paul Apostolidis, William Connolly, Jodi Dean, Jade Schiff, and Romand Coles

Time, Theater, and Story Dimensions of Intercorporeal Resonance in Romand Coles’s Visionary Pragmatism: Paul Apostolidis

Visionary Responsiveness, Critical Assemblages A Commentary on Visionary Pragmatism: William E. Connolly

Response to Romand Coles’s Visionary Pragmatism: Jodi Dean

Resonant Politics and the Politics of Autoresonance?: Jade Schiff

Response to Symposium on Visionary Pragmatism: Romand Coles

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Subversive Mobilities

The Copenhagen Riots, 1900–1919

Mikkel Thelle

The article approaches mobility through a cultural history of urban conflict. Using a case of “The Copenhagen Trouble,“ a series of riots in the Danish capital around 1900, a space of subversive mobilities is delineated. These turn-of-the-century riots points to a new pattern of mobile gathering, the swarm; to a new aspect of public action, the staging; and to new ways of configuring public space. These different components indicate an urban assemblage of subversion, and a new characterization of the “throwntogetherness“ of the modern public.

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Ted Goebel and Ian Buvit, eds. From the Yenisei to the Yukon: Interpreting Lithic Assemblage Variability in Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Beringia David L. Peterson

Yuri Rytkheu, A Dream in Polar Fog and The Chukchi Bible Alexander King

Brian Donahoe and Joachim Otto Habeck, eds., Reconstructing the House of Culture: Community, Self, and the Making of Culture in Russia and Beyond Aimar Ventsel

Oksana Dobzhanskaia, Shamanskaia muzyka Samodiiskikh narodov Krasnoiarskogo kraia Jenanne Ferguson

Indra Overland and Mikkel Berg-Nordlie, Bridging Divides: Ethno-Political Leadership among the Russian Sámi Laura Siragusa

Lennard Sillanpää, Awakening Siberia. From Marginalization to Self-Determination: The Small Indigenous Nations of Northern Russia on the Eve of the Millennium Mark Nuttall

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Subtracting the Narrative

Trade, Collecting, and Forgetting in the Kongo Coast Friction Zone during the Late Nineteenth Century

Zachary Kingdon

Museums can be theorized as sites of forgetting. Furthermore, British traders who collected carved tusks made by Kongo-speaking peoples of the Central African coast in the nineteenth century appear to have had no interest in accounting for the complex narrative scenes that embellished these works. Recent scholarship advocates applying an “archaeological sensibility” (Harrison 2013) that conceptualizes museum collections as “assemblages” in order to reveal new knowledge about collections. This article employs a version of this approach by applying an ichnography, or “science of traces” (Byrne 2013), to the visual narratives carved on tusks in the World Museum Liverpool collection and to the textual narratives of British traders’ from the period, to reveal discrepant and elided themes in these sources. The insights generated by probing the significance of these narrative disjunctions helps provide a “thicker” understanding of the dynamic, cosmopolitan “zone” of cross-cultural interaction from which the tusks were acquired.

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Archaeology and Ethnographic Collections

Disentangling Provenance, Provenience, and Context in Vanuatu Assemblages

James L. Flexner

The archaeological value of museum collections is not limited to collections labelled “archaeology.” “Ethnology” or “ethnography” collections can provide useful information for evaluating broadly relevant theoretical and methodological discussions in the discipline. The concepts of provenience (where something was found), provenance (where the materials for an object originated), and context (the ways an object is and was interpreted and used within a cultural milieu) are central to much archaeological interpretation. Archaeologists have often looked to living societies as analogues for better understanding these issues. Museum ethnographic collections from Vanuatu provide a case study offering a complementary approach, in which assemblages of ethnographic objects and associated information allow us to reconstruct complex networks of movement, exchange, and entanglement.

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Introduction

Museums, Power, Knowledge

Tony Bennett

Michel Foucault argues that truth is not to be emancipated from power. Given that museums have played a central role in these “regimes of truth,” Foucault’s work was a reference point for the debates around “the new museology” in the 1980s and remains so for contemporary debates in the field. In this introduction to a new volume of selected essays, the use of Foucault’s work in my previous research is considered in terms of the relations between museums, heritage, anthropology, and government. In addition, concepts from Pierre Bourdieu, science and technology studies, Actor Network Theory, assemblage theory, and the post-Foucaultian literature on governmentality are employed to examine various topics, including the complex situation of Indigenous people in contemporary Australia.