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Recursivity and the Self-Reflexive Cosmos

Tricksters in Cuban and Brazilian Spirit Mediumship Practices

Diana Espírito Santo

of the dividends of their awareness for human experience. Recursivity here is thus deeply related to self-reflexivity or self-awareness: it is because the cosmos is aware of itself as cosmos (in its constitution) that it is able to describe, produce

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Timothy B. Leduc and Susan A Crate

This article is concerned with the way in which indigenous place-based knowledge and understandings, in a time of global climate change, have the potential to challenge researchers to self-reflexively shift the focus of their research toward those technological and consumer practices that are the cultural context of our research. After reviewing some literature on the emergence of self-reflexivity in research, the authors offer two case studies from their respective environmental education and anthropological research with northern indigenous cultures that clarifies the nature of a self-reflexive turn in place-based climate research and education. The global interconnections between northern warming and consumer culture-and its relation to everexpanding technological systems-are considered by following the critical insights of place-based knowledge. We conclude by examining the possibility that relocalizing our research, teaching, and ways of living in consumer culture are central to a sustainable future, and if so, the knowledge and understandings of current place-based peoples will be vital to envisioning such a cultural transformation of our globalizing system.

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The Medium Is the Message

Olivier Schrauwen’s Arsène Schrauwen beyond Expectations of Autobiography, Colonial History and the Graphic Novel

Benoît Crucifix and Gert Meesters

delivers an ironically strange, at times even absurd and playfully self-reflexive narrative. Beyond this apparent weirdness, Arsène Schrauwen is an exotic adventure that taps into the Belgian colonial imaginary to reflect on cultural differences

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‘Coming To Look Alike’

Materializing Affinity in Japanese Foster and Adoptive Care

Kathryn E. Goldfarb

and fostering are not easily recognized as kinship. I suggest that material resemblance is taken up as a pragmatic semiotics ( Silverstein 1993 ; Stasch 2009) through which people self-reflexively interpret the signs that count as relatedness

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‘I'm Not that Kind of Doctor’

On Being In-Between in a Global Health Intervention

Erica Nelson

the role of anthropologist as social critic? Did I conduct my fieldwork in a way that was fully cognisant of what Benedetta Rossi calls ‘the complex issues of self-reflexivity, positionality and power?’ ( Rossi 2004 ). In truth, I struggled to

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Questions from the Field

Anthropological Self-reflexivity through the Eyes of Study Participants

Sangmi Lee

Although there is nothing new about how anthropologists can be the observed instead of simply being the observer and that they can also be interviewed while interviewing, no one has studied the kinds of questions they receive from the people that they study and interact with in the field. Questions that research participants ask the anthropologists during fieldwork provide a critical way to reflect upon historical and persistent issues related to field-work, such as positionality, self-reflexivity and methodology. Based on fourteen months of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork among two Hmong communities in Laos and the United States, this article examines some of the questions I received from the people in my study and suggests that anthropologists need to pay more critical attention to these questions as a source of self-reflexivity and positionality in the process of ethnographic writing.

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The Glass Curtain

Bridges from Ethnography to Art

Katharina Eisch-Angus

In an interdisciplinary workshop in the former Iron Curtain borderlands of the Czech Republic and Bavaria seven multi-national artists and one European ethnologist revealed the cultural dynamics of boundaries both by exploring an expressive landscape and memory field, and by experiencing cultural difference as reflected in the co-operation and creation processes within the group. By using ethnographic approaches to assist the process of developing and conceptualising artworks and self-reflexive, ethno-psychoanalytic interpretation, the project followed the impact of twentieth-century border frictions and violence into collective identities, but also the arbitrary character of borders. The results suggest how a multi-perspective, subjectively informed methodology of approaching space and spatially expressed memory could be developed both for ethnology and for art, bridging the supposed gap between 'artistic' and 'scientific' methods by combining their strengths in a complementary way.

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Egyptian Football Ultras and the January 25th Revolution

Anti-corporate, Anti-militarist and Martyrdom Masculinities

Manal Hamzeh and Heather Sykes

This article examines the masculinities of Ultras football fans during and after the January 25th Egyptian revolution, within the interlocking systems of power of neoliberalism, militarism and Islamism. The Ultras' anti-corporate masculinities were strengthened through protests against satellite TV and the Egyptian Football Association, while they also developed anti-militarist masculinities as they protested business elites, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Central Security Forces. The Ultras developed martyrdom masculinities due to their shock over the Port Said stadium massacre and subsequent retribution protests. The Ultras may be reiterating hegemonic masculinities operating within the same patriarchal logic of the three regimes. Their grief and shock may be limiting their self-reflexivity and capacity to build coalitions.

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Living History, Performing Coloniality

Towards a Postcolonial Ethnography

Sitara Thobani

The self-reflexivity of anthropologists entails engaging with the forceful critiques emanating from within the discipline with regard to its relationship to the colonial project. However, the question remains as to what a postcolonial ethnographic project might look like. That is, while anthropologists engage with critiques from postcolonial studies in theory, how might they do so in practice? I address this question in my article by examining contemporary performances of Indian classical and Contemporary South Asian dance in Britain. An historical analysis of the trajectory of Indian classical dance reveals an intimate relationship between colonial, Orientalist and Indian nationalist discourses. Investigating contemporary performances in the U.K. can thus provide a fascinating glimpse into how discourses of coloniality are reiterated in the present. Focusing on performative narrativisations of the dance's history and its constructions of an idealised femininity, I show how ethnographic research can usefully excavate contemporary practices to better understand the capacity of coloniality both to endure and transform in its contemporary articulations.

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Lord Jim

A Character in Search of a Plot

Katherine Isobel Baxter

Borrowing heavily from the opening of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Edward Said’s Orientalism suggests that imperialist acquisitiveness was excused through an anthropological rhetoric of geography: ‘The important thing was to dignify simple conquest with an idea, to turn the appetite for more geographical space into a theory about the special relationship between geography on the one hand and civilized or uncivilized peoples on the other.’1 Intriguingly anticipating this critique, in Lord Jim, Conrad explores the fallout of such idealisation both for the colonies and, more particularly, for the colonisers. The idealising rhetoric of justification that Said identifies has already been fully internalised by Jim so that he fails to recognise its fictional basis. It is exactly this problem of blurred boundaries between fictional ideal and the lived experience of reality that Conrad seeks to explore in the novel. This exploration takes place not only in the realm of colonialism, however, but also in that of narrative itself, so that the novel exhibits a certain sceptical self-reflexivity of the kind usually denied by Said to those orientalising authors he seeks to critique. This narratalogical self-consciousness is more pertinently discussed by Said in his 1974 essay, ‘Conrad: The Presentation of a Narrative’, yet here his focus refrains from acknowledging the ethical import of Conrad’s narrative play.2 What follows then is an exploration of Lord Jim that, without being an overtly Saidian reading of the novel, unpacks the ethical concerns that arise from the elision of fiction and reality in the ideal of romance.