What are Marxists to make of the new wave of materialism that has become influential in anthropology and across the social sciences and humanities? An ethnography of fishing in coastal Scotland and an analysis of Tim Ingold’s ecological anthropology demonstrates both the usefulness and gaps in contemporary ecological and materialist anthropology. It finds that the reduced role for political economy, human intentionality, and material results in this literature significantly reduces their explanatory power. Efforts to unite analysis of humans and nonhumans have led to a lack of attention to the divisions within human societies, particularly the alienation of labor and therefore of ecological relations in capitalism. Understanding these dynamics is essential to contending with the current planetary ecological crisis.
Materialism with and without Marxism
Penny McCall Howard
Posthumanism, Indigeneity, and Anthropology
The vectors by which the question of the animal has confronted the discipline of anthropology are both diverse—from paleoarchaeological fascination with the transition from ape to man to sociocultural accounts of human-animal conflict—and fraught insofar as they tend to loop back into one another. For instance, while posthumanism is intellectually novel, to take its line of critique seriously is to recognize that the science of man has depended on the philosophical animal from the start. A still tighter loop could be drawn around Lévi-Strauss's foundational interest in animal symbolism and the Amazonian ontologies undergirding Latour's amodern philosophy. Three related interdependencies pull hard on these loops: 1) philosophy and anthropology; 2) the human and the animal; 3) modernity and indigeneity. This last interdependency is notably undertheorized in the present efflorescence of human-animal scholarship. This article attends to some of the consequences of modernity/indigeneity's clandestine operations in the literature.
Andreea Lazea and Felix Girke
Social and Cultural Anthropology. The Key Concepts. By Nigel Rapport and Joanna Overing, London, New York: Routledge (Key Guides), 2007, ISBN-10: 0415181569, ISBN-13: 978-0415181563.
Creativity and Cultural Improvisation. By Elizabeth Hallam and Tim Ingold (eds.). Oxford, New York: Berg (ASA Monographs 44), 2007, ISBN 978-184520-527-0.
Phillip Vannini, Nanny Kim, Lisa Cooke, Giovanna Mascheroni, Jad Baaklini, Ekaterina Fen, Elisabeth Betz, Federico Helfgott, Giuseppina Pellegrino, Reiner Ruppmann and Alfred C. Mierzejewski
Tim Ingold, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description; Tim Ingold (ed.), Redrawing Anthropology: Materials, Movements, Lines; Tim Ingold and Jo Lee Vergunst (eds.), Ways of Walking: Ethnography and Practice on Foot Phillip Vannini
Tom Standage, A History of the World in 6 Glasses Nanny Kim
Simone Fullagar, Kevin W. Markwell, and Erica Wilson (eds.), Slow Tourism: Experiences and Mobilities Lisa Cooke
Jennie Germann Molz, Travel Connections: Tourism, Technology and Togetherness in a Mobile World Giovanna Mascheroni
Hazel Andrews and Les Roberts (eds.), Liminal Landscapes: Travel, Experience and Spaces In-between Jad Baaklini
Les Roberts, Film, Mobility and Urban Space: A Cinematic Geography of Liverpool Ekaterina Fen
Helen Lee and Steve Tupai Francis (eds.), Migration and Transnationalism: Pacific Perspectives Elisabeth Betz
David Pedersen, American Value: Migrants, Money and Meaning in El Salvador and the United States Federico Helfgott
Leopoldina Fortunati, Raul Pertierra and Jane Vincent (eds.), Migration, Diaspora, and Information Technology in Global Societies Giuseppina Pellegrino
Daniel Flückinger, Strassen für alle: Infrastrukturpolitik im Kanton Bern 1790-1850 Reiner Ruppmann
Richard Vahrenkamp, The Logistic Revolution: The Rise of Logistics in the Mass Consumption Society Alfred C. Mierzejewski
A Framework for Ethnographic Research on the Perceptions of Climate Change
Sophie Elixhauser, Stefan Böschen and Katrin Vogel
Ethnographers studying the local dimensions of climate change find themselves confronted with a methodological problem: climate change is both an abstract concept and a locally present phenomenon, yet it does not emerge from lived experience. We tackle this problem by means of a research framework that combines discussions on place and Tim Ingold’s (2011) idea of a meshwork. This article is based on research on climate change perceptions in two Alpine communities, located in Bavaria (Germany) and South Tyrol (Italy), respectively. We show how a focus on climate knots and their meshworks allows the grasping, describing, and visualizing of the different dimensions of climate change in these two local settings. This framework, as we further show, helps to reveal social and cultural patterns and underlying structures.
An Ethnographic Study with Chronic Cancer Patients from a Coastal Village in Northern Norway
Magdalena Skowronski, Mette Bech Risør and Nina Foss
Chronic cancer patients (CCPs) pay attention and act in response to diverse bodily sensations they experience in everyday life after a cancer episode. Here, we analyse how North Norwegian CCPs use their familiar surroundings in an effort to counter bad mood, anxiety and symptoms of relapse and to strengthen their health. The core participants of the anthro- pological fieldwork over the course of one year were 10 CCPs from a small coastal village in northern Norway. By drawing on Tim Ingold’s understanding of taskscape, it is suggested that the participants after cancer treatment dwell in and engage with the surroundings of the village, including the core task of staying healthy. The participants are part of and embody the landscape through the temporality of taskscape, related to their ways of dealing with pain, worries and bodily sensations in everyday life.
Nostalgia and risk in Ludwigshafen
Peter Phillimore and Patricia Bell
This article takes cultural understandings of industrial risk in a center of the global chemical industry as an opening that, perhaps unexpectedly, highlights nostalgia for a particular period in (West) Germany's postwar history. Based on fieldwork in Ludwigshafen, we reflect on memories among an older generation of residents that evoke the severity of industrial pollution from the city's vast chemical industry during the 1950s and 1960s. Although the pollution of that era is hardly mourned, it was portrayed as emblematic of a culturally defining era, an era valorized as one of enormous achievement in a more straightforward time. We draw on Tim Ingold's concept of “taskscapes” and his emphasis on skill and Tim Edensor's discussion of “excessive spaces” and “multiple absences” to explore the selectivity of the nostalgia of Ludwigshafen's older residents, in which the celebration of the rebuilding of the postwar chemical industry, and its dominant company BASF, simultaneously obscured problematic memories associated with the city's chemical industry in wartime.
Incorporating a Way of Life
Phillip: Taggart Vannini
Drawing from sensory ethnography, the present multimodal writing—accompanied by photography and digital video—documents and interprets the mobilities of off-grid living on Lasqueti Island, British Columbia, Canada. The data presentation focuses in particular on the embodied experience of off-grid inhabitation, highlighting the sensory and kinetic experiences and practices of everyday life in a community disconnected from the North American electrical grid and highway network. The mobilities of fuel and energy are presented in unison with ethnographic attention to the taskscape of everyday activities and movements in which off-grid islanders routinely engage. The analysis, based on Tim Ingold's non-representational theory on place, movement, and inhabitation, focuses on how the material and corporeal mobilities of off-grid life body forth a unique sense of place.
Doing Ritual While Thinking about It?
” [The magic of ritual, the demon of reflexivity] . L’Homme 2 ( 198–199 ): 277 – 299 . Schechner , Richard . 1994 . “ Ritual and Performance .” In Companion Encyclopedia of Anthropology , ed. Tim Ingold , 613 – 647 . New York : Routledge