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Configurations of Plague

Spatial Diagrams in Early Epidemiology

Lukas Engelmann

Diagrams are found at the heart of the modern history of epidemiology. Epidemiologists used spatial diagrams to visualize concepts of epidemics as arrangements of biological, environmental, historical, as well as social factors and to analyze epidemics as configurations. Often, they provided a representation of the networks of relationships implied by epidemics, rather than to offer conclusions about origin and causation. This article will look at two spatial diagrams of plague across a period in which an epidemiological way of reasoning stood in stark contrast to arguments provided about plague in the rising field of bacteriology and experimental medicine. This historical genealogy of epidemiologists working with diagrams challenges perceptions of epidemic diagrams as mere arguments of causality to emphasize diagrammatic notions of uncertainty, crisis, and invisibility.

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Environmental Configurations

When the River Zayandeh Rud Stopped Crossing Isfahan

Sahar Faeghi and Sophie Roche

Among the many consequences of Iran’s suffering from water shortage in recent decades, the major river of Isfahan city, Zayandeh Rud, has dried out. While experts observe this issue through environmental discourses and local farmers engage in political protests, citizens phrase the loss of the river as a cultural catastrophe. Within the environmental configuration that includes the river, historical buildings, parks, fauna, flora and humans, habitual relationships produce a sense of security and well-being. Since the drought, this configuration has been seriously affected. We suggest the drought is experienced as sociocultural disaster because Zayandeh Rud is a central element for the creation of social, cultural, economic and political relationships. Following the suggestion of Tim Ingold, we conceptualise the environment as the interplay between the German notion of Umwelt (out world) and Innenwelt (subjective world).

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Military Violence in Its Own Right

The Microsocial Foundations of Physical Military Violence in Noncombat Situations

Nir Gazit and Eyal Ben-Ari

does not develop according to the intentions of the participants. Accordingly, we take off from this key contention that violence is hard to do to examine the conditions, triggering actors, dynamics, and emotional configurations that lead to the actual

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Beyond Economy and Religion

Resources and Socio-cosmic Fields in Odisha, India

Roland Hardenberg

In light of this understanding, one important anthropological task becomes that of exploring diverse societies and the ideologies they harbor to begin to document the various configurations of monism and pluralism that actually exist in the world

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Comparison in the Anthropological Study of Plural Religious Environments

Birgit Meyer

insights into particular religious groups and movements, it is more difficult and less common to study the dynamics of plural configurations from a wider angle and in a relational perspective. How can innovative practices of comparison be developed for the

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Joyful pessimism

Marginality, disengagement, and the doing of nothing

Martin Demant Frederiksen

cruel optimism—“joyful pessimism”—as an analytical device to capture an alternative configuration of marginality and boredom. If optimism can be seen as being cruel when that which “ignites a sense of possibility actually makes it impossible to attain

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The Religious Foundations of Capoeira Angola

The Cosmopolitics of an Apparently Non-religious Practice

Sergio González Varela

configuration of the substance of politics and the social relations that mestres have among themselves. In the end, I must acknowledge that the religious foundations of capoeira Angola explored in these pages are just the outline of a more general sense of

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Marilyn Strathern

interest in evolving notions of biology, and of nature at large, it is argued, might spare a glance at people’s ways of thinking about reproduction and at changing configurations of kinship. Internal and External Relations From work in Amazonia that has now

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Arthur Goldhammer

The evolution of French culture from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first century is described as a succession of three "cultural configurations": humanist (or literary/philosophical), scientific/organic, and industrial. The transformation of the culture is linked to changes in the educational system in response to France's altered place in the global order after 1945. French attitudes toward, and internal critiques of, the shifting cultural hegemony are examined as both causes and consequences of these evolving configurations.

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The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Angela Merkel, the Grand Coalition, and “Majority Rule” in Germany

Joyce Marie Mushaben

-normed disposition, which they see as restricting opportunities for the pursuit of gender-sensitive policy change. 3 Along with Martin Burch and Ian Holliday, they argue that: the institutional configuration of a cabinet is not neutral in its composition. Rather