This special issue on anthropology and literature invited proposals for original contributions focusing on relationships between anthropology and literature. We were especially interested in the following questions: what role does literature play in anthropology? Can literature be considered as ethnography? What are the relationships between anthropology and literature, past and present? Are anthropology and anthropological motives used in literature? We also looked for critical readings of writers as anthropologists and critical readings of anthropologists as writers. Moreover, we wanted to assess the influence of literature on the invention of traditions, rituals and cultural performances. All these different questions and topics are clearly connected with the study of literacy, illiteracy and popular culture. They also lead to questions regarding potential textual strategies for ethnography and the possibilities of bringing together the field of anthropology (more associated with the social sciences) and literary studies (traditionally part of the humanities).
The Sub-disciplinary Context
Máiréad Nic Craith and Laurent Sebastian Fournier
In her novels, acclaimed Armenian Iranian novelist Zoya Pirzad engages her characters in transgenerational and transnational conflict in their interaction with each other. In her last novel, We’ll Get Used to It (‘Âdat Mikonim), a household of three women, consisting of a widowed grandmother, a divorcee mother and a daughter, is presented, and the absentee father, who lives in France, pulls the strings of the young daughter to gain control. The novel represents the conflict of three generations, two decades after the 1979 revolution. This article examines the ways this fictional representation of transgenerational and transnational conflict reflects and throws light on the nature of everyday life in contemporary Iran, thus contributing to anthropological knowledge and analysis of Iran and the complexities of its diverse communities.
Translation of the French Serial Story and Its Effect on the Persian Serial Story
Manizheh Abdollahi and Ehya Amalsaleh
This article examines French-Iranian literary interactions in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, which arguably had ongoing effects in Iran on attitudes towards links between morality and social and economic inequality. Some of the earliest fictional stories published in Persian-language newspapers, in the 1850s, were French. This trend continued, through Iran’s Constitutional Revolution (1906), into the early decades of the twentieth century. During this period, Morteza Moshfeq-e Kazemi began writing the first Persian serial story and novel, Tehran-e Makhuf (Appalling Tehran). The present study investigates the effects of the translation of French serial stories on Persian ones, with a specific focus on the impact of the novel Les Mystères de Paris (1842–1843), by Eugène Sue, on the Persian novel Tehran-e Makhuf (1924).
Johannes Görbert, Russ Pottle, Jeff Morrison, Pramod K. Nayar, Dirk Göttsche, Lacy Marschalk, Dorit Müller, Angela Fowler, Rebecca Mills, and Kevin Mitchell Mercer
German Literary Anthropology: Across Cultures, Across Genres Stefan Hermes and Sebastian Kaufmann, eds., Der ganze Mensch – die ganze Menschheit: Völkerkundliche Anthropologie, Literatur und Ästhetik um 1800 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014), 318
Imparting Ethno-aesthetic Knowledge in John Hawkesworth’s Report on Cook’s First Voyage to the South Pacific (1768–1771)
Neuentdeckung des Menschen [Literary anthropology: The rediscovery of humankind] (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2008), 11. See also the anthology by Stefan Hermes and Sebastian Kaufmann, eds., Der ganze Mensch—die ganze Menschheit: Völkerkundliche Anthropologie