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Berghahn Journals is the journals division of Berghahn Books, an independent scholarly publisher in the humanities and social sciences. A peer-review press, Berghahn is committed to the highest academic standards and seeks to enable innovative contributions to the scholarship in its fields of specialty.

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  • EnviroSociety

    New Featured Article!: “From a Blind Spot to a Nexus”

    The latest Environment and Society featured article is now available! This month’s article—”From a Blind Spot to a Nexus: Building on Existing Trends in Knowledge Production to Study the Copresence of Ecotourism and Extraction”—comes from Volume 3 (2012). In her article, Veronica Davidov investigates how instances of copresence between ecotourism and resource extraction are marginalized in literature about ecotourism and extraction, constituting a “blind spot” in academic literature.

    Visit the featured article page to download your copy of the article today before it’s gone! A new article is featured every month.

    Entrance from Q’eqchi Maya village of Conejo, Belize, to the country’s second largest national park. SATIIM (Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management) works to protect the park from threats such as oil drilling and overharvesting of trees like rosewood (photograph by the Advocacy Project, via Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).



    VERONICA DAVIDOV is assistant professor and graduate program director of anthropology at Monmouth University. Her research interests include the production of normative and contested discourses of nature and human-nature relations, the transformation of nature into natural resources, the impact of globalization and “development” (including “sustainable development”) on indigenous cultures, and indigenous ethnoecology. She has done long-term fieldwork in Ecuador since 2002 and has also worked on a project in northern Russia.

  • FocaalBlog

    Chris Hann: Hayek versus Polanyi in Montréal: Global society as markets, all the way across?

    The workshop “Geographies of Markets”—hosted over three days in mid-June 2017 by the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy at Concordia University, Montréal—gave scholars from a wide range of countries and disciplines an opportunity to assess the continued relevance of the Polanyian critique of “market society.” Even if this critique lacks the formal rigor of neoclassical economics, even if Polanyi’s concept of market exchange fails to capture the institutional intricacies of contemporary markets, and even if the man himself was very much a European intellectual of his age, his approach still appears to provide the best scientific foundation on which to build global political and normative alternatives to neoliberal hegemony. Today, however, his geographic binary between East and West, like his ideal types of redistribution and market exchange, all need careful reappraisal.

    Karl and Kari Polanyi in 1938 when she, aged 15, accompanied him to one of his lectures in southern England organized by the Workers’ Education Association (photograph courtesy of Kari Polanyi-Levitt).

    Karl and Kari Polanyi in 1938 when she, aged 15, accompanied him to one of his lectures in southern England organized by the Workers’ Education Association (photograph courtesy of Kari Polanyi-Levitt).

    Debating market(s) in Montréal

    Christian Berndt, Jamie Peck, and Norma Rantisi, conveners of the workshop “Geographies of Markets” in Montreal, 15–17 June 2017, posed searching questions concerning the ubiquity of markets in our contemporary globalized world. Although economic geographers were prominent among the participants, no one indulged in arid cartographic exercises. All 12 sessions engaged with central theoretical, methodological, and normative issues pertaining to market(s). Most participants drew on recent empirical research, ranging from agricultural land in Guatemala to affordable housing in South Africa, and from ethnicity-based employment agencies in Chicago to student loans in Australia. Many engaged in one way or another with financialization. Most made at least tenuous connection to the work of Karl Polanyi—which was entirely appropriate, as the meeting took place in the immediate proximity of his archive and was ritually opened by his daughter, Kari Polanyi-Levitt.

    Professor Kari Polanyi-Levitt (photograph courtesy of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy).

    Professor Kari Polanyi-Levitt (photograph courtesy of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy).

    Polanyi characterized nineteenth-century laissez-faire as a disembedding of the economy from society. But he also emphasized the thoroughly political character of this process, in terms of both state power and societal response through countermovements. The ambivalences of this (dis)embedding continue to be debated in the academic literature, reflecting decades of neoliberal hegemony during which the logic of competition and individual choice has been significantly extended. Market ideology has colonized vast domains previously ordered by other principles. As an advocate of democratic socialism, Karl Polanyi can be contrasted to Friedrich Hayek, for whom democracy is a potential obstacle to efficient allocation by means of spontaneous market forces. Political differences aside, however, both Polanyi and Hayek recognize the omnipresence of the state. Arguably, drawing on the Austrian tradition of economic thought they shared, both fail to grasp the interior workings of markets and end up theorizing “the market” in simplified, even essentialist ways.[1]

    How to overcome “market essentialism” was the main gauntlet laid down by the conveners of this workshop. Polanyi is the epitome of an institutionalist economic historian when he explores the embeddedness of preindustrial economies, including the role of markets and money. But when it comes to the integrated systems of industrial capitalist markets, he does not question the textbook models or the reality of the “economistic fallacy.” Market is an empty signifier, a void: institutions are elsewhere. In fact, participants argued, once the analyst looks inside the black box labeled “market,” it turns out to be saturated in institutions, legal and political as well as technological and economic in narrower senses. Marketization is also a moral project, provided that “moral” is not restricted to the well-known gemeinschaft evocations of Ferdinand Tönnies or E. P. Thompson. Irrespective of ethical dimensions and distributive consequences, markets are always about power. Many markets, none more so than new financial markets, are better seen as highly regulated allocative bureaucracies, which leave little or no scope for choices and individual haggling over prices.

    The principal factor uniting the assembled geographers, political economists, sociologists, and anthropologists in the sanctum of Karl Polanyi was not so much unconditional solidarity with this master as antipathy toward the theories of mainstream economics. Neoclassical economics was implicated in the destruction of social cohesion as well as in environmental catastrophe. But there was no consensus on how concerned academics should respond. Few seemed to think that Polanyi’s approach could be elaborated as a head-to-head epistemological alternative to the models of the economists. Polanyi operates at a different level: but does the greater empirical realism of his approach inevitably imply a weakness? Some participants seemed ready to concede epistemological superiority to the economists while justifying their critique via normative, political positions. Others insisted that dominant models based on methodological individualism and erroneous assumptions about actors’ behavior be contested, since they added up to bad, worthless science. Several suggested complementing Polanyi’s vision with more elaborately worked out compatible approaches, such as those of regulation and conventions theory. Gilles Deleuze’s theorizing of “the fold” and Michel Callon’s recent work on agencement have also found a following among geographers.

    In several sessions, the ideal types of state and market melted away and everything became “co-constitutive.” If any concrete market is a complex amalgam of institutions, it is unrealistic to view it as a realm that the state can regulate, as it were, “from outside.” Often the market is itself a mechanism of regulation, notably financial markets, where the state is just another player in the game. The politics, too, become murky. Finance might seem to be parasitic on the real economy, yet some participants pointed out that “social finance” might function progressively as part of a countermovement (e.g., in the growing popularity of “green bonds,” reflecting awareness of the challenges of climate change). The production of entrepreneurial subjectivities around the world may be emancipatory for some, even when it means a concomitant decline in the rights (or entitlements) of social citizenship for the majority. Without necessarily giving up the political dimension, some participants preferred to emphasize the role of sociotechnical devices in furthering processes of marketization.

    From market socialism to market populism in Hungary

    At times, the cocktails of heady intellectual inspiration became too intoxicating for my jet-lagged brain. As usual when this happens, I tried to translate the sophisticated arguments of my fellow participants into the context of concrete transformations in rural Hungary (which I discussed in my own presentation). Forty years ago, it seemed clear to me, to other academic observers, and to the government and citizens of Hungary that a basic distinction could be drawn between the principle of the market and the principle of redistribution by the socialist state. Hungary was notable for the extent to which it had extended the scope of the former, but the market remained encompassed by the institutions and principles of socialism (hence “market socialism”). In key sectors—not just industry but also urban housing—the state imposed its preferences and market logics played only a subsidiary role (see Szelényi and Konrád 1979). The market principle was in some respects much more extensive in the rural sector (certainly as far as housing was concerned). I documented in the 1970s how the market for hogs was managed effectively by the state, which enabled village-based cooperatives to enter contractual relations with both household producers and state-processing enterprises. The hybrid system worked well for consumers in the cities (where most of the produce ended up, though some was exported). At the same time, it enabled unprecedented material accumulation and civilizational improvement in the countryside, where unemployment was unknown. But the recourse to material incentives without an ethos of competition and without a land market dissatisfied the neoliberal economists, both in Hungary and abroad. They complained about underemployment and other inefficiencies; for them, no socialist simulation of market mechanisms in certain realms could substitute for the real thing right across the board.

    Then, after 1990, the real thing arrived, in the village of Tázlár as in the rest of the country. The land was privatized, the cooperative disintegrated. Many villagers were initially enthusiastic about these developments, because they had never been reconciled to socialist ideology and the diminution of their property rights. Later they realized that stronger property rights are of little use when markets no longer function and the entitlements of citizenship are undermined. They are puzzled that no one wants their hogs any longer and that the cost of raising them is greater than the purchase price of foreign meat in the German- or British-owned supermarkets in the nearby towns. It is the same story with wine: villagers can no longer find buyers for their product, while the Hungarian market is flooded with cheap Italian and Spanish wines. Not so readily available on the local market are jobs: many villagers nowadays face a choice between enrolling for local workfare schemes or joining the exodus to work in one of the prosperous western member states of the EU.

    Hann_Polanyi3

    Tesco stores (here in Szeged) are well established and popular throughout this region of Hungary (photograph by Chris Hann, 2013).

    For Karl Polanyi, land and labor are “fictitious commodities.” Collectivization and guaranteed employment are taken for granted in the democratic socialist society, which he regretted never having experienced in his own life. Many villagers in Tázlár who did experience socialism, albeit not in democratic form, look back with nostalgia at the kind of managed markets they knew in the 1970s and 1980s. That Polanyian model is above all pro-society. It seems more attractive than the Hayekian model that is tearing families and communities apart nowadays. The co-constitutive institutions of geographically ever more extensive markets contribute to reactionary populist politics at local, national, and supranational levels.

    Hayek and Thatcher versus Polanyi and Polanyi

    Kari Polanyi-Levitt was born in Vienna 94 years ago and lived through the greatest tragedy of what her father termed the “double movement” (she accompanied him to England in 1933 when it was clear that the family had no secure future in Austria). She is concerned by what she observes in Hungary today, and links these developments to the continuing distortions of global capitalism and above all to what she has termed “the great financialisation” (Polanyi-Levitt 2017). Kari insisted in her opening address to the workshop that a “world market” was no more feasible or desirable today than it was in her youth, when her father developed his withering analysis of the dangers of blind adherence to the gold standard. She stressed the centrality of his concept of “society” and how he would have rejected the two famous dicta of Margaret Thatcher, according to whom there was no such thing as society, just as there was no alternative to the implacable laws of neoliberal economics. Kari had a distinguished career as economist, and the active cultivation of her father’s legacy ties in seamlessly with her own engaged scholarship (see in particular Polanyi-Levitt 1990). However, as a specialist in what used to be termed the Third World, she does not hesitate to critique Eurocentric limitations in her father’s work. She drew attention in her speech to the “return of Asia,” as evident in the fact that it now produces the same share of world GNP that it produced in the early nineteenth century, before Asia fell victim to the depredations of the North Atlantic countries.

    While this workshop reinforced notions of confluence and the inevitable entanglement of state and market, at the end I still felt some concern about the political implications of some of the cutting-edge scholarship. Surely we cannot dispense altogether with the opposition that Karl Polanyi set up between (market) exchange and redistribution? We may be condemned to live with thoroughly institutionalized markets all over the planet, but can we reach at least minimal agreement on certain rules and boundaries? If the hegemon unilaterally pulls out of the Paris environmental accords, how is the new coexistence to be negotiated? Or is the ongoing neoliberalization of the European Union an indication that the Thatcher-Hayek vision of economy and society will prevail over that of Polanyi and Polanyi?

    This article originally appeared on the REALEURASIA Blog on 21 June 2017. Light edits were made, and punctuation, spelling, and citations were amended to conform to the FocaalBlog style guide.


    Chris Hann is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. He is currently leading the ERC project “Realising Eurasia: Civilisation and Moral Economy in the 21st Century.”


    Note

    [1] My own interpretations have been much influenced by Gareth Dale (2010, 2016).


    References

    Dale, Gareth. 2010. Karl Polanyi: The limits of the market. Cambridge: Polity.

    Dale, Gareth. 2016. Karl Polanyi: A life on the left. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Polanyi-Levitt, Kari, ed. 1990. The Life and Work of Karl Polanyi: A Celebration. Montréal: Black Rose Books.

    Polanyi-Levitt, Kari. 2017. “From great transformation to great financialization.” In Karl Polanyi in Dialogue: A Socialist Thinker for Our Times, ed. Michael Brie. Montréal: Black Rose Books.

    Szelényi, Iván, and György Konrád. 1979. The intellectuals on the road to class power. Brighton: Harvester Press.


    Cite as: Hann, Chris. 2017. “Hayek versus Polanyi in Montréal: Global society as markets, all the way across?” FocaalBlog, 11 July. www.focaalblog.com/2017/07/11/chris-hann-hayek-versus-polanyi-in-montreal-global-society-as-markets-all-the-way-across.

  • Museum Worlds

    The Black Lives Matter Movement in the National Museum of African American History and Culture

    by Rod Clare, Elon University

    museum-african-american

    It has been over forty years since the mostly successful conclusion of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. While some may have thought the election of an African-American president in 2008 heralded a “postracial” America, continued violence and oppression has brought about a rebirth of activism, embodied by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Now that nascent movement is preparing to be part of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The NMAAHC is located at 1400 Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington DC.

    The museum’s overriding goals are to make people aware of African-American history and to foster understanding and reconciliation about race in America and the world. The fact that the BLM movement is so new gives rise to concerns that the museum is collecting material that is too recent, topical, and potentially controversial. Nevertheless, as the director of the NMAAHC, Lonnie Bunch, has made clear, collecting and promoting such material helps “people to realize … that these are not isolated moments. They are part of a long history—a long history of tragedy, but also a long history of resilience and protest.”1

    Though seemingly radical, Bunch’s approach is not without precedent when it comes to museums representing African-American lives (and deaths). A recent example of this is Kehinde Wiley’s exhibit, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, presented from February to May 2015, at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Superimposing modern blacks onto classical Western art reliefs, Wiley’s work made one patron comment that “the fact that they have an exhibit like this maybe could revitalize that conversation again about Black Lives Matter.”2

    A symposium on “History, Rebellion, and Reconciliation,” held at the Smithsonian in April 2015, discussed in part the fatal shooting of an African-American youth in Ferguson, Missouri, in the previous year. A reoccurring theme at the symposium was that museums could offer neutral “‘safe,’ or even ‘sacred’ spaces, within which visitors could wrestle with difficult and complex topics.”3 Currently, there is no better example of a more controversial and nuanced topic in America than the Black Lives Matter movement.

    The BLM movement, born in 2013, was indirectly created out of decades of frustration within the African-American community over the legal system’s continual exoneration of those who had taken black lives. Often, those killed had transgressed supposed spatial boundaries, an issue in the past (for example, when a black youth “strayed” into a white section of a public beach, and responses by whites instigated the Chicago riots of 1919 that took thirty-eight lives), as much as the present. BLM’s direct genesis came as a result of the not-guilty verdict against George Zimmerman, who stalked and killed Trayvon Martin, a seventeen-year-old black youth who Zimmerman thought was in the wrong part of town in Sanford, Florida. Three black women (Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi), all activists in the African-American community, viewed the verdict with shock, anger, and an underlying belief that something had to be done. Due to their drive and to further instances of black lives being taken, with ensuing rebellions in cities like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, the movement has quickly taken off. Currently the BLM movement has approximately two dozen chapters throughout the United States as well as chapters in Ghana and Canada.

    Implicit in the rise of BLM and its attendant demands and concerns is the long-standing issue of black mobility. That is, where can black people go and when can they go there? This question is not only relevant for African Americans currently but also in their arduous history in America. The idea of black mobility has been a fundamental query since African Americans were brought to America as enslaved people. As such, their movements and associations were always strictly monitored and in many cases, prohibited by laws, slave patrols, and other means. After the end of slavery, this remained the case in the South and indeed in other parts of the country well into the twentieth century through the implementation of Black Codes, Ku Klux Klan terrorism, sharecropping contracts, city zoning laws, segregation, and various other means.

    In fact, it can be said that blacks gained any semblance of true mobility in the country only in the early 1970s when the last host of Civil Rights laws became implemented and enforced. Two generations later, it is fitting that some have described the BLM protests as the new Civil Rights movement. In a sense, BLM seeks to answer the question of whether or not some fifty years later black lives are truly valued as equal to all others in the country. From the U.S. government’s COINTELPRO assassination and disruption programs against black activists in the late 1960s and 1970s to the “stop and frisk” police sweeps since the 1990s and incidents such as the arrest of Sandra Bland in 2015, the curtailment of black movement makes the answer decidedly mixed.

    The relevancy and emotions concerning the lasting effects of what has been labeled America’s “original sin” makes it a timely yet somewhat uncomfortable issue for a museum to embrace. This then begs the question, “what exactly is the purpose of a museum?” The International Council of Museums (ICOM) defines it as “a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.”4 Most people would tend to define a museum as a place where old, if not ancient, objects are put on display to be reviewed in a genteel fashion. This might make it seem that only the elite patronize museums but nothing could be further from the truth. According to the American Alliance of Museums, some 850 million visits occur each year in American museums, more than all major organized sports put together.5

    What Lonnie Bunch, NMAAHC’s director, wants to do is bring a current and controversial topic to the most respected of American museums, the Smithsonian. As Bunch put it in an interview with National Public Radio,

    One of the jobs of a museum is to not only look back, but to look forward. And so once I heard about [the demonstrations] I knew it was very important to make sure that we collected material that might help a curator 20 years from now or 50 years from now look back and tell the story of the changing notions of race in America.6

    Some of the items Bunch prioritizes for collection include banners, posters, gas masks, and a 4’ by 7’ panel of wood used to protect stores during the disturbances, which has printed on it “hands up,” along with cell phone videos and photos. A purpose of the NMAAHC, Bunch notes, is to place racial conflict and historical events in context, to make people realize that there are “moments of possibility,” where fundamental change and progress can be made. There will certainly be more material for the NMAAHC to collect based on the BLM’s new (as of August 2015) ten-point policy directive, Campaign Zero, directed at state and federal policing authorities.7 Though many may not link the two, the BLM movement is linked to the Constitution, for both have at their core the idea “to form a more perfect union.” This ideal, encompassing issues of life, liberty, and freedom of movement, is as radical and patriotic as the symbolism of what it means to be free in America.

     


     

    This exhibit review originally appeared in volume 6, issue 1 of Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies.


     

    Notes

    1. National Public Radio (NPR), “Black Lives Matter: Coming to a Museum Near You?” 1 August 2015, http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/08/01/428085104/black-lives-matter-coming-to-a-museum-near-you. National Public Radio (accessed 12 September 2015).
    1. “At the Brooklyn Museum, Art Helps Show Why Black Lives Matter,” Aljazeera America, http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/2/kehinde-wiley-showat-brooklyn-museum.html (accessed 11 September 2015).
    1. “Why Museums Should be a Safe Space to Discuss Why #BlackLivesMatter,” Smithsonian.com, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/whymuseums-should-be-safe-space-discuss-why-black-lives-matter-180955114/?-no-ist (accessed 12 September 2015).
    1. “Museum Defi nition,” International Council of Museums, http://icom.museum/the-vision/museum-defi nition/ (accessed 12 September 2015).
    1. “Museum Facts,” American Alliance of Museums, http://www.aam-us.org/about-museums/museum-facts (accessed 16 August 2015).NPR, “Black Lives Matter: Coming to a Museum Near You?”
    1. “Solutions Overview,” Solutions: Campaign Zero, http://www.joincampaignzero.org/solutions/#solutionsoverview (accessed 13 September 2015).

  • Berghahn Journals Blog

    International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

    Despite their cultural differences, indigenous peoples from around the world share common problems related to preservation of their unique cultures and protection of their rights to traditional lands and natural resources that have always been violated. This day promotes the recognition that special measures are required to protect their rights and maintain their distinct cultures and way of life. For more information on background, events and resources please visit http://www.un.org/en/events/indigenousday.

    In marking this year’s observance, Berghahn is pleased to feature a selection of books of related interest and offer a 25% discount on all Indigenous Studies titles. For the next 30 days use discount code IP17 at checkout.


     

    Indigenous Revival and the Conservation of Sacred Natural Sites in the Americas
    Edited by Fausto Sarmiento and Sarah Hitchner

    Volume 22, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

     

    This book presents current research in the political ecology of indigenous revival and its role in nature conservation in critical areas in the Americas. An important contribution to evolving studies on conservation of sacred natural sites (SNS), the book elucidates the complexity of development scenarios within cultural landscapes related to the appropriation of religion, environmental change in indigenous territories, and new conservation management approaches. Indigeneity and the Sacred explores how these struggles for land, rights, and political power are embedded within physical landscapes, and how indigenous identity is reconstituted as globalizing forces simultaneously threaten and promote the notion of indigeneity.

    Read Introduction

     

    Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring
    Frederick H. Damon

    Volume 21, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

     

    Trees, Knots and Outriggers (Kaynen Muyuw) is the culmination of twenty-five years of work by Frederick H. Damon and his attention to cultural adaptations to the environment in Melanesia. Damon details the intricacies of indigenous knowledge and practice in his sweeping synthesis of symbolic and structuralist anthropology with recent developments in historical ecology. This book is a long conversation between the author’s many Papua New Guinea informants, teachers and friends, and scientists in Australia, Europe and the United States, in which a spirit of adventure and discovery is palpable.

    Read Introduction

    Related Link: This book is accompanied by a large online repository of images: https://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/Trees_Knots__Outriggers/

     

    Leadership, Masculinity and Wealth in the Amazon
    Marc Brightman

     

    Amerindian societies have an iconic status in classical political thought. For Montaigne, Hobbes, Locke, Hume and Rousseau, the native American ‘state of nature’ operates as a foil for the European polity. Challenging this tradition, The Imbalance of Power demonstrates ethnographically that the Carib speaking indigenous societies of the Guiana region of Amazonia do not fit conventional characterizations of ‘simple’ political units with ‘egalitarian’ political ideologies and ‘harmonious’ relationships with nature. Marc Brightman builds a persuasive and original theory of Amerindian politics: far from balanced and egalitarian, Carib societies are rife with tension and difference; but this imbalance conditions social dynamism and a distinctive mode of cohesion. The Imbalance of Power is based on the author’s fieldwork in partnership with Vanessa Grotti, who is working on a companion volume entitled Living with the Enemy: First Contacts and the Making of Christian Bodies in Amazonia.

    Read Introduction

     

    Confronting Electoral Communism and Precarious Livelihoods in Post-Reform Kerala
    Luisa Steur

    Volume 20, Dislocations

     

    In Kerala, political activists with a background in Communism are now instead asserting political demands on the basis of indigenous identity. Why did a notion of indigenous belonging come to replace the discourse of class in subaltern struggles? Indigenist Mobilization answers this question through a detailed ethnographic study of the dynamics between the Communist party and indigenist activists, and the subtle ways in which global capitalist restructuring leads to a resonance of indigenist visions in the changing everyday working lives of subaltern groups in Kerala.

    Read Introduction: Research and Activism in, on, and Beyond a Capitalist World System

     

    Embodiment and Experience among the Orang Rimba of Sumatra
    Ramsey Elkholy
    Foreword by Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen

     

    For the Orang Rimba of Sumatra – and tropical foragers in general – life in the forest engenders a kind of “connectedness” that is contingent not only on harmonious relations between people, but also between people and the non-human environment, including those supernatural agencies of the forest that people depend on for their spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Exploring this world, anthropologist Ramsey Elkholy treats embodied action and perception as the basis of shared experience and shows how various forms of embodied experience constitute the very foundations of human culture. In a unique methodological contribution, Elkholy adopts a set of body-centered approaches that reflect and capture the day-to-day, moment-to-moment ways in which people engage with the world. Being and Becoming is an important contribution to phenomenological anthropology, hunter-gatherer studies, and to Southeast Asian ethnography more generally.

    Read Introduction

     

    Development Paradoxes, Belonging and Participation of the Baka in East Cameroon
    Glory M. Lueong

     

    Development interventions often generate contradictions around questions of who benefits from development and which communities are targeted for intervention. This book examines how the Baka, who live in Eastern Cameroon, assert forms of belonging in order to participate in development interventions, and how community life is shaped and reshaped through these interventions. Often referred to as ‘forest people’, the Baka have witnessed many recent development interventions that include competing and contradictory policies such as ‘civilize’, assimilate and integrate the Baka into ‘full citizenship’, conserve the forest and wildlife resources, and preserve indigenous cultures at the verge of extinction.

    Read Introduction

     

    Conceptions of Personhood in a Papua New Guinea Society
    Franziska A. Herbst

    Volume 5, Person, Space and Memory in the Contemporary Pacific

     

    Biomedical Entanglements is an ethnographic study of the Giri people of Papua New Guinea, focusing on the indigenous population’s interaction with modern medicine. In her fieldwork, Franziska A. Herbst follows the Giri people as they circulate within and around ethnographic sites that include a rural health center and an urban hospital. The study bridges medical anthropology and global health, exploring how the ‘biomedical’ is imbued with social meaning and how biomedicine affects Giri ways of life.

    Read Introduction

     

    Luck, Spirits and Ambivalence among the Siberian Orochen Reindeer Herders and Hunters
    Donatas Brandišauskas

    NEW SERIES: Volume 1, Studies in the Circumpolar North

     

    Nowhere have recent environmental and social changes been more pronounced than in post-Soviet Siberia. Donatas Brandišauskas probes the strategies that Orochen reindeer herders of southeastern Siberia have developed to navigate these changes. “Catching luck” is one such strategy that plays a central role in Orochen cosmology — luck implies a vernacular theory of causality based on active interactions of humans, non-humans, material objects, and places. Brandišauskas describes in rich details the skills, knowledge, ritual practices, storytelling, and movements that enable the Orochen to “catch luck” (or not, sometimes), to navigate times of change and upheaval.

    Read Introduction: Luck, Spirits and Places

     

    The Gwich’in Natives of Alaska
    Steven C. Dinero

     

    The Gwich’in Natives of Arctic Village, Alaska, have experienced intense social and economic changes for more than a century. In the late 20th century, new transportation and communication technologies introduced radically new value systems; while some of these changes may be seen as socially beneficial, others suggest a weakening of what was once a strong and vibrant Native community. Using quantitative and qualitative data gathered since the turn of the millennium, this volume offers an interdisciplinary evaluation of the developments that have occurred in the community over the past several decades.

    Read Introduction

     

    Studies in Native Amazonian Property Relations
    Edited by Marc Brightman, Carlos Fausto, and Vanessa Grotti
    Foreword by James Leach

     

    The first book to address the classic anthropological theme of property through the ethnography of Amazonia, Ownership and Nurture sets new and challenging terms for anthropological debates about the region and about property in general. Property and ownership have special significance and carry specific meanings in Amazonia, which has been portrayed as the antithesis of Western, property-based, civilization. Through carefully constructed studies of land ownership, slavery, shamanism, spirit mastery, aesthetics, and intellectual property, this volume demonstrates that property relations are of central importance in Amazonia, and that the ownership of persons plays an especially significant role in native cosmology.

    Read Introduction: Altering Ownership in Amazonia

     

    MASKS AND STAFFS
    Identity Politics in the Cameroon Grassfields
    Michaela Pelican

    Volume 11, Integration and Conflict Studies

     

    The Cameroon Grassfields, home to three ethnic groups – Grassfields societies, Mbororo, and Hausa – provide a valuable case study for the anthropological examination of identity politics and interethnic relations. In the midst of the political liberalization of Cameroon in the late 1990s and 2000s, local responses to political and legal changes took the form of a series of performative and discursive expressions of ethnicity. Confrontational encounters stimulated by economic and political rivalry, as well as socially integrative processes, transformed collective self-understanding in Cameroon in conjunction with recent global discourses on human, minority, and indigenous rights. The book provides a vital contribution to the study of ethnicity, conflict, and social change in the anthropology of Africa.

    Read Introduction

     

    Thresholds of Identities and Illusions on an African Landscape
    Stuart A. Marks

     

    “Few academic books display such depth as does this one, but then few anthropologists devote over five decades to the same communities and issues. Anthropologist Marks first worked among Zambia’s Valley Bisa people in 1966, returning frequently for further research. The result is a masterwork of description, interpretation, and self-reflection.” · Choice

    The “extensive wilderness” of Zambia’s central Luangwa Valley is the homeland of the Valley Bisa whose cultural practices have enriched this environment for centuries. Beginning with the intrusions of warlords and later British colonials, successive generations have experienced the callousness and challenges of colonialism. Their homeland, a slender corridor surrounded by three national parks and an escarpment, is a microcosm of the political, economic and cultural battlefields surrounding most African protected areas today. The story of the Valley Bisa diverges from the myths that conservationists, administrators, and philanthropists, tell about Africa’s environmental and wildlife crises.

    Read Introduction: On Poaching an Elephant: Calling the Shots and Following the Ricochets


    Berghahn Journals:

    Editor-in-Chief: Claudia Mitchell, McGill University

    ISSN: 1938-8209 (Print)
    ISSN: 1938-8322 (Online)

    Volume 10/2017, 3 issues p.a. (spring, summer, winter)


    Editor: John P. Ziker, Boise State University

    ISSN: 1361-7362 (Print)
    ISSN: 1476-6787 (Online)

    Volume 16/2017, 3 issues p.a. (spring, summer, winter)

     

     

  • Berghahn Journals Blog

    World Breastfeeding Week 2017

    Celebrating it’s 25th year in 2017, World Breastfeeding Week is held yearly from 1st to 7th of August in more than 120 countries. Being organized by WABA, WHO and UNICEF, the goal is to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life which yields tremendous health benefits, providing critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases and fostering growth. To learn more please visit www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org

    In marking this year’s observance, Berghahn is pleased to feature and offer a 25% discount, valid through September 7th, 2017, on selection of books of related interest. Simply use discount code FRS17 at checkout.

     


    Negotiating Infant Feeding
    Penny Van Esterik and Richard A. O’Connor

    Volume 6, Food, Nutrition, and Culture

     

    Breastfeeding and child feeding at the center of nurturing practices, yet the work of nurture has escaped the scrutiny of medical and social scientists. Anthropology offers a powerful biocultural approach that examines how custom and culture interact to support nurturing practices. Our framework shows how the unique constitutions of mothers and infants regulate each other. The Dance of Nurture integrates ethnography, biology and the political economy of infant feeding into a holistic framework guided by the metaphor of dance. It includes a critique of efforts to improve infant feeding practices globally by UN agencies and advocacy groups concerned with solving global nutrition and health problems.

    Read Introduction


    Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality Series

    Understanding the complex and multifaceted issue of human reproduction has been, and remains, of great interest both to academics and practitioners. This series includes studies by specialists in the field of social, cultural, medical, and biological anthropology, medical demography, psychology, and development studies.

     

    NIGHTTIME BREASTFEEDING
    An American Cultural Dilemma
    Cecília Tomori

     

    “In this beautifully written ethnography… Cecılia Tomori provides a broad‐ranging yet in‐depth discussion of numerous anthropological topics, including kinship, reproduction, and personhood… This book is a pleasure to read, and will be of interest not only to scholars of gender, kinship, and reproduction, but also to those who work on the subjects of embodiment, authoritative knowledge, expertise, morality, the house, and temporality. It deserves to be read widely, both within the academy and beyond.”Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute

    Nighttime for many new parents in the United States is fraught with the intense challenges of learning to breastfeed and helping their babies sleep so they can get rest themselves. Through careful ethnographic study of the dilemmas raised by nighttime breastfeeding, and their examination in the context of anthropological, historical, and feminist studies, this volume unravels the cultural tensions that underlie these difficulties. As parents negotiate these dilemmas, they not only confront conflicting medical guidelines about breastfeeding and solitary infant sleep, but also larger questions about cultural and moral expectations for children and parents, and their relationship with one another.

    Read Introduction

     

    MILITANT LACTIVISM?
    Attachment Parenting and Intensive Motherhood in the UK and France
    Charlotte Faircloth

     

    Following networks of mothers in London and Paris, the author profiles the narratives of women who breastfeed their children to full term, typically a period of several years, as part of an ‘attachment parenting’ philosophy. These mothers talk about their decision to continue breastfeeding as ‘the natural thing to do’: ‘evolutionarily appropriate’, ‘scientifically best’ and ‘what feels right in their hearts’. Through a theoretical focus on knowledge claims and accountability, the author frames these accounts within a wider context of ‘intensive parenting’, arguing that parenting practices – infant feeding in particular – have become a highly moralized affair for mothers, practices which they feel are a critical aspect of their ‘identity work’. The book investigates why, how and with what implications some of these mothers describe themselves as ‘militant lactivists’ and reflects on wider parenting culture in the UK and France. Discussing gender, feminism and activism, this study contributes to kinship and family studies by exploring how relatedness is enacted in conjunction to constructions of the self.

     

    BREAST FEEDING AND SEXUALITY
    Behaviour, Beliefs and Taboos among the Gogo Mothers in Tanzania
    Mara Mabilia
    Translated from the Italian by Mary S. Ash

     

    “This volume is exemplary in the field of anthropological research…The writing style is clear and reflective…I recommend Breastfeeding and Sexuality for those interested in Tanzanian maternal–child health practices, cross-cultural studies, anthropological research methods, breast-feeding and women’s experiences.”  ·  Journal of Biosocial Science

    Whereas in western countries breastfeeding is an uncontroversial, purely personal issue, in most parts of the world mother and baby form part of a network of interpersonal relations with its own rules and expectations. In this study, the author examines the cultural and social context of breastfeeding among the Gogo women of the Cigongwe’s village in Tanzania, as part of the Paediatric Programme of Doctors with Africa, based in Padua. The focus is on mothers’ behaviour and post partum taboos as key elements in Gogo understanding of the vicissitudes of the breast feeding process. This nutritional period is subject to many different events both physical and social that may upset the natural and intense link between mother and child. Any violation of cultural norms, particularly those dealing with sexual behaviour, marriage and reproduction, can, in the eyes of the Gogo, put at risk the correct development of an infant with serious consequences both for the baby’s health as well as for the woman’s image as mother and wife.

    Read Introduction


    other titles in the Series:

    ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE FETUS
    Biology, Culture, and Society
    Edited by Sallie Han, Tracy K. Betsinger, and Amy B. Scott
    Foreword by Rayna Rapp

     

    “This is an outstanding collection of articles, all based on original research, giving the volume a fresh feel.” · Eugenia Georges, Rice University

    As a biological, cultural, and social entity, the human fetus is a multifaceted subject which calls for equally diverse perspectives to fully understand. Anthropology of the Fetus seeks to achieve this by bringing together specialists in biological anthropology, archaeology, and cultural anthropology. Contributors draw on research in prehistoric, historic, and contemporary sites in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America to explore the biological and cultural phenomenon of the fetus, raising methodological and theoretical concerns with the ultimate goal of developing a holistic anthropology of the fetus.

     

    FERTILITY, CONJUNCTURE, DIFFERENCE
    Anthropological Approaches to the Heterogeneity of Modern Fertility Declines
    Edited by Philip Kreager and Astrid Bochow

     

    In the last forty years anthropologists have made major contributions to understanding the heterogeneity of reproductive trends and processes underlying them. Fertility transition, rather than the story of the triumphant spread of Western birth control rationality, reveals a diversity of reproductive means and ends continuing before, during, and after transition. This collection brings together anthropological case studies, placing them in a comparative framework of compositional demography and conjunctural action. The volume addresses major issues of inequality and distribution which shape population and social structures, and in which fertility trends and the formation and size of families are not decided solely or primarily by reproduction.

     

    THE ONLINE WORLD OF SURROGACY
    Zsuzsa Berend

     

    “This is a much awaited contribution to the surrogacy scholarship as it is the first ethnographic study to look at surrogacy in the United States since the early 1990’s… Berend’s book is also cutting edge in its methodology, since it is based on “online ethnography.” · Elly Teman, author of Birthing a Mother: the Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self

    Zsuzsa Berend presents a methodologically innovative ethnography of SurroMomsOnline.com, the largest surrogacy support website in the United States. Surrogates’ views emerge from the stories, debates, and discussions that unfold online. The Online World of Surrogacy documents these collective meaning-making practices and explores their practical, emotional, and moral implications. In doing so, the book works through themes of interest across the social sciences, including definitions of parenthood, the symbolic role of money, reproductive loss, altruism, and the moral valuation of relationships.

    Read Introduction

     

    CONCEPTIONS
    Infertility and Procreative Technologies in India
    Aditya Bharadwaj

     

    “Surely, the book will become a ‘must’ for research on any related field, in university classes at every level of study, as well as a delightful reading for anyone interested in India, childbirth and infertility or the politics of healthcare, to mention but few.” · Daphna Birenbaum-Carmeli, University of Haifa

    Infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in India lie at the confluence of multiple cultural conceptions. These ‘conceptions’ are key to understanding the burgeoning spread of assisted reproductive technologies and the social implications of infertility and childlessness in India. This longitudinal study is situated in a number of diverse locales which, when taken together, unravel the complex nature of infertility and assisted conception in contemporary India.

    Read Introduction: Conceptualising Conceptions: An Introduction

     

    PATIENT-CENTRED IVF
    Bioethics and Care in a Dutch Clinic
    Trudie Gerrits

     

    Contemporary Dutch policy and legislation facilitate the use of high quality, accessible and affordable assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to all citizens in need of them, while at the same time setting some strict boundaries on their use in daily clinical practices. Through ethnography of a single clinic in this national context, Patient-Centred IVF examines how this particular form of medicine, aiming to empower its patients, co-shapes the experiences, views and decisions of those using these technologies. Gerrits contends that to understand the use of reproductive technologies in practice and the complexity of processes of medicalization, we need to go beyond ‘easy assumptions’ about the hegemony of biomedicine and the expected impact of patient-centredness.

    Read Introduction

     

    PARENTHOOD BETWEEN GENERATIONS
    Transforming Reproductive Cultures
    Edited by Siân Pooley and Kaveri Qureshi

     

    Recent literature has identified modern “parenting” as an expert-led practice—one which begins with pre-pregnancy decisions, entails distinct types of intimate relationships, places intense burdens on mothers and increasingly on fathers too. Exploring within diverse historical and global contexts how men and women make—and break—relations between generations when becoming parents, this volume brings together innovative qualitative research by anthropologists, historians, and sociologists. The chapters focus tightly on inter-generational transmission and demonstrate its importance for understanding how people become parents and rear children.

    Read Introduction 

     

    ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES IN THE THIRD PHASE
    Global Encounters and Emerging Moral Worlds
    Edited by Kate Hampshire and Bob Simpson

     

    Following the birth of the first “test-tube baby” in 1978, Assisted Reproductive Technologies became available to a small number of people in high-income countries able to afford the cost of private treatment, a period seen as the “First Phase” of ARTs. In the “Second Phase,” these treatments became increasingly available to cosmopolitan global elites. Today, this picture is changing — albeit slowly and unevenly — as ARTs are becoming more widely available. While, for many, accessing infertility treatments remains a dream, these are beginning to be viewed as a standard part of reproductive healthcare and family planning. This volume highlights this “Third Phase” — the opening up of ARTs to new constituencies in terms of ethnicity, geography, education, and class.

    Read Introduction: Assisted Reproductive Technologies: A Third Phase?

     

    PREGNANCY IN PRACTICE
    Expectation and Experience in the Contemporary US
    Sallie Han

     

    Pregnancy in Practice is a feminist contribution to the anthropology of reproduction in that it explores the quotidian experiences of pregnant women…While her sample is by no means statistically representative of the experiences of American women, the women in her ethnography represent the normative prenatal experience in America. Han successfully demonstrates that the concept of an ‘ordinary’ or ‘norma’ pregnancy is a phantom itself. Because of this work, perhaps we can definitively say that all women have ordinary pregnancies, or perhaps none do.” · Association for Feminist Anthropology Review

    Babies are not simply born—they are made through cultural and social practices. Based on rich empirical work, this book examines the everyday experiences that mark pregnancy in the US today, such as reading pregnancy advice books, showing ultrasound “baby pictures” to friends and co-workers, and decorating the nursery in anticipation of the new arrival.

    Read Chapter 1. Introduction: Ordinary Pregnancy

     

    For a full list of titles please visit Series webpage.


    Featured Article from Berghahn Journals

     

    Anthropology of the Middle East, Volume 2, Number 2
    The main purpose of this article is to describe traditional breastfeeding practices among the pastoral tribes in the Middle East. It also examines beliefs and attitudes towards breastfeeding and related issues, including pregnancy, infections of the breast nipple, sources of milk, ‘bad milk’ syndrome and breastfeeding as a contraceptive method. The most significant findings are that mothers relate breastfeeding to their physical and psychological state.

     

     

  • Berghahn Journals Blog

    Berghahn Books will be attending NECS 2017!

    We are delighted to inform you that we will be attending the NECS conference in Paris, France from the 29th June – 1st July 2017. Please stop by to browse our selection of titles on display at discounted prices, and take away some free journal samples.

    If you are unable to attend, we would like to provide you with a special discount offer. Valid through August 1st, use discount code NECS17 at checkout and receive a 25% discount on all Film Studies titles found on our website.

     

    Our most recent and forthcoming releases can be found in our Film and Media Catalogue while the titles featured below include a selection of those which will be highlighted at the conference.

     


    Edited by Tim Bergfelder, Lisa Shaw and João Luiz Vieira

     

    Despite the recent explosion of scholarly interest in “star studies,” Brazilian film has received comparatively little attention. As this volume demonstrates, however, the richness of Brazilian stardom extends well beyond the ubiquitous Carmen Miranda. Among the studies assembled here are fascinating explorations of figures such as Eliane Lage (the star attraction of São Paulo’s Vera Cruz studios), cult horror movie auteur Coffin Joe, and Lázaro Ramos, the most visible Afro-Brazilian actor today. At the same time, contributors interrogate the inner workings of the star system in Brazil, from the pioneering efforts of silent-era actresses to the recent advent of the non-professional movie star.

    Read Introduction

     

    Economy, Work, Consumption and Social Class in Polish Cinema
    Ewa Mazierska

     

    Like many Eastern European countries, Poland has seen a succession of divergent economic and political regimes over the last century, from prewar “embedded liberalism,” through the state socialism of the Soviet era, to the present neoliberal moment. Its cinema has been inflected by these changing historical circumstances, both mirroring and resisting them. This volume is the first to analyze the entirety of the nation’s film history—from the reemergence of an independent Poland in 1918 to the present day—through the lenses of political economy and social class, showing how Polish cinema documented ordinary life while bearing the hallmarks of specific ideologies.

    Read Introduction

     

    BODIES IN PAIN
    Emotion and the Cinema of Darren Aronofsky
    Tarja Laine

     

    “Laine’s evocative, near-poetic style is refreshing after the former domination of strenuous cognitivist theory in the study of film emotion, and she offers plenty of empirical evidence to back up her claims. Surely such a sensory art form as cinema deserves to be seen (or felt) through an affective lens, and Laine makes an engaging and accessible yet thoroughly rigorous argument for doing so through her study of Aronofsky’s work. Bodies in Pain is recommended for those interested in film phenomenology as well as the intersections of aestheticism, emotion, and philosophy in the cinema.” · Film-Philosophy

    Bodies in Pain looks at how Aronofsky’s films engage the spectator in an affective form of viewing that involves all the senses, ultimately engendering a process of (self) reflection through their emotional dynamics.

    Read Introduction: Aronofsky, Auteurship, Aesthetics

     

    STORIES MAKE THE WORLD
    Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary
    Stephen Most

     

    Stories Make the World is an insightful look into the craft of documentary filmmaking that should be required reading for media students. Story and honesty are needed now more than ever in an era of ‘fake news,’ half-truths, and technical virtuosity.” · John de Graaf, Director of Affluenza and fifteen other national PBS documentaries

    Since the beginning of human history, stories have helped people make sense of their lives and their world. Today, an understanding of storytelling is invaluable as we seek to orient ourselves within a flood of raw information and an unprecedented variety of supposedly true accounts. In Stories Make the World, award-winning screenwriter Stephen Most offers a captivating, refreshingly heartfelt exploration of how documentary filmmakers and other storytellers come to understand their subjects and cast light on the world through their art. Drawing on the author’s decades of experience behind the scenes of television and film documentaries, this is an indispensable account of the principles and paradoxes that attend the quest to represent reality truthfully.

    Read Introduction

     

    ORGANIC CINEMA
    Film, Architecture, and the Work of Béla Tarr
    Thorsten Botz-Bornstein

     

    The “organic” is by now a venerable concept within aesthetics, architecture, and art history, but what might such a term mean within the spatialities and temporalities of film? By way of an answer, this concise and innovative study locates organicity in the work of Béla Tarr, the renowned Hungarian filmmaker and pioneer of the “slow cinema” movement. Through a wholly original analysis of the long take and other signature features of Tarr’s work, author Thorsten Botz-Bornstein establishes compelling links between the seemingly remote spheres of film and architecture, revealing shared organic principles that emphasize the transcendence of boundaries.

    Read Introduction

     

    THE BRESSONIANS
    French Cinema and the Culture of Authorship
    Codruţa Morari

     

    How should we understand film authorship in an era when the idea of the solitary and sovereign auteur has come under attack, with critics proclaiming the death of the author and the end of cinema? The Bressonians provides an answer in the form of a strikingly original study of Bresson and his influence on the work of filmmakers Jean Eustache and Maurice Pialat. Extending the discourse of authorship beyond the idea of a singular visionary, it explores how the imperatives of excellence function within cinema’s pluralistic community. Bresson’s example offered both an artistic legacy and a creative burden within which filmmakers reckoned in different, often arduous, and altogether compelling ways.

     

    THE MAN FROM THE THIRD ROW
    Hasse Ekman, Swedish Cinema and the Long Shadow of Ingmar Bergman
    Fredrik Gustafsson

     

    Until his early retirement at age 50, Hasse Ekman was one of the leading lights of Swedish cinema, an actor, writer, and director of prodigious talents. Yet today his work is virtually unknown outside of Sweden, eclipsed by the filmography of his occasional collaborator (and frequent rival) Ingmar Bergman. This comprehensive introduction—the first ever in English—follows Ekman’s career from his early days as a film journalist, through landmark films such as Girl with Hyacinths (1950), to his retirement amid exhaustion and disillusionment. Combining historical context with insightful analyses of Ekman’s styles and themes, this long overdue study considerably enriches our understanding of Swedish film history.

     

    RE-IMAGINING DEFA
    East German Cinema in its National and Transnational Contexts
    Edited by Seán Allan and Sebastian Heiduschke

     

    “Berghahn is known for its publication of excellent books on German Cinema within its catalog. This recent work proves no exception to the rule. Including fifteen essays by well known scholars in the field aware of the changing complexities of subject matter and well versed in necessary archive research, [it] presents a fine collection exploring a cinema that is very little known to most Western viewers…a sterling example of what a scholarly academic anthology should be, an excellent model in its own right that should stimulate others to investigate this former national cinema and not consign it to oblivion.” · Film International

     

    By the time the Berlin Wall collapsed, the cinema of the German Democratic Republic—to the extent it was considered at all—was widely regarded as a footnote to European film history, with little of enduring value. Since then, interest in East German cinema has exploded, inspiring innumerable festivals, books, and exhibits on the GDR’s rich and varied filmic output. In Re-Imagining DEFA, leading international experts take stock of this vibrant landscape and plot an ambitious course for future research, one that considers other cinematic traditions, brings genre and popular works into the fold, and encompasses DEFA’s complex post-unification “afterlife.”

    Read Introduction: Re-Imagining East German Cinema

     

    Edited by Guy Austin

     

    Through his influential work on cultural capital and social mobility, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has provided critical insights into the complex interactions of power, class, and culture in the modern era. Ubiquitous though Bourdieu’s theories are, however, they have only intermittently been used to study some of the most important forms of cultural production today: cinema and new media. With topics ranging from film festivals and photography to constantly evolving mobile technologies, this collection demonstrates the enormous relevance that Bourdieu’s key concepts hold for the field of media studies, deploying them as powerful tools of analysis and forging new avenues of inquiry in the process.

    Read Introduction: Bourdieu on Media and Film

     

    Radicalism and Revolution in Western European Film
    Benjamin Halligan

     

    As with many aspects of European cultural life, film was galvanized and transformed by the revolutionary fervor of 1968. This groundbreaking study provides a full account of the era’s cinematic crises, innovations, and provocations, as well as the social and aesthetic contexts in which they appeared. The author mounts a genuinely fresh analysis of a contested period in which everything from the avant-garde experiments of Godard, Pasolini, Schroeter, and Fassbinder to the “low” cinematic genres of horror, pornography, and the Western reflected the cultural upheaval of youth in revolt—a cinema for the barricades.

    Read Chapter 1. “All All All”

     

    Ecocriticism and the Environmental Sensibility of New Hollywood
    Adam O’Brien

     

    In their bold experimentation and bracing engagement with culture and politics, the “New Hollywood” films of the late 1960s and early 1970s are justly celebrated contributions to American cinematic history. Relatively unexplored, however, has been the profound environmental sensibility that characterized movies such as The Wild Bunch, Chinatown, and Nashville. This brisk and engaging study explores how many hallmarks of New Hollywood filmmaking, such as the increased reliance on location shooting and the rejection of American self-mythologizing, made the era such a vividly “grounded” cinematic moment. Synthesizing a range of narrative, aesthetic, and ecocritical theories, it offers a genuinely fresh perspective on one of the most studied periods in film history.

    Read Introduction


    Film Europa Series
    German Cinema in an International Context

    This is a series which, in a very short period of time, has had a huge impact on the field.”  ·  Monatshefte

    German cinema is normally seen as a distinct form, but this series emphasizes connections, influences, and exchanges of German cinema across national borders, as well as its links with other media and art forms. Individual titles present traditional historical research (archival work, industry studies) as well as new critical approaches in film and media studies (theories of the transnational), with a special emphasis on the continuities associated with popular traditions and local perspectives.

     

    GERMAN TELEVISION
    Historical and Theoretical Perspectives
    Edited by Larson Powell and Robert R. Shandley

     

    Long overlooked by scholars and critics, the history and aesthetics of German television have only recently begun to attract serious, sustained attention, and then largely within Germany. This ambitious volume, the first in English on the subject, provides a much-needed corrective in the form of penetrating essays on the distinctive theories, practices, and social-historical contexts that have defined television in Germany. Encompassing developments from the dawn of the medium through the Cold War and post-reunification, this is an essential introduction to a rich and varied media tradition.

    Read Introduction

     

    IMPERIAL PROJECTIONS
    Screening the German Colonies
    Wolfgang Fuhrmann

     

    “One cannot rank the significance of Fuhrmann’s book as a model of German film historiography highly enough. Not only does Imperial Projection offer the first convincing overall overview of a forgotten and suppressed chapter of German film history; the book makes also clear what a modern, methodologically innovative and empirically supported film historiography is capable of achieving.” · H-Soz-Kult

    This book is the first in-depth analysis of colonial filmmaking in the Wilhelmine Era.

    Read Introduction

     

    2014 PREMIO LIMINA PRIZE FOR BEST FILM STUDIES BOOK (IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ITALIAN)

    THE EMERGENCE OF FILM CULTURE
    Knowledge Production, Institution Building, and the Fate of the Avant-garde in Europe, 1919-1945
    Edited by Malte Hagener

     

    “…the book offers a rich and articulated picture of the organization and building of film culture in interwar Europe, and proves to be very keen in disclosing unexplored corners of well-known national film histories (as the Italian and German ones), but also of little explored scenarios (such as Swedish film culture or the Yugoslavian case).” · Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

    By examining the extraordinarily rich and creative uses of cinema in the interwar period, we can examine the roots of film culture as we know it today.

    Read Introduction: The Emergence of Film Culture

    For a full selection of titles in Film Europa please visit series page


    OF RELATED INTEREST FROM BERGHAHN JOURNALS   

     

    The Journal for Movies and Mind

     

    Projections is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that explores how the mind experiences, understands, and interprets the audiovisual and narrative structures of cinema and other visual media. Recognizing cinema as an art form, the journal aims to integrate established traditions of analyzing media aesthetics with current research into perception, cognition, and emotion, according to frameworks supplied by psychology, psychoanalysis, and the cognitive and neurosciences.

     

    An Interdisciplinary Journal of Experience, Perception, and Display

     

    Screen Bodies is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on the intersection of Screen Studies and Body Studies across disciplines, institutions, and media. It is a forum promoting research on various aspects of embodiment on and in front of screens through articles, reviews, and interviews. Screen Bodies addresses the portrayal, function, and reception of bodies on and in front of screens from the perspectives of gender and sexuality, feminism and masculinity, trans* studies, queer theory, critical race theory, cyborg studies, and dis/ability studies.

     

Top Article Downloads


  1. Under the Shadow of Empire: Indigenous Girls' Presencing as Decolonizing Force
    Girlhood Studies, vol. 7, #1, Summer 2014
  2. Forget Dawkins: Notes toward an Ethnography of Religious Belief and Doubt
    Social Analysis, vol. 59, #2, Summer 2015
  3. Blaming Sexualization for Sexting
    Girlhood Studies, vol. 7, #1, Summer 2014
  4. Out of the Closet? German Patriotism and Soccer Mania
    German Politics & Society, vol.24, #3, Autumn 2006
  5. Rape Culture and the Feminist Politics of Social Media
    Girlhood Studies, vol. 7, #1, Summer 2014
  6. Less Than One But More Than Many: Anthropocene as Science Fiction and Scholarship-in-the-Making
    Environment and Society, vol. 6, #1, Summer 2015
  7. Staging "small, small incidents": Dissent, gender, and militarization among young people in Kashmir
    Focaal, vol. 2011, #60, Summer 2011
  8. An Inquiry into the Roots of the Modern Concept of Development
    Contributions to the History of Concepts, vol. 4, #2, Autumn 2008
  9. Misunderstood, misrepresented, contested? Anthropological knowledge production in question
    Focaal, vol. 2015, #72, Summer 2015
  10. Theatres of virtue: Collaboration, consensus, and the social life of corporate social responsibility
    Focaal, vol. 2011, #60, Summer 2011

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