996 episodes

Interviews with Anthropologists about their New Books
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New Books in Anthropology New Books Network

    • Science
    • 4.3 • 26 Ratings

Interviews with Anthropologists about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/anthropology

    NBN Classic: Charles King, "Gods of the Upper Air: How A Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century" (Doubleday, 2019)

    NBN Classic: Charles King, "Gods of the Upper Air: How A Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century" (Doubleday, 2019)

    This episode proved remarkably popular, so we're reposting it as an NBN classic for those who missed it the first time.
    American anthropologists consider Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, and Margaret Mead to be foundational figures, but outside the academy few people know the details of their ideas. In this new volume, Charles King provides a carefully-researched and beautifully-written history of the Boas Circle that everyone will enjoy reading. King covers the period from Boas's birth to the publication of Ruth Benedict's The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, combining the personal and intellectual histories of authors such as Zora Neale Hurston, Ella Deloria, Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and of course Boas himself. Above all, Gods of the Upper Air: How A Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century(Doubleday, 2019) is a reminder of the central ideas of Boasian anthropology: a recognition that gender roles and racial assumptions are cultural constructions and not biological facts, and that we must be willing to question our own comfortable assumptions while the same time recognising the validity of careful scientific work. In an America where racial intolerance is on the rise, it seems likely that the insights of the Boasians will be as relevant in 2020 as they were in 1920, which makes it all the more important to revisit these seminal figures.
    In this episode of the podcast Charles talk to host Alex Golub about the romantic and professional drama of the Boasians, the need for a science that can be self-critical without abandoning self-confidence, the continuing legacy of race in the United States, and how and why Charles wrote such a wide-ranging history of anthropology.
    Charles King is a professor of international affairs and government at Georgetown University. He is the author of six previous books, including Midnight at the Pera Palace, which received the French Prix du livre de voyage; and Odessa, winner of a National Jewish Book Award.
    Alex Golub is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He is the author of the article "Welcoming the New Amateurs: A future (and past) for non-academic anthropologists" as well as other books and articles.
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    NBN Classic: Jaime Alves, "Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil (U Minnesota Press, 2018)

    NBN Classic: Jaime Alves, "Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil (U Minnesota Press, 2018)

    This episode proved remarkably popular, so we're reposting it as an NBN classic for those who missed it the first time.
    The 2018 election of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil has brought the issues of police violence, racial discrimination, and misogyny to the fore. Jaime Alves’s book the Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) shows that, from the perspective of Black Brazilians, these forces have deep roots in the nation’s history. Alves makes a powerful contribution to urban anthropology, describing the spatial contours of “Brazilian Apartheid” in Sao Paulo, the role of police violence in the constitution of the city’s racial-spatial order, and the ways that national sovereignty is exercised on individual bodies. Richly ethnographic, The Anti-Black City explores these themes through an account of the lives and activism of black residents of Sao Paulo’s favelas. In this episode, Jaime Alves talks with Jacob Doherty about how his background shaped the research leading to the book, about the entanglement of neoliberal moral government through community and the deployment of police terror, and about his conceptual engagements with Afro-pessimist philosophy.
    Jaime Alves is assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York and a research affiliate at the Centro de Estudios Afrodiasporicos at Universidad Icesi, Colombia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin. His work has appeared in the Journal of Black Studies, Antipode, Journal of Latin American Studies, Identities, and Critical Sociology.
    Jacob Doherty is a research associate in urban mobility at the Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford, and, most recently, the co-editor Labor Laid Waste, a special issue of International Labor and Working Class History.
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Yarimar Bonilla ed. et al., "Trouillot Remixed: The Michel-Rolph Trouillot Reader" (Duke UP, 2021)

    Yarimar Bonilla ed. et al., "Trouillot Remixed: The Michel-Rolph Trouillot Reader" (Duke UP, 2021)

    Throughout his career, the internationally renowned Haitian anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot unsettled key concepts in anthropology, history, postcolonial studies, Black studies, Caribbean studies, and beyond. From his early critique of the West to the ongoing challenges he leveled at disciplinary and intellectual boundaries and formations, Trouillot centered the Caribbean as a site both foundational to the development of Western thought and critical to its undoing. 
    Trouillot Remixed: The Michel-Rolph Trouillot Reader (Duke UP, 2021) offers a representative cross section of his work that includes his most famous writings and lesser-known and harder-to-find texts essential to his oeuvre. Encouraging readers to engage with Trouillot's scholarship in new ways, this collection demonstrates the breadth of his writing, his enduring influence on Caribbean studies, and his relevance to politically engaged scholarship more broadly.
    Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi’i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com.
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Jamie Barnes, "Stories, Senses and the Charismatic Relation: A Reflexive Ethnography of Christian Experience" (Routledge, 2020)

    Jamie Barnes, "Stories, Senses and the Charismatic Relation: A Reflexive Ethnography of Christian Experience" (Routledge, 2020)

    Stories, Senses and the Charismatic Relation: A Reflexive Ethnography of Christian Experience (Routledge, 2020) offers a uniquely intimate and auto-ethnographic exploration of Christian experience, rendering a deep, phenomenological account of how devotional worlds become real – how they are experienced, shaped, constituted and performed by those who live them.
    The book starts from a reflexive exploration of the author’s own experiences of the divine, considers the spiritual journeys of family members and the ‘spiritual community’ of which he was a part, and draws on ethnographic fieldwork in the southern Balkans where that community was based. Jamie Barnes considers three main elements: firstly, the role that sensory aspects of experience play in constituting one’s lived world and one’s ideas about the kinds of beings inhabiting it; secondly, how stories and metaphors are tactically employed, not only in the process of expressing aspects of past experience but also in shaping and forming both desired worlds and future pathways; thirdly, how such sensed, narrated and lived worlds are tentatively held together - in hope, trust and love – through charismatic relationships of devotion with a divine Other.
    Tiatemsu Longkumer is a Ph.D. scholar working on ‘Anthropology of Religion’ at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong: India.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Dario Miccoli, "A Sephardi Sea: Jewish Memories Across the Modern Mediterranean" (Indiana UP, 2022)

    Dario Miccoli, "A Sephardi Sea: Jewish Memories Across the Modern Mediterranean" (Indiana UP, 2022)

    A Sephardi Sea: Jewish Memories Across the Modern Mediterranean (Indiana UP, 2022) tells the story of Jews from the southern shore of the Mediterranean who, between the late 1940s and the mid-1960s, migrated from their country of birth for Europe, Israel, and beyond. It is a story that explores their contrasting memories of and feelings for a Sephardi Jewish world in North Africa and Egypt that is lost forever but whose echoes many still hear. Surely, some of these Jewish migrants were already familiar with their new countries of residence because of colonial ties or of Zionism, and often spoke the language. Why, then, was the act of leaving so painful and why, more than fifty years afterward, is its memory still so tangible?
    Dario Miccoli examines how the memories of a bygone Sephardi Mediterranean world became preserved in three national contexts—Israel, France, and Italy—where the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa and their descendants migrated and nowadays live.
    A Sephardi Sea explores how practices of memory- and heritage-making—from the writing of novels and memoirs to the opening of museums and memorials, the activities of heritage associations and state-led celebrations—has filled an identity vacuum in the three countries and helps the Jews from North Africa and Egypt to define their Jewishness in Europe and Israel today but also reinforce their connection to a vanished world now remembered with nostalgia, affection, and sadness.
    Roberto Mazza is currently an independent scholar. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at robbymazza@gmail.com. Twitter and IG: @robbyref
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    • 1 hr 9 min
    Olúfemi Táíwò, "Against Decolonization: Taking African Agency Seriously" (Hurst, 2022)

    Olúfemi Táíwò, "Against Decolonization: Taking African Agency Seriously" (Hurst, 2022)

    Decolonisation has lost its way. Originally a struggle to escape the West’s direct political and economic control, it has become a catch-all idea, often for performing ‘morality’ or ‘authenticity’. In Against Decolonization: Taking African Agency Seriously (Hurst, 2022), Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò fiercely rejects the indiscriminate application of ‘decolonisation’ to everything from literature, language and philosophy to sociology, psychology and medicine.
    Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò speaks to Pierre d’Alancaisez about the project of ‘decolonisation’ as intellectually unsound and unrealistic. Táíwò rejects decolonisation’s conflation of modernity with coloniality and takes to task the decolonisers’ confused attempts at undoing of global society’s foundations.
    He argues that the decolonisation industry, obsessed with cataloguing wrongs, is seriously harming scholarship on and in Africa. Worst of all, today’s movement attacks its own cause: ‘decolonisers’ themselves are disregarding, infantilising and imposing values on contemporary African thinkers.
    This much-needed intervention questions whether today’s ‘decolonisation’ truly serves African empowerment. Táíwò’s is a bold challenge to respect African intellectuals as innovative adaptors, appropriators and synthesisers of ideas they have always seen as universally relevant.
    Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò is Professor of African Political Thought and Chair at the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University. His writings have been translated into French, Italian, German and Portuguese. His book How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa won the Frantz Fanon Award in 2015.
    NBN interview with Olúfẹ́mi on Africa Must Be Modern
    Pierre d’Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional.
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    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

dkd84 ,

Engaging and informative

This podcast covers a wide range of books, and the conversations are really interesting.

TricksterCoyote ,

Great podcast! Great info!

I love hearing about new books coming out in anthropology! Thank you for sharing!

Busyprofessorseeksshortpodcast ,

Mixed feelings

I like the range of books you cover in the series. However, I'd appreciate a much shorter show. To actually concentrate on an hour long not mindless show, I'm using time I should just be reading. A succinct 20 minutes would be better and allow listeners enough to either get the book and read or move on.

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