996 episodes

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

    • Science
    • 4.3 • 30 Ratings

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

    Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner, "Claiming the State: Active Citizenship and Social Welfare in Rural India" (Cambridge UP, 2018)

    Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner, "Claiming the State: Active Citizenship and Social Welfare in Rural India" (Cambridge UP, 2018)

    Citizens around the world look to the state for social welfare provision, but often struggle to access essential services in health, education, and social security. Claiming the State: Active Citizenship and Social Welfare in Rural India (Cambridge UP, 2018) investigates the everyday practices through which citizens of the world's largest democracy make claims on the state, asking whether, how, and why they engage public officials in the pursuit of social welfare. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in rural India, Kruks-Wisner demonstrates that claim-making is possible in settings (poor and remote) and among people (the lower classes and castes) where much democratic theory would be unlikely to predict it. Examining the conditions that foster and inhibit citizen action, she finds that greater social and spatial exposure - made possible when individuals traverse boundaries of caste, neighborhood, or village - builds citizens' political knowledge, expectations, and linkages to the state, and is associated with higher levels and broader repertoires of claim-making.
    Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner is an Associate Professor of Politics & Global Studies at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining UVA, she was an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science and Masters in International Development Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology from Swarthmore College
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    • 48 min
    Nick Seaver, "Computing Taste: Algorithms and the Makers of Music Recommendation" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

    Nick Seaver, "Computing Taste: Algorithms and the Makers of Music Recommendation" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

    The people who make music recommender systems have lofty goals: they want to broaden listeners’ horizons and help obscure musicians find audiences, taking advantage of the enormous catalogs offered by companies like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora. But for their critics, recommender systems seem to embody all the potential harms of algorithms: they flatten culture into numbers, they normalize ever-broadening data collection, and they profile their users for commercial ends. Drawing on years of ethnographic fieldwork, anthropologist Nick Seaver describes how the makers of music recommendation navigate these tensions: how product managers understand their relationship with the users they want to help and to capture; how scientists conceive of listening itself as a kind of data processing; and how engineers imagine the geography of the world of music as a space they care for and control.
    Computing Taste: Algorithms and the Makers of Music Recommendation (U Chicago Press, 2022) rehumanizes the algorithmic systems that shape our world, drawing attention to the people who build and maintain them. In this vividly theorized book, Seaver brings the thinking of programmers into conversation with the discipline of anthropology, opening up the cultural world of computation in a wide-ranging exploration that travels from cosmology to calculation, myth to machine learning, and captivation to care.
    Nick Seaver is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the director of the Science, Technology, and Society program at Tufts University.
    Mathew Gagné is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University. 
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    • 1 hr 27 min
    Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, "Monumental Names: Archival Aesthetics and the Conjuration of History in Moscow" (Routledge, 2022)

    Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, "Monumental Names: Archival Aesthetics and the Conjuration of History in Moscow" (Routledge, 2022)

    Monumental Names: Archival Aesthetics and the Conjuration of History in Moscow (Routledge, 2022) asks us to consider: what stands behind the propensity to remember victims of mass atrocities by their personal names? Grounded in ethnographic and archival research with Last Address and Memorial, one of the oldest independent archives of Soviet political repressions in Moscow and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic examines a version of archival activism that is centred on various practices of documentation and commemoration of many dead victims of historical violence in Russia to understand what kind of historicity is produced when a single name is added to an endless list.
    What do acts of accumulation of names of the dead affirm when they are concretised in monuments and performance events? The key premise is that multimodal inscriptions of names of the dead entail a political, aesthetic and conceptual movement between singularity and multitude that honours each dead name yet conveys the scale of a mass atrocity without reducing it to a number.
    Drawing on anthropology, history, philosophy, and aesthetic theory, the book yields a new perspective on the politics of archival and historical justice while it critically engages with the debates on relations and distinctions between names and numbers of the dead, monumental art and its political effects, law and history, image and text, the specific one and the infinite many.
    Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology and a volunteer at Interference Archive. Jen edits for Partnership Journal and organizes with the TPS Collective. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive.
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    • 1 hr 16 min
    Sue Ann Barratt and Aleah N. Ranjitsingh, "Dougla in the Twenty-First Century: Adding to the Mix" (UP of Mississippi, 2021)

    Sue Ann Barratt and Aleah N. Ranjitsingh, "Dougla in the Twenty-First Century: Adding to the Mix" (UP of Mississippi, 2021)

    Identity is often fraught for multiracial Douglas, people of both South Asian and African descent in the Caribbean. In this groundbreaking volume titled Dougla in the Twenty-First Century: Adding to the Mix (University Press of Mississippi, 2021), Sue Ann Barratt and Aleah N. Ranjitsingh explore the particular meanings of a Dougla identity and examine Dougla maneuverability both at home and in the diaspora.
    The authors scrutinize the perception of Douglaness over time, contemporary Dougla negotiations of social demands, their expansion of ethnicity as an intersectional identity, and the experiences of Douglas within the diaspora outside the Caribbean. Through an examination of how Douglas experience their claim to multiracialism and how ethnic identity may be enforced or interrupted, the authors firmly situate this analysis in ongoing debates about multiracial identity.
    Based on interviews with over one hundred Douglas, Barratt and Ranjitsingh explore the multiple subjectivities Douglas express, confirm, challenge, negotiate, and add to prevailing understandings. Contemplating this, Dougla in the Twenty-First Century adds to the global discourse of multiethnic identity and how it impacts living both in the Caribbean, where it is easily recognizable, and in the diaspora, where the Dougla remains a largely unacknowledged designation. This book deliberately expands the conversation beyond the limits of biraciality and the Black/white binary and contributes nuance to current interpretations of the lives of multiracial people by introducing Douglas as they carve out their lives in the Caribbean.
    Sue Ann Barratt is lecturer and head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, holding a BA in Media and Communication Studies with Political Science, an MA in Communication Studies, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies. Her research areas are interpersonal interaction, human communication conflict, social media use and its implications, gender and ethnic identities, mental health and gender-based violence, and Carnival and cultural studies.
    Aleah N. Ranjitsingh is an assistant professor in the Caribbean Studies Program, Africana Studies Department of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY). She holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies from the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and; MA and BA degrees in Political Science from Brooklyn College (CUNY). Her research areas are gender and politics; Latin American and Caribbean politics; African diaspora studies with particular reference to North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean; and gender and ethnic identities.
    Aleem Mahabir is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. His research interests lie at the intersection of Urban Geography, Social Exclusion and Psychology. His dissertation research focuses on the link among negative psychosocial dispositions, exclusion, and under-development among marginalized communities in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. You can find him on Twitter.
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    • 1 hr 14 min
    Clare Forstie, "Queering the Midwest: Forging LGBTQ Community" (NYU Press, 2022)

    Clare Forstie, "Queering the Midwest: Forging LGBTQ Community" (NYU Press, 2022)

    Drag shows that test the capacity of bars persist alongside wishes for stronger community among River City's LGBTQ population. In this examination of LGBTQ community in a small, Midwestern city, Clare Forstie highlights the ambivalence of LGBTQ lives in the rural Midwest. Drawing on in-depth interviews, ethnographic research, and friendship mapping, Forstie reveals the ways that community spaces are disappearing and emerging, LGBTQ people feel safe and unrecognized, and friendships do and don't matter. In this community, non-LGBTQ allies are essential support for their LGBTQ friends and organizations, but, sometimes, their support comes at a cost. Those who find they feel most comfortable and safe also align with community norms, forming with and connecting to families and identities that are the majority in River City. 
    In Queering the Midwest: Forging LGBTQ Community (NYU Press, 2022), Forstie offers the story of a community that does not fit neatly into a narrative of progress or decline. Rather, it's a little bit of both. Forstie's ambivalent community framework reveals the ways we might think about our communities and relationships more authentically, embracing the contradictions that inform the possibilities for change.
    Clayton Jarrard is a Research Project Coordinator at the University of Kansas Center for Research, contributing to initiatives at the nexus of research, policy, and community efforts. His scholarly engagement spans the subject areas of cultural anthropology, queer studies, disability studies, mad studies, and religious studies.
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    • 1 hr 14 min
    Brooke Schedneck, "Religious Tourism in Northern Thailand: Encounters with Buddhist Monks" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    Brooke Schedneck, "Religious Tourism in Northern Thailand: Encounters with Buddhist Monks" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    The city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand has become the destination for a growing segment of the international tourism market: religious tourism. International tourists visit Buddhist temples, volunteer as English teachers, discuss Buddhism with student monks, and experiment with meditation. In her new book, Religious Tourism in Northern Thailand: Encounters with Buddhist Monks (University of Washington Press, 2021), Brooke Schedneck examines this growing phenomenon. While such interactions may constitute yet another case of the commodification of Buddhism, religious tourism in Buddhist Chiang Mai can also be seen as another way in which Thai Buddhism is adapting to a more globalized, market-oriented society. It may even constitute a new opportunity for Buddhist missionary work.
    Religious Tourism in Northern Thailand has been shortlisted for the EuroSEAS Humanities Book Prize for 2022.
    Patrick Jory teaches Southeast Asian History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland. He can be reached at: p.jory@uq.edu.au.
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    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 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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