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New Books in Anthropology

Author: Marshall Poe

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Interviews with Anthropologists about their New Books
490 Episodes
On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)--Asst. Prof. of Communication at the State University of New York at Geneseo--interviews Dr. Belinda Stillion Southard (she/hers)--Assoc. Prof. of Communication at the University of Georgia--on the illuminating new book, How to Belong: Women’s Agency in a Transnational World from Penn State University Press (2018). In How to Belong, Dr. Stillion Southard examines the discourse of international women leaders seeking agency for women, the traditional subjects of violence across the global south. From the Liberian Women’s Initiative (LWI) to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Michelle Bachelet, Stillion Southard argues that the rhetorical choices of these actors embodied their particular transnational context, pushing back against the violent entails of nationalism and citizenship, traditionally conceived. As part of a broader conversation centered on exposing the violence of national citizenship and proposing ways of rejecting that violence, this book seeks to provide answers through the powerful rhetorical practices of resilient and inspiring women who have successfully negotiated what it means to belong, to be included, and to enact change beyond the boundaries of citizenship.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
This episode is the first in a new series, New Books in Interpretive Social Science, which will feature works on interpretive research design and practice alongside recently published exemplary interpretive social scientific studies. To get the ball rolling, the editors of the Routledge Series on Interpretive Methods, and co-authors of the first book published in that series, Interpretive Research Design: Concepts and Processes (Routledge, 2012), discuss what interpretive methods are, why they matter, and how they became authors and editors of works on interpretive social science. They are Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, professor of political science at the University of Utah, and Dvora Yanow, professor of social science at Wageningen University. Renowned interpretive scholars of politics and public policy respectively, Peri and Dvora bring their wealth of experience as researchers, educators and writers to the microphone for a lively exchange about the what, how and wherefore of interpretive research. Wherever you stand on interpretive modes of inquiry, this is an episode not to be missed: it sets the agenda for interpretive social science and the tone for the series of interviews to follow.Nick Cheesman is a fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University, and currently a visiting research scholar at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. He co-hosts the New Books in Southeast Asian Studies channel.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Cars promise freedom, autonomy, and above all, movement but leave whole cities stuck in traffic, breathing polluted air, exposed of deadly crashes, and dependent on vast the vast infrastructures of road networks, and oil production. Postcolonial Automobility: Car Culture in West Africa (University of Minnesota Press, 2019) examines the paradoxes and ambivalences of automobility through the lens of West African films, novels, plays, and poems. From the melodramas of Nollywood to the socialist realism of Ousmane Semebene, African artists have delved into the pleasures and anxieties of the road to theorize capitalist development, globalization, patriarchy, and the ethics of accumulation. In this episode of New Books in Anthropology, Lindsey Green-Simms joins host Jacob Doherty to discuss how West African entrepreneurs appropriated colonial technologies, how stalled cars embodied the crises of structural adjustment, and what new, feminist, mobilities and imaginaries emerge from the pages, screens, and stages of West African popular and literary culture.Lindsey Green-Simms is an associate professor of Literature at American University with a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Minnesota. She specializes in post-colonial film and literature with particular emphasis on issues of gender, sexuality, globalization, and mobility. Her work has appeared in Transition, Journal of African Cinemas, Camera Obscura, and the Journal of Postcolonial Writing. She is currently working on a project on African queer cinema.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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In Non-Humans in Amerindian South America: Ethnographies of Indigenous Cosmologies, Rituals, and Songs (Berghahn, 2018), eleven researchers bring new ethnographies to bear on anthropological debates on ontology and the anthropocene. In this episode of New Books in Anthropology, the book’s editor Juan Javier Rivera Andía talks with host Jacob Doherty about the importance of ethnography for refreshing theoretical conversations, historicizing indigenous cosmologies in the centuries long waves of extractivism that have remade Amerindian worlds, and the persistence of more than human relationships in the face of violence and ecological crisis.Juan Javier Rivera Andía is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology of the Americas, the University of Bonn; his research examines rituals and oral tradition among indigenous groups of the Andes of South America, particularly Quechua-speaking people of central and Northern Peruvian highlands.Jacob Doherty is a research associate in urban mobility at the Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford, and, most recently, the co-editor of Labor Laid Waste, a special issue of International Labor and Working Class History.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
How do you understand mindfulness? Is your understanding limited by your own culture’s definition of what mindfulness is? These are some of the questions you will ask yourself while reading Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia (Cornell University Press). In today’s podcast, Prof. Julia Cassaniti takes us on a tour of three Theravada Buddhist countries (Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) to show us how mindfulness is understood in this region and what this, in turn, can teach the West about its own understanding of the concept. This is an insightful read not only for academics interested in contemporary Buddhist studies in the countries surveyed, but also for anyone interested in broadening their perspective on what the term ‘mindfulness’ means.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nazia Kazi’s Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) is a brilliant and powerful meditation on the intersection and interaction of Islamophobia, racism, and U.S. imperial state power. This book seeks to reorient our understanding of Islamophobia from a phenomenon centered on individual attitudes and perceptions of hate, to one which is indelibly entrenched to the structural logics of modern state sovereignty, and to the long-running history of racism in the U.S. Another distinctive feature of this book lies in its sustained and nuanced analysis of liberal Islamophobia in varied social and political domains, that tethers the promise of being categorized as “good Muslim” to the endorsement and celebration of American exceptionalism. Combining methods and perspectives from anthropology, visual studies, race studies, and political studies, this thoroughly interdisciplinary book is also eminently accessible and written beautifully, rendering it particularly suitable for courses on modern Islam, Race and Religion, Islam in America, among many other topics.SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at Listener feedback is most welcome.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The authors of Chains of Finance: How Investment Management is Shaped (Oxford University Press, 2017) make points that professionals already know and that end-investors ought to know: that there are a lot of cooks in the investment kitchen, and that the investment process is materially shaped by the chain of individuals and institutions that go into manufacturing investment products. Advisors, consultants, compliance, sales, portfolio managers, analysts, traders, distributors, custodians---these job titles are just part of that machinery. And they all interact with one another in a variety of ways. Most people operating in a complex industry understand that there is a lot going on behind the scenes that affects the ultimate outcome of the manufacturing process or service generation. Investment management is the same. Chains of Finance is part of a growing literature in the social studies of finance that highlights that investment is an interactive social process, not a cut and dried application of some algorithm, even when it is promoted as a computer-driven, machine only exercise. Please listen to my interview with one of the authors, Philip Grant, here....Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. Trained as a historian of modern Russia, he is the author most recently of Getting Back to Business: Why Modern Portfolio Theory Fails Investors. You can follow him on Twitter @Back2BizBook or at http://www.strategicdividendinvestor.comLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
Harshita M. Kamath's new book The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance (University of California Press, 2019) features an investigation of men donning a women’s guises to impersonate female characters – most notably Satyabhāmā, the wife of the Hindu deity Krishna –within the insular Brahmin community of the Kuchipudi village in Telugu-speaking South India. Kamath broaches the practice of impersonation across various boundaries – village to urban, Brahmin to non-Brahmin, hegemonic to non-normative – to explore the artifice of Brahmin masculinity in contemporary South Indian dance. This book is available open access here.For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see more about your ad choices. Visit
A recent UNDP report makes the astonishing claim that India has halved its poverty between 2006 and 2016. Moving us past the rosy picture, Alpa Shah and her co-author's  multi-authored, masterful Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st-Century India (Pluto Press, 2017) focuses on those left behind by, and indeed ground down by, India’s much touted growth. Based on intensive fieldwork in multiple locations across India, the book finds that in particular it is India’s ‘untouchables’ (Dalits) and ‘tribals’ (Adivasis) who toil at the bottom of the pyramid in thankless conditions and for little reward. Instead of eradicating inequalities of caste and tribe, the intensification of capitalism has in fact further entrenched them, transforming them into new mechanisms of oppression and accumulation. Analytical rigor paired with lucid prose makes this co-researched and co-authored book indispensable for scholars and citizens concerned with the Global South, inequality, capitalism, economic growth, and social difference.Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. student at Harvard University with interests in agrarian capitalism in rural Rajasthan.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In her recent ethnography, Guardians of the Buddha’s Home: Domestic Religion in Contemporary Jōdo Shinshū (University of Hawaii Press, 2019),  Prof. Jessica Starling invites us into the daily lives of the bōmori, the spouses of priests in the Japanese Jōdo Shinshū, or True Pure Land, tradition. Focusing on domestic religion, Prof. Starling shows us how the bōmori create community by cleaning the temple altar, how they express gratitude for their salvation by carefully managing temple donations, and how they inspire faith by serving a cup of tea. This is truly a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives of one of Buddhism’s most overlooked figures, the temple wives. You can reach Starling via Facebook.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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