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SIMULATED SHELVES: Browse October 2016 New Books

We’re delighted to offer a selection of latest releases from our core subjects of Anthropology, Film Studies and History, along with our New in Paperback titles.


Paperback Original!

Gender, Power and Law in Southern Pakistan
Nafisa Shah

Volume 39, New Directions in Anthropology


“This is an extremely impressive achievement that makes a significant and substantial contribution to the ethnography of Pakistan and to the broader field of legal anthropology.” · Hastings Donnan, Queen’s University of Belfast

The practice of karo kari allows family, especially fathers, brothers and sons, to take the lives of their daughters, sisters and mothers if they are accused of adultery. This volume examines the central position of karo kari in the social, political and juridical structures in Upper Sindh, Pakistan. Drawing connections between local contests over marriage and resources, Nafisa Shah unearths deep historical processes and power relations. In particular, she explores how the state justice system and informal mediations inform each other in state responses to karo kari, and how modern law is implicated in this seemingly ancient cultural practice.

Read Introduction: Honour Violence, Law and Power in Upper Sindh


Paperback Original!

Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring
Frederick H. Damon

Volume 21, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology


This book is accompanied by a large online repository of images

“This is a hugely important book. It’s publication marks a milestone in anthropological theory – a must read in any course concerned with material culture, science and technology, and human ecology, and a treasure for those interested in maritime cultures.” · Susanne Kuechler, University College London

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


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

NEW SERIES: Volume 1, Studies in the Circumpolar North


“This is an outstanding piece of original anthropological research based on long-term fieldwork in Siberia. The insights from the field are neatly interwoven with theoretical discussions and deeper reflexive engagement with the wider research literature. The result is a compelling and insightful study that will stimulate widespread discussion and debate.” · Peter Jordan, University of Groningen

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.

Read Introduction: Luck, Spirits and Places


Reinventing Cheese in the Italian Alps
Cristina Grasseni

Volume 5, Food, Nutrition, and Culture


“The book is meticulously researched with great detail on the production, naming, localization, politics, and marketing of cheese in the Bergamo area of the Lombardy region of Italy.” · Carole Counihan, Millersville University

The Heritage Arena focuses on the saga of Strachitunt, a cheese that has been designated an EU Protected Designation of Origin after years of negotiation and competition involving cheese-makers, merchants, and Slow Food activists. The book explores how the reinvention of cheese as a form of heritage is an ongoing and dynamic process rife with conflict and drama.

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


An Ethnography of the Degraded in Postsocialist Poland
Tomasz Rakowski
Translated from Polish by Søren Gauger
Foreword by Jan Kubik

Volume 6, European Anthropology in Translation


The socio-economic transformations of the 1990s have forced many people in Poland into impoverishment. Hunters, Gatherers, and Practitioners of Powerlessness gives a dramatic account of life after this degradation, tracking the experiences of unemployed miners, scrap collectors, and poverty-stricken village residents. Contrary to the images of passivity, resignation, and helplessness that have become powerful tropes in Polish journalism and academic writing, Tomasz Rakowski traces the ways in which people actively reconfigure their lives. As it turns out, the initial sense of degradation and helplessness often gives way to images of resourcefulness that reveal unusual hunting-and-gathering skills.

Read Introduction: The Anthropologist as a Poverty Inspector


Paperback Original!

Hasse Ekman, Swedish Cinema and the Long Shadow of Ingmar Bergman
Fredrik Gustafsson


“Frederik Gustafsson has given the enormously talented Swedish writer-director Hasse Ekman the English-language critical study and international exposure he has long deserved. This revelatory book not only reclaims an overlooked European auteur, but also compellingly establishes the 1940s as one of the most essential decades in the Swedish film canon.” · Arne Lunde, University of California, Los Angeles

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.

Read Introduction


The Arms Race, Cold War Anxiety, and the German Peace Movement of the 1980s
Edited by Christoph Becker-Schaum, Philipp Gassert, Wilfried Mausbach, Martin Klimke, and Marianne Zepp

Volume 19, Protest, Culture & Society


In 1983, more than one million Germans joined together to protest NATO’s deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe. International media overflowed with images of marches, rallies, and human chains as protesters blockaded depots and agitated for disarmament. Though they failed to halt the deployment, the episode was a decisive one for German society, revealing deep divisions in the nation’s political culture while continuing to mobilize activists. This volume provides a comprehensive reference work on the “Euromissiles” crisis as experienced by its various protagonists, analyzing NATO’s diplomatic and military maneuvering and tracing the political, cultural, and moral discourses that surrounded the missiles’ deployment in East and West Germany.

Read Introduction: The Nuclear Crisis, NATO’s Double-Track Decision, and the Peace Movement of the 1980s: An Introduction


European Prisons during and after the Second World War
Edited by Christian G. De Vito, Ralf Futselaar, and Helen Grevers


Political instability is nearly always accompanied by fuller prisons, and this was particularly true during the “long” Second World War, when military mobilization, social disorder, wrenching political changes, and shifting national boundaries swelled the ranks of the imprisoned and broadened the carceral reach of the state. This volume brings together theoretically sophisticated, empirically rich studies of key transitional moments that transformed the scope and nature of European prisons during and after the war. It depicts the complex interactions of both penal and administrative institutions with the men and women who experienced internment, imprisonment, and detention at a time when these categories were in perpetual flux.

Read Introduction


Religion in Germany since 1945
Thomas Großbölting
Translated from the German by Alex Skinner


“The first comprehensive history of religion in Germany after 1945.” · Süddeutsche Zeitung

As the birthplace of the Reformation, Germany has been the site of some of the most significant moments in the history of European Christianity. Today, however, its religious landscape is one that would scarcely be recognizable to earlier generations. This groundbreaking survey of German postwar religious life depicts a profoundly changed society: congregations shrink, private piety is on the wane, and public life has almost entirely shed its Christian character, yet there remains a booming market for syncretistic and individualistic forms of “popular religion.” Losing Heaven insightfully recounts these dramatic shifts and explains their consequences for German religious communities and the polity as a whole.

Read Introduction: Losing Heaven

NEW in Paperbacks:


Essays in Historical Realism
Gavin Smith

Volume 12, Dislocations


“In this collection of intricately linked chapters, Gavin Smith continues his incisive efforts to open the boundaries between oppositions that have bedeviled anthropology almost since it began. Throughout, he refines conventional polarities the better to reveal their common origins in social being: among them are micro- and macroscales of analysis, the material production of experience and discourse, and structuralist detachment and political engagement.” · American Ethnologist

Contemporary forms of capitalism and the state require close analytic attention to reveal the conditions of possibility for effective counter-politics. On the other hand the practice of collective politics needs to be studied through historical ethnography if we are to understand what might make people’s actions effective. This book suggests a research agenda designed to maximize the political leverage of ordinary people faced with ever more remote states and technologies that make capitalism increasingly rapacious. Gavin Smith opens and closes this series of interlinked essays by proposing a concise framework for untangling what he calls “the society of capital” and subsequently a potentially controversial way of seeing its contemporary features.

Read Introduction


An American Cultural Dilemma
Cecília Tomori

Volume 26, Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality


“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.

Read Introduction


New Transnational Approaches
Edited by Norman J. W. Goda

Volume 19, Making Sense of History


“In the new history, research has been redirected from the perpetrator to the victims, and the goal is to find the authentic Jewish voice. As a consequence, personal diaries, note books, and memoirs have gained a status that traditional historians have not previously imparted to them. Good index and select bibliography. Highly Recommended.” · Choice

For many years, histories of the Holocaust focused on its perpetrators, and only recently have more scholars begun to consider in detail the experiences of victims and survivors, as well as the documents they left behind. This volume contains new research from internationally established scholars. It provides an introduction to and overview of Jewish narratives of the Holocaust. The essays include new considerations of sources ranging from diaries and oral testimony to the hidden Oyneg Shabbes archive of the Warsaw Ghetto; arguments regarding Jewish narratives and how they fit into the larger fields of Holocaust and Genocide studies; and new assessments of Jewish responses to mass murder ranging from ghetto leadership to resistance and memory.

Read Introduction


The Habsburg Central European Experience
Edited by Johannes Feichtinger and Gary B. Cohen

Volume 17, Austrian and Habsburg Studies


“Conceptually complicated and with wide-ranging empirical investigations, this volume is most likely to appeal to readers with some prior exposure to Central European history and theoretical approaches to nationalism. They will find in it plentiful food for thought.” · The American Historical Review

The essays in this collection offer a nuanced analysis of the multifaceted cultural experience of Central Europe under the late Habsburg monarchy and beyond. The authors examine how culturally coded social spaces can be described and understood historically without adopting categories formerly employed to justify the definition and separation of groups into nations, ethnicities, or homogeneous cultures. As we consider the issues of multiculturalism today, this volume offers new approaches to understanding multiculturalism in Central Europe freed of the effects of politically exploited concepts of social spaces.

Read Introduction: Understanding multiculturalism and the Habsburg Central European Experience


A Centenary Celebration of The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
Edited by Sondra L. Hausner

Volume 27, Methodology & History in Anthropology


“This volume is a timely contribution in rethinking the socially immanent dimensions of religion in contemporary times and I would recommend it to any student or scholar studying religion and its various relationships with both classical and contemporary anthropology.” · Social Anthropology

One hundred years after the publication of the great sociological treatise, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, this new volume shows how aptly Durkheim¹s theories still resonate with the study of contemporary and historical religious societies. The volume applies the Durkheimian model to multiple cases, probing its resilience, wondering where it might be tweaked, and asking which aspects have best stood the test of time. A dialogue between theory and ethnography, this book shows how Durkheimian sociology has become a mainstay of social thought and theory, pointing to multiple ways in which Durkheim¹s work on religion remains relevant to our thinking about culture.