Sign up for our Email Newsletter Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Astonishment and Evocation: The Spell of Culture in Art and Anthropology

View Table of Contents

Volume 5

Studies in Rhetoric and Culture

See Related
Cultural studies Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Astonishment and Evocation

The Spell of Culture in Art and Anthropology

Edited by Ivo Strecker and Markus Verne

212 pages, 13 figs & ills, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-935-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2013)

eISBN 978-0-85745-936-7 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


The constituent essays are well written, often innovative within the current climate, and admirably integrated both in terms of their basic themes and the many strands of Stephen Tyler's thought.”  ·  Paul Friedrich, University of Chicago


All societies are shaped by arts, media, and other persuasive practices that can awe, captivate, enchant or otherwise seem to cast a spell on the audience. Likewise, scholarship itself often is driven by a sense of wonder and a willingness to be open to what lies beyond the obvious. This book broadens and deepens this perspective. Inspired by Stephen Tyler’s view of ethnography as an art of evocation, international scholars from the fields of aesthetics, anthropology, and rhetoric explore the spellbinding power of elusive meanings as people experience them in daily life and while gazing at works of art, watching films or studying other cultures. The book is divided into three parts covering the evocative power of visual art, the immersion in ritual and performance, and the reading, writing, and interpretation of texts. Taken as a whole, the contributions to the book demonstrate how astonishment and evocation deserve an important place in the conceptual repertoire of the human sciences.

Ivo Strecker is Emeritus Professor of cultural anthropology at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. He did and still does research with the Hamar in southern Ethiopia and has published widely about them. His film Father of the Goats (1984) received the “Prix Nanook” at the Bilan in Paris, and his theoretical study The Social Practice of Symbolization (1988) was selected by Choice as one of the “outstanding academic books of the year.” Together with Stephen Tyler and Robert Hariman he is editor of the Berghahn Books series Studies in Rhetoric and Culture.

Markus Verne is Assistant Professor of anthropology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. From 2010 to 2012, he was Marie Curie Experienced Researcher at the Department of Ethnomusicology, University of California Los Angeles, and the Department of Anthropology, University of Bayreuth. For his book on consumption and scarcity in a Sahelian village (Der Mangel an Mitteln, 2007) he received the “Research Sponsorship Award” of the Frobenius Society and the “Junior Scientists Award” of the Association of African Studies in Germany.

Subject: Cultural Studies (General) Anthropology (General) Media Studies


Ivo Strecker & Markus Verne


Chapter 1. Do pictures stare? Thoughts about attention
Todd Oakley

Chapter 2. Gazing at paintings and the evocation of life
Philippe-Joseph Salazar

Chapter 3. Tangled up in blue. Symbolism and evocation
Boris Wiseman

Chapter 4. Co-presence, astonishment and evocation in cinematography
Ivo Strecker


Chapter 5. Captivated by ritual. Visceral visitations and the evocation of community
Klaus-Peter Köpping

Chapter 6. The spell of riddles among the Witoto
Jürg Gasché

Chapter 7. Sounds of the Past. Music, history and astonishment
Markus Verne

Chapter 8. Tears, not so idle tears. Reflections on our entangled emotions and their disambiguation
James Fernandez


Chapter 9. Stones, drumbeats, footprints and mysteries in the writing of the Other
Dennis Tedlock

Chapter 10. The translation of the said the unsaid in Sikkanese ritual texts
Douglas Lewis

Chapter 11. Ethnographic evocations and evocative ethnographies
Barbara Tedlock

Chapter 12. Reading public culture: Reason and excess in the newspaper
Robert Hariman

Back to Top

Library Recommendation Form

Dear Librarian,

I would like to recommend Astonishment and Evocation The Spell of Culture in Art and Anthropology for the library. Please include it in your next purchasing review with my strong recommendation. The RRP is: $135.00

I recommend this title for the following reasons:

BENEFIT FOR THE LIBRARY: This book will be a valuable addition to the library's collection.

REFERENCE: I will refer to this book for my research/teaching work.

STUDENT REFERRAL: I will regularly refer my students to the book to assist their studies.

OWN AFFILIATION: I am an editor/contributor to this book or another book in the Series (where applicable) and/or on the Editorial Board of the Series, of which this volume is part.