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Transcultural Montage

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Transcultural Montage

Edited by Christian Suhr & Rane Willerslev
Afterword by George E. Marcus

25th Anniversary Sale, 25% off all books! Add coupon code BB25

300 pages, 73 color & b/w illus., 5 figs, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-964-0 25% OFF! $49.95/£35.00 $37.46/£26.25 Pb Published (October 2013)

eISBN 978-0-85745-965-7 eBook

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Transcultural Montage contains an abundance of fresh ideas in many sub-disciplines of anthropology such as medical anthropology, cognitive anthropology, cultural and economic anthropology, but also semantics, museology and knowledge production not to mention visual anthropology, the main sub-discipline to which this publication is dedicated. As one flips through the pages of this aesthetically striking edition (300 pages with more than 70 color illustrations) one stumbles upon beautiful, almost poetic accounts, photo images, self-ethnographies and descriptions of religious rituals. While reading the book one has the feeling of having a nice, handpicked collection of anthropological ideas in one’s hands.  ·

“This is an ambitious and ground-breaking volume which takes a thoroughly interdisciplinary perspective on what the editors have branded as ‘transcultural montage.’ ...The total effect is a mesmerising and in many ways insightful comparative endeavour that will do much to consolidate montage as a theme that goes to the heart of contemporary social theory.”  ·  Martin Holbraad, University College London

“This is an important, innovative, and timely collection. Edited by two creative Scandinavian anthropologists, and with contributions from an impressive mix of established and up-coming names within performative anthropology, visual anthropology, and museum anthropology among other disciplinary subfields, the volume offers a significant contribution to this and cognate disciplines, and it is bound to have a great and lasting impact.”  ·  Morten Axel Pedersen, University of Copenhagen


The disruptive power of montage has often been regarded as a threat to scholarly representations of the social world. This volume asserts the opposite: that the destabilization of commonsense perception is the very precondition for transcending social and cultural categories. The contributors—anthropologists, filmmakers, photographers, and curators—explore the use of montage as a heuristic tool for comparative analysis in anthropological writing, film, and exhibition making. Exploring phenomena such as human perception, memory, visuality, ritual, time, and globalization, they apply montage to restructure our basic understanding of social reality. Furthermore, as George E. Marcus suggests in the afterword, the power of montage that this volume exposes lies in its ability to open the very “combustion chamber” of social theory by juxtaposing one’s claims to knowledge with the path undertaken to arrive at those claims.

Christian Suhr is a filmmaker and a post-doctoral research fellow in anthropology at Aarhus University. He is the co-director of the award-winning films Unity through Culture (DER, 2011), Ngat is Dead (DER, 2009), as well as Want a Camel, Yes? (Persona Film, 2005). He is author of the forthcoming ethnographic film monograph Descending with Angels about Islamic exorcism and Danish psychiatry and the article “Can Film Show the Invisible?” (with Rane Willerslev, Current Anthropology, 2012).

Rane Willerslev has his PhD from the University of Cambridge (2003) and is Professor of Anthropology at Aarhus University. He is the author of Soul Hunters: Hunting, Animism, and Personhood among the Siberian Yukaghirs (University of California Press, 2007) and On the Run in Siberia (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). He is the co-editor of Taming Time, Timing Death: Social Technologies and Ritual (Ashgate Publishing, 2013). In addition, he has written extensively on topics related to vision, visuality, and filmmaking.

Subject: General Anthropology General Cultural Studies


Introduction: Montage as an Amplifier of Invisibility
Rane Willerslev and Christian Suhr

Part I: Montage as an Analytic

Chapter 1. Montage and Time: Deleuze, Cinema and a Buddhist Sorcery Rite
Bruce Kapferer

Chapter 2. Temporal Aesthetics: On Deleuzian Montage in Anthropology
Morten Nielsen   

Chapter 3. All the Difference in the World: Liminality, Montage and the Re-Invention of Comparative Anthropology
Stuart McLean

Chapter 4. Into the Gloaming: A Montage of the Senses
Andrew Irving

Part II: Montage in Writing

Chapter 5. Being a Montage
Anne Line Dalsgaard

Chapter 6. Smith’s Tour Favela
Paul Antick

Chapter 7. Labour days: a non-linear narrative of development
Nina Vohnsen

Chapter 8. Mind the Gap
Karen Lisa Salamon

Part III: Montage in Film

Chapter 9. Women in Cities: Comparative Modernities and Cinematic Space in the 1930s
Catherine Russell

Chapter 10. Radioglaz and the Global City: Possibilities and Constraints of Experimental Montage
Julia T. S. Binter

Chapter 11. Filming in the Light of Memory
Alyssa Grossman

Chapter 12. Montage as analysis in ethnographic and documentary filmmaking: From hunting for plots towards weaving baskets of data
Jakob Kirstein Høgel

Chapter 13. In Defense of Observational Cinema: The Significance of the Bazinian Turn for Ethnographic Filmmaking
Anna Grimshaw

Part IV: Montage in Museum Exhibitions

Chapter 14. Assembling Potentials, Mounting Effects: Ethnographic Exhibitions Beyond Correspondence
Peter Bjerregaard

Chapter 15. Assembling Bodies: Cuts, Clusters and Juxtapositions
Rebecca Empson

Chapter 16. Project Villa Sovietica: Clashing Images, Expectations, and Receptions
Alexandra Schüssler and Willem Mes

Afterword: The Traffic in Montage, Then and Now
George E. Marcus

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