BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Science, Reason, Modernity: Readings for an Anthropology of the Contemporary

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Science, Reason, Modernity: Readings for an Anthropology of the Contemporary is many things — a carefully curated selection of classic texts ranging from Immanuel Kant’s “An Answer to the Question: ‘What is Enlightenment?’” and Max Weber’s “Science as a Vocation,” to Georges Canguilhem’s “The Question of Normality in the History of Biological Thought” and Paul Rabinow’s “Anthropos Today: Reflections …

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Book Forum––Harris Solomon’s Metabolic Living: Food, Fat and The Absorption of Illness in India

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978-0-8223-6101-5_pr

 

Harris Solomon’s Metabolic Living traces patterns of consumption, calories, and chronic disease to tell a story about the enfolding––the absorption and regulation––of food in and about the body in Mumbai. Solomon’s book is a powerful ethnographic reflection on how factors held as exterior (local and global cuisine, evolving and competing norms regarding eating and body image) are wholly interiorized. …

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Book Forum––Robert Desjarlais’ Subject to Death: Life and Loss in a Buddhist World

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Robert Desjarlais’s Subject to Death is like stepping onto a train already in motion. Its momentum isn’t fierce but there’s no time to ease in––from its first pages, as readers we find ourselves in the midst of death and life and loss as they take and are given form. At the risk of overusing the term, there is great care
BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Sabine Arnaud’s On Hysteria

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Sabine Arnaud’s On Hysteria: The Invention of a Medical Category Between 1670 and 1820 focuses on the socio-medical category before its better-known (and more heavily studied) late nineteenth century instantiations, not to trace the prehistory of hysteria from the seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries, but in order to demonstrate how hysteria takes unexpected form during these earlier epochs. The …

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Book Forum––Carlo Caduff’s The Pandemic Perhaps

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Carlo Caduff’s The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger (University of California Press, 2015) is a story of the influenza pandemic that never was. Caduff tells this story from an American perspective through his encounters with scientists and other actors who engage in the august work of “preparedness,” but in doing so, often draw upon …

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Book Forum—Anand Pandian’s “Reel World: An Anthropology of Creation”

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Anand Pandian’s Reel World: An Anthropology of Creation is a fascinating and truly inspired inquiry into questions of experience and the media through which experience is rendered (word, image, and sound) in and about Tamil cinema and beyond.  Pandian walks a path where visions are realized between seen-ness and feltness, between openness and the limits of the frame.  Much …