Books

Michele Friedner’s “Valuing Deaf Worlds in Urban India”

Friedner cover imageValuing Deaf Worlds in Urban India

by Michele Friedner

Rutgers University Press, 2015, 216 pages

 

An Indian coffee shop franchise advertises their practice of hiring deaf baristas – “silent brewmasters” – to work their espresso machines. A Bangalore tech company boasts that it hires “physically challenged” workers only (118-121). Meanwhile, deaf adults in Bangalore complain that adult education at …

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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 …

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Bianca Brijnath’s “Unforgotten: Love and the Culture of Dementia Care in India”

Brijnath

Unforgotten: Love and the Culture of Dementia Care in India

by Bianca Brijnath

Berghahn Books, 2014, 240 pages

Bianca Brijnath’s book, Unforgotten: Love and the Culture of Dementia Care in India, offers a long-awaited, fresh insight into the lives and experiences of people with dementia and their caregivers in middle-class, middle-aged, educated Delhi-based families. Using the lens of critical …

Books

Kalpana Ram’s “Fertile Disorder: Spirit Possession and its Provocation of the Modern”

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Fertile Disorder: Spirit Possession and its Provocation of the Modern

by Kalpana Ram

University of Hawaii Press, 2013, 336 pages

Spirit possession is a familiar anthropological interest. But efforts to understand it through scholarly, secular thought often require some suspension of disbelief. Or, more disconcertingly, they simply avoid engaging with the phenomena on its own terms, looking to locate its …

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Sarah Pinto’s Daughters of Parvati: Women and Madness in Contemporary India

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Daughters of Parvati: Women and Madness in Contemporary India

University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014, 283 pages.

Sarah Pinto’s extraordinary ethnography, Daughters of Parvati: Women and Madness in Contemporary India, begins with three epigraphs that have to do with the ethics of writing, representation, and narration. Pinto has much to say about all these things, but the axis on which …

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Regulations versus hierarchies: Commuters creating inhabitable worlds in the Mumbai suburban trains

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During a group discussion at the India Deaf Society about the suburban trains in Mumbai, Bhaskar, a young deaf man suggested that a new rule could be introduced in the trains’ “handicapped compartments” (as they are called by Mumbaikars). He thought that the number of conflicts over the occupation of seats would be abated if a reserved-seat area was installed …