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Anthropology

Anthropology Book List

Cover of 'Technologies of Suspicion and the Ethics of Obligation in Political Asylum'

Technologies of Suspicion and the Ethics of Obligation in Political Asylum
Edited by Bridget M. Haas and Amy Shuman

Taking everyday practices and interactions as their focus, contributors draw on various theoretical perspectives to examine how tensions between humanitarianism and security are negotiated at the local level. They thus show how asylum seekers are produced as suspicious subjects by the very systems to which they appeal for protection.

Cover of 'Pursuing Justice in Africa'

Pursuing Justice in Africa
Competing Imaginaries and Contested Practices
Edited by Jessica Johnson and George Hamandishe Karekwaivanane
· Afterword by Kamari Maxine Clarke

Pursuing Justice in Africa focuses on visions of justice across the African continent, featuring essays that engage with topics at the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship across a wide range of disciplines including activism, land tenure, international legal institutions, and post-conflict reconciliation.

Cover of 'Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa'

Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa
Edited by Felicitas Becker, Joel Cabrita, and Marie Rodet

In recent years, anthropologists, historians, and others have been drawn to study the profuse and creative usages of digital media by religious movements. At the same time, scholars of Christian Africa have long been concerned with the history of textual culture, the politics of Bible translation, and the status of the vernacular in Christianity.

A Quartz Africa book of the year, 2017
Cover of 'We Do Not Have Borders'

We Do Not Have Borders
Greater Somalia and the Predicaments of Belonging in Kenya
By Keren Weitzberg

Though often associated with foreigners and refugees, many Somalis have lived in Kenya for generations, in many cases since long before the founding of the country. Despite their long residency, foreign and state officials and Kenyan citizens often perceive the Somali population to be a dangerous and alien presence in the country, and charges of civil and human rights abuses have mounted against them in recent years.

Cover of 'Football and Colonialism'

Football and Colonialism
Body and Popular Culture in Urban Mozambique
By Nuno Domingos
· Foreword by Harry G. West

In articles for the newspaper O Brado Africano in the mid-1950s, poet and journalist José Craveirinha described the ways in which the Mozambican football players in the suburbs of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) adapted the European sport to their own expressive ends. Through gesture, footwork, and patois, they used what Craveirinha termed “malice”—or cunning—to negotiate their places in the colonial state.

Cover of 'Women in the Shadows'

Women in the Shadows
Gender, Puppets, and the Power of Tradition in Bali
By Jennifer Goodlander

Wayang kulit, or shadow puppetry, connects a mythic past to the present through public ritual performance and is one of most important performance traditions in Bali. The dalang, or puppeteer, is revered in Balinese society as a teacher and spiritual leader. Recently, women have begun to study and perform in this traditionally male role, an innovation that has triggered resistance and controversy.

Cover of 'Making the Mark'

Making the Mark
Gender, Identity, and Genital Cutting
By Miroslava Prazak

Why do female genital cutting practices persist? How does circumcision affect the rights of girls in a culture where initiation forms the lynchpin of the ritual cycle at the core of defining gender, identity, and social and political status? In Making the Mark, Miroslava Prazak follows the practice of female circumcision through the lives and activities of community members in a rural Kenyan farming society as they decide whether or not to participate in the tradition.

Cover of 'Preaching Prevention'

Preaching Prevention
Born-Again Christianity and the Moral Politics of AIDS in Uganda
By Lydia Boyd

Preaching Prevention examines the controversial U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative to “abstain and be faithful” as a primary prevention strategy in Africa. This ethnography of the born-again Christians who led the new anti-AIDS push in Uganda provides insight into both what it means for foreign governments to “export” approaches to care and treatment and the ways communities respond to and repurpose such projects.

Winner, the 2017 Adele E. Clarke Book Award from Repronetwork
Cover of 'The Politics of Morality'

The Politics of Morality
The Church, the State, and Reproductive Rights in Postsocialist Poland
By Joanna Mishtal

The Politics of Morality is an anthropological study of the expansion of power of the religious right in postsocialist Poland and its effects on individual rights and social mores.

Cover of 'Gongs and Pop Songs'

Gongs and Pop Songs
Sounding Minangkabau in Indonesia
By Jennifer A. Fraser

Scholarship on the musical traditions of Indonesia has long focused on practices from Java and Bali, including famed gamelan traditions, at the expense of the wide diversity of other musical forms within the archipelago. Jennifer A. Fraser counters this tendency by exploring a little-known gong tradition from Sumatra called talempong, long associated with people who identify themselves as Minangkabau.

Cover of 'Twins Talk'

Twins Talk
What Twins Tell Us about Person, Self, and Society
By Dona Lee Davis

Twins Talk is an ethnographic study of identical twins in the United States, a study unique in that it considers what twins have to say about themselves, instead of what researchers have written about them. It presents, in the first person, the grounded and practical experiences of twins as they engage, both individually and together, the “who am I” and “who are we” questions of life. Here, the twins themselves are the stars.

Cover of 'In Step with the Times'

In Step with the Times
Mapiko Masquerades of Mozambique
By Paolo Israel

The helmet-shaped mapiko masks of Mozam­bique have garnered admiration from African art scholars and collectors alike, due to their striking aesthetics and their grotesque allure. This book restores to mapiko its historic and artistic context, charting in detail the transformations of this masquerading tradition throughout the twentieth century.

Finalist for the 2015 Weatherford Award
Cover of 'Thinking Outside the Girl Box'

Thinking Outside the Girl Box
Teaming Up with Resilient Youth in Appalachia
By Linda Spatig and Layne Amerikaner

Written in an accessible, engaging style and drawing on collaborative ethnographic research that the girls themselves helped conduct, Thinking Outside the Girl Box tells the true story of an innovative program determined to challenge the small, disempowering “boxes” girls and women are so often expected to live in.

Cover of 'Global Health in Africa'

Global Health in Africa
Historical Perspectives on Disease Control
Edited by Tamara Giles-Vernick and James L. A. Webb Jr.

Global Health in Africa is a first exploration of selected histories of global health initiatives in Africa. The collection addresses some of the most important interventions in disease control, including mass vaccination, large-scale treatment and/or prophylaxis campaigns, harm reduction efforts, and nutritional and virological research. The chapters in this collection are organized in three sections that evaluate linkages between past, present, and emergent.

Cover of 'Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa'

Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa
Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives
Edited by Ruth J. Prince and Rebecca Marsland

Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa explores how medical professionals and patients, government officials, and ordinary citizens approach questions of public health as they navigate contemporary landscapes of NGOs and transnational projects, faltering state services, and expanding privatization.