The colonial experience of the early twentieth century shaped Korea’s culture and identity, leaving a troubling past that was subtly reconstructed in South Korean postcolonial cinema. Relating postcolonial discourses to a reading of Manchurian action films, kisaeng and gangster films, and revenge horror films, Parameters of Disavowal shows how filmmakers reworked, recontextualized, and erased ideas and symbols of colonial power. In particular, Jinsoo An examines how South Korean films privileged certain sites, such as the kisaeng house and the Manchurian frontier, generating unique meanings that challenged the domination of the colonial power, and how horror films indirectly explored both the continuing trauma of colonial violence and lingering emotional ties to the colonial order. Espousing the ideology of nationalism while responding to a new Cold War order that positioned Japan and South Korea as political and economic allies, postcolonial cinema formulated distinctive ways of seeing and imagining the colonial past.
“A groundbreaking work that articulates a new methodology of theorizing and analyzing postcolonial cinema.” HYON JOO YOO, author of Cinema at the Crossroads: Nation and the Subject in East Asian Cinema
“Jinsoo An’s bold commitment to mining the layers and sometimes contradictions of individual films is remarkable. There is no more sustained and erudite examination of colonialism and film in Korea.” STEVEN CHUNG, author of Split Screen Korea: Shin Sang-ok and Postwar Cinema
JINSOO AN is Assistant Professor of Korean Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley.
Sounding Islam provides a provocative account of the sonic dimensions of religion, combining perspectives from the anthropology of media and sound studies, as well as drawing on neo-phenomenological approaches to atmospheres. Using long-term ethnographic research on devotional Islam in Mauritius, Patrick Eisenlohr explores how the voice, as a site of divine manifestation, becomes refracted in media practices that have become integral parts of religious traditions. At the core of Eisenlohr’s concern is the interplay of voice, media, affect, and listeners’ religious experiences. Sounding Islam sheds new light on a key dimension of religion, the sonic incitement of sensations that are often difficult to translate into language.
“Sounding Islam is both a pathbreaking contribution to the anthropological study of sound and media and a convincing engagement with core issues of religious transformation and experience. A sensitively written, insightful, and thought-provoking ethnographic account.” DON BRENNEIS, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
“Eisenlohr’s marvelous Sounding Islam overcomes the dualism between discursive and materialist conceptualizations of voice through exploration of the ‘sonic atmosphere’ of Muslim devotional practice.” DOMINIC BOYER, Professor of Anthropology, Rice University
“Sounding Islam is a tour de force whose ethnographic sensitivity and analytic insights will reconfigure understandings of bodies, voices, mediatization, and religion. The book pinpoints questions that have intrigued scholars of Islam, linguistic anthropology, sound studies, semiotics, and the anthropology of media as it illuminates ways that bodies resonate with sounds that incite experiences of the divine.” CHARLES L. BRIGGS, coauthor of Making Health Public: How News Coverage Is Remaking Media, Medicine, and Contemporary Life
PATRICK EISENLOHR is Professor of Anthropology and Chair in Society and Culture in Modern India at the University of Göttingen. He is the author of Little India: Diaspora, Time, and Ethnolinguistic Belonging in Hindu Mauritius.
In Forging the Ideal Educated Girl, Shenila Khoja-Moolji traces the figure of the ‘educated girl’ to examine the evolving politics of educational reform and development campaigns in colonial India and Pakistan. She challenges the prevailing common sense associated with calls for women’s and girls’ education and argues that such advocacy is not simply about access to education but, more crucially, concerned with producing ideal Muslim woman-/girl-subjects with specific relationships to the patriarchal family, paid work, Islam, and the nation-state. Thus, discourses on girls’/women’s education are sites for the construction of not only gender but also class relations, religion, and the nation.
“This ambitious and pathbreaking genealogical study of the circulation and political uses of the dense figure of the educated South Asian Muslim woman/girl is brilliantly executed and utterly timely. Khoja-Moolji has written an exemplary book destined to become a classic.” LILA ABU-LUGHOD, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University
“A brilliant and unprecedented study . . . essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Muslims in South Asia and the gendered complexities of education.” JAMAL J. ELIAS, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania
“Through careful sifting of archival material and interview data as well as analysis of important Urdu literary works, Khoja-Moolji highlights the historically, sociologically and politically contingent nature of discourses about women/girls education.” ALI S. ASANI, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University
“A stunning genealogy of the Pakistani Muslim girl and her connections to educational, social, and national development from the colonial to the neoliberal state.” NANCY LESKO, Maxine Greene Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University
SHENILA KHOJA-MOOLJI is Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College.
The Eternal Dissident offers rare insight into one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking Reform rabbis of the twentieth century, Leonard Beerman, who was renowned both for his eloquent and challenging sermons and for his unrelenting commitment to social action. Beerman was a man of powerful word and action—a probing intellectual and stirring orator, as well as a nationally known opponent of McCarthyism, racial injustice, and Israeli policy in the occupied territories. The shared source of Beerman’s thought and activism was the moral imperative of the Hebrew prophets, which he believed bestowed upon the Jewish people their role as the “eternal dissident.” This volume brings Beerman to life through a selection of his most powerful writings, followed by commentaries from notable scholars, rabbis, and public personalities that speak to the quality and ongoing relevance of Beerman’s work.
“David Myers is one of the leaders in the field and eminently qualified as editor. His scholarly reputation is stellar, and his own knowledge and work in progressive Jewish political circles puts him on a national stage.” MARC DOLLINGER, author of Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s
“Religion is not in the United States or for that matter elsewhere in the world only or exclusively the domain of the political right. The Eternal Dissident shows us a genealogy, a legacy of alliance politics that is theologically and ethically bound to a shared vision of social justice.” LAURA LEVITT, Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies, and Gender, Temple University, and author of American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust
The Hegemony of Heritage makes an original and significant contribution to our understanding of how the relationship of architectural objects and societies to the built environment changes over time. Studying two surviving medieval monuments in southern Rajasthan—the Ambikā Temple in Jagat and the Śri Ékliṅgjī Temple Complex in Kailāshpurī—the author looks beyond their divergent sectarian affiliations and patronage structures to underscore many aspects of common practice. This book offers new and extremely valuable insights into these important monuments, illuminating the entangled politics of antiquity and revealing whether a monument’s ritual record is affirmed as continuous and hence hoary or dismissed as discontinuous or reinvented through various strategies. The Hegemony of Heritage enriches theoretical constructs with ethnographic description and asks us to reexamine notions such as archive and text through the filter of sculpture and mantra.
“Makes visible the multiple methodologies that can be mobilized to write nuanced histories of Hindu temple architecture. The author’s approach is both refreshing and new. Skillfully weaving in postcolonial theory, object ontologies, and affect theory, among other approaches, the book opens up an exciting paradigm in the study of South Asian art and architecture.” SUGATA RAY, Assistant Professor of South Asian Art and Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
Unjust Conditions follows the lives and labors of poor mothers in rural Peru, richly documenting the ordeals they face to participate in mainstream poverty alleviation programs. Championed by behavioral economists and the World Bank, conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are praised as efficient mechanisms for changing poor people’s behavior. While rooted in good intentions and dripping with the rhetoric of social inclusion, CCT programs’ successes ring hollow, based solely on metrics for children’s attendance at school and health appointments. Looking beyond these statistics reveals a host of hidden costs for the mothers who meet the conditions. With a poignant voice and keen focus on ethnographic research, Tara Patricia Cookson turns the reader’s gaze to women’s care work in landscapes of grossly inadequate state investment, cleverly drawing out the tensions between social inclusion and conditionality.
“Unjust Conditions poses compelling questions about identity, power, wealth, and justice and challenges us to take the time to listen and to identify possibilities for meaningful change.” MARTHA CHOE, former Chief Administrative Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“A must-read for scholars, activists and policymakers committed to combating poverty and gender asymmetries.” LENA LAVINAS, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
“This is an outstanding book—a stunning indictment of expert schemes that overlook lived realities in order to conjure the appearance of success. Lucid, incisive, and compelling— bravo!” TANIA MURRAY LI, University of Toronto
TARA PATRICIA COOKSON is a SSHRC Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia and the founder of Ladysmith, a women’s equality venture. Her research on gender, international development, and social justice has been published in a variety of public and policy outlets as well as in academic journals such as Antipode.
The Erotics of History challenges long-standing notions of sexuality as stable and context-free—as something that individuals discover about themselves. Rather, Donald L. Donham argues that historical circumstance, local social pressure, and the cultural construction of much beyond sex condition the erotic. Donham makes this argument in relation to the centuries-old conversation on the fetish, applied to a highly unusual neighborhood in Atlantic Africa. There, local men, soon to be married to local women, are involved in long-term sexual relationships with European men. On the African side, these couplings are motivated by the pleasures of cosmopolitan connection and foreign commodities. On the other side, Europeans tend to fetishize Africans’ race, while a few search to become slaves in master/ slave relationships. At its most wide ranging, The Erotics of History attempts to show that it is history, both personal and collective, in reversals and reenactments, that finally produces sexual excitement.
“Don Donham’s new book is a stunning achievement—written in a condensed/synoptic/ telescoped form about a daring topic, it achieves its aim and then some. For me, it was a page turner, hard to put down.” CHARLES PIOT, Duke University, author of Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War
“An amazing book that combines detailed and convincing ethnography with wide ranging knowledge and ambitious theoretical analysis. The sophisticated rethinking of representation, exchange, power, and culture is smart and riveting.” CAROLE S. VANCE, Yale University, author of Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality
DONALD L. DONHAM is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. His previous books include Marxist Modern: An Ethnographic History of the Ethiopian Revolution and Violence in a Time of Liberation: Murder and Ethnicity at a South African Gold Mine, 1994.
Virtuous Waters is a pathbreaking and innovative study of bathing, drinking and other everyday engagements with a wide range of waters across five centuries in Mexico. Casey Walsh uses political ecology to bring together an analysis of shifting scientific, religious and political understandings of waters and a material history of social formations, environments, and infrastructures. The book shows that while modern concepts and infrastructures have come to dominate both the hydrosphere and the scholarly literature on water, longstanding popular understandings and engagements with these heterogeneous liquids have been reproduced as part of the same process. Attention to these dynamics can help us comprehend and confront the water crisis that is coming to a head in the twenty-first century.
“Reminds us that, within wider homogenizing discourses, there are multiple unique waters, whose particular ‘virtues’ are central in defining how people have imagined, understood, and interacted with them over time.” VERONICA STRANG, author of Gardening the World: Agency, Identity, and the Ownership of Water
“Plunges readers into seldom explored depths of the cultural world of water in central Mexico, providing a refreshing approach that goes beyond infrastructure to immerse readers in in routine practices of bathing, washing, and drinking water and their links to colonialism, public health, sexuality, tourism, and neoliberalism.” JOHN SOLURI, author of Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States
CASEY WALSH is Associate Professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara. He is the author of Building the Borderlands: A Transnational History of Irrigated Cotton along the Mexico-Texas Border.
In a time when conservative politicians challenge the irrefutability of scientific findings such as climate change, it is more important than ever to understand the conflict at the heart of the “religion vs. science” debates unfolding in the public sphere. In this groundbreaking work, John H. Evans reveals that, with a few limited exceptions, even the most conservative religious Americans accept science’s ability to make factual claims about the world. However, many religious people take issue with the morality implicitly promoted by some forms of science. Using clear and engaging scholarship, Evans upends the prevailing notion that there is a fundamental conflict over the way that scientists and religious people make claims about nature and argues that only by properly understanding moral conflict between contemporary religion and science will we be able to contribute to a more productive interaction between these two great institutions.
“John H. Evans successfully relocates religious concerns about science from the realm of knowledge to that of moral value. He is by far the most sophisticated of the sociologists.” RONALD L. NUMBERS, Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“This is just the kind of volume that academics, journalists, and policymakers who are concerned about the future of science need. The kind of synthetic fi eld-building work that Evans does is necessary in this burgeoning area.” ELAINE HOWARD ECKLUND, Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, Rice University
JOHN H. EVANS is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego.
The Stranger at the Feast is a pathbreaking ethnographic study of one of the world’s oldest and least-understood religious traditions. Based on long-term ethnographic research on the Zege peninsula in northern Ethiopia, Tom Boylston tells the story of how people have understood large-scale religious change by following local transformations in hospitality, ritual prohibition, and feeding practices. Ethiopia has undergone radical upheaval in the transition from the imperial era of Haile Selassie to the modern secular state, but the secularization of the state has been met with the widespread revival of popular religious practice. For Orthodox Christians in Zege, everything that matters about religion comes back to how one eats and fasts with others. Boylston shows how practices of feeding and avoidance have remained central even as their meaning and purpose have dramatically changed from a means of marking class distinctions within Orthodox society to a marker of the difference between Orthodox Christians and other religions within the contemporary Ethiopian state.
“Tom Boylston demonstrates the power of ethnography at its best: engaging, challenging, with a superb sense of history and place. He uses close observations of the rhythms of life and of ritual among Ethiopian Orthodox Christians to make illuminating points about mediation, boundaries, systems of knowledge, and trajectories of change.” SIMON COLEMAN, Chancellor Jackman Professor, University of Toronto
“Offers unique insights into themes of fasting and feasting, of ritual prohibition, mediation, and hierarchy in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. For the first time, the Ethiopian case is placed within the wider anthropology of Christianity. A major achievement.” DONALD L. DONHAM, author of Marxist Modern: An Ethnographic History of the Ethiopian Revolution
TOM BOYLSTON is a lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.