Varisco’s Culture Still Matters: Notes from the Field is on the relationship between ethnographic fieldwork and the culture concept in the ongoing debate over the future of anthropology, drawing on the history of both concepts. Despite being the major social science that offers a methodology and tools to understand diverse cultures worldwide, scholars within and outside anthropology have attacked this field for all manner of sins, including fostering colonialism and essentializing others. This book revitalizes constructive debate of this vibrant field’s history, methods and contributions, drawing on the author’s ethnographic experience in Yemen. It covers complicated theoretical concepts about culture and their critiques in readable prose, accessible to students and interested social scientists in other fields.
With forewords from Bryan S. Turner and Anouar Majid.
Daniel Martin Varisco, Ph.D. (1982), is an anthropologist and historian, currently President of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies. Among his previous books are Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid (2017) and Islam Obscured: The Rhetoric of Anthropological Representation (2005).
Foreword: Bryan S. Turner
Foreword: Anouar Majid
Prologue: A Fable (with no apologies to Friedrich Nietzsche)
1. Culture is Not a Text
2. On not Reading against Culture
3. On to the Logic of Being There
4. Beyond the End of Anthropology
This book is written for scholars in various fields to understand the ongoing critical debates within anthropology over core issues regarding the value of ethnographic research and culture concepts.