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This edited volume follows the panel “Earth in Islamic Architecture” organised for the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) in Ankara, on the 19th of August 2014. Earthen architecture is well-known among archaeologists and anthropologists whose work extends from Central Asia to Spain, including Africa. However, little collective attention has been paid to earthen architecture within Muslim cultures. This book endeavours to share knowledge and methods of different disciplines such as history, anthropology, archaeology and architecture. Its objective is to establish a link between historical and archaeological studies given that Muslim cultures cannot be dissociated from social history.

Contributors: Marinella Arena; Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya; Christian Darles; François-Xavier Fauvelle; Elizabeth Golden; Moritz Kinzel; Rolando Melo da Rosa; Atri Hatef Naiemi; Bertrand Poissonnier; Stéphane Pradines; Paola Raffa and Paul D. Wordsworth.
Archaeology, Literature, and Spatial Culture
Editor: Mark Leone
Atlantic Crossings in the Wake of Frederick Douglass takes its bearings from the Maryland-born former slave Frederick Douglass’s 1845 sojourn in Ireland and Britain—a voyage that is understood in editors Mark P. Leone and Lee M. Jenkins’ collection as paradigmatic of the crossings between American, African American, and Irish historical experience and culture with which the collection as a whole is concerned. In crossing the Atlantic, Douglass also completed his journey from slavery to freedom, and from political and cultural marginality into subjective and creative autonomy. Atlantic Crossings traces the stages of that journey in chapters on literature, archaeology, and spatial culture that consider both roots and routes—landscapes of New World slavery, subordination, and state-sponsored surveillance, and narratives of resistance, liberation, and intercultural exchange generated by transatlantic connectivities and the transnational transfer of ideas.

Contributors
Lee M. Jenkins, Mark P. Leone, Katie Ahern, Miranda Corcoran, Ann Coughlan, Kathryn H. Deeley, Adam Fracchia, Mary Furlong Minkoff, Tracy H. Jenkins, Dan O’Brien, Eoin O’Callaghan, Elizabeth Pruitt, Benjamin A. Skolnik and Stefan Woehlke
Materiality, Flow, and Meaning along Java's Islamic Northwest Coast
In The Encoded Cirebon Mask: Materiality, Flow, and Meaning along Java’s Islamic
Northwest Coast
, Laurie Margot Ross situates masks and masked dancing in the Cirebon region of Java (Indonesia) as an original expression of Islam. This is a different view from that of many scholars, who argue that canonical prohibitions on fashioning idols and imagery prove that masks are mere relics of indigenous beliefs that Muslim travelers could not eradicate. Making use of archives, oral histories, and the performing objects themselves, Ross traces the mask’s trajectory from a popular entertainment in Cirebon—once a portal of global exchange—to a stimulus for establishing a deeper connection to God in late colonial Java, and eventual links to nationalism in post-independence Indonesia.
Evolution and Human Culture argues that values, beliefs, and practices are expressions of individual and shared moral sentiments. Much of our cultural production stems from what in early hominins was a caring tendency, both the care to share and a self-care to challenge others. Topics cover prehistory, mind, biology, morality, comparative primatology, art, and aesthetics. The book is valuable to students and scholars in the arts, including moral philosophers, who would benefit from reading about scientific developments that impact their fields. For biologists and social scientists the book provides a window into how scientific research contributes to understanding the arts and humanities. The take-home point is that culture does not transcend nature; rather, culture is an evolved moral behavior.
The Sung Home tells the story of Kurdish singer-poets ( dengbêjs) in Kurdistan in Turkey, who are specialized in the recital singing of historical songs. After a long period of silence, they returned to public life in the 2000s and are presented as guardians of history and culture. Their lyrics, life stories, and live performances offer fascinating insights into cultural practices, local politics and the contingencies of state borders. Decades of oppression have deeply politicized and moralized cultural and musical production. Through in-depth ethnographic analysis Hamelink highlights the variety of personal and social narratives within a society in turmoil. Set within the larger global stories of modernity, nationalism, and Orientalism, this study reflects on different ideas about what it means to create a Kurdish home.
Community, Solidarity, and Political Economy in New Deal Cinema, 1935-1948
Author: Graham Cassano
In 1936, director John Ford claimed to be making movies for “a new kind of public” that wanted more honest pictures. Graham Cassano’s A New Kind of Public: Community, solidarity, and political economy in New Deal cinema, 1935-1948 argues that this new kind of public was forged in the fires of class struggle and economic calamity. Those struggles appeared in Hollywood productions, as the movies themselves tried to explain the causes and consequence of the Great Depression. Using the tools of critical Marxism and cultural theory, Cassano surveys Hollywood’s political economic explanations and finds a field of symbolic struggle in which radical visions of solidarity and conflict competed with the dominant class ideology for the loyalty of this new audience.
An Outline of Early Sámi History
Hunters in Transition provides a new outline of the early history of the Sámi, the indigenous population of northernmost Europe. Discussing crucial issues such as the formation of Sámi ethnicity, interaction with chieftain and state societies, and the transition from hunting to reindeer herding, the book departs from the common trope whereby native encounters with other cultures, state societies, and “modernity”, are depicted mainly in negative terms. Far from always victimizing “the other”, the interaction with outside societies played a crucial role in generating and maintaining a number of features considered integral to Sámi culture. At the same time the authors also emphasize internal processes and dynamics and show how these have greatly contributed to the diverse historical trajectories with which this book is concerned.

Listed by Choice magazine as one of the Outstanding Academic Titles of 2014
Presence of Mind, Failure to Comprehend
In Walter Benjamin. Presence of Mind, Failure to Comprehend Stéphane Symons offers an innovative reading of the work of German philosopher, essayist and literary critic Walter Benjamin (1892-1940). Oftentimes interpreted as being either of a theological (Jewish-Messianic) or a materialist (neo-Marxist) nature, Benjamin’s writings are here characterized as "neither a-theological, nor immediately theological."

Starting from Benjamin’s philosophy of history, his interpretation of the work of Franz Kafka, his study on the German Baroque and his critique of modernity, Walter Benjamin. Presence of Mind, Failure to Comprehend zooms in on the issue of how a belief in the possibility of redemption and an attentiveness [ Aufmerksamkeit] to expressions of an absolute force can endure within a universe that is nevertheless confronted as unfulfilled.