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This book examines material and multi-sensorial expressions of Shiʿi Islam in diverse, and understudied demographic and geographic contexts.It engages with conceptual debates and makes several propositions that push the frontiers of scholarship on Islamic and Religious Studies, Material Religion, Heritage Studies, and Anthropology and Sociology of Religion.The contributions presented in this volume demonstrate how material things and less thing-like materialities make the praesentia and potentia of the Sacred tangible, how they cultivate intimate relations between human and more-than-human beings, and how they act as links and gateways to the Elsewhere and Otherworldly. The volume posits that materialities of religion are integral to processes of heritagization shaped by competing social and political actors involved in the construction and canonization of religious—in this case, Shiʿi—heritage.
Cultivation of Culture and the Global Circulation of Ideas
Through the concept of ‘Romantic nationalism’, this interdisciplinary global historical study investigates cultural initiatives in (British) India that aimed at establishing the nation as a moral community and which preceded or accompanied state-oriented political nationalism. Drawing on a vast array of sources, it discusses important Romantic nationalist traits, such as the relationship between language and identity, historicism, artistic revivalism and hero worship. Ultimately, this innovative book argues that because of the confrontation with European civilization and processes of modernization at large, cultivation of culture in British India was morally and spiritually more important to the making of the nation than in Europe.
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From tenth-century South India to twenty-first-century cultural events, from the court assemblies to the public space: Attentive Minds takes you on a journey through the fascinating world of avadhāna, a complex and long-living performative art of India whose practitioners showcase highly developed cognitive skills (like attention, ability to multitask, memory) and specialized knowledge.
With the help of epigraphic and literary sources and field research, Hermina Cielas reconstructs avadhāna’s history in its socio-cultural context and provides a detailed systematization of the art. Her multifaceted study investigates the cultural phenomenon scarcely known outside of India. It explores avadhāna’s multiple forms, from games and puzzles, through a display of mnemonic or motor skills, to multilingual literary feasts.
Daily Life in a Village in the Yasin Valley, Pakistan
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In A Mountain Oasis, Susan York presents a richly illustrated socio-economic study of village life in Pakistan’s Yasin Valley, undertaken during one year spent living with a local family. It documents this dynamic agro-pastoral society at a time when few researchers were recording developments in these far-flung and difficult to reach mountain oases of the Hindukush. It is a record of a time when development interventions were in their beginnings, and before this area in Gilgit-Baltistan entered a crucial period of transformation. It provides solid comparative reference material for future research on this region, which is continuing to undergo challenging and complex changes.
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Ernest Mandel (1923–1995) was one of the best-known Marxist scholars active in the second half of the twentieth century. A leading member of the Fourth International, his books on capitalist economics, bureaucracies in the workers’ movement and on power and socialist strategy were translated into many languages. Democratic self-organisation of workers was a red thread that ran through all of his thinking. In Against Capitalism and Bureaucracy, Manuel Kellner presents the first and until now only comprehensive overview of Mandel’s theoretical and political contributions, arguing that his work remains important for the debates on a socialist alternative in the twenty-first century.
Following the Tea Ritual from China to West Africa
Green tea, imported from China, occupies an important place in the daily lives of Malians. They spend so much time preparing and consuming the sugared beverage that it became the country’s national drink. To find out how Malians came to practice the tea ritual, this study follows the beverage from China to Mali on its historical trade routes halfway around the globe. It examines the circumstances of its introduction, the course of the tea ritual, the equipment to prepare and consume it, and the meanings that it assumed in the various places on its travel across geographical regions, political economies, cultural contexts, and religious affiliations.
Through an innovative interdisciplinary reading and field research, Igor Chabrowski analyses the history of the development of opera in Sichuan, arguing that opera serves as a microcosm of the profound transformation of modern Chinese culture between the 18th century and 1950s. He investigates the complex path of opera over this course of history: exiting the temple festivals, becoming a public obsession on commercial stages, and finally being harnessed to partisan propaganda work. The book analyzes the process of cross-regional integration of Chinese culture and the emergence of the national opera genre. Moreover, opera is shown as an example of the culture wars that raged inside China’s popular culture.
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Chinese Contemporary Art in the Global Auction Market examines the rapid rise of the global market for Chinese Contemporary art across the turn of the millennium. Focusing on key auction events, it traces the systematic and strategic role played by auction houses in promoting the work of ‘avant-garde’ Chinese artists, transforming them into multi-million-dollar global art superstars. Anita Archer’s research into this emerging art market reveals a powerful global network of collectors, curators, dealers and auction house specialists whose understanding of the mechanics of value formation in the global art world consolidated a framework for the promotion of Chinese Contemporary art to a Western audience.
Commercial Networks, Brand Creation and Intellectual Property
Every month tons of green tea travel from China to West Africa in a movement that largely thrives beyond the attention of Western observers. In this trade, Malian merchants assumed a central role. They travel to China, visit family gardens and the factories, which process and package the product. Together with their Chinese suppliers, they select the tea leaves and create their brand. On Bamako’s largest market, the Grand Marché, more than a hundred different tea brands are found, whose packages have colourfully, often eye-catching designs with brand-names such as Gazelle, Tombouctou, Arafat and Obama. This book explores the unique tea culture that celebrates with its brands the strength of desert animals, the fading glory of trading places, the excitement of social events and the accomplishments of admired politicians.