An Anthropology of Absence: Materializations of by Mikkel Bille, Frida Hastrup, Tim Flohr Soerensen

By Mikkel Bille, Frida Hastrup, Tim Flohr Soerensen

In learning fabric tradition, anthropologists and archaeologists use significant actual gadgets from a tradition to assist comprehend the fewer tangible features of that tradition, resembling societal constitution, rituals, and values. What occurs whilst those items are destroyed, by means of battle, average catastrophe, or different old occasions? via exact causes of 11 foreign case experiences, the contributions exhibit that the absence of gadgets could be simply as telling as their presence, whereas the items created to memorialize a loss even have vital cultural implications.

Covering every little thing from organ donation, to funerary rituals, to prisoners of conflict, The Anthropology of Absence is written at a huge intersection of archaeological and anthropological examine. Divided into 3 sections, this quantity makes use of the "presence" of absence to match cultural perceptions of: fabric traits and created reminiscence, the mind/body connection, temporality, and dying.

This wealthy textual content offers a powerful theoretical framework for anthropologists and archaeologists learning fabric culture.

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Extra resources for An Anthropology of Absence: Materializations of Transcendence and Loss

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Every car has its blind spots, and my primary argument in this chapter is that thing theory’s2 major blind spot is, quite literally, that which is unseen – or, rather, that which is absent but nevertheless experienced as a presence precisely because its absence is marked or emphatic. Indeed, my worry is that in the rush to take things seriously, we have over-privileged a crude notion of presence linked to physicality and tangibility, as if the only meaningful relations were those between entities that can be seen, smelt or felt.

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On and on, down through domesticated plants and dug-out canoes, until, “when this work of elimination has been done,” when humanity has been stripped of all its things, “we shall have approached quite near the infantile period of man’s existence” (1974: 36) – which in the anthropology of the day was essentially equivalent to aboriginal Australia or Tierra del Fuego. Morgan’s model was not merely teleological. Certainly, his founding principle was that the modern European or Euro-American state marked an endpoint toward which all non-modern societies have naturally aspired as part of the grand “plan of the Supreme Intelligence” (1974: 563).

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