Magic and Modernity: Interfaces of Revelation and Concealment

Overview


“This volume offers an innovative and intriguing collection of essays. Each chapter is grounded in detailed anthropological and historical research and offers stimulating theoretical considerations. The breadth of scholarship—addressing both the general implications of ‘magic’ and its place in the making of ‘modernity,’ as demonstrated in a range of ethnographic contexts—suggest a broad readership.” —Brad Weiss,The College of William & Mary
“These essays demonstrate that ...
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Overview


“This volume offers an innovative and intriguing collection of essays. Each chapter is grounded in detailed anthropological and historical research and offers stimulating theoretical considerations. The breadth of scholarship—addressing both the general implications of ‘magic’ and its place in the making of ‘modernity,’ as demonstrated in a range of ethnographic contexts—suggest a broad readership.” —Brad Weiss,The College of William & Mary
“These essays demonstrate that even our most objective categories of social and cultural understanding are entangled in the constitutive undergrowth of our present circumstances. In their diverse and intriguing ways, they are all concerned with the modernist configuration of magic, as magic, so taken, configures modernism. Despite our liberal claims to transparency, reason, and secularism, they lay bare a world shaded by opacity, unreason, and blinkered faith.” —Vincent Crapanzano,City University of New York
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[Magic and Modernity] is an important introduction and contribution to the anthropological side of this field,"—Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft

"These essays demonstrate that even our most objective categories of social and cultural understanding are entangled in the constitutive undergrowth of our present circumstances. In their diverse and intriguing ways, they are all concerned with the modernist configuration of magic, as magic, so taken, configures modernism. Despite our liberal claims to transparency, reason, and secularism, they lay bare a world shaded by opacity, unreason, and blinkered faith." —Vincent Crapanzano,City University of New York

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804744645
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Birgit Meyer is a senior lecturer at the Research Centre for the Study of Religion and Society, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Amsterdam. Peter Pels teaches at the Research Centre for the Study of Religion and Society and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam. He is also the editor of Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Magic and Modernity 1
1 Between Science and Superstition: Religion and the Modern Subject of the Nation in Colonial India 39
2 Undying Past: Spirit Possession and the Memory of War in Southern Mozambique 60
3 Robert Kaplan and "Juju Journalism" in Sierra Leone's Rebel War: The Primitivizing of an African Conflict 81
4 The Citizen's Trance: The Haitian Revolution and the Motor of History 103
5 Hidden Forces: Colonialism and the Politics of Magic in the Netherlands Indies 129
6 On Witch Doctors and Spin Doctors: The Role of "Experts" in African and American Politics 159
7 The Magical Power of the (Printed) Word 183
8 Ghanaian Popular Cinema and the Magic in and of Film 200
9 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Modern Medicine Between Magic and Science 223
10 Spirits of Modernity: Alfred Wallace, Edward Tylor, and the Visual Politics of Fact 241
11 Viscerality, Faith, and Skepticism: Another Theory of Magic 272
Notes 307
References 343
Contributors 375
Index 379
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