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When it was first published in 1989, Out of Time generated much-needed discussion on the appropriate models for historical anthropology. Thomas considered that both the historical structuralism of Marshall Sahlins and neo-Marxist regional systems theory had failed to transcend crucial limitations of conventional anthropology. Yet they provided elements of a more stimulating and critical perspective, which would also take account of contemporary political developments in the Pacific region.
For this second edition, Thomas has added an afterword that reflects on the book's initial reception and brings its critique up to date. He suggests a need to historicize the professionalization of anthropology as a discipline to understand shifts in practice and the need to acknowledge the historical specificity and limits of all forms of cultural knowledge, whether "Western" or indigenous.
Out of Time will be a useful text for graduate courses in anthropology, history, and cultural studies.
"This book displays rare integrity: Thomas' intellectual stance toward the theoretical approaches of others is fully consistent with his own discursive practices." --Contemporary Pacific
Nicholas Thomas is Senior Research Fellow, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University.
|1||History and anthropological discourse||9|
|2||Radcliffe-Brown, Geertz and the foundations of modern anthropology||18|
|3||The background to Polynesian anthropology||29|
|4||An evolutionary argument and its sources||35|
|5||Untying evidence, rethinking transformations||51|
|6||Travellers philosophical and unphilosophical||69|
|7||Evolution of another sort: regional system theory and the Pacific||86|
|8||Histories structured and unstructured||102|
|9||The look of events||117|
|Afterword to the second edition||123|