Empirical Futures: Anthropologists and Historians Engage the Work of Sidney W. Mintz

Empirical Futures: Anthropologists and Historians Engage the Work of Sidney W. Mintz


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Since the 1950s, anthropologist Sidney W. Mintz has been at the forefront of efforts to integrate the disciplines of anthropology and history. Author of Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History and other groundbreaking works, he was one of the first scholars to anticipate and critique "globalization studies." However, a strong tradition of epistemologically sophisticated and theoretically informed empiricism of the sort advanced by Mintz has yet to become a cornerstone of contemporary anthropological scholarship. This collection of essays by leading anthropologists and historians serves as an intervention that rests on Mintz's rigorously historicist ethnographic work, which has long predicted the methodological crisis in anthropology today.

Contributors to this volume build on Mintzean interdisciplinarity to provide productive ways to theorize the everyday life of local groups and communities, nation-states, and regions and the interconnections among them. Consisting of theoretical and case studies of Latin America, North America, the Caribbean, and Papua New Guinea, Empirical Futures demonstrates how Mintzean perspectives advance our understanding of the relationship among empirical approaches, the uses of ethnographic and historical data and theory-building, and the study of these from both local and global vantage points.

George Baca, Goucher College
Frederick Cooper, New York University
Virginia R. Dominguez, University of Illinois
Frederick Errington, Trinity College
Deborah Gewertz, Amherst College
Juan Giusti-Cordero, University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras
Aisha Khan, New York University
Samuel Martinez, University of Connecticut
Stephan Palmie, University of Chicago
Jane Schneider, City University of New York Graduate Center
Rebecca J. Scott, University of Michigan

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807859889
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 12/01/2009
Edition description: 1
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

George Baca is assistant professor of anthropology at Goucher College.

Aisha Khan is associate professor of anthropology at New York University.

Stephan Palmie is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction Stephan Palmié Aisha Khan George Baca 1

Space, Time, and History 31

The Conceptual Limits of Globalization Frederick Cooper

Beyond Sugar Revolutions 58

Rethinking the Spanish Caribbean in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Juan Giusti-Cordero

Microhistory Set in Motion 84

A Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Creole Itinerary Rebecca J. Scott

Abstinence and Power 112

The Place of Prohibition in American History Jane Schneider

Evidence and Power, Sweet and Sour Virginia R. Dominguez 145

Jealous Women in the Cane Deborah Gewertz Frederick Errington 173

Toward an Anthropology of Excess 196

Wanting More (while Getting Less) on a Caribbean Global Periphery Samuel Martínez

Contributors 227

Index 229

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Sidney Mintz is a major intellectual figure and the issues that he has explored in his work are engaging to scholars in a variety of disciplines. This stimulating anthology draws on multiple Mintzian insights to trace new directions for interdisciplinary research.--Barbara Weinstein, New York University

This very impressive volume offers high levels of scholarship, originality, and contribution to contemporary debate. The essays provide an interesting and genuinely insightful look into the notions of global, racial, and cultural contact.--Olivia Harris, London School of Economics

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