A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found
'A severed head can be many things: a loved one, a trophy, scientific data, criminal evidence, an educational prop, a religious relic, an artistic muse, a practical joke.' Larson surveys all these fates of human heads in a strange and often gruesome history that ranges from primitive tribes' shrunken heads to bizarre experiments in bringing guillotined heads back to life, and discusses issues such as the spectacle of public execution, the human face and the act of decapitation.
The Poet in the Laboratory
Lévi-Strauss’s development of structural anthropology made him one of the most influential intellectuals of the late 20th century. Drawing on archival research and interviews with Lévi-Strauss and contemporary anthropologists, Wilcken explores his early life and experiences and follows the development of his ideas, portraying him as a writer whose poetic imagery brought artistry to academia.
What Makes Us Human?
Is it speech, intelligence or manual dexterity that makes us distinctly different from our ape cousins, or are we different at all? This investigation into the question presents the arguments of several eminent scientists and thinkers including anthropologist Robin Dunbar and geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer.
People with Animals
Perspectives and Studies in Ethnozooarchaeology
In sections on thinking, living and subsisting with animals, this collection of eleven papers emphasizes the interdependence of people and their animals in society. The topics discussed include the sacrifice of horses in Iron Age Pazyryk burials; parallels in ancient and modern livestock guardian dogs; the use of garfish by Native Americans; and professional butchering in the Mahas region of Sudan.
The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe
Sarah Churchwell’s exploration of Marilyn mythology starts by deconstructing the ways the star has been written about. By comparing different approaches taken to issues such as her parents and childhood, the casting couch, her affairs, marriages and psychological problems, her onscreen persona and her tragic death, she argues that Marilyn is both worshipped as an icon, but simultaneously trivialized.
The Animal's Companion
People and their Pets: A 26,000-Year-Old Love Story
Starting with the earliest known evidence of ‘our role as an animal’s companion’ – the paw- and footprints of a boy and a dog walking in a cave 26,000 years ago – this is a history, not of pets, but of pet owners. Discussing individuals from aristocrats to rat-catchers, Harvey examines our relationship to the animals that we regard as pets, whether goldfish or wombats: how we name them, communicate and connect with them, care for them and mourn their deaths.
Understanding the Shared Humanity of Our Ancestors
With contributions from anthropologists and other social scientists, this collection of 10 papers addresses the representation of indigenous peoples; human interactions with ancestors and the museological response to this highly emotive discourse; and the repatriation of remains and artefacts.
In the Light of Amarna
100 Years of the Nefertiti Discovery
Described by its excavator as ‘the epitome of serenity and symmetry’, the brightly coloured plaster bust of Queen Nefertiti from Tell el-Amarna is one of the most famous examples of Egyptian art. These 29 essays set Nefertiti within the historical context of the Amarna period, assess the bust’s cultural impact in the 20th century and describe other artefacts found in the same location. More than 200 items are illustrated, including many unfinished carvings that offer glimpses into an ancient sculptor’s workshop.
The Human Age
The World Shaped By Us
Diane Ackerman may rue the destruction of the natural world, yet she is thrilled by human ingenuity and here contemplates nascent technologies – including those for body heat recycling, 3D-printed human tissue and carbon capture – that may yet save our planet and our species. Slightly off-mint.
Shades of Difference
Mythologies of Skin Color in Early Modern England
Sujata Iyengar’s term ‘mythologies of color’ refers to a complex of early modern beliefs surrounding the significance of skin colour, whether white, black, red, green, yellow or transparent. She explores these cultural mythologies in their historical, geographical and literary contexts during the period when colonial expansion and the slave trade introduced Britons to more dark-skinned persons than they had previously encountered.
Watching the English
The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour
Convinced that there is such a thing as ‘Englishness’, the popular anthropologist Kate Fox looks beyond the ‘the ethnographic dazzle of superficial differences’ to reveal the unwritten rules that define English national identity and character. This is an updated edition of the 2004 international bestseller.
An Intellectual Biography
The Norwegian anthropologist Fredrik Barth (1928–2016) was one of the most influential social theorists of the 20th century. This biography by his friend and colleague Thomas Hylland Eriksen – himself a distinguished ethnographer – charts the development of Barth’s groundbreaking ideas on ethnicity in his untiring fieldwork. In its exploration of big issues such as unity and diversity, culture and relativism, art and science, the book compellingly communicates the magic of ethnography to the non-specialist reader.
Prophecy and Power in the Ancient World
The female prophets known as sibyls were renowned across the Greco-Roman world and their pronouncements were considered a source of authoritative wisdom. Guillermo focuses on the stories that were told about four prominent sibyls, at Erythrae, Cumae, Delphi and Tibur. He also reflects on the wider cultural associations between women and prophecy and asks how the ancient pagan tradition was later fused with Christianity so successfully that sibyls feature in Michelangelo’s decoration of the Sistine Chapel.
Scottish Life and Society
A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, Oral Literature and Performance Culture, Vol 10
In three sections on narrative and verse, song and music, and dance and drama, and covering topics from Gaelic hero-tales to the 1950s Folk Revival, 32 essays discuss cultural expression across Scotland. Off-mint.
Nations are often regarded as fixed, natural entities, but most nation states have been consciously created in recent centuries, and France is no exception. Divided into three sections covering French history, experience and identity, this study examines the way that revolution, social conflict, war, occupation and resistance, colonialism and decolonization, religion, gender and popular culture have all shaped the evolution and reinvention of France to create the country we know today.
Scottish Life and Society
A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology | Religion, Vol 12
This volume surveys Scotland's complex religious landscape from an ethnological perspective, discussing aspects of the history and the role of religion, from the arrival of Christianity to the religious diversity of today.
Berg Encylopedia of World Dress and Fashion
Volume Three: The United States and Canada
Written for both academic and general readers, the volumes of the Berg Encyclopedia focus on the 19th to early 21st centuries and comprise essays on the full spectrum of issues relating to dress and body modification, with topics ranging from antebellum African American dress to military and civil uniforms. This volume contains more than 70 essays covering First Nations peoples, and European and other cultural groups in the USA and Canada.
Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion
Volume Seven: Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands
Written for both academic and general readers, the volumes of the Berg Encyclopedia focus on the 19th to early 21st centuries and comprise essays on the full spectrum of issues relating to dress and body modification, with topics ranging from Maori moko to 'swimwear, surfwear and the bronzed body' in Australia. The 75 essays in this volume cover both First Nation and European dress in Australia and New Zealand, and Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.
A Companion to Mexican Studies
With its unique fusion of the Aztec tradition, Christian iconography and modernism, Mexican art is powerful, distinctive and immediately recognizable. This scholarly but readable history traces its development from pre-Columbian times through the Spanish colonial period and revolution to the present day. Covering not only the visual arts but writing, theatre, music and dance, it takes in such great artists and writers as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Octavio Paz. With colour plates, maps, a chronology and extensive bibliography.