Imaginary Ethnographies: Literature, Culture, and by Gabriele Schwab

By Gabriele Schwab

Via readings of iconic figures similar to the cannibal, the kid, the alien, and the posthuman, Gabriele Schwab analyzes literary explorations on the limitations of the human. Treating literature as a dynamic medium that "writes culture"―one that makes the summary specific and native, and situates us in the world―Schwab pioneers a compelling method of analyzing literary texts as "anthropologies of the longer term" that problem routine productions of that means and knowledge.

Schwab's examine attracts on anthropology, philosophy, serious concept, and psychoanalysis to track literature's profound effect at the cultural imaginary. Following a brand new interpretation of Derrida's and Lévi-Strauss's recognized controversy over the indigenous Nambikwara, Schwab explores the vicissitudes of "traveling literature" via novels and flicks that style a cross-cultural imaginary. She additionally examines the complicated hyperlinks among colonialism, cannibalism, melancholia, the destiny of disenfranchised kids less than the forces of globalization, and the intertwinement of estate and personhood within the neoliberal imaginary. Schwab concludes with an exploration of discourses at the posthuman, utilizing Samuel Beckett's "The misplaced Ones" and its depiction of a destiny lived below the stipulations of minimum lifestyles. Drawing on a variety of theories, Schwab engages the efficient intersections among literary reports and anthropology, underscoring the facility of literature to form tradition, subjectivity, and existence.

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Imaginary Ethnographies: Literature, Culture, and Subjectivity

Via readings of iconic figures similar to the cannibal, the kid, the alien, and the posthuman, Gabriele Schwab analyzes literary explorations on the obstacles of the human. Treating literature as a dynamic medium that "writes culture"―one that makes the summary specific and native, and situates us in the world―Schwab pioneers a compelling method of analyzing literary texts as "anthropologies of the long run" that problem recurring productions of that means and information.

Extra resources for Imaginary Ethnographies: Literature, Culture, and Subjectivity

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15 In this larger context, one could argue that only those able to read through or between the wavy horizontal lines would be able to decipher the information given by the chief in a mode of withholding. One must see these lines as writing under erasure in order to fully understand the double nature of the “exchange of secrets” between the anthropologist and the chief. After all, both participants in the exchange are aware of their respective games. The chief’s indirect information comes in the form of a performative enactment rather than an indirect speech act in the narrow sense of the word.

If “experimental systems,” according to Rheinberger, are “machines for generating the future,”32 this raises the issue of temporality, the temporal structure of retroactive literary memories, and the paradox of memories of the future. I propose to understand the reading process within a temporal logic of Nachträglichkeit (Freud), supplementarity (Derrida), and polytemporality (Latour). Rheinberger’s notion of experimental systems is predicated on the a posteriori quality of knowledge formation (Erkenntnis).

A true visual “imaginary ethnography,” this film’s celebration of alternative encounters between East and West recalls, yet undermines, scripted codes of Western Orientalism. I end with a piece of an almost coincidental fieldwork experience. When I lectured in Beijing on my childhood reading of Pearl Buck’s Peony, which is about the Jewish Diaspora in Kaifeng, I received a spontaneous invitation to Kaifeng and, with the help of a translator, I was able to interview some of the remaining Jewish community there.

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