Book Summary: Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania / Liisa H. Malkki

In her ethnographic work, Malkki researches the Hutu refugees in exile in Tanzania who had to flee their homes in Burundi due to a bloodbath of ethnic conflicts with the Tutsis, a minority group that controlled the military in the country. Malkki categorizes refugees as camp and town refugees and thus conducts multi-sited fieldwork in... Continue Reading →

Book Summary: The Wherewithal of Life: Ethics, Migration, and the Question of Well-being / Michael Jackson

In his book, Michael Jackson looks deeply into the lives of three individuals, Emmanuel Mulamila, Roberto M. Franco, and Ibrahim Ouedraogo while shedding some light on their journeys that concern the endurance of life via different ethical modes of being, how these individuals approach and derive meanings from their extraordinary encounters in life, and what... Continue Reading →

Book Summary: Theory of the Partisan: Intermediate Commentary on the Concept of the Political / Carl Schmitt

Introduction View of the Initial Situation 1808-13 Schmitt writes, “the initial situation for our consideration of the problem of the partisan is the guerrilla war that the Spanish people waged against the army of a foreign conqueror from 1808 until 1813. In this war, a people—a pre-bourgeois, pre-industrial, pre-conventional nation—for the first time confronted a... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Politics of Piety / Saba Mahmood

Mahmood, S. (2012). Politics of piety: the islamic revival and the feminist subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press.  This thought-provoking yet complicated book is a groundbreaking analysis of the complex relationship between religious practices and beliefs of (some) Muslim women and modern secular liberal discourses on feminism and other issues. The ethnography, published in 2004 by... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Political Leadership among Swat Pathans / Fredrik Barth

Barth, Fredrik. Political Leadership among Swat Pathans. 1st Pbk. Ed. with Corrections ed. London: Athlone, 1965. Print. Monographs on Social Anthropology ; No. 19.  This fascinating yet terrifyingly complex ethnography, published in 1959, is about the Pashto-speaking people (Pathans) of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area called Swat. Fredrik Barth claims the main purpose of his study... Continue Reading →

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