J._P._Linstroth_2005_ARTICLE_An_Introduc.pdf

Anthropologists are dedicated to research which has

This preview shows page 14 - 16 out of 69 pages.

anthropologists are dedicated to research which has socially beneficial ends […]: exposing the weaknesses in grand policy programs, acting as advocates for the unvoiced, championing the downtrodden, and so on… anthropology remains a discipline with the greatest of promise, whose distinctive approach continues to yield a diversity of significant insights into matters of contemporary import, and whose potential value for our understanding of the social world has still not yet been fully tapped.
Image of page 14

Subscribe to view the full document.

15 To bolster this contention about anthropology, I wish to explore some of the more profound ethnographies about conflict, and from my point of view, are exemplar testimonies of the invisible histories I have been discussing at length. Of course, the works I choose to discuss are just a small sample of the many ethnographies available, and as such, the reader must forgive my personal indulgence in their exposé and to the exclusion of other works. My ethnographic selections represent images from South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe as to provide the broadest sense in which conflict is portrayed in the hands of anthropologists. I am confident after surveying the essence of these works we will see the world beyond a clash of civilizations, conflations of history, or foreign policy theories of state-building. Ethnographies are social investigations on the ground, which make connections about violence oft least understood by many academic disciplines. For it is the aim of anthropological enquiry to live with and participate in the lives of those we study, allowing for first hand insight of all aspects of human existence, not only the present but the past in the present as well. To capture the mosaic of ethnographic possibility for explaining the invisible histories of our day, especially in relation to conflict, I have selected from the works of Michael Taussig (1987), David Lan (1985), Nancy Scheper-Hughes (1992), E. Valentine Daniel (1996), and Neil Jarman (1997) to embody understandings of colonial terror, liberation struggle, ethnic strife, everyday violence, and sectarianism. Of the wide range of existing ethnographies, it is difficult to imagine a better rendering of the trauma of the colonial encounter by indigenous populations than Michael Taussig’s (1987), Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: a study of terror and healing , which at once evokes not only the fiction of Joseph Conrad, but actual facets of racism, power, oppression, and the emotive and redemptive struggle of curative energy. In probing the montage of colonial history and its effects on the present inhabitants of the Putumayo region of Colombia, Michael Taussig (1987) offers one of the best accounts of human tragedy and terror, which is juxtaposed by the paradox of spiritualist restoration. We are confronted by a world of seeming magical-realism but
Image of page 15
16 much more moving than any Gabriel García Márquez tale because the “space of death”, as depicted by Taussig (1987, p. 4), is all too real and all too terrible to fathom. Such encounters take us right into the nightmarish shadows of history. Taussig (1987, p. 5) writes:
Image of page 16
You've reached the end of this preview.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern