Thinking Through Things
Theorising Artefacts Ethnographically
Edited by Amiria Henare, Martin Holbraad, Sari Wastell
Routledge – 2006 – 242 pages
Drawing upon the work of some of the most influential theorists in the field, Thinking Through Things demonstrates the quiet revolution growing in anthropology and its related disciplines, shifting its philosophical foundations. The first text to offer a direct and provocative challenge to disciplinary fragmentation - arguing for the futility of segregating the study of artefacts and society - this collection expands on the concerns about the place of objects and materiality in analytical strategies, and the obligation of ethnographers to question their assumptions and approaches.
The team of leading contributors put forward a positive programme for future research in this highly original and invaluable guide to recent developments in mainstream anthropological theory.
1. Thinking through things 2. ‘Smuk is king’: the action of cigarettes in a Papua New Guinea Prison 3. Taonga Maori: encompassing rights and property in New Zealand 4. The ‘legal thing’ in Swaziland: res judicata and divine kingship 5. Collection as a way of being 6. Separating and containing people and things in Mongolia 7. Talismans of thought: shamanist ontologies and extended cognition in northern Mongolia 8. Differentiation and encompassment: a critique of Alfred Gell’s theory of the abduction of creativity 9. The power of powder: multiplicity and motion in the divinatory cosmology of Cuban Ifá