160 pages | 34 B/W Illus.
Persian Carpets: the Nation As a Transnational Commodity tracks the Persian carpet as an exotic and mythological object, as a commodity, and as an image from mid-nineteenth-century England to contemporary Iran and the Iranian diaspora. Following the journey of this single object, the book brings issues of labor into conversation with the politics of aesthetics. It focuses on the carpet as a commodity which crosses the boundaries of private and public, religious and secular, culture and economy, modern and traditional, home and diaspora, and art and commodity to tell the story of transnational interconnectivity.
Bringing transnational feminist cultural studies, ethnography, and network studies within the same frame of reference, this book sheds light on Orientalia as civilizational objects that emerged as commodities in the encounter between the West and the many directly or indirectly colonized Middle Eastern and West Asian cultures, focusing on the specific example of Persian carpets as some of the most extensively valued and traded objects since colonial modernity.
"Moallem’s astute analysis and the fascinating range of material with which she engages is indeed a creative and effective way to familiarize students with theoretical and methodological concepts in anthropology, cultural studies, political economy, and transnational feminist theory."
--Sima Shakhsari, Jadaliyya
Series Foreward; Introduction; Chapter 1. Objects of Knowledge, Subjects of Consumption; Chapter 2. Transnational Orientalia and Civilizational Commodities; Chapter 3. The Spectacle of Labor; Chapter 4. Nation As A Commodity; Chapter 5. Between Carpets and Computers; Epilogue
Editors: Richard H. Robbins, SUNY at Plattsburgh and Luis A. Vivanco, University of Vermont
This series is dedicated to innovative, unconventional ways to connect undergraduate students and their lived concerns about our social world to the power of social science ideas and evidence. We seek to publish titles that use anthropology to help students understand how they benefit from exposing their own lives and activities to the power of anthropological thought and analysis. Our goal is to help spark social science imaginations and, in doing so, open new avenues for meaningful thought and action.
Books proposed for this series should pose questions and problems that speak to the complexities and dynamism of modern life, connecting cutting edge research in exciting and relevant topical areas with creative pedagogy. We seek writing that is clear and accessible, yet not simplistic. The series has three primary projects:
The Anthropology of Stuff
This project invites proposals for 100 to 120 page books devoted to tracing the biographies and social lives of commodities that illuminate for students the network of people, institutions, and activities that create their material world. The series already has successful titles on milk, coffee, lycra, counterfeit goods, bicycles, Wal-Mart, and alcohol, as well as a forthcoming title on seafood. We seek books that:
Anthropology and Civic Engagement
This project invites proposals for 100 to 120 page books that examine anthropology’s historical, contemporary, or potential involvement in civic affairs, contributions to key public debates, and/or engagement with diverse notions of citizenship and civic participation. Its goal is to illuminate for students how anthropological concepts, methods, and approaches can create powerful insights about critical social issues, while at the same time providing useful models for civic engagement for the construction of a more equitable society. We seek books that:
This project invites proposals for 150-350 page introductory texts that integrate high impact teaching and learning practices with treatment of specific topical areas that are the focus on undergraduate courses in anthropology. These specific topical areas could include Anthropology of Religion, Economic Anthropology, Political Anthropology, Anthropology of Food, Environmental Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality, etc. The texts should examine the development of the field and provide coverage of key concepts and theories. At the same time, they should integrate high-impact educational practices into the structure of the text and its features. These practices could include:
If you have a proposal that you believe would fit into the series in one of its three project areas, or if you have any questions about the series, please contact Richard Robbins at [email protected], or Luis Vivanco at [email protected]