1st Edition

Philosophy on Fieldwork Case Studies in Anthropological Analysis

Edited By Nils Bubandt, Thomas Schwarz Wentzer Copyright 2023
    516 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    516 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How do we teach analysis in anthropology and other field-based sciences? How can we engage analytically and interrogatively with philosophical ideas and concepts in our fieldwork? And how can students learn to engage critical ideas from philosophy to better understand the worlds they study?

    Philosophy on Fieldwork provides "show-don’t-tell" answers to these questions. In twenty-six "master class" chapters, philosophy meets anthropological critique as leading anthropologists introduce the thinking of one foundational philosopher – from a variety of Western traditions and beyond – and apply this critically to an ethnographic case. Nils Bubandt, Thomas Schwarz Wentzer and the contributors to this volume reveal how the encounter between philosophy and fieldwork is fertile ground for analytical insight to emerge. Equally, the philosophical concepts employed are critically explored for their potential to be thought "otherwise" through their frictional encounter with the worlds in the field, allowing non-Western and non-elite life experience and ontologies to "speak back" to both anthropology and philosophy.

    This is a unique and concrete guidebook to social analysis. It answers the critical need for a "how-to" textbook in fieldwork-based analysis as each chapter demonstrates how the ideas of a specific philosopher can be interrogatively applied to a concrete analytical case study. The straightforward pedagogy of Philosophy on Fieldwork makes this an accessible volume and a must-read for both students and seasoned fieldworkers interested in exploring the contentious middle ground between philosophy and anthropology.

    • 1. Nils Bubandt and Thomas Schwarz Wentzer: 
      Philosophy on Fieldwork: Analysis as Bifocal Wonder
    • 2. Magnus Fiskesjö:
      Agamben and the Chinese Forced-Confession Ritual
    • 3. Lotte Meinert: 
      Arendt in the Lord’s Resistance Army and the ICC
    • 4. Charles Briggs:
      Austin and Pandemic Performativity: From Cholera to COVID-19
    • 5. Alan Klima:
      Bataille and the “Mindfulness Revolution”
    • 6. Yael Navaro:
      Benjamin on the Trail of the Armenian Genocide
    • 7. Don Kulick:
      Butler and Political (In)correctness
    • 8. Lesley Green:
      Césaire in Cape Town: The Surreal Ethnography of Ocean Pollution and Social Media Fakery
    • 9. Jie Yang:
      Confucius in a Self-Help Group
    • 10. Stuart McLean:
      Deleuze Attends an Art Festival on a Small, North Atlantic Island
    • 11. Nils Bubandt:
      Derrida and the Death of My Mother in Buli
    • 12. Tania Murray Li:
      Foucault Foments Fieldwork at the University
    • 13. Cheryl Mattingly:
      Gadamer in Black Los Angeles
    • 14. Jon Bialecki:
      Harman, a Prophet, a Church, a Name: A Portrait of Four Objects
    • 15. Jarrett Zigon:
      Heidegger and Freedom in the Anti-drug War Movement
    • 16. Jason Throop and Christopher Stephan:
      Husserlian Horizons: Moods in Yap
    • 17. Tarek Elhaik:
      Ibn Rushd / Averroës in Mexico City’s Kiosko Morisco
    • 18. Paul Stoller:
      Jabès amongst Songhay Sorcerers
    • 19. Douglas Hollan:
      James and Radical Empiricism in Rural Indonesia
    • 20. Renzo Taddei:
      Kopenawa and the Environmental Sciences in the Amazon
    • 21. Megan Warin:
      Kristeva, Anorexia and the Hunger of Abjection
    • 22. Thomas Csordas:
      Merleau-Ponty among the Charismatics and Peyotists
    • 23. Webb Keane:
      Peirce among the Muslim Saints’ Graves in Java
    • 24. Younes Saramifar:
      Sontag and the Image Machine in Iran
    • 25. Marisol de la Cadena:
      Stengers Meets an Andean Mountain That Is Not Only Such
    • 26. Bernard Leistle:
      Waldenfels among Spirits and Saints in Morocco
    • 27. Stephan Palmié:
      Wittgenstein among the Santeros: Finding my Feet with Tomás


    Nils Bubandt is Professor of Anthropology at Aarhus University, Denmark.

    Thomas Schwarz Wentzer is Professor of Philosophy at Aarhus University, Denmark.