The Question of the Gift is the first collection of new interdisciplinary essays on the gift. Bringing together scholars from a variety of fields, including anthropology, literary criticism, economics, philosophy and classics, it provides new paradigms and poses new questions concerning the theory and practice of gift exchange. In addressing these questions, contributors not only challenge the conventions of their fields, but also combine ideas and methods from both the social sciences and humanities to forge innovative ways of confronting this universal phenomenon.
Introduction: Questions of the Gift Mark Osteen Part I: Redefining Reciprocity 1. A Free Gift Makes No Friends James Laidlaw 2. Unbalanced Reciprocity: Asymmetrical Gift-Giving and Social Hierarchy in Rural China Yunxiang Yan 3. Unpacking the Gift: Illiquid Goods and Empathetic Dialogue Lee Anne Fennell Part II: Kinship, Generosity and Gratitude: Ethical Foundations 4. The Patriarchal Narratives of Genesis and the Ethos of Gift Exchange Charles H. Hinnant 5. The Ethics of Generosity and Friendship: Aristotle's Gift to Nietzsche? Martha Kendral Woodruff 6. Adam Smith and the Debt of Gratitude Eun Kyung Min Part III: The Gift and Artistic Commerce 7. Catullus and the Gift of Sentiment in Republican Rome Jacqui Sadashige 8. Gabriele D'Annunzio: The Art of Squandering Nicoletta Pireddu 9. Conrad's Guilt-Edged Securities: 'Karain: A Memory' via Simmel and Benjamin Anthony P. Fothergill 10. Formed by Homages: H. D., Robert Duncan, and the Spirit of the Gift Stephen Collis Part IV: Posing New Questions 11. Gift or Commodity? Mark Osteen 12. The Ghost of the Gift: The Unlikelihood of Economics Antonio Callari 13. Give the Ghost a Chance! A Comrade's Shadowy Addendum Jack Amariglio 14. The Pleasures and Pains of the Gift Andrew Cowell