The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Anthropology: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Anthropology

1st Edition

Edited by Simon Coleman, Susan B. Hyatt, Ann Kingsolver


530 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Anthropology is an invaluable guide and major reference source for students and scholars alike, introducing its readers to key contemporary perspectives and approaches within the field. Written by an experienced international team of contributors, with an interdisciplinary range of essays, this collection provides a powerful overview of the transformations currently affecting anthropology. The volume both addresses the concerns of the discipline and comments on its construction through texts, classroom interactions, engagements with various publics, and changing relations with other academic subjects. Persuasively demonstrating that a number of key contemporary issues can be usefully analyzed through an anthropological lens, the contributors cover important topics such as globalization, law and politics, collaborative archaeology, economics, religion, citizenship and community, health, and the environment. The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Anthropology is a fascinating examination of this lively and constantly evolving discipline.

Table of Contents



1. Introduction to an engaging discipline: The challenge of creating a companion to contemporary anthropology

Simon Coleman, Susan B. Hyatt, and Ann Kingsolver


Conceptualizing the field in/of anthropology

2. Engaging theory in the new millennium

Faye V. Harrison

3. Participating, observing, witnessing

Deborah Reed-Danahay

4. Beyond sites and methods: The field, history and global capitalism

Patrick Neveling

5. Anthropology and the internet

Anna Stewart

6. Hand in hand: Homelessness, heritage and collaborative approaches to the material past

Rachael Kiddey

7. Communicating anthropology: Writing, screening, and exhibiting culture

Paul Basu

8. Teaching anthropological theory in neoliberal times

Elizabeth Chin


Transforming disciplinary conversations

9. Doing and being: Process, essence and hierarchy in making kin

Susan McKinnon

10. "Religion" after religion, "ritual" after ritual

Jon Bialecki

11. Language, gender, and desire in performance

Peter C. Haney

12. Selves and codified bodies

Subhadra Channa

13. Law and politics: An anthropological history, and research and practice among vulnerable populations

Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban

14. Objectifying economies: contemporary themes in the anthropology of economic knowledge and practice

Daromir Rudnyckyj

15. Research, representation, redemption and repatriation: Archaeology and

community relationships in 21st-century America

Joe Watkins

16. Critical biocultural anthropology: A model for anthropological integration

Thomas Leatherman and Morgan Hoke


Anthropology in conversation with other fields

17. Anthropology and Science

Jonathan Marks

18. Joined at the head: Anthropology, geography and the environment

Michael J. Watts

19. Entangled subjects and art objects

Shelly Errington

20. Psychological anthropology: An awkward hybrid?

Andrew Beatty

21. Whither anthropology in public policy?: Reflections from India

Soumendra Mohan Patnaik

22. Health and anthropology in the era of anthropogenic climatic and environmental change

Merrill Singer

23. Immersive politics and the ethnographic encounter: Anthropology and political science

Joseph MacKay and Jamie Levin

24. Social movements as process

Marianne Maeckelbergh

25. Ethnography as aprendizaje: Growing and using collaborative knowledge with the People's Produce Project in San Diego

A. L. Anderson-Lazo

26. Interdisciplinary approaches to cultural citizenship and migration

Mattia Fumanti

About the Editors

Simon Coleman is Chancellor Jackman Professor at the Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto. He has previously been editor of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and is currently co-editor of the journal Religion and Society: Advances in Research. He works on Pentecostalism, pilgrimage, hospital chaplaincies, and cathedrals, and has carried out fieldwork in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. Previous general works on anthropology have included Locating the Field: Space, Place and Context in Anthropology (2006, ed. with Peter Collins) and Multi-sited Ethnography: Problems and Possibilities in the Translocation of Research Methods (2011, ed. with Pauline von Hellerman).

Susan B. Hyatt is Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Chair of the Anthropology Department. She is also founder of the department’s MA program in Applied Anthropology. She received her PhD from the University of Massachusetts in 1996. With Boone Shear and Susan Wright, she co-edited a recent volume entitled, Learning Under Neoliberalism: Ethnographies of Governance in Higher Education (2015). She is committed to involving her students in collaborative fieldwork with neighbourhoods in Indianapolis, and in 2010, the Indiana Campus Compact awarded her with the Brian Hiltunen Award for the Outstanding Scholarship of Civic Engagement, and in 2012 she received the IUPUI Chancellor’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement.

Ann Kingsolver is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. Her work as a cultural anthropologist, in ethnographic fieldwork in the United States, Mexico, and Sri Lanka, has been focused on variously situated interpretations of, and responses to, all that gets glossed as capitalist globalization. Her books include NAFTA Stories: Fears and Hopes in Mexico and the United States (2001) and Tobacco Town Futures: Global Encounters in Rural Kentucky (2011), and edited collections More than Class: Studying Power in U.S. Workplaces (1998) and, with Nandini Gunewardena, The Gender of Globalization: Women Navigating Cultural and Economic Marginalities (2007).

About the Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General