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Recapturing Anthropology

Working in the Present

Edited by Richard G. Fox

The ten papers in this volume offer different versions of how and where anthropologists might work usefully in today’s world, converging on the issue of how anthropology can best recapture the progressive character its basic concepts, such as “culture,” once had. Together the authors demonstrate that a reinvigorated anthropology must recognize how the profession labors under an existing intellectual discipline, with its own political and economic history, on a global “shop floor.”

1991. 264 pp., notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Lila Abu-Lughod, Arjun Appadurai, Richard G. Fox, Jose F. Limon, Sherry B. Ortner, Paul Rabinow, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Joan Vincent, Graham Watson

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“Product of a 1989 seminar of leading ethnologists, these nine essays explore the revitalization of contemporary anthropology in response to postmodern criticism… [T]his will interest those concerned with new directions in the social sciences. For faculty and students in departments of anthropology, for larger public libraries, and essential for university libraries associated with both undergraduate and graduate programs in the social sciences.”
—R. B. Clay, Choice (September 1992)

“[Recapturing Anthropology] is a first class ticket to new times in anthropology.”
—Roger Slack, Sociology, vol. 27, no. 4 November 1993


  1. Introduction: Working in the Present
    Richard G. Fox
  2. Anthropology and the Salvage Slot: The Poetics and Politics of Otherness
    Michael-Rolph Trouillet
  3. Engaging Historicism
    Joan Vincent
  4. For Hire: Resolutely Late Modern
    Paul Rabinow
  5. Rewriting Culture
    Graham Watson
  6. For a Nearly New Culture History
    Richard G. Fox
  7. Representation, Ethnicity, and the Precursory Ethnography: Notes of a Native Anthropologist
    José E. Limón
  8. Writing Against Culture
    Lila Abu-Lughod
  9. Reading America: Preliminary Notes on Class and Culture
    Sherry B. Ortner
  10. Global Ethnoscapes: Notes and Queries for a Transnational Anthropology
    Arjun Appadurai
There are no working papers for this book at the present time.