Ghosts of MemoryEssays on Remembrance and Relatedness
Ghosts of Memory provides an overview of literature on relatedness and memory and then moves beyond traditional approaches to the subject, exploring the subtle and complex intersections between everyday forms of relatedness in the present and memories of the past. Explores how various subjects are located in personal and familial histories that connect to the wider political formations of which they are a part Closely examines diverse and intriguing case studies, e.g. Catholic residents of a decayed railway colony in Bengal, and sex workers in London Brings together original essays authored by contemporary experts in the field Draws on anthropology, literature, memory studies, and social history
Contributors. Acknowledgments. 1. Introduction: Ghosts of Memory: Janet Carsten (University of Edinburgh). 2. Ruins and Ghosts: The Domestic Uncanny and the Materialization of Anglo-Indian Genealogies in Kharagpur: Laura Bear (London School of Economics and Political Science). 3. Enlivened Memories: Recalling Absence and Loss in Mongolia: Rebecca Empson (University of Cambridge). 4. Connections and Disconnections of Memory and Kinship in Narratives of Adoption Reunions in Scotland: Janet Carsten (University of Edinburgh). 5. Memories of Movement and the Stillness of Place: Kinship Memory in the Polish Highlands: Frances Pine (Goldsmiths College, University of London). 6. Moving on? Generating Homes in the Future for Displaced Northern Muslims in Sri Lanka: Sharika Thiranagama (University of Edinburgh). 7. Belonging to What? Jewish Mixed Kinship and Historical Disruption in Twentieth-Century Europe: Stephan Feuchtwang (London School of Economics and Political Science). 8. Threading Time in the Biographies of London Sex Workers: Sophie Day (Goldsmiths College, University of London). 9. Kinship, Memory, and Time in the Lives of HIV/AIDS Patients in a North American City: Veena Das (Johns Hopkins University) and Lori Leonard (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health). 10. The Cares of Alice Alder: Recuperating Kinship and History in Switzerland: Michael Lambek (London School of Economics and Political Science). Index
"A welcome addition offering rich ethnographic cross-cultural accounts and successfully demonstrates how the work of memory plays out in intimate, informal, non-ritualistic, everyday forms and practices of kinship." (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, March 2009)
Janet Carsten is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of The Heat of the Hearth: The Process of Kinship in a Malay Fishing Community (1997) and After Kinship (2004). She has co-edited About the House: Lévi-Strauss and Beyond (1995) with Stephen Hugh-Jones, and edited Cultures of Relatedness: New Approaches to the Study of Kinship (2000). Her current research deals with new approaches to kinship in anthropology, adoption reunions, kinship and memory.
Catholic residents of a decayed railway colony in Bengal are haunted by domestic ghosts. Sex workers in London recount pasts that are fragmented among different lives lived under different names. Through a close study of such examples, Ghosts of Memory: Essays on Remembrance and Relatedness explores the subtle and complex intersections between everyday forms of relatedness in the present and memories of the past. The essays collected here examine how their various subjects are located in personal and familial histories that connect to the wider political formations of which they are a part. They point to the myriad articulations - of temporality, memory, personal biography, family connection, and political processes - that are manifested in subjective dispositions to the past, and in the imagination of possible futures. Ghosts of Memory provides an overview of literature on relatedness and memory and moves beyond previous approaches to the subject. It suggests some common forms and themes that emerge through the diverse lives, geographical locations, and social contexts considered in these essays: pasts disrupted by migration, personal trauma, or political upheaval; the present disturbed by ghosts and hauntings, illness, and absent or abusive familial relations. Drawing on anthropology, literature, memory studies, and social history, this collection will be of interest to a wide range of specialist and general readers.
"This volume is full of insights into the manifold ways that people negotiate disruption in family relations, compensate for the absence of close kin, and work through loss. A fascinating and nuanced account of the play of continuity and discontinuity at the heart of human cultures." Olivia Harris, London School of Economics "This superb collection of papers inaugurates a new direction in the study of kinship and politics grounded in the complexities of memory. Carsten and her colleagues link everyday processes of relating with larger webs of power and authority through the ghosts - those whose existence is contested - they have in common. Thus they show that the sociality of remembering and forgetting lies above all in the creation and destruction of persons."Gillian Feeley-Harnik, University of Michigan
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