• After Ethnos

    Pages: 192
    Illustrations: 3 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • what if . . .  ix
    acknowledgments  xi
    introduction. all of it  1
    1. on anthropology (free from ethnos)  7
    anthropology and philosophy (differently)  17
    philosophy/Philosophy  25
    thought/abstract, thought/concrete (the problem with modernism)  28
    escaping (the already thought and known)  32
    2. "of" the human (after "the human")  34
    cataloguing  45
    antihumanism  49
    a disregard for theory  52
    no ontology  55
    3. on fieldwork (itself)  70
    assemblages (or how to study difference in time?)  84
    not history  93
    epochal (no more)  95
    4. on the actual (rather than the emergent)  97
    the new/different (of movement/in terms of movement)  108
    why and to what end ends (philosophy, politics, poetry)  110
    5. coda (a dictionary of anthropological common places)  113
    one last question  118
    notes  121
    bibliography  151
    index  169
  • After Ethnos is full of frame-shifting insights about the relation of anthropology to its methods, of revelatory rhetorical gambits about how we might think about the field in ways different from our received histories, of gentle but powerful exposés of anthropology’s dearest disciplinary clichés, and of provocative pointers to possible intellectual and political futures for sociocultural inquiry. A book with which to agree and disagree in unexpected and always stimulating ways.” — Stefan Helmreich, author of, Sounding the Limits of Life: Essays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond

    “Fascinating, deliberately provocative, and brilliant, After Ethnos is a field changer: it is one of those rare books that can grasp and shift a discipline." — Miriam Ticktin, author of, Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France

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  • Description

    For most of the twentieth century, anthropologists understood themselves as ethnographers. The art of anthropology was the fieldwork-based description of faraway others—of how social structures secretly organized the living-together of a given society, of how a people had endowed the world surrounding them with cultural meaning. While the poetics and politics of anthropology have changed dramatically over the course of a century, the basic equation of anthropology with ethnography—as well as the definition of the human as a social and cultural being—has remained so evident that the possibility of questioning it occurred to hardly anyone. In After Ethnos Tobias Rees endeavors to decouple anthropology from ethnography—and the human from society and culture—and explores the manifold possibilities of practicing a question-based rather than an answer-based anthropology that emanates from this decoupling. What emerges from Rees's provocations is a new understanding of anthropology as a philosophically and poetically inclined, fieldwork-based investigation of what it could mean to be human when the established concepts of the human on which anthropology has been built increasingly fail us.

    About The Author(s)

    Tobias Rees is Reid Hoffman Professor at the New School of Social Research, a director of the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute, and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He is the coauthor of Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary, also published by Duke University Press, and author of Plastic Reason: An Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms.
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