• At Home in the World

    Author(s):
    Pages: 201
    Illustrations: 3 maps
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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    978-0-8223-1561-2
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    978-0-8223-2538-3
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  • Acknowledgments ix

    At Home in the World 1

    Postscript 173

    Notes 177
  • Honorable Mention in the category of book prize for a senior scholar, American Ethnological Society

  • “[A] thoughtful study . . . [A] kind of ethno-poetic essay about belonging and being uprooted in the contemporary world.”

    “[An] important, exquisitely crafted book. . . notable for its innovative ethnography, philosophic acumen, and intricate portrayal of an aboriginal people.”

    “Jackson has succeeded in the thoroughly anthropological enterprise of splicing together the wisdom of thinkers in Asian, Euro-American, and Judeo-Christian traditions with ordinary folk wisdom and wise statements of not-so-ordinary Walbiri. In his hands, all these strands converge on a timeless and highly contemporary, insistent, and essentially unanswerable question.”

    “Jackson provides qualitative ethnographic research and studies of ‘home’ with a model to be emulated. He casts his net wide and captures lived experience as well as words can harvest.”

    Awards

  • Honorable Mention in the category of book prize for a senior scholar, American Ethnological Society

  • Reviews

  • “[A] thoughtful study . . . [A] kind of ethno-poetic essay about belonging and being uprooted in the contemporary world.”

    “[An] important, exquisitely crafted book. . . notable for its innovative ethnography, philosophic acumen, and intricate portrayal of an aboriginal people.”

    “Jackson has succeeded in the thoroughly anthropological enterprise of splicing together the wisdom of thinkers in Asian, Euro-American, and Judeo-Christian traditions with ordinary folk wisdom and wise statements of not-so-ordinary Walbiri. In his hands, all these strands converge on a timeless and highly contemporary, insistent, and essentially unanswerable question.”

    “Jackson provides qualitative ethnographic research and studies of ‘home’ with a model to be emulated. He casts his net wide and captures lived experience as well as words can harvest.”

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  • Description

    Ours is a century of uprootedness, with fewer and fewer people living out their lives where they are born. At such a time, in such a world, what does it mean to be "at home?" Perhaps among a nomadic people, for whom dwelling is not synonymous with being housed and settled, the search for an answer to this question might lead to a new way of thinking about home and homelessness, exile and belonging. At Home in the World is the story of just such a search. Intermittently over a period of three years Michael Jackson lived, worked, and traveled extensively in Central Australia. This book chronicles his experience among the Warlpiri of the Tanami Desert.
    Something of a nomad himself, having lived in New Zealand, Sierra Leone, England, France, Australia, and the United States, Jackson is deft at capturing the ambiguities of home as a lived experience among the Warlpiri. Blending narrative ethnography, empirical research, philosophy, and poetry, he focuses on the existential meaning of being at home in the world. Here home becomes a metaphor for the intimate relationship between the part of the world a person calls "self" and the part of the world called "other." To speak of "at-homeness," Jackson suggests, implies that people everywhere try to strike a balance between closure and openness, between acting and being acted upon, between acquiescing in the given and choosing their own fate. His book is an exhilarating journey into this existential struggle, responsive at every turn to the political questions of equity and justice that such a struggle entails.
    A moving depiction of an aboriginal culture at once at home and in exile, and a personal meditation on the practice of ethnography and the meaning of home in our increasingly rootless age, At Home in the World is a timely reflection on how, in defining home, we continue to define ourselves.

    About The Author(s)

    Michael Jackson is College Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University. He is the author of many books of poetry, fiction, and anthropology, including, most recently, Paths Toward a Clearing: Radical Empiricism and Ethnographic Inquiry and Pieces of Music, a novel.

Fall 2017
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