494 Pages
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The Anthropologist and the Native

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A multidisciplinary volume of twenty essays by internationally known scholars, honouring the distinguished anthropologist Gananath Obeyesekere.


‘The Anthropologist and the Native’ is a collection of twenty essays by internationally known scholars of different persuasions, honouring the distinguished anthropologist Gananath Obeyesekere, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Obeyesekere’s writings include ‘Land Tenure in Village Ceylon’,  ‘Medusa’s Hair’, ‘The Cult of the Goddess Pattini’, ‘Work of Culture’, ‘The Apotheosis of Captain Cook’, ‘Imagining Karma’, ‘Cannibal Talk’, (with Richard Gombrich) ‘Buddhism Transformed’, and the forthcoming ‘The Awakened Ones’. Professor Obeyesekere’s contribution to South Asian studies and to anthropology is vast, and the rich variety of topics and approaches that marks this volume reflects his wide-ranging interests, constituting an apt tribute to his voluminous and inspiring work.


The authors featured in this collection are internationally known scholars from a variety of disciplines, including literary and textual studies, Indology, religion, history, social theory, art and anthropology. Reflecting Obeyesekere’s wide interests, the volume is arranged into six sections dealing with the Indian tradition and its representation; caste, kinship, land and community; renunciation and power; Buddhism transformed; the enigma of the text; and lastly a section entitled ‘The Anthropologist and the Native’, a discussion of aspects of anthropological fieldwork that evokes Obeyesekere’s extensive and intensive work dealing with his own society of Sri Lanka.


Editor’s Note; Section 1: The Indian Tradition and its Representation; 1. Paratha Mitter, Language and Race in Colonial Representations of Indian Society and Culture; 2. John Nemec, When the ‘Parampara’ Breaks: On Gurus and Students in the Mahabharata; 3. Patrick Olivelle, The Living and the Dead: Ideology and Social Dynamics of Ancestral Commemoration in India; 4. David Shulman, On Singularity:  What Sanskrit Poeticians Believe to be Real; Section 2: Caste, Kinship, Land and Community; 5. Lawrence A. Babb, Recasting a Caste: The Case of the Dadhic Brahmans; 6. James Brow, Reconstituting Village Communities: Sir William Gregory’s Efforts to Renovate Village Agriculture in Ceylon’s North Central Province; 7. Dennis McGilvray, Dowry in Batticaloa: The Historical Transformation of a Matrilineal Property System; Section 3: Renunciation and Power; 8. Arjun Appadurai, The Morality of Refusal; 9. H. L. Seneviratne, Revolt in the Temple: Politics of a Paintings Project in Sri Lanka; 10. Peter Van der Veer, Pain and Power: Reflections on Ascetic Agency; Section 4: Buddhism Transformed; 11. Anne M. Blackburn, ‘Buddhist Revival’ and the ‘Work of Culture’ in 19th-century Lanka; 12. Steven Kemper, Dharmapala’s Buddhisms; 13. Donald K. Swearer, Religion and Globalization from the Historical Perspective of Thai Buddhism; Section 5: The Enigma of the Text; 14. Wendy Doniger, The Mythology of the ‘Kamasutra’; 15. Malalgoda Kitsiri Malalgoda, ‘Mandarampura Puvata’: An Apocryphal Buddhist Chronicle; 16. Romila Thapar, Variants as Historical Statements: The ‘Rama-Katha’ in Early India; Section 6: The Anthropologist and the Native; 17. Arjun Guneratne, Plain Tales from the Field: Reflections on Fieldwork in Three Cultures; 18. Abdelmajid Hannoum, The (Re)Turn of the Native: Ethnography, Anthropology, and Nativism; 19. R. L. Stirrat and Dinah Rajak, Romance of the Field; 20. Mark Whitaker, Human Rights and ‘Practical Rationality’ among Sri Lankan Tamils and Americans

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Published 15 December 2011
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EAN13 9780857289919
Language English
Document size 3 MB

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THE ANTHROPOLOGIST AND THE NATIVE
Cultural, Historical and Textual Studies of Religions
The volumes featured in the AnthemCultural, Historical and Textual Studies of Religionsseries are the expression of an international community of scholars committed to the reshaping of the field of textual and historical studies of religions. Titles in this series examine practice, ritual, and other textual religious products, crossing different area studies and time frames. Featuring a vast range of interpretive perspectives, this innovative series aims to enhance the way we look at religious traditions.
Series Editor
Federico Squarcini, University of Firenze, Italy
Editorial Board
Piero Capelli, University of Venezia, Italy Vincent Eltschinger, ICIHA, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria Christoph Emmrich, University of Toronto, Canada James Fitzgerald, Brown University, USA Jonardon Ganeri, University of Sussex, UK Barbara A. Holdrege, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA Sheldon Pollock, Columbia University, USA Karin Preisendanz, University of Vienna, Austria Alessandro Saggioro, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy Cristina ScherrerSchaub, University of Lausanne and EPHE, France Romila Thapar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India Ananya Vajpeyi, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA Marco Ventura, University of Siena, Italy Vincenzo Vergiani, University of Cambridge, UK
THE ANTHROPOLOGIST AND THE NATIVE
ESSAYS FOR GANANATH OBEYESEKERE
Edited by H. L. Seneviratne
Anthem Press An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company www.anthempress.com
This edition first published in UK and USA 2011 by ANTHEM PRESS 7576 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK and 244 Madison Ave. #116, New York, NY 10016, USA
© 2011 H. L. Seneviratne editorial matter and selection; individual chapters © individual contributors
The moral right of the authors has been asserted. Graphics and layout © Marianna Ferrara
Cover design: a combination of the medieval Sinhalese designs ofKalasdangayaandPicca mal. Courtesy of H. L. Seneviratne.
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
British Library CataloguinginPublication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Library of Congress CataloginginPublication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested.
ISBN13: 978 0 85728 435 8 (Hbk) ISBN10: 0 85728 435 5 (Hbk)
This title is also available as an eBook.
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Editor’s Note
Contents
SECTIONI. THEINDIANTRADITIONANDITSREPRESENTATION
pArThAMiTTer Language and Race in Colonial Representations of Indian Society and Culture
JohnneMec When theParamparāBreaks: On Gurus and Students in theMahābhārata
pATrickolivelle The Living and the Dead: Ideology and Social Dynamics of Ancestral Commemoration in India
dAvidshulMAn On Singularity: What Sanskrit Poeticians Believe to be Real
SECTIONII.CASTE, KINSHIP, LANDANDCOMMUNITY
lAwrenceA. BABB Recasting a Caste: The Case of the Dadhich Brahmans
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Contents
SECTIONVI. THEANTHROPOLOGISTANDTHENATIVE
ArJungunerATne Plain Tales from the Field: Reflections on Fieldwork in Three Cultures
ABdelMAJidhAnnouM The (Re)Turn of the Native: Ethnography, Anthropology, and Nativism
r.l. sTirrAT, dinAhrAJAk The Romance of the Field?
MArkwhiTAker Human Rights and ‘Practical Rationality’ among Sri Lankan Tamils and Americans
List of Contributors
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TheAnThropologisTAndThnATi e ve