The goal is to record most books written or edited by the Anthropology faculty. We will start by entering the most recent publications first and work our way back to older books. There is a WMU Authors section in Waldo Library, where most of these books can be found.
With a few exceptions, we do not have the rights to put the full text of the book online, so there will be a link to a place where you can purchase the book.
If you are a faculty member and have a book you would like to include in the WMU book list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In Iran, folksongs are part of folklore and offer an intimate portrait of a vanishing era. They are also the voice of ordinary people, providing a medium to express emotions, opinions, and concerns.
Folksongs from the Mountains of Iran is based on folksongs collected over a 50-year period among the Boir Ahmad tribal people in the Zagros Mountains of West Iran. Erika Friedl has recorded, transcribed, and translated more than 600 lyrics from a Lur community, and her analysis of the folksongs provides an intimate portrait of local people's attitudes, attachments, fears, and desires.
From songs of love, sex, and mourning, to lyrics discussing beauty, infatuation, and the community's violent tribal history, Friedl's solid understanding of the cultural background, lifestyle, and worldview of these people allows her to add ethnographic details that illuminate the deep meaning of the texts. In this way, Friedl goes far beyond a translation of words: she sheds light on a culture where beliefs, critical evaluation of circumstances, and philosophical tenets are shown to be integral to each song's message.
Based on fieldwork that began in 1965, Erika Friedl's research on the folklore in Boir Ahmad represents the best-documented modern folklore compendium on an Iranian tribe. This book is important for future generations of scholars, including ethnographers, Iranists, linguists, ethnomusicologists, and those researching Persian literature and cultures of the Middle East.
Neighboring communities who once lived together in peace have committed some of the most disturbing genocidal violence in recent decades: ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia; the slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda; or Sunni-versus-Shia violence in today’s Iraq. As these instances illustrate, lethal violence does not always come at the hands of outsiders or foreigners—it can come just as easily from someone who was once considered a friend. Employing a multisited, multivocal approach to ethnography, Killing Your Neighbors examines how peaceful neighbors become involved in lethal violence. It engages with a set of interlocking case studies in northern Kenya, focusing on sometimes-peaceful, sometimes violent interactions between Samburu herders and neighboring groups, interweaving Samburu narratives of key violent events with the narratives of neighboring groups on the other side of the same encounters. The book is, on one hand, an ethnography of particular people in a particular place, vividly portraying the complex and confusing dynamics of interethnic violence through the lives, words and intimate experiences of individuals variously involved in and affected by these conflicts. At the same time, the book aims to use this particular case study to illustrate how the dynamics in northern Kenya provides comparative insights to well-known, compelling contexts of violence around the globe.
Jill E. Rowe
The Land Act of 1820 made it possible for settlers to begin to populate the West and added to the confiscation of land from Native Americans. Former landowners – a mix of Native American, African and European ancestry – migrated to the northern frontier and founded at least thirty well-defined free black communities between 1820 and 1850 in the Old Northwest, becoming an important safe haven and beacon of freedom.
Its notoriety and size grew as slaves often migrated to these locations after they were granted emancipation in the wills of slave owners who purchased land in the area for them to settle on. The newly free people found sanctuary as these communities were also rumored to shelter runaway slaves in their role as active participants in the Underground Railroad Movement.
However, the prosperity of blacks living in these villages angered some of the local whites – many of whom were migrating at the same time and were connected to local law officials and politicians. Archival documents reveal continued acts of terrorism perpetuated against blacks which heightened the importance of the strength of the communities they founded – specifically schools, churches, businesses, and intergenerational family structures – in providing a unified front that allowed them to bond and thrive in an environment that was not always conducive to their survival.
Invisible in Plain Sight: Self-Determination Strategies of Free Blacks in the Old Northwest provides a rare detailed examination of an often overlooked piece of the American tapestry. It is perfect reading for history classes in high school and college, as well as for history enthusiasts looking for something new.
Michael S. Nassaney
"A fine piece of scholarship. . . . A solid introduction to the archaeology of the fur trade, as well as to the myriad archaeological issues associated with colonial interaction."--American Antiquity"Impressive and ambitious, covering centuries of time and much of the North American continent. . . . Admirably balances the enormous numbers of sites, peoples, historical events, and colonial enterprises with some of the important research directions that have defined and are defining the field of fur trade studies in archaeology. . . . Absorbing."--Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology "Demonstrates that what we perceive about the fur trade often reflects origin myths of modern USA and Canada. The fur trade has also been a ''test bed'' for scholarly consideration of processes of culture contact, diffusion, and acculturation. By leading the reader through these divergent narratives, Nassaney makes clear that critical examination and reflection is an essential part of scholarship, and that the fur trade is fertile ground for rethinking old ideas through new interpretive filters."--Journal of Anthropological Research"Data rich and theoretically robust. . . . One of the key points repeatedly highlighted by Nassaney is the active role of both Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in the fur trade, in contrast to traditional narratives which emphasize European colonization and trade as shaping largely passive Indigenous societies."--Canadian Journal of Archaeology"Provides a synthesis of the fur trade through time and across the continent. . . . Offer[s] consistent, coherent explanations of archaeological findings."--Choice "Nassaney draws together an amazing amount of information about the fur trades that once existed in North America and includes illuminating and imaginative interpretations of archaeological data by researchers from across the continent."--Gregory A. Waselkov, author of A Conquering Spirit: Fort Mims and the Redstick War of 1813-1814 " The Archaeology of the North American Fur Trade demonstrates how an amazing number of issues constellate around the subject: the mutual effects of cultural interaction, colonialism, world-systems theory, questions about dependence and local autonomy, consumer motivations, substantivism and formalism, creolization, underwater archaeology, gender, the politics of heritage and commemoration, indigenous perspectives, and present-day ramifications."--Kurt A. Jordan, author of The Seneca Restoration, 1715-1754 "Provides new means to interpret and enhance existing fur trade sites and parks and to discover and evaluate sites that should be preserved."--Douglas C. Wilson, historical archaeologist for the National Park Service The North American fur trade left an enduring material legacy of the complex interactions between natives and Europeans. From the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, the demand for pelts and skins transformed America, helping to fuel the Age of Discovery and, later, Manifest Destiny. By synthesizing its social, economic, and ideological effects, Michael Nassaney reveals how this extractive economy impacted the settlement and exploitation of North America. Examinations of the objects made, used, and discarded in the course of the fur trade provide insight into the relationships between participants and their lifeways. Furthermore, Nassaney shows how the ways in which exchange was conducted, resisted, and transformed to suit various needs left an indelible imprint upon the American psyche, particularly in the way the fur trade has been remembered and commemorated. Including research from historical archaeologists and a case study of the Fort St. Joseph trading post in Michigan, this innovative work highlights the fur trade''s role in the settlement of the continent, its impact on social relations, and how its study can lead to a better understanding of the American experience.
What are the myths and stories that penetrate a society's everyday practices? What are the un-questioned 'truths' that hold the keys to understanding both the concept of self-perception and group identity? Here, Erika Friedl highlights the role of the fairy tale and folklore in the creation, transmission and manipulation of regional and national identities. Having carried out anthropological research in Iran since 1965, Friedl is uniquely placed to analyze the ways in which the folklore and fairy tales – both the stories themselves and the telling of the stories – have an impact on the idea of what it means to be 'Iranian'. The Folktales and Storytellers of Iran explores the key ideas of cultural identity, self-knowledge and understanding, and how these are represented and developed through a rich literary tradition of folklore and storytelling in what was for a long time an oral-based culture.
Visitors to Cuba will notice that Afro-Cuban figures and references are everywhere: in popular music and folklore shows, paintings and dolls of Santería saints in airport shops, and even restaurants with plantation themes. In Performing Afro-Cuba, Kristina Wirtz examines how the animation of Cuba’s colonial past and African heritage through such figures and performances not only reflects but also shapes the Cuban experience of Blackness. She also investigates how this process operates at different spatial and temporal scales from the immediate present to the imagined past, from the barrio to the socialist state.
Wirtz analyzes a variety of performances and the ways they construct Cuban racial and historical imaginations. She offers a sophisticated view of performance as enacting diverse revolutionary ideals, religious notions, and racial identity politics, and she outlines how these concepts play out in the ongoing institutionalization of folklore as an official, even state-sponsored, category. Employing Bakhtin’s concept of chronotopes; the semiotic construction of space-time;she examines the roles of voice, temporality, embodiment, imagery, and memory in the racializing process. The result is a deftly balanced study that marries racial studies, performance studies, anthropology, and semiotics to explore the nature of race as a cultural sign, one that is always in process, always shifting.
Rachel B. Juen and Michael Nassaney
Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project - Booklet Series, No. 2
Table of contents:
New France and the Fur Trade
North American Rivalries
How the Fur Trade Worked
Trade Routes and Transportation
A Two Way Trade: The Movement of Goods and Furs
People of the Trade in New France
Fur Trade Society
Native Peoples and the Fur Trade
Trade Goods and the Material Culture of the Fur
Trade Animal Exploitation
Fur Trade Timeline
Race and Human Diversity is an introduction to the study of Human Diversity in both its biological and cultural dimensions. This text examines the biological basis of human difference and how humans have biologically and culturally adapted to life in different environments. It critiques the notion that humans can or should be classified into a number of "biological races".
Coverage includes discussion of the following topics:
- Biological background of human variation
- History of racial classification
- A critique of the Race Concept
- Ethnic disease: How race affects morbidity and morality
- Adaptive dimensions of human variability: Life in the tropics, the arctic, and high altitude
- Physiology of skin color
- A critical history of attempts to link race and intelligence
- Race as a cultural construct
Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project
Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project
What Was New France?
The Diversity of Women's Roles
The Social and Legal Status of Women
Women's Domestic Lives
Dressing Up in the Colony
Culture and Cuisine
Music, Dancing, and Diversions
"To employ themselves to the best of their ability..."
Degrees of Freedom
References and more...
Zarinah El-Amin Naeem
Young, Single, Attractive and Muslim? How do young single American Muslims balance their faith with western culture? This topic and more is tackled by author Zarinah El-Amin Naeem in Jihad of the Soul, a gut wrenching look at how young Muslim singles navigate love and faith. Let's face it, no matter how many T.V. episodes of The Bachelor or Sex and the City air, singlehood for the average person is a difficult life period. Most singles want to be in a loving, romantic, long-term relationship. They want to be married. Unfortunately, in the American Muslim community, there are Muslim single men available, and Muslim single women available, but there is a huge disconnect and a serious lack of marriage. Why? El-Amin Naeem says, My research shows there are a number of factors including the practice of strict gender separation and marital endogamy that affect and delay the transition from singlehood to marriage for many American Muslims. The Muslim community has serious issues it needs to face, but unfortunately seems to be in denial. The book is an anthropological exploration into the attitudes, experiences and emotions of single Muslim young adults between the ages of 18 - 40. Discussing issues of identity, religion and desire, anthropologist Dr. Carolyn Rouse of Princeton University says Jihad of the Soul is a bold look at a number of taboo subjects; cross-cultural/cross-racial romance, sex, religious/gender performance pressures, discomfort with Muslims of the opposite sex, etc... El-Amin Naeem's book is original, highly engaging and extremely valuable...
This richly drawn ethnography of Samburu cattle herders in northern Kenya examines the effects of an epochal shift in their basic diet-from a regimen of milk, meat, and blood to one of purchased agricultural products. In his innovative analysis, Jon Holtzman uses food as a way to contextualize and measure the profound changes occurring in Samburu social and material life. He shows that if Samburu reaction to the new foods is primarily negative--they are referred to disparagingly as "gray food" and "government food"--it is also deeply ambivalent. For example, the Samburu attribute a host of social maladies to these dietary changes, including selfishness and moral decay. Yet because the new foods save lives during famines, the same individuals also talk of the triumph of reason over an antiquated culture and speak enthusiastically of a better life where there is less struggle to find food. Through detailed analysis of a range of food-centered arenas,Uncertain Tastesargues that the experience of food itself--symbolic, sensuous, social, and material-is intrinsically characterized by multiple and frequently conflicting layers.
Michael S. Nassaney and Mary Ann Levine
"Highlights the important role of archaeology and community service learning in transforming higher education into a progressive force that challenges contemporary social inequality through empowering students to work collaboratively in uncovering the silenced histories of oppressed and exploited groups."--Howard Rosing, DePaul University
"Nassaney and Levine examine how CSL can contribute to what they see as the 'necessary reform' of archaeological pedagogy in the United States."--Maureen Malloy, Society for American Archaeology
In recent years, a number of archaeologists have begun making concerted attempts to reach out and engage the public in their work. This collection examines how the field can successfully incorporate community service learning (CSL) into its pedagogies to broaden and enhance learning opportunities for students, promote civic engagement, and embrace community partnerships.
Editors Michael Nassaney and Mary Ann Levine have been actively integrating the techniques of CSL into their research for years, and view it as a natural outgrowth of developments in the field since the 1970s. Although archaeology has long emphasized a practical, field-based approach in training new scholars, CSL moves beyond "volunteering" and experiential learning.
In discussing specific examples from work in historical archaeology, the contributors highlight the achievements and challenges faced by archaeologists and their students, in the classroom and the field, while collaborating with a variety of community partners.
This book examines contemporary migration to the United States through a surprising and compelling case study -- the Nuer of Sudan, whose traditional life represents one of the most important case studies in the history of anthropology.
It provides an opportunity to examine issues of current importance within anthropology, such as social change, transnationalism, displacement, and diaspora in an easy to understand manner.
In understanding the experiences of the Nuer, students will not only gain insights into the world refugee problem and the role of immigration in the United States, they will also learn about the features of Nuer life which are considered a standard part of the anthropology curriculum.
The book juxtaposes elements of Nuer culture which are well-known within anthropology - and featured in most anthropology textbooks - with new developments arising from the immigration of many other Nuer to the U.S. in the 1990s as refugees from civil war in southern Sudan.
Consequently, this book will fit well within existing anthropology curricula, while providing an important update on descriptions of traditional life.
The Samburu of northern Kenya struggle to maintain their pastoral way of life as drought and the side effects of globalization threaten both their livestock and their livelihood. Mirroring this divide between survival and ruin are the lines between the self and the other, the living and the dead, "this side" and inia bata, "that side." Cultural anthropologist Bilinda Straight, who has lived with the Samburu for extended periods since the 1990s, bears witness to Samburu life and death in Miracles and Extraordinary Experience in Northern Kenya.
Written mostly in the field, Miracles and Extraordinary Experience in Northern Kenya is the first book-length ethnography completely devoted to Samburu divinity and belief. Here, child prophets recount their travels to heaven and back. Others report transformations between persons and inanimate objects. Spirit turns into action and back again. The miraculous is interwoven with the mundane as the Samburu continue their day-to-day twenty-first-century existence. Straight describes these fantastic movements inside the cultural logic that makes them possible; thus she calls into question how we experience, how we feel, and how anthropologists and their readers can best engage with the improbable.
In her detailed and precise accounts, Straight writes beyond traditional ethnography, exploring the limits of science and her own limits as a human being, to convey the significance of her time with the Samburu as they recount their fantastic yet authentic experiences in the physical and metaphysical spaces of their culture
How do Santería practitioners in Cuba create and maintain religious communities amidst tensions, disagreements, and competition among them, and in the absence of centralized institutional authority? What serves as the "glue" that holds practitioners of different backgrounds together in the creation of a moral community? Examining the religious lives of santeros in Santiago de Cuba, Wirtz argues that these communities hold together not because members agree on their interpretations of rituals but because they often disagree. Religious life is marked by a series of "telling moments"--not only the moments themselves but their narrated representations as they are retold and mined for religious meanings. Long after they occur, spiritually elevated experiences circulate in narratives that may express skepticism or awe and hold the promise of more such experiences. The author finds that these episodes resonate in gossip and other forms of public commentary about the experiences of their fellow Santería practitioners. Drawing on ethnographic research about Santería beliefs and practices, Wirtz observes that practitioners are constantly engaged in reflection about what they and other practitioners are doing, how the orichas (deities) have responded, and what the consequences of their actions were or will be. By focusing their reflective attention on particular events, santeros re-create, moment to moment, what their religion is. Wirtz also argues that Santería cannot be considered in isolation from the complex religious landscape of contemporary Cuba, in which African-based traditions are viewed with a mix of fascination, folkloric pride, and suspicion. [Interactions among the conflicting discourses about these religions--as sacred practices, folklore, or dangerous superstitions, for example--have played a central role in constituting them as social entities.] This book will interest scholars of religion, the African diaspora, the Caribbean, and Latin America, as well as linguistic and cultural anthropologists. nbsp;
Interrogates the comfortable and stable contours of "home," asking what it means to women in different social, class, sexual, ethnic, and racial contexts in different times and places.
Arthur Wesley Helweg
This text is a case study of the Asian Indians in the United States. Almost unheard of three decades ago and almost nonexistent in the United States in the 1970s, this community is, on the average, the highest educated and claims the highest average family income of any ethnic community in North America. They are part of and representative of the new kind of immigrant coming to America. This text delves into the subject of immigration by focusing on how the immigration of highly educated and professionally trained migrants, which began in the late 1960s/early 1970s, differs from and challenges the traditional concepts of migration studies. The case study takes a transnational perspective and discusses the role of globalization and the current world system to form a more comprehensive study than those studies that have dominated migration studies and anthropology to date.
Inequality, poverty, and neoliberal governance : activist ethnography in the homeless sheltering industry
Why did the rate of homelessness remain at significant levels while the US economy was supposedly booming and hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in the homeless sheltering industry? Drawing upon five years of ethnographic fieldwork in a homeless shelter in Northampton, Massachusetts, Lyon-Callo argues that homelessness must be understood within the context of increasing neoliberal policies, practices, and discourses. As advocates, activists, policy makers, and homeless people focused attention on market-based and individualized practices of reform and governance, collective efforts that challenged an economy dependent on low wage jobs, declining housing affordability, and the dismantling of the social safety net were marginalized and ignored. Homelessness continued, despite, and partly due to, the limitations of the neoliberal approach. Combining the rich detail of an ethnographic study with the systemic examination of political economic studies, this book offers a view of homelessness and inequality that is rarely explored elsewhere. Chapters include discussion of the medicalization of homelessness, the difficulty of finding paid employment given broader political economic conditions, how shelter staff are trained to manage homeless people, how statistics are used to produce ideas of homeless people as deviants, and how funding concerns affect possibilities for resistance. Key to the study is an activist approach that raises the possibilities and problems associated with a publicly engaged anthropology.
Arthur W. Helweg
Since 1970, a growing number of Asian Indians have called Michigan home. Representative of the “new immigration,” Asian Indians come from a democratic country, are well-educated, and come from middle- and upper-class families. Unlike older immigrant groups, Asian Indians do not form urban ethnic enclaves or found their own communities to meet the challenges of living in a new society. As Arthur W. Helweg shows, Asian Indians contribute to the richness and diversity of Michigan’s culture through active participation in local institutions, while maintaining a strong ethnic identity rooted in India.
Jack Glazier and Arthur W. Helweg
As the introductory volume in the series Discovering the Peoples of Michigan, Ethnicity in Michigan outlines the processes of migration, as well as the rich relationship between ethnic groups and the trajectories of historical and social change in Michigan. On both state and local levels, issues of identity, race, politics, and shared history inform community development. Jack Glazier and Arthur Helweg provide a substantive general and theoretical overview of the various ethnic groups in Michigan, and of the ways in which immigrants both respond to and shape Michigan's particular regional character.
Understanding Cultures confronts the major theoretical issues involved in cross-cultural interpretation. The book introduces students to rationality among the ancestors of anthropology before proceeding to a wide-ranging evaluation of the Anglo-American rationality debates.
Michael S. Nassaney and Eric S. Johnson
"A thoughtful, disciplined, and useful work. . . . The issue of how to interpret North American Native cultures, in all their complexity and diversity, is one that historians, archaeologists, and other behavioral scientists have wrestled with for a long time. This volume is an interesting indicator of where that struggle currently stands."--James W. Bradley, director, Robert S. Peabody Museum, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts"A useful, interesting, and up-to-date introduction to how scholars are using material culture to better understand Native American life. Nassaney and Johnson have done a fine job of bringing together a useful edited reader on material culture and the lives of Native Americans."--American Antiquity"Nassaney and Johnson's volume reminds scholars of the considerable benefits of combining the fruits of archaeological, ethno-historic, and material culture data sources into fuller richer understanding of Native societies of the Contact period."--Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology "A thoughtful, disciplined, and useful work. . . . The issue of how to interpret North American native cultures, in all their complexity and diversity, is one that historians, archaeologists, and other behavioral scientists have wrestled with for a long time. This volume is an interesting indicator of where that struggle currently stands."--James W. Bradley, Robert S. Peabody MuseumBringing together the perspectives of archaeologists, ethnohistorians, and art historians, these tightly integrated case studies highlight the significance of material objects to the study and interpretation of Native North American culture, history, and identity. The authors contend that archaeological remains and ethnographic specimens can, and indeed should, be analyzed in tandem with other souces of historical data (e.g., written texts, oral accounts) to expand our understanding of Native culture change and continuity from the pre-Columbian era through the present.The essays in this collection begin with concrete, tangible expressions of Native American culture which, in most cases, were made and used to meet basic human needs or to participate in social and religious life. Material objects invite interdis-ciplinary study because they are a rich source of information about how human societies and social identities were created, reproduced, and transformed. While this volume serves to complement and enhance our historical and cultural understanding of native peoples throughout North America, the theoretical approaches and research methodologies showcased here have implications for studies anywhere people left material traces of their activities, identities, and lives.
Mary Ann Levine, Michael Nassaney, and Kenneth E. Sassaman
Despite the advances made in archaeology over the past generation, the Northeast remains the most misunderstood of all the archaeological regions of North America. With a complex environmental history shaped by ice sheets from the last glaciation, and highly acidic soils characteristic of the area, the kinds of organic artifacts found in other areas have been destroyed in the Northeast. The result is a sometimes evasive, particularly complicated, and always fragmentary archaeological record. As the chapters in this volume demonstrate, the Northeast is a region that inspires the development of innovative research designs and thoughtful and relevant questions. Each author has been a graduate student of Dena Dincauze, who has done much to foster understanding of the prehistory of Northeastern North America.
Mahnaz Afkhami and Erika Friedl
This volume is about the ways of promoting women's participation in the affairs of Muslim societies: from raising consciousness and changing codes of law, to penetrating the economic markets and influencing national and international policies.