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The Domestication of Language: Cultural Evolution and the Uniqueness of the Human Animal

by Daniel Cloud Columbia University Press (November 25, 2014)

Language did not evolve only in the distant past. Our shared understanding of the meanings of words is ever-changing, and we make conscious, rational decisions about which words to use and what to mean by them...


Love and War: How Militarism Shapes Sexuality and Romance

by Tom Digby Columbia University Press (October 28, 2014)

Ideas of masculinity and femininity become sharply defined in war-reliant societies, resulting in a presumed enmity between men and women. This so-called battle of the sexes intensifies in tandem with dispositions...


Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect

by Heather Houser Columbia University Press (June 03, 2014)

The 1970s brought a new understanding of the biological and intellectual impact of environmental crises on human beings. As efforts to prevent ecological and bodily injury aligned, a new literature of sickness...


Narrating Social Work Through Autoethnography

by Stanley L. Witkin Columbia University Press (June 03, 2014)

Autoethnography is an innovative approach to inquiry in which the researcher is also the subject of the research. Using scholarly and literary devices, the researcher/subject explores the social and cultural...


Working Forests in the Neotropics: Conservation through Sustainable Management?

by Daniel J. Zarin, Janaki R. R. Alavalapati, Frances E. Putz & Marianne Schmink Columbia University Press (December 29, 2004)

-- Thomas Lovejoy, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment


Strangers in the Ethnic Homeland: Japanese Brazilian Return Migration in Transnational Perspective

by Takeyuki Tsuda Columbia University Press (January 05, 2003)

Since the late 1980s, Brazilians of Japanese descent have been "return" migrating to Japan as unskilled foreign workers. With an immigrant population currently estimated at roughly 280,000, Japanese Brazilians...


Moved by the Past: Discontinuity and Historical Mutation

by Eelco Runia Columbia University Press (May 06, 2014)

Historians go to great lengths to avoid confronting discontinuity, searching for explanations as to why such events as the fall of the Berlin Wall, George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and the introduction of...


Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object

by Johannes Fabian & Matti Bunzl Columbia University Press (April 15, 2014)

Time and the Other is a classic work that upended the relationship between anthropologists and their subjects and reoriented the approach literary critics, philosophers, and historians took to the study of humankind....


Derailing Democracy in Afghanistan: Elections in an Unstable Political Landscape

by Noah Coburn & Anna Larson Columbia University Press (December 24, 2013)

This volume shows how Afghani elections since 2004 have threatened to derail the country’s fledgling democracy. Examining presidential, parliamentary, and provincial council elections and conducting interviews...


The Self Possessed: Deity and Spirit Possession in South Asian Literature and Civilization

by Frederick M. Smith Columbia University Press (December 05, 2006)

The Self Possessed is a multifaceted, diachronic study reconsidering the very nature of religion in South Asia, the culmination of years of intensive research. Frederick M. Smith proposes that positive oracular...


The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics

by Charles Hirschkind Columbia University Press (October 10, 2006)

An essential aspect of what is now called the Islamic Revival, the cassette sermon can be heard in most Middle Eastern cities, punctuating the daily routines of many men and women. Charles Hirschkind shows how...


Catechizing Culture: Missionaries, Aymara, and the "New Evangelization"

by Andrew Orta Columbia University Press (December 01, 2004)

Nearly five centuries after the first wave of Catholic missionaries arrived in the New World to spread their Christian message, contemporary religious workers in the Bolivian highlands have begun to encourage...


Promised Bodies: Time, Language, and Corporeality in Medieval Women's Mystical Texts

by Patricia Dailey Columbia University Press (August 27, 2013)

In Christianity, the body is a potentially transformative vehicle, and the writings of Hadewijch of Brabant, a thirteenth-century beguine, engage with this tradition in ways both singular to her mysticism and...


Days of Death, Days of Life: Ritual in the Popular Culture of Oaxaca

by Kristin Norget Columbia University Press (December 13, 2005)

Kristin Norget explores the practice and meanings of death rituals in poor urban neighborhoods on the outskirts of the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca. Drawing on her extensive fieldwork in Oaxaca City, Norget...


Breathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in China

by Nancy N. Chen Columbia University Press (June 04, 2003)

The charismatic form of healing called qigong, based on meditative breathing exercises, has achieved enormous popularity in China during the last two decades. Qigong served a critical social organizational function,...


Where Men Hide

by James B. Twitchell & Ken Ross Columbia University Press (March 21, 2006)

"If you ask men if they spend any time hiding, they usually look at you as if you're nuts. 'What, me hide?' But if you ask women whether men hide, they immediately know what you mean." -- from Where Men Hide...


Not Ours Alone: Patrimony, Value, and Collectivity in Contemporary Mexico

by Elizabeth Emma Ferry & June Nash Columbia University Press (October 05, 2005)

Elizabeth Ferry explores how members of the Santa Fe Cooperative, a silver mine in Mexico, give meaning to their labor in an era of rampant globalization. She analyzes the cooperative’s practices and the importance...


The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Northeast

by Kathleen J. Bragdon Columbia University Press (February 05, 2002)

Descriptions of Indian peoples of the Northeast date to the Norse sagas, centuries before permanent European settlement, and the region has been the setting for a long history of contact, conflict, and accommodation...


Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia

by Siddharth Kara Columbia University Press (September 25, 2012)

Siddharth Kara’s Sex Trafficking has become a critical resource for its revelations into an unconscionable business, and its detailed analysis of the trade’s immense economic benefits and human cost. This...


When a Woman Becomes a Religious Dynasty: The Samding Dorje Phagmo of Tibet

by Hildegard Diemberger & Marilyn Strathern Columbia University Press (December 10, 2007)

In the fifteenth century, the princess Chokyi Dronma was told by the leading spiritual masters of her time that she was the embodiment of the ancient Indian tantric deity Vajravarahi, known in Tibetan as Dorje...


Anthropologists in the Field: Cases in Participant Observation

by Lynne Hume & Jane Mulcock Columbia University Press (December 14, 2004)

All too often anthropologists and other social scientists go into the field with unrealistic expectations. Different cultural milieus are prime ground for misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and interrelational...


On Sexuality and Power

by Alan Sinfield Columbia University Press (December 22, 2004)

It is widely supposed that the most suitable partner will be someone very much like oneself; gay fiction and cinema are often organized around this assumption. Nonetheless, power differentials are remarkably...


On the Move: Women and Rural-to-Urban Migration in Contemporary China

by Arianne M. Gaetano & Tamara Jacka Columbia University Press (March 10, 2004)

This book explores the impact of migration on the identities, values, worldviews, and social positions of migrant women in contemporary China based on original fieldwork as well as in-depth research in multiple...


Empire and Nation: Selected Essays

by Partha Chatterjee & Nivedita Menon Columbia University Press (April 22, 2010)

Partha Chatterjee is one of the world's greatest living theorists on the political, cultural, and intellectual history of nationalism. Beginning in the 1980s, his work, particularly within the context of India,...


The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World

by Partha Chatterjee Columbia University Press (March 10, 2004)

Partha Chatterjee argues that the rise of ethnic or identity politics-particularly in the postcolonial world-is a consequence of new techniques of governmental administration. Using contemporary examples from...


Tattooing the World: Pacific Designs in Print and Skin

by Juniper Ellis Columbia University Press (March 03, 2008)

In the 1830s an Irishman named James F. O'Connell acquired a full-body tattoo while living as a castaway in the Pacific. The tattoo featured traditional patterns that, to native Pohnpeians, defined O'Connell's...


The Politics of Postsecular Religion: Mourning Secular Futures

by Ananda Abeysekara Columbia University Press (May 08, 2008)

Ananda Abeysekara contends that democracy, along with its cherished secular norms, is founded on the idea of a promise deferred to the future. Rooted in democracy's messianic promise is the belief that religious&...


Juggling Identities: Identity and Authenticity Among the Crypto-Jews

by Seth D. Kunin Columbia University Press (June 01, 2009)

Juggling Identities is an extensive ethnography of the crypto-Jews who live deep within the Hispanic communities of the American Southwest. Critiquing scholars who challenge the cultural authenticity of these...


Okinawa and the U.S. Military: Identity Making in the Age of Globalization

by Masamichi S. Inoue Columbia University Press (April 17, 2007)

In 1995, an Okinawan schoolgirl was brutally raped by several U.S. servicemen. The incident triggered a chain of protests by women's groups, teachers' associations, labor unions, reformist political parties,...


Trekking Through History: The Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador

by Laura M. Rival Columbia University Press (June 01, 2002)

The Huaorani of Ecuador lived as hunters and gatherers in the Amazonian rainforest for hundred of years, largely undisturbed by western civilization. Since their first encounter with North American missionaries...


The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology in France

by Jennifer Hecht Columbia University Press (December 20, 2005)

On October 19, 1876 a group of leading French citizens, both men and women included, joined together to form an unusual group, The Society of Mutual Autopsy, with the aim of proving that souls do not exist....


The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Southeast

by Theda Perdue & Michael D Green Columbia University Press (June 22, 2005)

Though they speak several different languages and organize themselves into many distinct tribes, the Native American peoples of the Southeast share a complex ancient culture and a tumultuous history. This volume...


On Suicide Bombing

by Talal Asad Columbia University Press (May 11, 2007)

Like many people in America and around the world, Talal Asad experienced the events of September 11, 2001, largely through the media and the emotional response of others. For many non-Muslims, "the suicide bomber"...


The Headless State: Aristocratic Orders, Kinship Society, and Misrepresentations of Nomadic Inner Asia

by David Sneath Columbia University Press (December 21, 2007)

In this groundbreaking work, social anthropologist David Sneath aggressively dispels the myths surrounding the history of steppe societies and proposes a new understanding of the nature and formation of the...


Song and Silence: Ethnic Revival on China's Southwest Borders

by Sara L. M. Davis Columbia University Press (August 31, 2005)

In the sunny, subtropical Sipsongpanna region, Tai Lues perform flirtatious, exoticized dances for an increasingly growing tourist trade. Endorsed by Chinese officials, who view the Tai Lues as a “model minority,”...


Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the Pre-Columbian Americas

by David L. Lentz Columbia University Press (September 26, 2000)

We often envision the New World before the arrival of the Europeans as a land of pristine natural beauty and undisturbed environments. However, David Lentz offers an alternative view by detailing the impact...


Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power, and Public Life in America

by Melissa Checker & Maggie Fishman Columbia University Press (February 25, 2004)

Activism is alive and well in the United States, according to Melissa Checker and Maggie Fishman. It exists on large and small scales and thrives in unexpected places. Finding activism in backyards, art classes,...


The Broken Fountain: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition

by Thomas Belmonte, Ida Susser, Stanislao G. Pugliese & Pellegrino D'Acierno Columbia University Press (April 13, 2005)

Belmonte describes Fontana del Re, an impoverished Neapolitan neighborhood, documenting the struggles of Neapolitans surrounded by crumbling buildings and economic insecurity. Resisting standard depictions of...


Honoring Elders: Aging, Authority, and Ojibwe Religion

by Michael D. McNally Columbia University Press (June 01, 2009)

Like many Native Americans, Ojibwe people esteem the wisdom, authority, and religious significance of old age, but this respect does not come easily or naturally. It is the fruit of hard work, rooted in narrative...


Cubeo Hehénewa Religious Thought

by Irving Goldman, Peter Wilson & Stephen Hugh-Jones Columbia University Press (April 21, 2004)

The societies of the Vaupés region are now among the most documented indigenous cultures of the New World, in part because they are thought to resemble earlier civilizations lost during initial colonial conflict....


Tamil Oratory and the Dravidian Aesthetic: Democratic Practice in South India

by Bernard Bate Columbia University Press (October 06, 2009)

This is a book about the newness of old things. It concerns an oratorical revolution, a transformation of oratorical style linked to larger transformations in society at large. It explores the aesthetics of...


Intimacies: Love and Sex Across Cultures

by William R. Jankowiak Columbia University Press (February 18, 2008)

No culture is ever completely successful or satisfied with its synthesis of romantic love, companionship, and sexual desire. Whether the setting is a busy metropolis or a quiet farming village, a tension always...


When the State Winks

by Michal Kravel-Tovi Columbia University Press (September 05, 2017)

Religious conversion is often associated with ideals of religious sincerity. But in a society in which religious belonging is entangled with ethnonational citizenship and confers political privilege, a convert...


Leader Communities

by Mikael Holmqvist Columbia University Press (September 05, 2017)

All around the world there are elite suburban communities: Palo Alto, California, and Greenwich, Connecticut, in the U.S.; Paris's Neuilly; and Oxshott outside London. These wealthy suburbs are home to the economic...


As Wide as the World Is Wise

by Michael D. Jackson Columbia University Press (September 06, 2016)

Philosophy and anthropology have long debated questions of difference: rationality versus irrationality, abstraction versus concreteness, modern versus premodern. What if these disciplines instead focused on...


The Secret of the Totem

by Robert Alun Jones Columbia University Press (September 07, 2005)

Though it is now discredited, totemism once captured the imagination of Sigmund Freud, Émile Durkheim, James Frazer, and other prominent Victorian thinkers. In this lively intellectual history, Robert Alun...


Landscape of the Mind

by John F. Hoffecker Columbia University Press (August 05, 2010)

John F. Hoffecker explores the origin and growth of the mind, drawing on information from the human fossil record, archaeology, and history. Hoffecker argues that, as an indirect result of bipedal locomotion,...


Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies: Death, Mourning, and Scientific Desire in the Realm of Human Organ Transfer

by Lesley A. Sharp Columbia University Press (October 10, 2006)

The human body defines a lucrative site of reusable parts, ranging from whole organs to minuscule and even microscopic tissues. Although the medical practices that enable the transfer of parts from one body...


Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers: The Past and Future of Human-Animal Relationships

by Richard W. Bulliet Columbia University Press (September 14, 2005)

Richard W. Bulliet has long been a leading figure in the study of human-animal relations, and in his newest work, Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers, he offers a sweeping and engaging perspective on this dynamic...


The Politics of Passion: Women's Sexual Culture in the Afro- Surinamese Diaspora

by Gloria Wekker Columbia University Press (April 25, 2006)

Gloria Wekker analyzes the phenomenon of mati work, an old practice among Afro-Surinamese working-class women in which marriage is rejected in favor of male and female sexual partners. Wekker vividly describes...