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Ferrández, Luis Fernando Angosto (2012). The Omnivorous Science: Jean and John Comaroff on the Politics of Anthropology, Capitalism and Contemporary States. AIBR Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana, Vol. 7 (3), pp.271 – 296.


Abstract+

Few social scientists reach the status of contemporary classics. Jean and John Comaroff are among those who could be included in that category. Their current work is indeed on the crest of the wave of social analysis, but at least since the 1980s it has been followed, debated and also challenged within the field of anthropology. Beyond this disciplinary area, their work has resonated and continues to resonate in the spheres of sociology, politics and legal studies, in a clear demonstration of the strength and the potential of anthropological knowledge when it engages the ‘big issues’. It is only a part of the written production of John and Jean Comaroff that has been translated into Spanish, but contemporary Spanish and Latin American anthropologists are familiar with many of their theoretical proposals. Here is an op­portunity to gain insight into these proposals and into the views of the Comaroffs on the politics of anthropology, capitalism and contemporary states. This interview was conducted in Sydney (Australia) on 08 May 2012. I should like to thank Jeremy Beckett for comments on the interview transcript.

Keywords: Jean Comaroff, John Comaroff, Culture, Omnivorous science

Markus Verne (2013). The Limits of Contextualism. Malagasy Heavy Metal, "Satanic" Aesthetics, and the Anthropological Study of Popular Music. déjà lu Translations (2013)

This article was first published in 2012 in German in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 137 (2), pp. 187-206.  The original is not available on-line.  It was chosen by the German Association of Anthropologists as  the most appropriate article for republication in déjà lu. They requested its author to translate it into English, which he has done.  We are honoured to open the section "déjà lu Translations" with this publication.


Abstract+

During the last fifteen years or so, the study of popular music has increased in popularity within the field of anthropology. Theoretical approaches are however, only rarely concerned with aesthetics, with the ways in which music is experienced and with its relation to everyday life. Instead, explanations focus on the social, historical and political contexts in which popular music is performed, echoing the way in which popular music is dealt with in critical theory and cultural studies. Drawing on ethnographic research on heavy metal in the highlands of Madagascar, this article attempts to point out the shortcomings of these contextualist approaches by taking aesthetic experience as the point of departure for the study of popular music. Showing how during fieldwork in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo, Satan emerged as an allegory that served both metal fans and musicians as a means to express their aesthetic experiences and to further reflect upon the music’s unique character, the article argues that the anthropological study of popular music needs to refocus on its own traditional methodologies – long-term participant observation, above all – in order to no longer neglect music’s most central aspect: its ability to deeply move us. Keywords: anthropology of music, popular music, aesthetics, heavy metal, Madagascar