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Songs For Dead Parents

Author : Erik Mueggler
ISBN : 9780226483412
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 33.95 MB
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In a society that has seen epochal change over a few generations, what remains to hold people together and offer them a sense of continuity and meaning? In Songs for Dead Parents, Erik Mueggler shows how in contemporary China death and the practices surrounding it have become central to maintaining a connection with the world of ancestors, ghosts, and spirits that socialism explicitly disavowed. Drawing on more than twenty years of fieldwork in a mountain community in Yunnan Province, Songs for Dead Parents shows how people view the dead as both material and immaterial, as effigies replace corpses, tombstones replace effigies, and texts eventually replace tombstones in a long process of disentangling the dead from the shared world of matter and memory. It is through these processes that people envision the cosmological underpinnings of the world and assess the social relations that make up their community. Thus, state interventions aimed at reforming death practices have been deeply consequential, and Mueggler traces the transformations they have wrought and their lasting effects.
Category: Social Science

The Paper Road

Author : Erik Mueggler
ISBN : 9780520269033
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 42.41 MB
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“An absolutely breathtaking book -- in its thoughtfulness and imaginativeness, in the breadth and depth of the research which it entailed, in its geographical, cultural, and historical situatedness, and in its profound critical empathy for all of the key players. Beautifully and skillfully written.” – Sydney White, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Asian Studies, and Women's Studies at Temple University "The Paper Road is an eloquent, even haunting narrative of the relationships between colonial explorers/scientists and their native collaborators that makes vivid the theme of 'colonial intimacy.' It speaks to scholars working on Chinese minorities and frontier relations, to historians of comparative colonialism, to experts on Tibet and Buddhism, and probably also simply to lovers of tales of mountains and exploration." –Charlotte Furth, Professor Emerita of Chinese History , University of Southern California.
Category: Social Science

The Mountain

Author : Bernard Debarbieux
ISBN : 9780226031255
Genre : History
File Size : 72.77 MB
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In The Mountain, geographers Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz trace the origins of the very concept of a mountain, showing how it is not a mere geographic feature but ultimately an idea, one that has evolved over time, influenced by changes in political climates and cultural attitudes. To truly understand mountains, they argue, we must view them not only as material realities but as social constructs, ones that can mean radically different things to different people in different settings. From the Enlightenment to the present day, and using a variety of case studies from all the continents, the authors show us how our ideas of and about mountains have changed with the times and how a wide range of policies, from border delineation to forestry as well as nature protection and social programs, have been shaped according to them. A rich hybrid analysis of geography, history, culture, and politics, the book promises to forever change the way we look at mountains.
Category: History

Dinner With Darwin

Author : Jonathan Silvertown
ISBN : 9780226245393
Genre : Cooking
File Size : 71.38 MB
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What do eggs, flour, and milk have in common? They form the basis of crepes of course, but they also each have an evolutionary purpose. Eggs, seeds (from which flour is derived by grinding) and milk are each designed by evolution to nourish offspring. Everything we eat has an evolutionary history. Grocery shelves and restaurant menus are bounteous evidence of evolution at work, though the label on the poultry will not remind us of this with a Jurassic sell-by date, nor will the signs in the produce aisle betray the fact that corn has a 5,000 year history of artificial selection by pre-Colombian Americans. Any shopping list, each recipe, every menu and all ingredients can be used to create culinary and gastronomic magic, but can also each tell a story about natural selection, and its influence on our plates--and palates. Join in for multiple courses, for a tour of evolutionary gastronomy that helps us understand the shape of our diets, and the trajectories of the foods that have been central to them over centuries--from spirits to spices. This literary repast also looks at the science of our interaction with foods and cooking--the sights, the smells, the tastes. The menu has its eclectic components, just as any chef is entitled. But while it is not a comprehensive work which might risk gluttony, this is more than an amuse bouche, and will leave every reader hungry for more.
Category: Cooking

The Age Of Wild Ghosts

Author : Erik Mueggler
ISBN : 0520935543
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 82.92 MB
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In Erik Mueggler's powerful and imaginative ethnography, a rural minority community in the mountains of Southwest China struggles to find its place at the end of a century of violence and at the margins of a nation-state. Here, people describe the present age, beginning with the Great Leap Famine of 1958-1960 and continuing through the 1990s, as "the age of wild ghosts." Their stories of this age converge on a dream of community—a bad dream, embodied in the life, death, and reawakening of a single institution: a rotating headman-ship system that expired violently under the Maoist regime. Displaying a sensitive understanding of both Chinese and the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in this region, Mueggler explores memories of this institution, including the rituals and poetics that once surrounded it and the bitter conflicts that now haunt it.To exorcise "wild ghosts," he shows, is nothing less than to imagine the state and its power, to trace the responsibility for violence to its morally ambiguous origins, and to enunciate calls for justice and articulate longings for reconciliation.
Category: Social Science

The Corpse Walker

Author : Yiwu Liao
ISBN : 9780307388377
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 53.36 MB
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A collection of oral histories reveals the lives of ordinary Chinese men and women, including a professional mourner, a leper, an abbot, a retired government official, and a political prisoner.
Category: Literary Criticism

Social Movements And Democracy In The 21st Century

Author : Dylan Taylor
ISBN : 9783319396842
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 47.18 MB
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This book contends that the impasse of the Left today is in part, a result of an anarchist ‘common sense’ among activists. The author argues that the vital dynamics of anarchism and social movements need to be combined with a reappraisal of the Communist party and state. While cynicism towards capitalism and existing political institutions is plentiful, this book argues that the Left appears mired in a reactive politics of resistance, unable to formulate programmes for substantive social change. Drawing insights from the history of the Left, political economy, contemporary critical theory and an in-depth study of Occupy, the author provides concrete suggestions as to how the Left might ‘claim the twenty-first century’ and realise a more equitable social order. Social Movements and Democracy in the 21st Century challenges activists and scholars to rethink social movements and political organisation, and to actively work towards enduring social change. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of social movement studies, Left theory, critical theory, political sociology and Marxism, as well as anyone with an interest in ‘political change’.
Category: Social Science

China In World History

Author : Paul S. Ropp
ISBN : 9780199798766
Genre : History
File Size : 30.41 MB
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Here is a fascinating compact history of Chinese political, economic, and cultural life, ranging from the origins of civilization in China to the beginning of the 21st century. Historian Paul Ropp combines vivid story-telling with astute analysis to shed light on some of the larger questions of Chinese history. What is distinctive about China in comparison with other civilizations? What have been the major changes and continuities in Chinese life over the past four millennia? Offering a global perspective, the book shows how China's nomadic neighbors to the north and west influenced much of the political, military, and even cultural history of China. Ropp also examines Sino-Indian relations, highlighting the impact of the thriving trade between India and China as well as the profound effect of Indian Buddhism on Chinese life. Finally, the author discusses the humiliation of China at the hands of Western powers and Japan, explaining how these recent events have shaped China's quest for wealth, power and respect today, and have colored China's perception of its own place in world history.
Category: History

Where Children Sleep

Author : James Mollison
ISBN : 1905712162
Genre : Photography
File Size : 57.59 MB
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Where Children Sleep presents Mollisons large format photographs of childrens bedrooms around the world including from the USA, Mexico, Brazil, England, Italy, Israel and theWest Bank, Kenya, Senegal, Lesotho, Nepal, China and India alongside portraits of the children whose bedrooms are featured. Each pair of photographs is accompanied by an extended caption that tells of the story of the child in question about Kaya in Tokyo whose proud mother spends $1000 per month on her dresses; about Bilal the Bedouin shepherd boy who sleeps out with his father's herd of goats; about the Nepali girl Indira, who has worked in a granite quarry since she was three years old, and about Ankhohxet, the Kraho boy who sleeps on the floor of a hut deep in the Amazon jungle. Photographed over two years with the support of Save the Children, the book is written and presented for an audience of 7-11 year olds setting out to interest and engage children in the details of the lives of other children around the world, and the social issues affecting them, while also being a serious photographic essay for an adult audience. Its striking design features a childs mobile on the cover, printed in glow-in-the-dark ink.
Category: Photography


Author : Roland Smith
ISBN : 0547417179
Genre : Young Adult Fiction
File Size : 21.11 MB
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The only thing you’ll find on the summit of Mount Everest is a divine view. The things that really matter lie far below. – Peak Marcello After fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he's left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father's renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. As owner of Peak Expeditions, he wants his son to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit--and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it's also one that could cost him his life. Roland Smith has created an action-packed adventure about friendship, sacrifice, family, and the drive to take on Everest, despite the incredible risk. The story of Peak’s dangerous ascent—told in his own words—is suspenseful, immediate, and impossible to put down.
Category: Young Adult Fiction