CSSH AT SIXTY At sixty-years strong, the journal remains as fit and agile as ever. The print edition is now accompanied by a dynamic website including interviews, conversations between authors, features on the research processes behind groundbreaking articles, and much more. Ten years ago, in honor of the journal’s half-century jubilee, we celebrated the occasion with an expanded issue. We’re pleased to continue that tradition on this anniversary, presenting fifteen extraordinary essays.
Congratulations to CSSH authors Nancy Farris; Mirjam Künkler.
Learn more about the authors who published articles in 60-3.
In this issue authors address the question of how putatively universal rules—imperial dictates, state laws, economic regimes, and consequential categories of social life like “religion,” “the market” and “indigeneity”—are translated into local vernaculars and adapted to local sites and singular needs. The process is rarely without friction, resistance, cost, or contest. To take a hydraulic metaphor, the essays offer a comparative viscosity of the force and limits of
flow. When standardizing classifications infill regional uses and users, what sorts of detours, dams, floods, and muddied waters follow? What new springs irrupt?
CSSH is a resolutely interdisciplinary journal, but we cannot help noting (with pride) that nine of our 2017 essays were recently mentioned in Noah Tamarkin’s annual review of noteworthy publications in anthropology, “Time and Relational Possibility: Cultural Anthropology in 2017,” which appears in the current issue of AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST.
Congratulations to CSSH author Sebastian R. Prange on the publication of his new monograph, Monsoon Islam: Trade and Faith on the Medieval Malabar Coast.
Fahad Ahmad Bishara and Guo-Quan Seng in conversation
Daniel Andrew Birchok, Anthropology, University of Michigan-Flint
One of the tall tales of modernity goes like this: as human societies become more complex — more industrial, urban, mass mediated, and public — the importance of kinship as an organizing principle decreases. The rule is invoked in multiple settings, often with a judgmental spin. Seldom does an identity narrative seem so self-evidently true and false at the same time. If we were to flip it, keeping its exaggerated feel but reversing the implications, the story might sound like this: claims about the diminishing significance of kinship (and its radically changing forms) have ethical weight because they are contested, very often inaccurate, and based on aspirations that are hard to realize in everyday life because ideas of relatedness are so important to us. Is this an improved version of the tall tale, or evidence that we need to tell a different kind of story altogether?
Meet our April 2018 authors!