From sixteenth-century cabinets of wonders to contemporary animal art, The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing examines the cultural and poetic history of preserving animals in lively postures. But why would anyone want to preserve an animal, and what is this animal-thing now? Rachel Poliquin suggests that taxidermy is entwined with the enduring human longing to find meaning with and within the natural world. Her study draws out the longings at the heart of taxidermy—the longing for wonder, beauty, spectacle, order, narrative, allegory, and remembrance. In so doing, The Breathless Zoo explores the animal spectacles desired by particular communities, human assumptions of superiority, the yearnings for hidden truths within animal form, and the loneliness and longing that haunt our strange human existence, being both within and apart from nature.
How did past communities and individuals remember through social and ritual practices? How important were mortuary practices in processes of remembering and forgetting the past? This innovative new research work focuses upon identifying strategies of remembrance. Evidence can be found in a range of archaeological remains including the adornment and alteration of the body in life and death, the production, exchange, consumption and destruction of material culture, the construction, use and reuse of monuments, and the social ordering of architectural space and the landscape. This book shows how in the past, as today, shared memories are important and defining aspects of social and ritual traditions, and the practical actions of dealing with and disposing of the dead can form a central focus for the definition of social memory.
The Bodhisattva Path According to the Inquiry of Ugra (Ugraparip?cch?) : a Study and Translation
Author: Jan Nattier
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
A Few Good Men is a study and translation of The Inquiry of Ugra (Ugrapariprccha), one of the most influential Mahayana sutras on the bodhisattva path, but also one of the most neglected texts in Western treatments of Buddhism. To achieve a better understanding of the universe of ideas, activities, and institutional structures within which early self-proclaimed bodhisattvas lived, the author first considers the Ugra as a literary document, employing new methodological tools to examine the genre to which it belongs, the age of its extant versions, and their relationships to one another. She goes on to challenge the dominant notions that the Mahayana emerged as a "reform" of earlier Buddhism and offered lay people an "easier option." A Few Good Men will be compelling reading for scholars and practitioners alike and others interested in the history of Indian Buddhism and the formation of Mahayana.
This book explores the memorializing practices of American veterans of the Vietnam War at several of the most significant contemporary sites of memory in the United States and Vietnam. These sites include veterans' memoirs, museum exhibits, replicas of the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and tourism to Vietnam. Because war memorializing has, since the late 1960s, shifted focus from national soul searching to personal identity and recovery, I emphasize how contemporary narratives of the war, shaped more by memory than by history, often are detached from the specific history of the war and its political controversies. Drawing on trauma and cultural memory scholarship, as well as empirical data gathered during field research in the U.S. and Vietnam, the author examines how veterans' memorializing practices have become increasingly individualized, commodified, and conservative since the early 1980s.
This innovative volume explores the idea that while photographs are images, they are also objects, and this materiality is integral to their meaning and use. The case studies presented focus on photographs active in different institutional, political, religious and domestic spheres, where physical properties, the nature of their use and the cultural formations in which they function make their 'objectness' central to how we should understand them. The book's contributions are drawn from disciplines including the history of photography, visual anthropology and art history, with case studies from a range of countries such as the Netherlands, North America, Australia, Japan, Romania and Tibet. Each shows the methodological strategies they have developed in order to fully exploit the idea of the materiality of photographic images.
Memory and Urban Religion in the Ancient World brings together scholars and researchers working on memory and religion in ancient urban environments. Chapters explore topics relating to religious traditions and memory, and the multifunctional roles of architectural and geographical sites, mythical figures and events, literary works and artefacts. Pagan religions were often less static and more open to new influences than previously understood. One of the factors that shape religion is how fundamental elements are remembered as valuable and therefore preservable for future generations. Memory, therefore, plays a pivotal role when - as seen in ancient Rome during late antiquity - a shift of religions takes place within communities. The significance of memory in ancient societies and how it was promoted, prompted, contested and even destroyed is discussed in detail. This volume, the first of its kind, not only addresses the main cultures of the ancient world - Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome - but also look at urban religious culture and funerary belief, and how concepts of ethnic religion were adapted in new religious environments.
The built environment of former socialist countries is often deemed uniform and drab, an apt reflection of a repressive regime. Building the State peeks behind the grey façade to reveal a colourful struggle over competing meanings of the nation, Europe, modernity and the past in a divided continent. Examining how social change is closely intertwined with transformations of the built environment, this volume focuses on the relationship between architecture and state politics in postwar Central Europe using examples from Hungary and Germany. Built around four case studies, the book traces how architecture was politically mobilized in the service of social change, first in socialist modernization programs and then in the postsocialist transition. Building the State does not only offer a comprehensive survey of the diverse political uses of architecture in postwar Central Europe but is the first book to explore how transformations of the built environment can offer a lens into broader processes of state formation and social change.
This volume offers lively current debates and case studies in historical archaeology selected from around the world, including North America, Latin America, Africa, the Pacific, and Europe. Authored by 19 experts in the field. Explores how historical archaeologists think about their work, piecing together information from both material culture and documents in an attempt to understand the lives of the people and societies they study. Engages with current theory in an accessible manner. Truly global in its approach but avoids subsuming local experiences of people into global patterns. Summarizes not only the current state of historical archaeology, but also sets the course for the field in decades to come.