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The Spectral Arctic

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ISBN: 9781787352452 Year: Pages: 326 DOI: 10.14324/111.9781787352452 Language: English
Publisher: UCL Press
Subject: History --- Ethnology --- Anthropology --- Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2018-06-14 11:01:50
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Visitors to the Arctic enter places that have been traditionally imagined as otherworldly. This strangeness fascinated audiences in nineteenth-century Britain when the idea of the heroic explorer voyaging through unmapped zones reached its zenith. The Spectral Arctic re-thinks our understanding of Arctic exploration by paying attention to the importance of dreams and ghosts in the quest for the Northwest Passage. The narratives of Arctic exploration that we are all familiar with today are just the tip of the iceberg: they disguise a great mass of mysterious and dimly lit stories beneath the surface. In contrast to oft-told tales of heroism and disaster, this book reveals the hidden stories of dreaming and haunted explorers, of frozen mummies, of rescue balloons, visits to Inuit shamans, and of the entranced female clairvoyants who travelled to the Arctic in search of John Franklin’s lost expedition. Through new readings of archival documents, exploration narratives, and fictional texts, these spectral stories reflect the complex ways that men and women actually thought about the far North in the past. This revisionist historical account allows us to make sense of current cultural and political concerns in the Canadian Arctic about the location of Franklin’s ships.

Ethnography #9

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ISBN: 9781478090205 9781478007111 9781478006213 9781478005445 Year: Pages: 192 DOI: 10.1215/9781478090205 Language: English
Publisher: Duke University Press
Subject: Ethnology
Added to DOAB on : 2020-03-28 11:21:03
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As Alan Klima writes in Ethnography #9, “there are other possible starting places than the earnest realism of anthropological discourse as a method of critical thought.” In this experimental ethnography of capitalism, ghosts, and numbers in mid- and late-twentieth-century Thailand, Klima uses this provocation to deconstruct naive faith in the “real” and in the material in academic discourse that does not recognize that it is, itself, writing. Klima also twists the common narrative that increasing financial abstractions in economic culture are a kind of real horror story, entangling it with other modes of abstraction commonly seen as less “real,” such as spirit consultations, ghost stories, and haunted gambling. His unconventional, distinctive, and literary form of storytelling uses multiple voices, from ethnographic modes to a first-person narrative in which he channels Northern Thai ghostly tales and the story of a young Thai spirit. This genre alchemy creates strange yet compelling new relations between being and not being, presence and absence, fiction and nonfiction, fantasy and reality. In embracing the speculative as a writing form, Klima summons unorthodox possibilities for truth in contemporary anthropology.

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