Volume of the Association of Social Anthropologists ASA2018 conference published

Re-Creating Anthropology. Sociality, Matter, and the Imagination

Edited by David N. Gellner, Dolores P. Martinez, 2022. 

This book makes a notable contribution to discussions of what anthropology is and should be in the twenty-first century through a reconsideration, from diverse sub-disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, of the interactions between sociality, matter, and the imagination. It explores the imagination in its social contexts, how it is put to work, and how, in its embodied and material forms, it works in practice. The chapters provide detailed case studies, including film-making in Egypt; spirit-possession/exorcism in Italy; Theosophy and the production of knowledge about UFOs; the role of mistakes or glitches in public performances; humans’ varying relationships to the environment; post-coloniality, time, and crisis in anthropology; and artistic creativity. 

The Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth’s 2018 conference was jointly hosted by the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME) of the University of Oxford, including the Pitt Rivers Museum, and the Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University. 

This volume is dedicated to the memory of Professor Marcus Banks. 

For further details click on this link to the publisher's website

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Contributors


1 Introduction: Social Anthropology as Scepticism, Empathy, and Holism

David N. Gellner


Part I Time

2 ‘"Not an Airy European Fantasy", or: How (De)Colonization Embeds the Anthropological Imagination

Peter Pels

3 Placing Time: Open, Wild, Drift

Caitlin DeSilvey

4 Time and Permanence: In an Epoch of the Anachronic

Michael Rowlands

5 Crisis, Prophecy, and Ethnography: Living in the Waste Land Then and Now

Ramon Sarró


Part II Imagination and the Social

6 Interactional Glitches, Cooperation, and the Paradox of Public Joint Activities

Alessandro Duranti

7 Enskilment and the Emergent Imagination

Iza Kavedžija

8 ‘"She Talks to Angels": Spirit Becomings, Embodied Memories, and Affective Imagination Skills in Catholic Exorcism in Contemporary Italy

Andrea De Antoni

9 The Role of Unproved Ideas in the Production of Knowledge: A Case Study

Timothy Jenkins

10 The Light of a Piece: An Exploration of Materiality and Creative Practice in a Maine Landscape – Notes on a Film Screening

Anna Grimshaw with Elizabeth Hallam


Part III Futures

11 Describing the Future: Predictability, Uncertainty, and Imponderability

Chihab El Khachab

12 Anthropocenic Reconfigurations: Socio-Natures and the Politics of Planetary Health

Melissa Leach

13 Psychological Essentialism: An Anchoring for Anthropological Comparison

Rita Astuti


Afterword: Anthropology and Imagination's Techniques

Dolores P. Martinez