The Power of the Between: An Anthropological Odyssey

Paperback | December 15, 2008

byPaul Stoller

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It is the anthropologist’s fate to always be between things: countries, languages, cultures, even realities. But rather than lament this, anthropologist Paul Stoller here celebrates the creative power of the between, showing how it can transform us, changing our conceptions of who we are, what we know, and how we live in the world.

Beginning with his early days with the Peace Corps in Africa and culminating with a recent bout with cancer, The Power of the Between is an evocative account of the circuitous path Stoller’s life has taken, offering a fascinating depiction of how a career is shaped over decades of reading and research. Stoller imparts his accumulated wisdom not through grandiose pronouncements but by drawing on his gift for storytelling. Tales of his apprenticeship to a sorcerer in Niger, his studies with Claude Lévi-Strauss in Paris, and his friendships with West African street vendors in New York City accompany philosophical reflections on love, memory, power, courage, health, and illness.

Graced with Stoller’s trademark humor and narrative elegance, The Power of the Between is both the story of a distinguished career and a profound meditation on coming to terms with the impermanence of all things.

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It is the anthropologist’s fate to always be between things: countries, languages, cultures, even realities. But rather than lament this, anthropologist Paul Stoller here celebrates the creative power of the between, showing how it can transform us, changing our conceptions of who we are, what we know, and how we live in the world.Begi...

Paul Stoller is professor of anthropology at West Chester University and the author of ten books, including Money Has No Smell, Jaguar, and In Sorcery’s Shadow.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:December 15, 2008Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226775356

ISBN - 13:9780226775357

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Prologue: The Power of the Between

1. Seeking Truth
2. Alternative Truths
3. Embodiments
4. Knowledge
5. Sorcery
6. New York City
7. Complexities
8. Family
9. Sensuousness
10. Embodied Memories
11. Wood
12. New World Circuits
13. Art
14. Intersections
15. Weaving the World
16. Immunology and the Village of the Healthy
17. Entering the Village of the Sick
18. Sorcery in the World
19. Remission
20. Reconfiguration
21. Ethnography
22. Memoir
23. Imagination
24. Stories

Epilogue: Flying on the Wings of the Wind
Notes    References    Index

Editorial Reviews

“Paul Stoller is an adventurer, following a sensuous path whose sudden turns connect rationality with relativism, rivers with sand dunes, ancient deities with postcolonial politicians, West African villages with the streets of Harlem, rural traders with urban art collectors, and the methods of the sorcerer with those of the chemotherapist. This is the story of a true ethnographer.”--Dennis Tedlock, author of Breath on the Mirror: Mythic Voices and Visions of the Living Maya