Ethnography of Reading

ISBN-10: 0520081331
ISBN-13: 9780520081338
Edition: 1993
Authors: Jonathan Boyarin
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Description: Writing, the subject of much innovative scholarship in recent years, is only half of what we call literacy. The other half, reading, now finally receives its due in these groundbreaking essays by a distinguished group of anthropologists and literary  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.95
Copyright year: 1993
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 7/14/1993
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 294
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Writing, the subject of much innovative scholarship in recent years, is only half of what we call literacy. The other half, reading, now finally receives its due in these groundbreaking essays by a distinguished group of anthropologists and literary scholars. The essays move well beyond the simple rubric of "literacy" in its traditional sense of evolutionary advancement from oral to written communication. Some investigate reading in exotically cross-cultural contexts. Some analyze the long historical transformation of reading in the West from a collective, oral practice to the private, silent one it is today, while others demonstrate that in certain Western contexts reading is still very much a social activity. The reading situations described here range from Anglo-Saxon England to contemporary Indonesia, from ancient Israel to a Kashaya Pomo Indian reservation. Filled with insights that erase the line between orality and textuality, this collection will attract a broad readership in anthropology, literature, history, and philosophy, as well as in religious, gender, and cultural studies.

Helen B. Schwartzman is a psychological anthropologist who specializes in the study of childhood development and play and the anthropology of work and organizations. As an Americanist she is drawn to the study of everyday activities that have been neglected by researchers and taken for granted by participants. This has led to studies examining how children construct play worlds for themselves, the role of meetings in organizations and communities, storytelling in work settings, and, most recently, moral panics about the introduction of new media (specifically the internet) to children in the United States. Her publications include Transformations: The Anthropology of Children's Play (University of Chicago Folklore Prize, Second Prize), The Meeting: Gatherings in Organizations and Communities, Ethnography in Organizations (now in its 6th printing), and Children and Anthropology: Perspectives for the 21st Century. She has served as Chair of the Department of Anthropology (2000-2003) and is currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Helen Schwartzman is the recipient of grants/fellowships from the Spencer Foundation, National Research Council, Ford Foundation, National Institute for Mental Health (Institutional Training Grant), NU Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research and the Illinois Department of Mental Health. She has served as Editor of the Special Publications-Professional Series of the American Anthropological Association, Deputy Editor for Anthropology for the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography and as a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Play and Culture. She is currently on the Editorial Board for the journal Culture and Organizations. Her most recent project is a "reflection" on the ways that anthropologists use the imagery of "the mirror" to portray the goals of the discipline as well as to theorize about specific aspects of society and culture.

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