In this Book

Sensuous Scholarship
summary

Among the Songhay of Mali and Niger, who consider the stomach the seat of personality, learning is understood not in terms of mental activity but in bodily terms. Songhay bards study history by "eating the words of the ancestors," and sorcerers learn their art by ingesting particular substances, by testing their flesh with knives, by mastering pain and illness.

In Sensuous Scholarship Paul Stoller challenges contemporary social theorists and cultural critics who—using the notion of embodiment to critique Eurocentric and phallocentric predispositions in scholarly thought—consider the body primarily as a text that can be read and analyzed. Stoller argues that this attitude is in itself Eurocentric and is particularly inappropriate for anthropologists, who often work in societies in which the notion of text, and textual interpretation, is foreign.

Throughout Sensuous Scholarship Stoller argues for the importance of understanding the "sensuous epistemologies" of many non-Western societies so that we can better understand the societies themselves and what their epistemologies have to teach us about human experience in general.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title
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  1. Copyright
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Prologue: The Scholar's Body
  2. pp. ix-xviii
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  1. Part One: Embodied Practices
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. Introduction: The Way of the Body
  2. pp. 3-3
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  1. 1. The Sorcerer's Body
  2. pp. 4-23
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  1. 2. The Griot's Tongue
  2. pp. 24-43
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  1. Part Two: Body and Memory
  2. pp. 44-45
  1. Introduction: The Texture of Memory
  2. pp. 46-46
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  1. 3. Embodying Colonial Memories
  2. pp. 48-73
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  1. 4. "Conscious" Ain't Consciousness: Entering the Museum of Sensory Absence
  2. pp. 74-87
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  1. Part Three: Embodied Representations
  2. pp. 88-89
  1. Introduction: Embodying the Grammar
  2. pp. 91-92
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  1. 5. Spaces, Places, and Fields: The Politics of West African Trading in New York City's Informal Economy
  2. pp. 93-118
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  1. 6. Artaud, Rouch, and the Cinema of Cruelty
  2. pp. 119-133
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  1. Epilogue: Sensuous Ways of Knowing/Living
  2. pp. 135-137
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 139-148
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 149-159
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  1. Films Cited
  2. pp. 160-162
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 163-166
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