restricted access 2. Ethnography in the Time of Martyrs: History and Painin Current Anthropological Practice
Abstract

Informed by fieldwork in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, this chapter discusses the themes of pain, suffering, violence and death in key texts by Veena Das, Elizabeth Povinelli and Talal Asad. Anthropologists routinely encounter scenes of pain and suffering during fieldwork. These are aspects of ordinary life in the societies that anthropologists tend to study and increasingly become important thematics in their knowledge practices and understanding of history. The author then uses the anthropological understanding of suffering and violence to argue that ideas of pain and suffering also serves as a scaffolding for the modern regime of historicity, asking what forms of violence are recognized or misrecognized by it - the answer to which has everything to do with how this is emplotted in the linear narrative of history.


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