Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. — 232 p.Living Beings examines the vital characteristics of social interactions between living beings, including humans, other animals and trees.Many discussions of such relationships highlight the exceptional qualities of the human members of the category, insisting for instance on their religious beliefs or creativity. In contrast, the international case studies in this volume dissect views based on hierarchical oppositions between human and other living beings. Although human practices may sometimes appear to exist in a realm beyond nature, they are nevertheless subject to the pull of natural forces. These forces may be brought into prominence through a consideration of the interactions between human beings and other inhabitants of the natural world.The interplay in this book between social anthropologists, philosophers and artists cuts across species divisions to examine the experiential dimensions of interspecies engagements. In ethnographically and/or historically contextualized chapters, contributors examine the juxtaposition of human and other living beings in the light of themes such as wildlife safaris, violence, difference, mimicry, simulation, spiritual renewal, dress and language.Penelope Dransart is Reader in Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK. Dr. Dransart’s research bridges the disciplines of cultural anthropology, archaeology and world art as applied to the investigation of ecological/environmental issues, religious values, gender and the role of visual imagery. These interests include human-animal relationships (pastoralism, animal management and stock-keeping), material culture (textiles, dress and gender; buildings archaeology; visual imagery; metaphysical concepts concerning colours; and artefact analysis), as well as ritual practice. She has done fieldwork in the Andes of the far north of Chile and in Scotland. Uniting these different strands is a strong historical contextualisation of the research. She has also published on the ethnohistory of Tierra del Fuego.
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