Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary
In this powerful, compassionate work, one of anthropology’s most distinguished ethnographers weaves together rich fieldwork with a compelling critical analysis in a book that will surely make a signal contribution to contemporary thinking about violence and how it affects everyday life. Veena Das examines case studies including the extreme violence of the Partition of India in 1947 and the massacre of Sikhs in 1984 after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In a major departure from much anthropological inquiry, Das asks how this violence has entered "the recesses of the ordinary" instead of viewing it as an interruption of life to which we simply bear witness. Das engages with anthropological work on collective violence, rumor, sectarian conflict, new kinship, and state and bureaucracy as she embarks on a wide-ranging exploration of the relations among violence, gender, and subjectivity. Weaving anthropological and philosophical reflections on the ordinary into her analysis, Das points toward a new way of interpreting violence in societies and cultures around the globe. The book will be indispensable reading across disciplinary boundaries as we strive to better understand violence, especially as it is perpetrated against women.
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The Figure of the Abducted Woman
Language and Body
The Act of Witnessing
Boundaries Violence and theWork of Time
Thinking of Time and Subjectivity
In the Region of Rumor
The Force of the Local
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abducted woman anthropology Antigone argued Arthur Kleinman Asha asked assassination Barkha Dutt become Block body brother caste Cavell Cavell’s Chamars chapter child children claims colony community context created crowd culture daughter dead death Deleuze Delhi different discourse ethnography events everyday evoked experience family father form Gandhi gurudwaras Hindu house households human husband idea images India Indira Gandhi jhuggis Khalistan killed kind kinship Lacan language lives looted Ludwig Wittgenstein Manjit masculine Mbembe memory militant mother mourning Muslim Mytheme narrative nation number official oflife one’s Operation Blue Star pain Pakistan Partition past people’s person philosophical police political power Pradhan public Punjab question rape relation reported riots rituals rumor Sandip sense sexual Shanti show Siglikar Sikhs simply Singh sister social contract speech Stanley Cavell story streets subject Sultanpuri survivors take terms think tion trauma University Press Uttar Pradesh Veena Veena Das victims violation violence voice widow Wittgenstein women words world writing
Page viii - Suppose you came as an explorer into an unknown country with a language quite strange to you. In what circumstances would you say that the people there gave orders, understood them, obeyed them, rebelled against them, and so on? The common behaviour of mankind is the system of reference by means of which we interpret an unknown language