Indigenous Perspective Prospectus

M. Council (council@LUNA.CAS.USF.EDU)
Fri, 24 Jun 1994 09:06:08 -0400

Please forgive the technodyslexia displayed by my previous posts.


Trevor Purcell and two co-editors (Univ. of South Florida, Anthropology) are
seeking a publisher for the anthology outlined below. Should you have any
suggestions, please contact Maggie at, or USF
Department of Anthropology, SOC 107, 4202 Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620-
8100, phone (813) 974-2150.

We are also soliciting additional papers for the volume. If you think you have a
suitable work, send three copies immediately for consideration to the above
address. The paper should be 25-30 pages long, double-spaced, and preferably
written in accordance with the American Anthropological Association style
standard. We will review your article and inform you of the result ASAP.

Anthology Prospectus

The papers in this anthology, based largely on original field research,
address various aspects of the application of the indigenous perspective in a
manner that demonstrates the direct relevance comparative cultural knowledge to
achieving a more objective understanding - and solutions - of the conflicts
engendered by the globalization of capitalism and it particular view of the world.
The papers are set in the historical context of five centuries of the
emergence and expansion of capitalism, a process which has been enduringly
unkind to those it defines as indigenous. In the past two decades, the world has
witnessed a dialectical twist of history which has brought indigenous peoples to a
position of re-invigorated cultural assertion vis-a-vis the dominant "Western"
knowledge. The goal is self-determination, and it is being carved through a
forest of international, intercultural, and even interclass "development"
problems: conflicting notions of property rights; contrasting understandings of
resource conservation; the confrontation of technology and morality; and perhaps
most pervasive, different understandings of the relationship of "development" to
sustainable social well-being. The tide of self-determination is not, however,
confined to indigenous peoples; the indigenous model of action and critical
discourse has been embraced by many NGOs and post-colonial states seeking
alternatives to historically imposed life strategies. Thus, there has emerged what
may be termed an indigenous perspective, i.e., strategies based on local
knowledge and local initiative, the common thread that ties these papers in the
volume together.
The topics in the anthology include: a) questions of what constitutes
indigenous knowledge; b) the application of such cognitive methodologies as
triadic sorting and multidimensional scaling; c) institutional economics, and
factors determining property rights such as history, culture, and gender; d)
indigenous perspectives in community planning, health and healing, sustainable
natural resource development, and the need for locally conceived ideological
discourse; e) the manipulation of symbolic capital in the relationship between
indigenous groups and the international environmental movement; f) and, finally,
the potential conflict between ethical relativism and principles of universal human

Structure of the Anthology
The volume consists of a Preface, an Introduction and sixteen articles (so
far). The Preface summarizes the advent of the papers. The Introduction locates
the volume within contemporary works on the research and application of
indigenous/local knowledge, as well as in the public discourse on the globalization
of industrial capitalism and its implications for the future.
The volume is divided into five topical sections: 1) Methodological and
Conceptual Issues; 2) Property Rights and Resource Management; 3) Sustainable
Development and Resource Utilization; 4) Indigenous Knowledge in Health and
Healing. 5) Local Knowledge and the New Information Technology.