Re: Pomo Results (Reply to Tomaso)

Matthew S. Tomaso (Tomaso@MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU)
Fri, 6 Oct 1995 09:13:32 -0500

John McCreery wrote:

>In response to a request for more pomo results, Matt Tomaso
>mentions Michael Taussig. Two issues come to mind: (1) Who else
>is out there?

Although only marginally postmodern, a more accessible example might be
Clifford's classic "Identity in Mashpee". This one might give some of the
less vocal modernists on the list something to relate to.

>(2) What are we to make of Taussig?

whatever you wish to make of him. But seriously -
I understand John's allusions to MTV, and I share this feeling, but, let's
face it, rock videos can be powerful media, can't they? Taussig has an
awful lot to say in both _Mimesis and Alterity_ and _Shamanism...._. I
can't read him for facticity or content so much as for the way he sometimes
is able to convey a sense of situatedness and _experience_ thereof. This
is, of course, bound up in his writing style and the sheer power of his
emotive imagery. As a model for writing widely explorative ethnography, I
think both texts are outstanding. This is partly why I insist that
postmodernism has been and should be influential mostly at the
methodological level - in terms of writing and conducting research, but not
as an epistemology on its own.

>First, in relation to (1): We have on the table the claim that
>postmodernism represents an important shift in anthropological
>thinking. So far we have two anthropologists' names on the table
>(Kondo and Taussig). Is this all we have to show as examples of a
>major movement?

patience, please, I'm thinking. (Somebody on this list must have a list of
references handy).

Matt Tomaso.
Anthropology. University of Texas at Austin.
Phone/Fax 512-453-6256