Documents

Artifacts of Modern Knowledge
Edited by Annelise Riles
Reflects on the new challenges to humanistic social science in a world in which the subjects of research increasingly share the professional passions and problems of the researcher

Description

Documents reflects on the new challenges to humanistic social science in a world in which the subjects of research increasingly share the professional passions and problems of the researcher.

Documents are everywhere in modern life, from the sciences to bureaucracy to law; at the same time, fieldworkers document social realities by collecting, producing, and exchanging documents of their own. Capping off a generation of reflection and critique about the promises and pitfalls of ethnographic methods, the contributors explore how ethnographers conceive, grasp, appreciate, and see patterns, demonstrating that the core of the ethnographic method now lies in the way ethnographers respond to, and increasingly share the professional passions and problems of, their subjects.

"Sophisticated and provocative. The original and unique focus of this volume effectively opens up a new arena of critique that will move ethnography and qualitative inquiry forward in a way that few other works do."
---George Marcus, Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

"This edited collection asks how an understanding of documentary forms sheds light on the creation and circulation of modern forms of knowledge, expertise, and governance. This is a major intervention in how we understand the everyday practice and techne of the documentary impulse and documentary apparatuses of law, bureaucratic review, and other institutions of modernity, as well as linguistic anthropology, literary theory, and law. The topic of Documents is not just of interest because of epistemological quandaries in the human sciences over textualization and interpretation, but also because the domains to which we increasingly turn our attention are themselves auto-documentary."
---Bill Maurer, Chair and Professor, Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

Contributors: Mario Biagioli, Donald Brenneis, Carol Heimer, Hirokazu Miyazaki, Adam Reed, Annelise Riles, and Marilyn Strathern.

Annelise Riles is Professor of Law and Anthropology at Cornell University. Cover image credit: Zimmermann Telegram, 1917; Decimal File, 1910-1929, 862.20212/82A (1910-1929), General Records of the Department of State; Record Group 59; National Archives.

Praise / Awards

  • "Sophisticated and provocative. The original and unique focus of this volume effectively opens up a new arena of critique that will move ethnography and qualitative inquiry forward in a way that few other works do."
    ---George Marcus, Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine
  • "This edited collection asks how an understanding of documentary forms sheds light on the creation and circulation of modern forms of knowledge, expertise and governance. This is a major intervention in how we understand the everyday practice and techne of the documentary impulse and documentary apparatuses of law, bureaucratic review, and other institutions of modernity, as well as linguistic anthropology, literary theory, and law. The topic of Documents is not just of interest because of epistemological quandaries in the human sciences over textualization and interpretation, but also because the domains to which we increasingly turn our attention are themselves auto-documentary."
    ---Bill Maurer, Chair and Professor, Anthropology, University of California, Irvine
  • "What comes after reflexive critique? This book is both a subtle account of textual fabrication and a remarkable example of what critical social science might become."
    ---Alain Pottage, Law Department, London School of Economics

Look Inside

Copyright © 2006, University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Posted September 2006 and April 2007.

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Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 256pp.
  • 16 documents.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2006
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06945-3

Add to Cart
  • $29.95 U.S.

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