The Super Fun Kids' Graphic Novel Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | September 21, 2015

    Annie Jacobsen: IMG Mirrors on the Moon: A Reporter's Story about Sources and Secrets in the Modern World

    As a national security reporter, I write about war, weapons, security, and secrets. The question most commonly asked of me is, "How do you get... Continue »
    1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
2 Remote Warehouse Anthropology- Cultural Anthropology

More copies of this ISBN

This title in other editions

Other titles in the Politics, History, and Culture series:

Materiality (Politics, History, and Culture)


Materiality (Politics, History, and Culture) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Throughout history and across social and cultural contexts, most systems of beliefandmdash;whether religious or secularandmdash;have ascribed wisdom to those who see reality as that which transcends the merely material. Yet, as the studies collected here show, the immaterial is not easily separated from the material. Humans are defined, to an extraordinary degree, by their expressions of immaterial ideals through material forms. The essays in Materiality explore varied manifestations of materiality from ancient times to the present. In assessing the fundamental role of materiality in shaping humanity, they signal the need to decenter the social within social anthropology in order to make room for the material.

Considering topics as diverse as theology, technology, finance, and art, the contributorsandmdash;most of whom are anthropologistsandmdash;examine the many different ways in which materiality has been understood and the consequences of these differences. Their case studies show that the latest forms of financial trading instruments can be compared with the oldest ideals of ancient Egypt, that the promise of software can be compared with an age-old desire for an unmediated relationship to divinity. Whether focusing on the theology of Islamic banking, Australian Aboriginal art, derivatives trading in Japan, or textiles that respond directly to their environment, each essay adds depth and nuance to the project that Materiality advances: a profound acknowledgment and rethinking of one of the basic properties of being human.

Contributors. Matthew Engelke, Webb Keane, Susanne Kanduuml;chler, Bill Maurer, Lynn Meskell, Daniel Miller, Hirokazu Miyazaki, Fred Myers, Christopher Pinney, Michael Rowlands, Nigel Thrift


A collection of essays rethinking the current uses of material culture study in anthropology, including engagements with art, science, and technology.

About the Author

“A milestone collection. Of all of the recent works on material culture available, this is the one that exposes the complete range of perspectives and theoretical strategies that the most noted scholars are trying out and the interdisciplinary connections and alliances that are shaping the field.”—George Marcus, Rice University
“There have been many recent stabs at the idea of materiality. With both authority and intellectual generosity, these anthropologists and their colleagues take us beyond ‘things’ and ‘objects’ to ask about concrete presences, qualities, surfaces, and the formation of phenomena. A magisterial and highly original collection.”—Marilyn Strathern, University of Cambridge
“This is first-class scholarship: lively, consequential, engaging, informed, and lucid. Daniel Miller and his colleagues explore—with imagination, ethnographic insight, and remarkable clarity—a range of related issues central to current debates within and beyond cultural anthropology.”—Donald Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruz

Table of Contents

Materiality: An Introduction / Daniel Miller 1

Objects in the Mirror Appear Closer Than They Are / Lynn Meskell 51

A Materialist Approach to Materiality / Michael Rowlands 72

Some Properties of Art and Culture: Ontologies of the Image and Economies of Exchange / Fred Myers 88

Sticky Subjects and Sticky Objects: The Substance of African Christian Healing / Matthew Engelke 118

Does Money Matter? Abstraction and Substitution in Alternative Financial Forms / Bill Maurer 140

The Materiality of Finance Theory / Hirokazu Miyazaki 165

Signs Are Not the Garb of Meaning: On the Social Analysis of Material Things / Webb Keane 182

Materiality and Cognition: The Changing Face of Things / Susanne Kuchler 206

Beyond Meditation: Three New Material Registers and Their Consequences / Nigel Thrift 231

Things Happen: Or, From Which Moment Does That Object Come? / Christopher Pinney 256

Contributors 273

Index 277

Product Details

Miller, Daniel
Miller, Daniel
Miller, Daniel
Meskell, Lynn
Myers, Fred R.
Engelke, Matthew
Miller, Daniel
Rowlands, Michael
Duke University Press
Material culture
Research -- Methodology.
Sociology-Reference and Methodology
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Politics, History, and Culture
Publication Date:
7 b&w photos, 1 table
8.88 x 6.13 in

Other books you might like

  1. Person & Myth: Maurice Leenhardt in... New Trade Paper $28.95
  2. Ethnography Through Thick and Thin Used Trade Paper $19.00
  3. Beads and Bead Makers: Gender,... New Trade Paper $41.25
  4. Walter Benjamin's Grave New Trade Paper $35.50
  5. Defacement: Public Secrecy and the... New Trade Paper $26.50
  6. My Cocaine Museum Used Trade Paper $24.50

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Reference and Methodology

Materiality (Politics, History, and Culture) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$26.25 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Duke University Press - English 9780822335429 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A collection of essays rethinking the current uses of material culture study in anthropology, including engagements with art, science, and technology.
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at