Wording the WorldVeena Das and Scenes of Inheritance

Wording the WorldVeena Das and Scenes of Inheritance

Roma Chatterji

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780823261857

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

The essays in this book explore how Veena Das’s work has been critically assimilated in the thinking and writing of a younger generation of anthropologists who have been deeply influenced by her work. Taking off from Das’s writing on pain as a call for acknowledgement, several essays explore how social sciences render pain, suffering and the claims of the other as part of an ethics of responsibility. The second theme of the volume is the co-constitution of the event and the everyday especially in the context of violence. Ethics as a form of attentiveness to the other, especially in the context of poverty, deprivation, and corrosion of everyday life appears in several of the essays. An important question that animates this volume is, What is the picture of thought in anthropological knowledge? Das’s concerns with the philosophy of the everyday and her efforts to make philosophical reasoning responsive to those for whom everyday life must be secured against the precarious conditions of their existence, resonate in several essays. The affinity between anthropology, philosophy, romanticism, and the literary is evident not only in the themes but also in the forms of writing. These affinities are reflected in a final set of essays that show how forms of knowing in art and in anthropology are related through the work these authors have done with painters, performance artists, and writers. The uniqueness of this book lies in the concept of intellectual inheritance as itself a form of thinking ethnographically.