Multiple nature-cultures, diverse anthropologies

My review of Casper Bruun Jensen and Atsuro Morita‘s edited volume is out. The book is titled Multiple Nature-Cultures, Diverse Anthropologies and was published in 2019, but previously available as a special issue in Social Analysis. I really enjoyed the chapters, particularly the ones by Swanson, Walford, Kasuga, Skrydstrup, and the editors themselves—perhaps because I felt that these were the chapters that were most clearly in line with the issues raised in the introduction where, in brief, Jensen and Morita argue that nature-cultures are subject to continuous multiplication. With reference to Japan they illustrate how this entails also the diversification of anthropology itself. The authors argue that whereas Western anthropologists have looked elsewhere to unlearn the nature-culture divide, in Japan that process was reversed: it had to be learned. While not the focus of the volume as a whole, the Japanese example is nevertheless important. It shows how conceptual frictions have proven generative of a minor anthropological tradition that evades existing ways of categorising disciplinary differences, for example along national traditions, schools of thought, and so on. This is a beautiful recursive argument with the capacity to accommodate also the chapters that I felt fell outside the general line of argument. It is, after all, a provocation to keep diversifying. Read the full review here, or download a pdf.