As such please be aware that registration for the symposium by credit card is unavailable between

Friday 19 March 10.00pm and Monday 19 March 9.30am.

Registration with cheque is still available through the registration form for download.

We apologise for any inconvenience.


Recommended readings

For those who wish to explore the topic in a greater depth, we recommend the following readings. In preparation to the symposium a reading group has been established at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney. All of these texts have been discussed during these sessions. But as this is just the beginning, the list is far from exhaustive. Here are our recommended readings:

  • 2009. Sea Level. San Roque, Craig in J Marshall (ed.), Depth Psychology, Disorder and Climate Change, Sydney: Jung Downunder Books
  • 1993. The Fundamentalist Self. Chpt 9 in The Protean Self. Human Resilience in an Age of Fragmentation. Lifton, Robert Jay. BasicBooks: 160-189.
  • 2001: Vita. Life in a zone of social abandonment. Biehl, João. In Social Text 68, Vol.19(3). Duke University Press,131-149
  • 1995. Sarcophagus: Chernobyl in Historical Light. Petryna, Adriana. In Cultural Anthropology Vol. 10(2), 196-220
  • 2006. The Nuclear Borderlands. The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico. Masco, Joseph. Princeton University Press. Chpt 1 pp1-5,Chpt 2 pp 43-99
  • “Flight from Death: The quest for immortality” (2003) documentary. written by Greg Bennick and Patrick Shen.
  • Soapbox Forum on “Anthropological Perspectives on Climate Change” (TAJA 2008, 19 April:1)

You can now download our poster and help spread the news about the symposium.

For a PDF, click here for Poster 1 and here for Poster 2

Book Launch @ AEoW I

Dear All,

We would like invite to our book launch during our conference:

When: Thursday 25 March, from 5pm.
Where: Holme Bdg, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
The book will be launched by Prof. Michael Taussig.

Please note that the book launches are part of the Symposium – Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds and require registration. To find out how to register please click the tab on top of the page.

Ordinary Reality for the Mehinaku Indians
Carla D. Stang

248 pages, 29 ills, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-555-2 Berghahn Books

Our lives are mostly composed of ordinary reality — the flow of moment-to-moment existence — and yet it has been largely overlooked as a subject in itself for anthropological study. In this work, the author achieves an understanding of this part of reality for the Mehinaku Indians, an Amazonian people, in two stages: first by observing various aspects of their experience and second by relating how these different facets come to play in a stream of ordinary consciousness, a walk to the river. In this way, abstract schemata such as ‘cosmology,’ ‘sociality,’ ‘gender,’ and the ‘everyday’ are understood as they are actually lived. This book contributes to the ethnography of the Amazon, specifically the Upper Xingu, with an approach that crosses disciplinary boundaries between anthropology, philosophy, and psychology. In doing so it attempts to comprehend what Malinowski called the ‘imponderabilia of actual life.’

“…an extraordinary ethnographic work… outstanding – in the audacious naturalism of its form, the compelling way in which Stang reads Mehinaku reality between the lines, capturing the flow and fluctuations of consciousness as well as the materiality and physicality of their existence.”  ·  Michael Jackson, Harvard Divinity School

“This is an important study both as ethnography and as an interpretive achievement. To my mind there is no better study from Amazonia that elucidates specifically the archetypal scheme of reality which is an extraordinary notion commonly encountered in Amazonian life-worlds…The book will be a contribution to South American anthropology and, even more significantly, to the growing field of comparative cosmologies and comparative systems of knowledge.”  ·  Jadran Mimica, University of Sydney

“This [book] is … refreshing because the normal picture of Amazonian symbolism/cosmology is typically written by men and based on observations of male ritual….. Carla…show[s] how ordinary people (in this case, women) think about and experience an enchanted world rather than what the ritual experts (and anthropologists) claim….There is an abundance of clever, imaginative anthropological interpretations of what Amazonians say and do… What very few have ever really asked is how all this…is actually experienced and understood by the people involved. Carla does that and does it very well.”  ·  Stephen Hugh-Jones, Cambridge University

Book Launch @ AEoW II

We would like to invite you to a book launch during our Symposium – Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds (AEoW):

When: Friday 26 March, during the lunch hour.
Where: Holme Bdg, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Prof. Diane Austin-Broos will launch the book.

Please note that the book launches are part of the Symposium Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds and require registration. To find out how to register please click the tab on top of the page.

Erin B. Taylor
Book details:
What is it really like to do fieldwork?

Answers to this question are as diverse as the researchers and the field sites they choose. Anthropologists no longer fit the stereotype of white Westerners going to exotic places to study people very different from themselves. Rather, anthropologists now come from a variety of backgrounds, and their identities are complicated, even to them.

This book addresses how identity affects research in the contemporary world, where field sites are no longer static. Each chapter describes how the author negotiated aspects of identity in the field, including race, nationality, class, gender, religion, and sexuality. The authors are all early-career researchers who have conducted fieldwork in different Caribbean nations, including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Belize.

Caribbean Studies Press. Catalog Number: CSP6007, 258pp, Paperback
ISBN 978-1-58432-600-7     $27.50


The Symposium Dinner will take place at:

When: Friday 26 March 2010; 6.30pm

Where: 74-78 King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042

How much: AUD 35.00

booking essential!

Vegetarian option available. Any other dietary requirements, please contact Katarina.Ferro@sydney.edu.au

further info on chedi: www.chedi.com.au

Thursday 25 March 2010

The University of Sydney Venue Collection
MacCullum&Cullen Rooms
Holme Bdg, Sydney 2006

Registration is essential (category Day 1 only): AUD 20,00 and subject to availability.

“History is a Nightmare from Which I Am Trying to Awake:”
How Will the Human Body Reconnect with the Body of the World?

Fredric Jameson says it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism, and I want to ask why that might be? Is it because the end was always already built into the subliminal mythologies by which we live and is in fact desired—as an apocalyptic rush preceding world renewal? (Note Benjamin’s Angel of History.) Might there not be, however, quite other mythic and poetic resources that we can call upon, involving new “techniques of the body” and re-constellations of the “bodily unconscious” that the crisis brings forth?

mick taussig

ad personam: Columbia University Professor, Michael Taussig is one of the most innovative, distinguished, and socially engaged voices in cultural anthropology. An interdisciplinary thinker and engaging writer, Taussig’s work combines aspects of ethnography, story-telling, and social theory. His publications include two Spanish-language books on the history of slavery and its aftermath, and eight English-language books on issues of slavery, hunger, commercialization of agriculture, Marxist economic theory, popular culture, folk healing, colonialisms, theories of ritual, cultural productions of terror, the state and public secrecy, museums and memory, and poor communities in Colombia. In the title essay of his most recent book, the collection Walter Benjamin’s Grave (University of Chicago Press, 2006), Taussig reflects upon his own visit to Benjamin’s gravesite in Port Bou on the French-Spanish border, relays accounts of Benjamin’s travels as he fled the Nazis, and describes the circumstances of Benjamin’s 1940 suicide. Taussig has lectured at universities, conferences, and cultural institutions around the world and has received numerous honors, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. (bio: curtesy of Transforming Cultures)