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ISBN: PB: 9780997367577

University of Chicago Press, HAU

February 2021

120 pp.

17.7x10 cm

6 halftones




Anthropological Keywords

Fakes, forgery, counterfeits, hoaxes, frauds, knock-offs – such terms speak, ostensibly, to the inverse of truth or the obverse of authenticity and sincerity. Do all cultures equally spend an incredible amount of energy and labor on detecting differences between the phony and the genuine? What does the modern human obsession with fabrications and frauds tell us about ourselves? And what can anthropology tell us about this obsession?

This timely book is the product of the first Annual Debate of Anthropological Keywords, a collaborative project between HAU, the American Ethnological Society, and "L'Homme", held each year at the American Anthropological Association meetings. The aim of the debate is to reflect critically on keywords and terms that play a pivotal and timely role in discussions of different cultures and societies, and of the relations between them. This volume brings together leading thinkers to interrogate the concept of fake cross-culturally, including insightful contributions by Giovanni da Col, Gabriella Coleman, Veena Das, John Jackson Jr., Graham Jones, Carlo Severi, Alexei Yurchak, and Jacob Copeman.

About the Author

Giovanni da Col is research associate at SOAS, University of London, and founder of HAU and the Centre for Ethnographic Theory.