The World Multiple: The Quotidian Politics of Knowing and Generating Entangled Worlds

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Keiichi Omura, Grant Jun Otsuki, Shiho Satsuka, Atsuro Morita
Routledge, Nov 6, 2018 - Social Science - 260 pages

The World Multiple, as a collection, is an ambitious ethnographic experiment in understanding how the world is experienced and generated in multiple ways through people’s everyday practices. Against the dominant assumption that the world is a single universal reality that can only be known by modern expert science, this book argues that worlds are worlded—they are socially and materially crafted in multiple forms in everyday practices involving humans, landscapes, animals, plants, fungi, rocks, and other beings. These practices do not converge to a singular knowledge of the world, but generate a world multiple—a world that is more than one integrated whole, yet less than many fragmented parts.

The book brings together authors from Europe, Japan, and North America, in conversation with ethnographic material from Africa, the Americas, and Asia, in order to explore the possibilities of the world multiple to reveal new ways to intervene in the legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism that inflict damage on humans and nonhumans. The contributors show how the world is formed through interactions among techno-scientific, vernacular, local, and indigenous practices, and examine the new forms of politics that emerge out of them.

Engaged with recent anthropological discussions of ontologies, the Anthropocene, and multi-species ethnography, the book addresses the multidimensional realities of people’s lives and the quotidian politics they entail.


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List of figures
Andean indigenous religion but not only
Vertiginous worlds and emetic anthropologies
Doing and undoing caribouatīku Diffractive and divergent multiplicities
Maps in action Quotidian politics through boundary translational matrix
Climate change and local knowledge in Eastern Arctic Inuit society
Temporalities in translation The making and unmaking of folk Ayurveda
Healing in the Anthropocene
Out of nothing Reworlding theory through Chinese medical
Traveling and indwelling knowledge Learning and technological exchange
Worlds apart? Reflexive equivocations in the Alto Rio Negro
Translation in the world multiple
A multispecies ontological turn?

Landscapes by comparison Practices of enacting salmon in Hokkaido Japan
Spectral forces time and excess in Southern Chile

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About the author (2018)

Keiichi Omura is Professor in Anthropology at the Open University of Japan. He is the author of Kanada inuito no minzokushi: Nichijōteki jissen no dainamikusu (Ethnography of Canadian Inuit: Dynamics of Everyday Practices) (Osaka University Press, 2013). He is currently interested in the ethnographic study of Canadian Inuit language and knowledge, their subsistence, Inuit ways of life and social relations, and comparative studies of indigenous knowledge and modern science.

Grant Jun Otsuki is Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His research focuses on technology, cybernetics, and media in Japan and North America. He is currently finishing a book manuscript entitled Human and Machine in Formation: An Ethnographic Study of Communication and Humanness in a Wearable Technology Laboratory in Japan.

Shiho Satsuka is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Nature in Translation: Japanese Tourism Encounters the Canadian Rockies (Duke University Press, 2015). She is currently preparing a book manuscript tentatively entitled The Charisma of Wild Mushrooms: Undoing the Twentieth Century.

Atsuro Morita is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Science, Technology and Culture at Osaka University, Japan. In the past several years he has been exploring the global network of hydrology and water management technology, particularly the travel of technologies, ideas, and expertise among Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, and Thailand. In this research he is particularly focusing on simulation technologies and cultural imagination about landscape transformations in the Anthropocene.

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