The “Knower” and the “Known”— Complex Articulations

The “Knower” and the “Known”— Complex Articulations PETER GESCHIERE University of Amsterdam When I first read Palmie's intriguing title, I started off on the wrong foot: I ´ interpreted The Cooking of History to imply the shifty ``cooking up'' of something. But when I saw the book's striking cover--a small army of cooks stirring an unidentifiable mixture with big spoons in a huge cauldron in the midst of what looks like a hungry crowd--I got the message: we have to study history as a vast cooking process in which all ingredients constantly change shape, are fused with others and thus take on new appearances (or disappear, melting into each other). The subtitle explains things further: it will be about those who think they study something called Afro-Cuban religion--in practice mostly anthropologists, often with a strong historical slant--and who apparently have to reconsider what they have been doing. The injunction seems in danger of being didactic. But luckily the first pages make clear that its special target is the author himself, who offers his own experience up as a striking example of ``how not to study'' this topic. The notion of ``the cooking of history'' comes from Fernando Ortiz, a fascinating figure and in many senses http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft University of Pennsylvania Press

The “Knower” and the “Known”— Complex Articulations

Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, Volume 10 (2) – Feb 5, 2015

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
The University of Pennsylvania Press
ISSN
1940-5111
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Abstract

PETER GESCHIERE University of Amsterdam When I first read Palmie's intriguing title, I started off on the wrong foot: I ´ interpreted The Cooking of History to imply the shifty ``cooking up'' of something. But when I saw the book's striking cover--a small army of cooks stirring an unidentifiable mixture with big spoons in a huge cauldron in the midst of what looks like a hungry crowd--I got the message: we have to study history as a vast cooking process in which all ingredients constantly change shape, are fused with others and thus take on new appearances (or disappear, melting into each other). The subtitle explains things further: it will be about those who think they study something called Afro-Cuban religion--in practice mostly anthropologists, often with a strong historical slant--and who apparently have to reconsider what they have been doing. The injunction seems in danger of being didactic. But luckily the first pages make clear that its special target is the author himself, who offers his own experience up as a striking example of ``how not to study'' this topic. The notion of ``the cooking of history'' comes from Fernando Ortiz, a fascinating figure and in many senses

Journal

Magic, Ritual, and WitchcraftUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Feb 5, 2015

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