Cultural anthropologists can be an intellectually adventurous crowd: open-even eager-to building bridges across disciplines in the name of understanding human behavior and the human experience more broadly.
In this first-of-its-kind book, Caroline Brettell explores the cross-disciplinary conversations that have engaged cultural anthropologists both past and present. Brettell highlights a handful of conversations between the discipline of anthropology on the one hand and history, geography, literature, biology, psychology and demography on the other.
She also pinpoints how these exchanges address three enduring issues of anthropological concern: the temporal and the spatial dimensions of human experience; the scientific and the humanistic dimensions of the anthropological enterprise; and the individual and the group/population as units of analysis in research.
Anthropological Conversations offers detailed accounts of particular ethnographic methodologies and findings (and the theoretical trends informing them) as a means of grasping the big-picture issues.
Brettell clearly shows that, by engaging with other fields, cultural anthropologists have been able to think more deeply about what they mean by culture; through this book, she invites readers to continue the conversation.