For an anthropology of destiny

Elliot, Alice and Menin, Laura. 2018. For an anthropology of destiny. HAU Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 8(1/2), pp. 292-299. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This preface develops an argument for a comparative anthropology that takes the concept of destiny as a fertile laboratory for anthropological thought. The articles in this collection show how destiny’s distinguishing heuristic feature may be what we call “malleable fixity”: a paradoxical juxtaposition of images of temporal and historical fixity with a practical reckoning and openended self reorientation. Exploring the radically different ways in which destiny is evoked, enacted, and (re)theorized locally, we argue that an anthropology of destiny is, at its heart, the comparative study of diverse temporal orderings of human—as well as divine and cosmic—action.

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destiny, malleable fixity, action, temporality, freedom

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20 June 2018Published
10 April 2018Accepted

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Date Deposited:

15 Oct 2018 15:30

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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