Posts Tagged ‘Courtney Handman’

Ritual Textuality: Review Forum (Courtney Handman)

July 6, 2014

Tomlinson, Matt. 2014. Ritual Textuality: Pattern and Motion in Performance. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

By: Courtney Handman (Reed College)

 

In 1976 Michael Silverstein’s landmark paper outlining the opposition between presupposing and creative indexicality helped usher in a new focus within linguistic anthropology about practice and performance. Dependent upon – indeed dedicated to – Roman Jakobson, Silverstein seemed to pry open a new corner in studies of ritual that focused on the very contingent nature of even the most scripted events. While Levi-Strauss had relegated rituals in “primitive” societies to foregone conclusions – sporting events in which the game only ended when the ritually scripted result had been achieved – and the structural-functionalists had seen in rituals largely the playing out of social structural orders, Silverstein’s focus on creativity (also called entailing indexicality) put some stakes back into the ritual game. Not only should all interactions be seen as more or less ritualized, but all such interactions had serious consequences should those entailments not go according to plan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Handman, “Mediating Denominational Disputes”

December 3, 2012

Handman, Courtney. 2012. Mediating Denominational Disputes: Land Claims and the Sound of Christian Critique in the Waria Valley, Papua New Guinea. In Christian Politics in Oceania, eds. Matt Tomlinson and Debra McDougall. London: Berghahn Books.

Handman, “Israelite Genealogies and Christian Commitment”

October 5, 2011

Handman, Courtney (2011) “Israelite Genealogies and Christian Commitment: The Limits of Language Ideologies in Guhu-Samane Christianity” Anthropological Quarterly 84(3):655-677

Abstract: Language ideological work on Protestantism has largely focused on how people engage in an intimate, immediate, and individualistic relationship with God, and the answer has been that they do so by sweeping away the debris—the history, the social relations, the sins, and the language—that keeps God at a distance. However, this focus has neglected the extent to which other Christian social formations play crucial roles in how Christians conceptualize their past, present, and future relationships to spiritual forces. In this article, I focus on Guhu-Samane (Papua New Guinea) discourses that circulate among Christians that their ethnic group is actually one of the Lost Tribes of Israel even as these same Christians denounce their own ego-centric genealogies as nothing more than histories of sinfulness. I argue that the renunciation of ego-centric genealogies and ego-centric pasts to create individual Christians depends upon the embrace of socio-centric genealogies and ethnic pasts to create the potential to be united Christians.

 

A part of the special issue Beyond Logos: Extensions of the Language Ideology Paradigm in the Study of Global Christianity (-ies)

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