HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory

As every experienced fieldworker knows, the most difficult task in social anthropological fieldwork is to determine the meaning of a few key words, upon an understanding of which the success of the whole investigation depends. – E. E. Evans-Pritchard

HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, is an international peer-reviewed, open-access journal which aims to situate ethnography as the prime heuristic of anthropology, and return it to the forefront of conceptual developments in the discipline.

The journal is motivated by the need to reinstate ethnographic theorization in contemporary anthropology as a potent alternative to its 'explanation' or 'contextualization' by philosophical arguments, moves which have resulted in a loss of the discipline’s distinctive theoretical nerve. By drawing out its potential to critically engage and challenge Western cosmological assumptions and conceptual determinations, HAU aims to provide an exciting new arena for evaluating ethnography as a daring enterprise for 'worlding' alien terms and forms of life, by exploiting their potential for rethinking humanity and alterity.

HAU takes its name from Mauss’ Spirit of the Gift, an anthropological concept that derives its theoretical potential precisely from the translational inadequations and equivocations involved in comparing the incomparable. Through their reversibility, such inferential misunderstandings invite us to explore how encounters with alterity occasion the resurgence and revisitation of indigenous knowledge practices. As an online journal, HAU stresses immediacy of publication, allowing for the timely publication and distribution of untimely ideas. Aiming to attract the most daring thinkers in the discipline, regardless of position or background, HAU also places no restriction on further publication of material published by the journal.

HAU welcomes submissions that strengthen ethnographic engagement with received knowledges, and revive the vibrant themes of anthropology through debate and engagement with other disciplines and explore domains held until recently to be the province of economics, philosophy and the natural sciences. Topics addressed by the journal include indigenous ontologies and systems of knowledge, forms of human engagement and relationality, cosmology and myth, magic, witchcraft and sorcery, truth and falsehood, indigenous theories of kinship and relatedness with humans and non-humans, hierarchy, materiality, perception, environment and space, time and temporality, personhood and subjectivity, alternative metaphysics of morality.



Social Media Intern Program - Call for Applications


The Editors of HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory have decided to establish a Social Media Intern Program through which graduate students (with priority given to graduate students from HAU-N.E.T., Network of Ethnographic Theory partner-institutions) can be involved in the journal’s efforts to bring high-quality open-access anthropology to a wide readership.

Posted: 2014-04-08 More...
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Vol 4, No 1 (2014)

Cover Page

Table of Contents

Front & Back Matter

Cover (Print Resolution) PDF

Editorial Notice

Turns and returns PDF HTML XML
Giovanni da Col i-v


Malinowski magical puzzles: Towards a new theory of magic and procreation in Trobriand society PDF HTML XML
Mark S. Mosko 1-47
World: An anthropological examination (part 1) PDF HTML
João de Pina-Cabral 49-73
“She appeared to be in some kind of trance”: Anthropology and the question of unknowability in a criminal trial PDF HTML
Joost Fontein 75-103
What Pehuenche blood does: Hemic feasting, intersubjective participation, and witchcraft in Southern Chile PDF HTML
Cristóbal Bonelli 105-127
From village to bush in four Watchi rites: A transformational analysis of ritual space and perspective PDF HTML
Klaus Hamberger 129-153
Transforming translations (part 2): Addressing ontological alterity PDF HTML
Amiria J. M. Salmond 155-187

Special section: How does anthropology know?, edited by Bob W. White and Kiven Strohm

Preface: Ethnographic knowledge and the aporias of intersubjectivity PDF HTML
Bob W. White, Kiven Strohm 189-197
Ethnography and intersubjectivity: Loose ends PDF HTML
Johannes Fabian 199-209
After objectivity: An historical approach to the intersubjective in ethnography PDF HTML
Peter Pels 211-236
The anthropology of guilt and rapport: Moral mutuality in ethnographic fieldwork PDF HTML
Eric Gable 237-258

Colloquia: The ontological French turn, edited by John Kelly

Introduction: The ontological turn in French philosophical anthropology PDF HTML
John D. Kelly 259-269
Modes of being and forms of predication PDF
Philippe Descola 271-280
On the ontological scheme of Beyond nature and culture PDF
Marshall Sahlins 281-290
Diagrams PDF
Mauro W. Barbosa de Almeida 291-294
The grid and the tree: Reply to Marshall Sahlins’ comment PDF
Philippe Descola 295-300
Another way to compose the common world PDF
Bruno Latour 301-307
From Latour to late industrialism PDF
Kim Fortun 309-329
The lightness of existence and the origami of “French” anthropology: Latour, Descola, Viveiros de Castro, Meillassoux, and their so-called ontological turn PDF
Michael M. J. Fischer 331-355
The ontological turn: Where are we? PDF
John D. Kelly 357-360


Remote and edgy: New takes on old anthropological themes PDF
Erik Harms, Shafqat Hussain, Sasha Newell, Charles Piot, Louisa Schein, Sara Shneiderman, Terence Turner, Juan Zhang 361-381
That's enough about ethnography! PDF
Tim Ingold 383-395

Forum: Morals and life, edited by Jane Guyer

Durational ethics: Search, finding, and translation of Fauconnet’s “Essay on responsibility and liberty” PDF
Jane I. Guyer 397-409
Selected translations from Paul Fauconnet’s Responsibility. A sociological study PDF
Paul Fauconnet 411-419
The elementary forms of moral life? Responsibility, sacred things, and Durkheim's ontological turn PDF
John D. Kelly 421-428

Book symposium - The subject of virtue: An anthropology of ethics and freedom (James Laidlaw)

The ethical turn in anthropology: Promises and uncertainties PDF
Didier Fassin 429-435
Anthropologies of ethics: Where we’ve been, where we are, where we might go PDF
James Faubion 437-442
Freedom, reflexivity, and the sheer everydayness of ethics PDF
Webb Keane 443-457
Toward an ethical practice in the Anthropocene PDF
Eduardo Kohn 459-464
Uneventful ethics PDF
Michael Lempert 465-472
Moral deliberation and the agentive self in Laidlaw’s ethics PDF
Cheryl Mattingly 473-486
Ethics, the householder’s dilemma, and the difficulty of reality PDF
Veena Das 487-495
Significant differences PDF
James Laidlaw 497-506

Book symposium - Mundane objects: Materiality and non-verbal communication (Pierre Lemonnier)

Technical does not mean material PDF
Bruno Latour 507-510
Technologies of transmission PDF
Chris Ballard 511-515
Resonators uncased: Mundane objects or bundles of affect? PDF
Tim Ingold 517-521
The fiends of commerce smile PDF
Paul Graves-Brown 523-530
Beyond objectification PDF
Susanne Küchler 531-536
The blending power of things PDF
Pierre Lemonnier 537-548


Synthetic images PDF
Rodney Needham 549-564