Remote and edgy: New takes on old anthropological themes

Erik Harms, Shafqat Hussain, Sasha Newell, Charles Piot, Louisa Schein, Sara Shneiderman, Terence Turner, Juan Zhang


Eight anthropologists working in various parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America reflect on an essay by Edwin Ardener on the concept of remote areas recently reprinted in HAU (Volume 2, Issue 1). These reflections all show that the idea of the remote can be detached from its geographical moorings and understood not simply as a spatial concept but as a relativistic social construct. Considered in conjunction with the notion of edginess, they understand remoteness not so much as a place, but as a way of being. By purposefully comparing work in cities and in places more commonly described as remote, they show that the remote may be present in any site of anthropological inquiry.


remote areas, edginess, margins, Edwin Ardener, place, borders

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14318/hau4.1.020