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CISRUL/POLITICO Reading Seminar – Community 2

December 15, 2021 @ 10:00 am 11:30 am

Deer hunting, fiestas, and the people without history

Led by Denisse Román-Burgos

This is the second reading group in a series to prepare us for the Conceptualising Community conference in 2022.

Are communities tied to a specific place or can we think about them as ubiquitous?

In this seminar we will reflect on the concept of community from an anthropological perspective by discussing two texts. Firstly, we will read the introduction of the seminal work by Eric R. Wolf “Europe and the people without history”, and secondly, chapter 8 of “In the name of El Pueblo” a historical ethnography by Paul Eiss about the reproduction of the community and of communal identity in Yucatan, Mexico.

Wolf reflects on the historical connections between the so-called global north and the so-called global south, whilst Eiss discusses certain practices that contribute to re-shape and enact the community. Considering both texts, the discussion will be framed by questions such as: Can a community be defined empirically? What role does ritual play in defining a community?  Is it possible to identify cultural practices that are specific to a community? Do these contribute to the reproduction of the community?


Wolf, Eric (1982) Europe and the people without history. Berkeley University Press. Introduction

Eiss, Paul (2010) In the name of El Pueblo. Place, Community, and the Politics of History in Yucatan. Chapter 8, Duke University Press, 218-243.

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