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Book Launch

am 11. Mai 2023, 16:00 - 18:00 Uhr

Ort: Normative Ordnungen, Raum EG 01

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Vorgestellt und diskutiert werden die Werke unserer beiden Gäste Peter Berger und René Cappers:


Berger, Peter (2023). Subaltern sovereigns. Rituals of rule and regeneration in Highland Odisha, India. De Gruyter.


The vast and ancient topic of kingship in India has mostly been studied from the perspectives of rulers and other elites. But what constitutes sovereignty viewed from "below"? This book — ethnographic and comparative in its essence — deals with indigenous conceptualizations of sovereignty taking as its starting point a local proverb that connects the ritual (Dasara) of the king with festivals performed by his "tribal" subjects. The first part of the book initially introduces some pan-Indian ideas of kingship and proceeds to discuss indigenous notions of sovereignty as represented in rituals and myths in the region concerned (highland Odisha). The second part is devoted to the investigation of the proverbial performances. Mainly based on historical sources first the Dasara festival of the king is discussed, subsequently the indigenous rituals are described and analyzed, which the author ethnographically documented around the turn of the millennium. Ultimately, the proverb and the rituals constitute the idea of a sacrificial polity in which rulers and ruled share sovereignty in the sense that they are co-responsible for the flow of life.


Roland Hardenberg, Frobenius-Institut für Kulturanthropologische Forschung an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main


Guido Sprenger, Institut für Ethnologie, Universität Heidelberg

Cappers, René T. J., R. Neef, R. M. Bekker, F. Fantone & Y. Okur (2016). Digital atlas of traditional agricultural practices and food processing. Groningen Archaeological Studies 30. Groningen: Barkhuis and Groningen University Library.


Agriculture involves the production of crops and the breeding of animals, termed crop husbandry and animal husbandry, respectively. Traditionally, both kinds of husbandry were practised together, enabling people to benefit from all kinds of interactions among humans, plants, and animals. We briefly describe this symbiosis in the introductory portion of this book. In the chapters that follow, we discuss traditional agricultural practices and food processing primarily as they relate to crop husbandry. Agricultural practices and food processing deal with processes that may include different operations. In this book, we aim to define and describe these various processes unambiguously by taking into account the intention behind the process. We use a standardized
vocabulary that makes it possible to study all stages of crop production, crop processing, and food processing, irrespective of the kind of crop or its end product. Although our focus is on the processes, we inevitably also devote some attention to the underlying structures. It is our challenge to use this publication as a frame of reference for further research and to test whether our definitions and descriptions are in need of further improvement.


Katharina Neumann, Afrikanische Archäobotanik, Archäologie und Archäobotanik Afrikas, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main


Alexa Höhn, Afrikanische Archäobotanik, Archäologie und Archäobotanik Afrikas, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main