This month, our Editorial Advisory Board member Dr Michele Fontefrancesco has chosen his ‘Recommended Read’ – a very special autobiographical reflection published in 2015 by Gerald Mars. Michele is a social anthropologist who currently serves as a Research Fellow at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy. His research analyses local development in rural and urban communities, with a particular interest in the relationship between the global economy and local areas. He has argued for the importance of cultural heritage, crafts, and local production specialisation as fundamental elements in the definition of local resilience. In 2013 he published The End of the City of Gold? Industry and Economic Crisis in an Italian Jewellery Town with Cambridge Scholars, a culmination of many years work into these topics.
We are offering all of our readers a 50% discount on Edith’s choice. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code EABOCT18 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st November 2018.
Dr Michele Fontefrancesco’s ‘Recommended Read’:
Author: Gerald Mars
Mars’ graphic and often vivid narrative can be read simply as the anecdotal memoirs of an anthropologist. The experiences he recounts are sometimes hilarious, touch occasionally on the dangerous, and are always sensitively and expertly explored. But for those who want to know more, the book’s expansive footnotes and references to key sources also offer a stimulating introduction to social anthropology, its theories and its methods.
“This book is the story of a life and a brilliant career that proceeds from a simple question, which many students ask when they start their studies in anthropology: ‘how can a person become an anthropologist?’
Each of us who work in academia and who lead new cohorts of students in the exploration of anthropology struggle to form a decent and straightforward answer to this question. We know it is not a matter of academic degrees, erudite readings, or sitting on a comfortable armchair. As Gerald Mars shows, it is primarily the result of everyday practice and experience churned with deep reflexivity. Mars’ autobiographical narration shows the experience gained after youth, and how it creates the fertile ground on which anthropological thought can mature.
The book also offers a number of examples for better appreciating the application of anthropological analysis in the contemporary world. The autobiography, in fact, becomes a form of self-ethnography, within which Mars discusses his upbringing and lived social contexts – from the streets of Manchester and Blackpool, to the Army, to different academic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic.
The book will suit the tastes of less experienced readers and students, those who want to better understand what anthropology is and how it can be useful in comprehending our contemporary societies. It will also be of use to trained scholars who want to deepen their own anthropological educations.”
For further information on Dr Fontefrancesco, please click here.