Silence is normally perceived as an absence and a withholding. What is ignored is the fact that this absence hides a presence that can be suppressed or manipulated since it has been removed from view. The practice of silence therefore turns it into an instrument of power. The contributors to this volume examine how silence works in the perception and manipulation of sound, of speech, and of perspective in areas as disparate as music, language, race, work dislocations, and the construction of anthropological subjects. They conclude that only by studying the hidden nature of silence can we arrive at the elusive roots of power in all its dimensions.
Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb is a native of Italy though trained in Anthropology at C.U.N.Y.- Graduate Center (PhD, 1990). She owes her interest in silence to her work on ideology with Waldensians and other minorities within Christian churches, and to the non-lingual experience of her life as an immigrant. She has been teaching courses on silence at N.Y.U./ Gallatin for the last 10 years.
Introduction Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb, Silence as the Currency of Power/ Silence, Context, and Categories of Identity Chapter 1 William O. Beeman, Silence in Music Chapter 2 Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb Silence and the Imperatives of Identity Chapter 3 Susan E. Cook, Language Policies and the Erasure of Multilingualism in South Africa I Silence and Power in Ethnographic Perspective Chapter 4 Ann E. Kingsolver, Strategic Alterity and Silence in the Promotion of California's Proposition 187 and of the Confederate Battle Flag in South Carolina Chapter 5 Pauline Gardiner Barber, No/ma(i)ds: Silenced Subjects in Philippine Migration Chapter 6 Robin E. Sheriff, The Muzzled Saint: Racism, Cultural Censorship, and Religion in Urban Brazil II Silence and the Plight of the Observer Chapter 7 Gerald Sider, Between Silence and Culture: A Partisan Anthropology Chapter 8 James W. Fernandez, Silences of the Field