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Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance

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Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance

Edited by Graham St John

368 pages, 27 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-462-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (April 2008)

eISBN 978-0-85745-037-1 eBook

Hb   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


This collection of writings dedicated to the Turners may sometimes contest the validity and morality of 'feelings and desires', but St John gives these elusive possibilities an enduring stage for becoming. Could the volume be conceived as an academic fissure inciting change?  ·  Australasian Drama Studies

An impressive selection of analyses conducted through diverse disciplinary lenses (including media and communication, sociology, religion, and anthropology) explicates the need for a revival of Turner's multifaceted theory.”  ·  The Canadian Review of Sociology

This volume is a wonderful exercise in rethinking Turner through the lens of our increasingly digitalized and mediatized world. . . . The introduction by St John alone is worth the price of the book. Dense with the jargon of scholarship, freshly minted phrases, theoretical labels, and esoteric framings, as it need be to describe the work of Turner, who made a prodigious impact across a spectrum of disciplines."  ·  JRAI


Upon the 25th anniversary of his passing, this collection addresses the wide application of Victor Turner’s thought to cultural performance in the early 21st century. From anthropology, sociology, and religious studies to performance, cultural, and media studies, Turner’s ideas have had a prodigious interdisciplinary impact. Examining his relevance in studies of performance and popular culture, media, and religion, along with the role of Edith Turner in the Turnerian project, contributors explore how these ideas have been re-engaged, renovated, and repurposed in studies of contemporary cultural performance.

Graham St John is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Dept of Social Sciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Griffith Centre for Cultural Research, Griffith University, Australia. He is Executive Editor of Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture and is author of Weekend Societies: Electronic Dance Music Festivals and Event-Cultures (Bloomsbury 2017), Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT (North Atlantic Books, 2015), Global Tribe: Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance (Equinox, 2012) and Technomad: Global Raving Countercultures (Equinox, 2009).

Of Related Interest
Heart of Lightness: The Story of an Anthropologist, Edith Turner
Subject: Performance Studies General Anthropology General Cultural Studies


Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance: An Introduction
Graham St John


Chapter 1. Toward a Unified Theory of Cultural Performance: A "Reconstructive Introduction" to Victor Turner
J. Lowell Lewis

Chapter 2. The Ritualization of Performance (Studies)
Ian Maxwell

Chapter 3. Performing "Sorry Business": Reconciliation and Redressive Action
Michael Cohen, Paul Dwyer and Laura Ginters

Chapter 4. Liminality in Media Studies: From Everyday Life to Media Events
Mihai Coman

Chapter 5. Social Drama in a Mediatized World: The Racist Murder of Stephen Lawrence
Simon Cottle


Chapter 6. Modern Sports: Liminal Ritual or Liminoid Leisure?
Sharon Rowe

Chapter 7. Trance Tribes and Dance Vibes: Victor Turner and Electronic Dance Music Culture
Graham St John

Chapter 8. Backpacking as a Contemporary Rite of Passage: Victor Turner and Youth Travel Practices
Amie Matthews

Chapter 9. Walking to Hill End with Victor Turner: A Theatre-Making Immersion Event
Gerard Boland


Chapter 10. Of Ordeals and Operas: Reflexive Ritualizing at the Burning Man Festival
Lee Gilmore

Chapter 11. "Shopping For A Self": Pilgrimage, Identity-Formation and Retail Therapy
Justine Digance and Carole Cusack

Chapter 12. Turner Meets Gandhi: Pilgrimage, Ritual and the Diffusion of Non-Violent Direct Action
Sean Scalmer

Chapter 13. Dramas, Fields, and ‘Appropriate Education’: The Ritual Process, Contestation, and Communitas for Parents of Special-Needs Children
Margi Nowak


Chapter 14. An Interview with Edith Turner
Matthew Engelke

Chapter 15. Woman/women in "the Discourse of Man": Edie Turner and Victor Turner’s Language of the Feminine
Barbara Babcock

Chapter 16. Faith and (Social) Science: Contrasting Victor and Edith Turner’s Analysis of Spiritual Realities
Douglas Ezzy

Chapter 17. Challenging the Boundaries of Experience, Performance, and Consciousness: Edith Turner’s Contributions to the Turnerian Project
Jill Dubisch

Notes on Contributors

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