Haunted in Macau: the anthropology of participation
Joao Pina-Cabral (University of Kent)
Paper short abstract:
The notion of being haunted has a long history in anthropological literature. It is part of that fascination that twentieth century anthropologists have had with what they called “magic.”
Paper long abstract:
Haunting can be troubling, but there are also benevolent forms of haunting. Haunting amounts to being present in absence; a continuity of presence that transcends immediate materiality. Each one of us experiences his or her own presence as entwined with the presence of those persons and those things that we relevantly share our lives with. In short, persons are constitutively affected by the presence of other persons and other things. Participation—the sharing of one’s essence with other people and with the things around us—is precisely what makes us capable of thinking, of being a person. Participation, therefore, is the root of all thinking, including in the case of non-human living beings. It is a determining factor in how all live beings address the world with “intention”—that is, with a will to survive. If that is the case, then, surely, we have to take manifestations of participation more seriously.
Creative environments, social minds