The Fermentological Turn—Multi-Yeasties Ethnography

See what C&A has brewing at the AAA meeting this year

I put the pen to the paper and I went off
I’m dropping knowledge and wisdom like a mad head dog
Step into the function ’cause I’m representing
Lyrics on the brain and they sit fermenting
 

–B(y)eastie Boys, ‘Dope Little Song’

Forget Latour. Descola is passé. Hell, forget about the whole “Ontological Turn” all together. We’re writing to tell you about the newest, cutting-edge, soon-to-be-hipsterized trend in anthropological thought and praxis: The Fementological Turn (a.k.a., “Multi-Yeasties Ethnography”).

As much as we’re fascinated by scholarly debates concerning the nature (and culture) of being and worlding, look at what’s happening around us—things are bubbling madly! What we need is a robust fermentology. Just take a sec to reflect on all its delicious polysemanticity:

fer-ment

verb     1. (of a substance) undergo fermentation

              2. incite or stir up (trouble or disorder)

noun    1. agitation and excitement among a group of people

              2. a fermenting agent

Fermentation and fomentation, the transformation of honeywater into wine, and the transformative natures of group insurrection. In all instances, culture is the active ingredient in change; alchemipolitical rearrangers, derangers, estrangers, and free-rangers.

Culture & Agriculture intrepidly announces the publication of its first zine, Margaret’s Mead: anthropological inquiries into the making and sharing of honey wine
To embrace this “fermentous” moment, Culture & Agriculture intrepidly announces the publication of its first zine, Margaret’s Mead: anthropological inquiries into the making and sharing of honey wine, available now digitally and in hard copy at the upcoming AAA meetings in DC. Inside its pages you will find all aspects of mead fermentation culture: history, how-to, ingredients, community, and even revolutionary potential. It’s a veritable meading of the minds.

C&A is also sponsoring a special round table at the AAA meetings on Saturday at 10:15, titled Cultures of Fermentation, which in addition to mead, will include lively discussions of cacao, coffee, and more. At the round table we will also announce the time and location of C&A’s first annual mead circle happening that Saturday night. Lastly, on Sunday at 1:30, Veteto will present on Mead Circles as Temporary Sanctuaries of Celebration, Communion, and Learning/Sharing. We hope you’ll join in on the yeasty, fermented  fun at this year’s big mead up!

Signed,

The Yeastie Boys

James Veteto is associate professor of anthropology and Cherokee studies at Western Carolina University and Director at the Southern Seed Legacy project.

Nick Kawa is assistant professor of anthropology at The Ohio State University and President of the Culture and Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association.

Cite as: Veteto, James, and Nick Kawa. 2017. “The Fermentological Turn—Multi-Yeasties Ethnography.” Anthropology News website, September 22, 2016. doi: 10.1111/AN.624

Correction: The original publication of this article included a typo in the citation, instructing individuals to cite one of the authors as “Kick Kawa” rather than “Nick Kawa.”

Comments

Yes, Bethe, please feel free to post the link to the zine on your website. We’d love for more people to have access to it. And thanks so much for all the positive feedback! Cheers, Nick

Margaret’s Mead is fantastic! This whole fermentation idea of yours has me salivating with non-tological delight! I went on the “Frank Cook Memorial Ethnobotanical Tour” of the sacred valley in Peru last December with Turtle and Marc (Plants and Healers International). What a surprise to be able to link to your new zine–packed with art, anthropology, recipes along with the creativity and optimism and humor that were the heart of our time looking at the plants around Ollantayambo and Machu Picchu. (I highly recommend this year’s trip. I wish I could go again.)

Is it all right for me to link to the zine from my website Bees, Birds & Bugs. This whole idea of fermentation as culture and as sustenance is the essence of what so many of us are thinking about by didn’t think to phrase this way. Many congratulations!

Post a Comment

Want to comment? Please be aware that only comments from current AAA members will be approved. AN is supported by member dues, so discussions on anthropology-news.org are moderated to ensure that current members are commenting. As with all AN content, comments reflect the views of the person who submitted the comment only. The approval of a comment to go live does not signify endorsement by AN or the AAA.

Commenting Disclaimer

Want to comment? Please be aware that only comments from current AAA members will be approve. AN is supported by member dues, so discussions on anthropology-news.org are moderated to ensure that current members are commenting. As with all AN content, comments reflect the views of the person who submitted the comment only. The approval of a comment to go live does not signify endorsement by AN or the AAA.