Billie Jean Isbell Andean Collection

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This collection of materials is derived from Professor Isbell's 40 years of research in the Andes, primarily in the southern Andean department of Ayacucho and specifically in the village of Chuschi, Peru and the surrounding region of the River Pampas Valley. Included are approximately 1500 photographs and thirteen songs, delivered through ARTstor, and six articles and Professor Isbell's ethnography, To Defend Ourselves, delivered through Cornell Library's D-Space. For more information please visit Prof. Isbell's website.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    De inmaduro a duro: lo simbolico femenino y los esquemas andinos de genero
    Isbell, Billie Jean (Biblioteca Andina, 1997)
    My motivation for writing this chapter is to call attention to a 'Feminine Symbolic' that I believe constitutes the core of Andean conceptualizations of gender. The argument that I will present is as follows: The feminine, as an abstraction, is an unmarked category, whereas the masculine is elaborated, or marked. In addition, androgyny is a primary force in the continual recreation and reproduction of the world motivated by female sex and desire, not by biological reproduction. Such a gender schema provides an alternative to Lacan's symbolic which makes patriarchy seem inevitable. The second half of this analysis deals with ethnographic materials largely drawn from my fieldwork in the village of Chuschi, department of Ayacucho, Peru in the 1970's. I examine gender formation along the life course and into the after-life.
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    The Ontogenesis of Metaphor: Riddle Games among Quechua Speakers Seen as Cognitive Discovery Procedures
    Isbell, Billie Jean; Roncalla, Fredy Amilcar (UCLA Latin American Center., 1977)
    Metaphor, it is argued, plays an important function in cognitive and semantic development of Quechua-speaking children who engage in riddle games. It appears that riddling among the Quechua functions as a discovery procedure as children expand their cognitive operative structures and semantic domains.
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    Awaq nawin: el ojo del tejedor, la practica de la cultura en el tejido
    Isbell, Billie Jean; Franquemont, Christine; Franquemont, Edward M. (Cusco : Centro de Estudios Rurales Andinos, Bartolom? de Las Casas, 1992-07)
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    Public Secrets from Peru
    Isbell, Billie Jean (2005-09-14T16:30:30Z)
    In deciding to create a drama about violence in Peru, I have moved away from the usual academic discourse into the arena of performance. I have made this move for a number of reasons: foremost is my desire that English-speaking audiences (and readers) hear the words of those whose stories I and my colleagues have recorded because I know that tales of terror engender denial on the part of the listener. Perhaps dramatic form can provide a tolerable means of communication as a product of imagination, a fantasy, and to borrow a phrase that Taussig used in 1993 at a lecture at Cornell. It captures the 'reality of the really made up.' My hope is that by the end of this play, my interlocutor will have a new sense of the complex motivations of victimizers and victims caught in an increasing spiral of violence.
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    Violence in Peru: Performances and Dialogues
    Isbell, Billie Jean (American Anthropologist, 1998)
    I wish not only to influence my readers' perceptions of the political violence that has shaken Peru in the last decade and a half, but also to transform the relationship of researchers to such events and the rules of academic discourse about such events. The protest songs and art will not be analyzed in terms of subaltern art and hegemonic texts or in any of the usual oppositions such as traditional-modern, but rather in terms of hybridization in the exchange of ideological and cultural goods.
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    Culture Confronts Nature in the Dialectical World of the Tropics
    Isbell, Billie Jean (New York Academy of Science, 1982)
    As an anthropologist, I would like to suggest that the tropics provide a perceptual environment that promotes and enhances a particular 'science of the concrete, whereby perceived order in the environment is the basis for systems of classifications, epistemological structures, and cosmologies. In the American tropics, the science of the concrete takes on a particular character that results in epistemologies founded in what I will call dialectical, reversible dualism.
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    To Defend Ourselves, Ecology & Ritual in an Andean Village
    Isbell, Billie Jean (2005-08-05T19:45:32Z)
    The ethnography, To Defend Ourselves, describes a series of rituals that maintain social structure and practices in the community of Chuschi, Peru. It was first published in 1978, with a second edition published in 1985 and a Spanish edition due out in the fall, 2005.