Emily Martin Publishes The Unedited Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures

The Unedited Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures
The Meaning of Money in China and the United States
The Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture Series

University of Rochester, 1986

Emily Martin

Front Matter
Foreword by Eleana Kim
Lecture I: Money and value in China
Lecture II: Spirits and currency in China
Lecture III: Money and value in the United States

Lecture IV: Spirit and prosperity in the United States


Praise for The Meaning of Money in China and the United States

At last, and miraculously free-of-charge by virtue of HAU, we have Emily Martin’s crucial contribution to the anthropology of money. Here is a detailed historical, archival, and ethnographic examination of the “dense meanings deposited in money” in the longest-running monetized economy in world history, namely that of China. Certain contrasts with European history define Martin’s point of departure, and one which adds power to our conviction that, without China, the theorization of money is necessarily impoverished. In exquisite ethnographic detail from PRC sources and fieldwork in Taiwan, and drawing widely on the anthropological archive, Martin shows just how differently “accumulation” works in different systems of conversion and configuration of value. Martin’s comparative analytics offer insights into the sociality-independence axis of transactions in the Chinese and Western money systems, in practice and in cultural definition, along with the mapping of money onto a moral axis according to degrees and kinds of sociability and evil/occult properties. This lecture series may be almost thirty years old but it is not a single day out of date. We need it. It deserves to be an instant treasure in the study of money.
—Jane I. Guyer, George Armstrong Kelly Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, author of Marginal gains: Monetary transactions in Atlantic Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2004).
Although delivered in 1986, Emily Martin’s lectures are both timely and iconoclastic. Timely because she anticipates and contributes to contemporary reassessments of capitalism (notably, David Graeber’s magisterial Debt: The first 5000 years) from the simultaneously comparative and critical vantage of anthropology—a vantage frequently promised but seldom so successfully brought to realization. Iconoclastic because as anthropology’s “ontological turn” (indexed in a shift from critiques of ideology to “knowledge production”) gains steam, Martin’s unapologetic affirmation of critique is refreshing. Drawing creatively from broad familiarity with China and from ethnographic involvements in the contemporary United States, Martin makes a compelling case to the effect that, in the final analysis, money (like debt) possesses potentials both to connect people to others and to become a fetishized instrument of alienation and exploitation.
—P. Steven Sangren, Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University, author of Chinese sociologics: An anthropological account of the role of alienation in social reproduction (LSE Monographs, Athlone, 2007).
This is a superb comparative study of the different meanings associated with money in China and the United States. Through extremely rich ethnographic and historical examples, Emily Martin reveals the distinctive ways that money is understood and employed in social practices in both cultures. Inter alia, these lectures are a beautiful demonstration that many of our theories about the impact that money has on society are based implicitly on American conceptions found in the United States—which should by no means be considered as some kind of inherent or universal result of the workings of money. Emily Martin’s Morgan Lectures are a true classic, and will remain so for years to come.
—Michael Puett, Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History, Harvard University, author of To become a god: Cosmology, sacrifice, and self-divinization in early China (Harvard University Asia Center, 2002).
Emily Martin is Professor of Anthropology at New York University. She is the author of The cult of the dead in a Chinese village (Stanford University Press, 1973), Chinese ritual and politics (Cambridge University Press, 1981), The woman in the body: A cultural analysis of reproduction (Beacon Press 1987), winner of the Eileen Basker Memorial Prize, Flexible bodies: Tracking immunity in American culture from the days of polio to the age of AIDS (Beacon Press, 1994) and Bipolar expeditions: Mania and depression in American culture (Princeton University Press, 2007), winner of the Diana Forsythe Prize. She is also the founding editor of the public interest magazine Anthropology Now.
© 2014 by Emily Martin
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
2014. Martin, Emily. The meaning of money in China and the United States. The HAU-Morgan Lectures Initative, Vol. 1. Chicago: HAU Press.


Join us for our annual DOCS ON THE EDGE screening!
A Student Documentary Showcase from the 2013-2014 Graduate Video Production Seminar
Presented by the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Cinema Studies, and the Program in Culture and Media at New York University
Friday, May 9 @ 6:00 pm
(doors open at 5:30pm)
Cantor Film Center
36 East 8th Street
Theater 200
New York City
Brooklyn Slice
by Anna Green (Cinema Studies)
Pizza is a quintessential, even iconic New York food, and John Minaci Jr. is a quintessential New Yorker. His Italian immigrant father founded Johnny’s Pizza in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in 1968, and John Jr. grew up working at the shop. As customers and family members circulate through the shop, this film paints a portrait of a small, rapidly changing section of Brooklyn.
The Cancer Mirror
by Sophie Tuttleman (Cinema Studies)
After losing her father to Hodgkin’s lymphoma, filmmaker Sophie Tuttleman reflects on her mother’s battle with terminal brain cancer. The Cancer Mirror explores one daughter’s experience navigating her mother’s illness while coming to terms with the possibility of losing a second parent to cancer.
Ni Aquí, Ni Allá (Neither Here, Nor There)
by Gabriela Bortolamedi (Anthropology)
An undocumented young woman from Mexico navigates the challenges of college as her parents struggle to make ends meet and support her in the pursuit of her dreams.
A Correspondence
by Leili Sreberny-Mohammadi (Anthropology)
A Correspondence film brings to life the year-long correspondence between the filmmaker’s grandparents during the post-war years. Constructed through photographs, letters, telegrams and archival footage from the era, their story is one of love across distance and the search for a partner during troubled times.
Cast in India
by Natasha Suresh Raheja (Anthropology)
Iconic and ubiquitous, thousands of manhole covers dot the streets of New York City. Enlivening the everyday objects around us, this short film is a glimpse of the working lives of the men behind the manhole covers in New York City.
Living Quechua
by Christine Mladic Janney (Anthropology)
Elva Ambía’s first language is Quechua — a language indigenous to South America. But when she left her town in Peru as a young woman to find work in the United States, speaking Spanish and English became critical for her to survive. Now in her seventies, Elva decides to help cultivate a Quechua-speaking community in New York City. Living Quechua follows Elva through the challenges and successes of trying to keep Quechua alive.
The Regulars
by Zoe Graham (Cinema Studies)
The Manhattan Three Decker diner has been a favorite neighborhood eatery for sixty years. One of the few remaining diners in Greenpoint, every day it draws in old-timers, families and Polish locals, as well as a recent influx of hipsters. JoAnn, a middle-aged waitress who has lived in Greenpoint all her life, shares her stories about family and community as she keeps her regulars smiling, fed and in check!
Food for the Gods
by Scott Alves Barton (Food Studies)
Sacred leaves and food are essential to many Afro-Brazilian religious practices. This film observes rituals dedicated to the deity, Ossain, ‘King of the trees/sacred leaves.’ Ossain, a medicinal earth god, is one of the most significant deities in a pantheon of more than four hundred and fifty gods and goddesses.
Player 1, Player 2: Gamers in Love
by Lina M. De Jesús Golderos (Cinema Studies)
Couples grow closer to each other through their shared passion for video and computer games. Through humor and a competitive spirit, these gamer couples learn to navigate not only the games they play together, but also their relationships.
*a short intermission will follow the fifth film*

Anthropologist Disotell on “DNA and the Search for Elusive Creatures”—April 30 at NYU

Anthropologist Disotell on “DNA and the Search for Elusive Creatures”—April 30 at NYU

New York University anthropologist Todd Disotell, who recently appeared on Spike- TV’s “$10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty”, will deliver “DNA and the Search for Elusive Creatures,” on Wed., April 30, 4:30 p.m. at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB) Auditorium (12 Waverly Place, between Greene and Mercer Streets).
The lecture is part of NYU’s “Science on the Square,” a series of lectures focusing on scientific topics of interest to the general public and sponsored by NYU’s Dean for Science.
Disotell, a biological anthropologist, focuses on primate and human evolution. He runs NYU’s Molecular Primatology Laboratory. His research group has contributed to clarifying the primate evolutionary tree, identified new species and subspecies of primates, and has helped to develop new techniques of analysis.
In recent months, Disotell has appeared on both Spike-TV’s “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty” and SyFy’s “Joe Rogan Questions Everything”—shows seeking his expertise in testing potential DNA evidence demonstrating the existence of Bigfoot. In his laboratory and in the field, Disotell identifies DNA from a variety of sources—hair, saliva, blood (including that found in biting insects), and feces—in order to identify a range of creatures…real or imagined.
Disotell has received an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation and two Golden Dozen Teaching Awards from NYU, among other honors. He has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 212.998.3800. Reporters interested in attending must RSVP to James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or james.devitt@nyu.edu. Subways: N/R [8th Street], 6 [Astor Place].

eHRAF World Cultures & Archaeology Internships Available Summer 2014 HRAF at SAA in Austin, Texas

The Human Relations Area Files currently is accepting applications for two internship openings for the year beginning the summer of 2014. Applications are due May 20, 2014.
The first is for IT development to support online cross-cultural resources. The second is in honor of former President of HRAF, Melvin Ember, and is for learning about cross-cultural research through practical experience. The internships will reimburse expenses (living, meals, and miscellaneous expenses) of up to $400 per week for 48 weeks beginning the summer of 2014. Travel costs up to $800 will also be reimbursed. Hours are flexible, but are based on a 37.5 hour week. Please see http://hraf.yale.edu/internships-at-hraf for more information and let your students know that these internship positions are available.
Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Meeting
Attending this week’s SAA in Austin, Texas? If so, be sure to stop by our HRAF booth to learn more about the online eHRAF databases – eHRAF World Cultures and Archaeology. Also Carol Ember, President of HRAF, will be presenting papers using eHRAF data in the symposium on children in the archaeological record (Thursday evening, April 24th starting at 6pm at room 10B).

Congratulations to our GSAS Award and Fellowship Recipients!

Congratulations to the following graduate students on receiving GSAS awards and fellowships:
Zenobie Garrett – Dean’s Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award in the Social Sciences
Tate LeFevre – Dean’s Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences
John O’Hara – GSAS Predoctoral Summer Fellowship
Natasha Reheja – Andrew Sauter Fellowship
Catalina Villamil – Margaret and Herman Sokol Travel/Research Award

Congratulations to our 2014 American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) Meeting Prize Winners!

Three graduate students won prizes at the 2014 American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) meeting in Calgary:
Sandra Winters received the Sherwood Washburn Prize for her paper on “Primate camouflage as seen by felids, raptors, and conspecifics.”
Christina Bergey received an honorable mention for her paper on “Hybrid zone genomics: The structure of a baboon contact zone inferred from RAD tags.”
Catalina Villamil received an honorable mention for her paper on “An analysis of Homo erectus vertebral canal morphology and its relationship to vertebral formula variation in recent humans.”