Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF Now Available in Paperback

Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF“Laurel Kendall has written a study of contemporary Korean shamans that is both entertaining and enlightening. Most studies of the topic treat shamans as an anachronistic remnant of the past. Kendall challenges that approach, drawing on several decades of close observation of shamans in action to reveal how shamanism is constantly evolving. It is an important work that will appeal to a wide audience.” —Don Baker, University of British Columbia

“With the publication of Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF, Laurel Kendall opens a new chapter in the study not only of shamanism in Korea, but also in many societies undergoing the process of industrialization and modernization. It is distinguished by its rich ethnographic data and novel theoretical approach to the field of Korean popular religion. One of its many merits is that, unlike conventional studies that focus on ‘authentic’ shaman ritual performances, it reveals a wide spectrum of shamans and rituals within a grand system of practice.” —Kwang Ok Kim, Seoul National University

“Laurel Kendall’s sympathetic and lucid writing consistently leads from vivid narratives to penetrating theoretical insights. In her hands the IMF becomes a brilliant trope for the interplay between magical causality and the bewildering modernity which moulds our lives, as it does the lives of her shamans’ clients.” — Piers Vitebsky, University of Cambridge

August 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3398-5 / $24.00 (PAPER)