Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 47


A Review of MATT TOMLINSON, JULIAN MILLIE (eds.), THE MONOLOGIC IMAGINATION. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, X+272 pp.

Ekaterina Khonineva

Institute for Linguistic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
9 Tuchkov Lane, St Petersburg, Russia

Abstract: Due to the influence of Mikhail Bakhtin on the Western anthropology of the last decades, researchers focused their attention on polyphony and the dialogic bases of social life that resulted in a neglect of monologic speech forms and practices. Meanwhile, in many political and religious cultures, monologic genres attribute to some value; the authors of the reviewed collection of articles suggest not to ignore this fact. In the outlined studies based on observations in various ethnographic contexts, the monologue is seen as a special language ideology, a category of social imagination, a speech genre, and a metaphor. The book also aims to recall, once again, the dialogic dimension of monologic practices and connect them to other relevant anthropological concepts and theories. This project should be recognized as successful and unique in its design, but it seems that the authors are inspired by Bakhtin’s language and see in it a significant opportunity to reflect on the usual anthropological problems of social control, resistance, community formations in new terms rather than continuing Bakhtin’s work and fitting into his analytical program.

Keywords: monologue, dialogic imagination, Mikhail Bakhtin, language ideologies, religious and political power.

To cite: Khonineva E., ‘A Review of Matt Tomlinson, Julian Millie (eds.), The Monologic Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, X+272 pp.’, Antropologicheskij forum, 2020, no. 47, pp. 216–228.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2020-16-47-216-228