The Problem of the Fetish, I

  title={The Problem of the Fetish, I},
  author={William R. Pietz},
  journal={RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics},
  pages={5 - 17}
  • W. Pietz
  • Published 1 March 1985
  • History
  • RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics
"Fetish" has always been a word of sinister pedigree. Discursively promiscuous and theoretically suggestive, it has always been a word with a past, forever becoming "an embarrassment"1 to disciplines in the human sciences that seek to contain and control its sense. Yet anthropologists of primitive religion, sociologists of political economy, psychiatrists of sexual deviance, and philosophers of modernist aesthetics have never ceased using the term, even as they testify to its conceptual… 
The Problem of the Fetish, IIIa: Bosman's Guinea and the Enlightenment Theory of Fetishism
  • W. Pietz
  • Philosophy
    RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics
  • 1988
In my second essay in Res (Pietz 1987), I traced the origin of the term "Fetisso."1 I argued that it came to express a novel idea whose fundamental problematic lay outside the theoretical horizon of
Critical Departures: Salammbo 's Orientalism
"PS. Exactitude et mystWre!"' adds Flaubert to the invitation he sends to the Goncourt brothers on the occasion of a reading of Salammb6, to be preceded by an "Oriental" dinner. Any incongruity in
Notes on a Relationship:Fetish Object, Femininity, Historian
For the theoretically informed historian working with the emergence of feminine subjects in the modern west the culture that developed in response to industrial modernization and was largely
Sincerity, "Modernity," and the Protestants
The project of religious conversion commonly proposes a more or less dramatic transformation of the person. To the extent that this project succeeds or fails, it may offer more general insights into
"A picture held us captive" : investigations towards an iconoclastic praxeology
Iconoclastic discourse, as a critique of ‘idols’ of various kinds, has been appropriated by a range of different thinkers and traditions – often not always explicitly religious – throughout history.
From Fetishism to Sincerity: On Agency, the Speaking Subject, and their Historicity in the Context of Religious Conversion
Central to much recent work in both anthropology and history is the concept of agency. This essay examines some problems with this concept that arise when we look for it across historical and
Fetishism and the problem of disavowal
  • T. Kuldova
  • Business
    Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal
  • 2019
Purpose Fetishism has been often linked to misrecognition and false belief, to one being “ideologically duped” so to speak. But could we think that fetishism may be precisely the very opposite? The
Immediate Mediacy, Iberian Globalization and Commodity Fetishism
In this article, I discuss Carlo Galli's view of globalization as a new epoch by appealing to recent scholarship on the early modern Iberian empire. The article begins with an examination of Galli's
The palladium and the pentateuch: Towards a sacred topography of the later Roman empire
H ISTORIANS OF RELIGION IN LATE ANTIQUITY tend to adopt one of two perspectives. Either we seek to understand Christianization, a process ultimately reducible to acts of individual choice whose
Things: Religion and the Question of Materiality
That relation has long been conceived in antagonistic terms, privileging spirit above matter, belief above ritual and objects, meaning above form, and "inward" contemplation above "outward" action.


209 ( " de maigres fant ? mes qui sont nos imp ? ratifs moraux , logiques , et sociaux
  • The Origin of the Work of Art " in Poetry , Language , Thought , trans . Albert Hofstadter
  • 1971