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Open access

The Boundaries of Eurasia

Dividing Lands, Minds, and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century Siberia

Henry Jennings

Abstract

During the eighteenth century, Western European travelers enjoyed unprecedented access to Siberia and many of those who visited believed themselves to have observed a clear boundary between Europe and Asia. This article examines the books of eight such travelers and explores how they categorized those living in Siberia into one of two categories, European or Asian. These travelers interpreted their observations in ways that led them to conclude that a clear binary division existed in the region, separating the European Russian settlers and government from the Asiatic indigenous peoples. Presenting their work as new information, they reproduced older categorizations, repackaged within the scientific language of the Enlightenment.

Open access

Community engagement, shared knowledge, and resilience

Implications for the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

As has become our tradition, we begin this new issue by wishing our readers a happy new year in 2022. This editors’ note introduces volume 12 of Regions & Cohesion, our second as an open access journal. Already we view 2022 as a promising new year. The COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, but we are showing signs of adaptation at different levels. The arrival of the Omicron variant has resulted in fewer fatalities than previous variants. New vaccines and alternative treatments are being developed, and despite numerous logistical, political, and ideological challenges, the percentage of the vaccinated global population is increasing (). These developments, combined with promising research on neonatal immunity and children's immune tolerance indicate that we are heading in the direction of increased resilience.

Open access

Doctos y legos

Percepciones sobre la Técnica del Insecto Estéril en México

Ana Laura Pacheco Soriano, Ariane Dor, and Dora Elia Ramos Muñoz

Abstract

Our objective is to describe how a group of scientists (doctos) and people of the coast of Chiapas (legos) perceive the Sterile Insect Technique and to analyze how knowledge is socially constructed around it. During 2017 and 2018, with qualitative techniques, we analyzed the social dialogue in the discourses of interactions during workshops, meetings with different age groups, meeting with municipal and local authorities between two ejidos inhabitants, public services people, students and technicians of a biofactory. We describe a bricolage where common references help bring different ontologies, but legos and doctos face a future in which mosquitoes and nature impose challenges that only together they can solve. Here, we document the Sterile Insect Technique sociocultural complexity, and we propose cultural translation exercises for the integral management of mosquito vectors of diseases.

Resumen

El presente trabajo describe la manera en la que un grupo de científicos (doctos) y pobladores (legos) de la costa de Chiapas, México perciben la Técnica del Insecto Estéril (TIE). A partir de una metodología cualitativa, analizamos la construcción social del conocimiento sobre la TIE a través del tiempo. En 2017 y 2018 realizamos en dos ejidos rurales, el análisis del registro de talleres y pláticas entre científicos, diferentes grupos de la sociedad, personal de instituciones de salud, y técnicos de una Biofábrica en Tapachula, Chiapas. A partir de un diálogo social describimos las referencias comunes que acercan las ontologías de doctos y legos. Ambos grupos se enfrentan a los mosquitos y la naturaleza, un reto que solo juntos podrán resolver. Documentamos la complejidad sociocultural de la TIE y proponemos ejercicios de traducción cultural para proyectos que busquen incidir en enfermedades zoonóticas.

Résumé

Notre objectif a été de décrire la façon dont un groupe de scientifiques (érudits) et d'habitants (laïcs) de la côte du Chiapas (Mexique) perçoivent la Technique de l'insecte stérile (TIS) et d'analyser comment ces connaissances sont socialement construites. Au cours des années 2017 et 2018, nous avons étudié, au moyen de techniques qualitatives, le dialogue social en enregistrant les interactions entre érudits et laïcs durant des ateliers et des discussions avec les autorités locales et municipales impliquant différents groupes d'âge, dans deux villages (ejidos) près de Tapachula (Etat du Chiapas). Nous décrivons un bricolage dans lequel des références communes aident à rapprocher différentes ontologies, mais les érudits et les laïcs sont confrontés à un avenir dans lequel les moustiques et la nature leur imposent des défis qu'ils ne peuvent résoudre qu'ensemble. Nous contribuons à documenter la complexité socioculturelle de la TIS et proposons des exercices de traduction culturelle pour des projets qui cherchent à influencer les zoonoses.

Open access

Echo and the Ecumene

Grasping the Estonian National Museum

Art Leete and Patrick Laviolette

Abstract

A duo-biographical recollection of an encounter, this article comprises a dialogue between the authors. On the one hand, it is about a shared moment – a tandem ‘go-along’ tour of the Echo of the Urals exhibition in the Estonian National Museum. On the other, it is about certain similarities and differences in the disciplinary approaches to curating as well as to spectating an ‘inter-national’ museum space in Estonia's second-largest city, Tartu.

Free access

Oded Haklai and Adia Mendelson-Maoz

We are appreciative of the supportive feedback we received on our inaugural issue as editors. The positive response to the roundtable on COVID-19 has been heartening, bolstering our commitment to bring forth scholarly forums and debates from multiple disciplines on the most pertinent issues facing Israeli society. We would like to encourage further involvement of our readers. Please send us ideas regarding themes for forums, roundtables, and special issues. Moreover, a short commentary section, in the form of “letters to the editors,” will be introduced in an upcoming issue. This new section will allow academic comments on articles that have been published and thus facilitate scholarly debate on current research.

Open access

Ethnicity Past and Present

A Transnational Virtual COVID-19 Interview with Ulf Hannerz

Marek Jakoubek and Lenka J. Budilová

The beginnings of the interview date back to 2019, the year when we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the publication of Ethnic Groups and Boundaries (Barth 1969). We used this event as a springboard for looking back at the rich professional trajectory of Professor Ulf Hannerz, in which ethnicity and other forms of collective identities play one of the key roles. The interview was started after a lecture by Professor Hannerz, ‘Fifty Years of Diversity Watching’, given at the Department of Ethnology of Charles University in Prague in September 2019, and it was finalised during the COVID-19 pandemic online via e-mailing the questions and answers back and forth between Stockholm and Prague.

Restricted access

From Multifaceted Resistance to Multidimensional Identities

Ultra-Orthodox Women Working toward Bachelor's Degrees at a Secular Teacher Training College

Sigal Oppenhaim-Shachar and Michal Hisherik

Abstract

This article is the product of a study, conducted over one academic year, that followed ultra-Orthodox women students working toward Bachelor's degrees at a secular teacher training college with the goal of getting accredited to work at Education Ministry-supervised schools and thereby improving their employment prospects. It finds that a process that began as technical and instrumental emerged as one that, under certain conditions, could affect all of a student's various identities. During the learning process, students faced contradictions between the realities conveyed to them in an unfamiliar academic language and their experiences in the ultra-Orthodox world. The clash produced a multifaceted resistance that testified to the degree of access the women had to power, support, and resources, and that in certain instances helped to forge multifaceted identities.

Open access

Gareth E. Hamilton

Abstract

This auto-ethnographic/biographical account deals with the experiences that a non-flying Northern-Ireland-born anthropologist living in the Baltic States has of mobility, infrastructure and connectedness, in particular with reference to academic and personal life. The article considers the movements which a career as an academic anthropologist requires, as well as the difficulties and intricacies that being located in Eastern Europe has for such land travel. Based on years of experience, it questions travel time and cost with particular reference to the seeming need to travel towards Western Europe in order to remain connected to the discipline's main ‘movements’. The article also examines solutions such as the Via Baltica, and looks forward to improvements that new infrastructure (such as high-speed railways) can bring.

Restricted access

Umut Uzer

Abstract

Ideational change in the self-characterization of a state is bound to have repercussions on its domestic and foreign policy behavior. Consequently, the gradual but radical change that has been ongoing in Turkey in the past two decades has had a wide-ranging impact on the way Turkish foreign policy has been conducted. Whereas survival and protection of territorial integrity as well as a Western orientation were traditionally the main concerns of Turkish policy-makers, under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) (since 2002), there has been a partial Islamization of Turkish foreign policy especially with regard to liaisons with Israel and Palestine. This shift can be explained by the replacement of the Western Turkish state identity with an Islamic conservative outlook.

Restricted access

Introducing a New Dataset

The Israeli Policy Agendas Project

Amnon Cavari, Maoz Rosenthal, and Ilana Shpaizman

Abstract

This article introduces a new dataset to study Israeli politics. Taking an agenda-setting approach, the dataset includes longitudinal series of political outputs—legislative, executive, judicial, and public opinion—as a measure of policy attention in Israel from 1981 to 2019. Each item in each series is hand-coded using the coding scheme of the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP), providing a unified longitudinal overview of the Israeli political agenda. The dataset enables scholars interested in Israeli policy and politics, as well researchers from communication, economy, and law to study agenda dynamics within specific venues, between venues over time, and across countries. It also enables comparative studies that situate Israel among other countries and provides empirical evidence to assess whether, in what, and to what extent Israel is exceptional.