You are looking at 11 - 20 of 93 items for :

  • Anthropology x
  • Refine by Access: Open Access content x
  • Refine by Content Type: All x
Clear All Modify Search
Open access

Mukul Sharma


Caste and race, Dalits and Black people, and the common ground between them have been analyzed in many areas, but their conjunction in the environmental field has been neglected. This article locates Dalit ecologies by examining the close connection between caste and nature. Drawing from a plural framework of environmental justice and histories of environmental struggles among African Americans, it focuses on historical and contemporary ecological struggles of Dalits. It contemplates how their initial articulations under the rubric of civil rights developed into significant struggles over issues of Dalit access, ownership, rights, and partnership regarding natural resources, where themes of environmental and social justice appeared at the forefront. The intersections between Dalit and Black ecologies, the rich legacies of Black Panthers and Dalit Panthers, and their overlaps in environmental struggles open for us a new historical archive, where Dalit and Black power can talk to each other in the environmental present.

Open access


Autobiography in Anthropology, Then and Now

Helena Wulff

Celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the first publication of the volume Anthropology and Autobiography (1992) edited by Judith Okely and Helen Callaway, AJEC 31(1) features an inspiring special issue devoted to this topic, then and now. Starting from the beginning, we learn about the appalling resistance Judith Okely faced when she suggested Anthropology and Autobiography as a theme for the 1989 ASA (Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK) Conference. The idea to include the experience of the fieldworker, his or her emotional reactions, and issues related to gender, age and race – in the research and later even the use of “I” in the writing – came from the ‘writing culture’ movement in the United States. This early resistance against reflexivity and autobiography in British anthropology can be understood as a generational intolerance of American intellectual influence. As Ernest Gellner (1988: 26) suggested in a review of Clifford Geertz’ Works and Lives:

My own advice to anthropology departments is that this volume be kept in a locked cupboard, with the key in the possession of the head of department, and that students be lent it only when a strong case is made out by their tutors.

Open access

Escaping Gentrification?

The Athenian Metaxourgio Grassroots Carnival as a Contested Event

Regina Zervou and Mina Dragouni


Contemporary carnivals represent rather banal spectacles, harnessed by institutional control and stripped of their meaning as disruptive processes of revelry, expressivity and defiance. However, when organised at grassroots level, carnivals may retain their subversive character, revealing intentions to cross the limits of urban normality. By drawing on ethnographic data, this article explores the carnival of Metaxourgio in Athens, performed in a multicultural neighbourhood at the heart of the metropolis by a small group of young artists and creatives. Based on the notions of liminality and threshold, it analyses how the carnival creates a temporal universe that challenges mainstream perceptions of public space and Otherness, contests gentrification and seeks to maintain a sense of community in a world of ever-shifting boundaries of precarity.

Open access

The Exhibition of Botocudos at Piccadilly Hall

Variations of an Anthropological Show, from the Museum to the Circus

Marina Cavalcante Vieira


In 1883 five Brazilian Botocudos were exhibited at Piccadilly Hall, London's popular theatre. This exhibition aimed to replicate in Europe the success achieved by the display of seven Botocudos, held the previous year by the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro at the Brazilian Anthropological Exhibition. Measured and studied by scientists from the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, the Botocudos performed daily for the public in London, Manchester, and Sheffield, until they were sold to P.T. Barnum, joining the US tour of the Grand Ethnological Congress of the Bailey and Barnum Circus. This article emphasises the ambivalent trajectory between science and spectacle in these three different exhibition formats and versions. Illustrations, posters, photographs and newspaper reports are relied on as research sources.

Open access

A Flowering of Memory

Walking Zora Neale Hurston's Cemetery Path to our Mothers’ Gardens

James Jr. Padilioni


In June 1945, Zora Neale Hurston wrote to W. E. B. Du Bois to propose a plan to create a Black cemetery to house the remains of famous Black Americans in Florida. Hurston suggested Florida because the state's climate guaranteed the cemetery would be verdant year-round, and she included a landscaping plan of the flowers and trees she desired to furnish her memorial garden. As an initiate of New Orleans Hoodoo-Vodou, Hurston's ontology of spirit allowed for the presence of the ancestors to indwell the living form of flowers, trees, and other topographical features of the land. I contextualize Hurston's cemetery within an extended genealogy of Black necrogeography and the study of Black American deathscapes, examining the entangled relationship of Black gardening and Black burial practices as engendering a distinct ecology of root-working in which Black women gardeners propagate new forms of life in the very dust of our decomposition.

Open access

Introduction: World Fairs, Exhibitions and Anthropology

Revisiting Contexts of Post-colonialism

Patrícia Ferraz de Matos, Hande Birkalan-Gedik, Andrés Barrera-González, and Pegi Vail


World fairs and exhibitions served as important venues for empires to showcase their industrial and technological achievements. Moreover, they also presented ‘civilisational models’ that portrayed Europeans as the most advanced and sophisticated and depicted the distant inhabitants as exotic and primitive. In portraying distant peoples, these contrasts were evident through their dress styles, dance, music, and performance of daily customs, but most noticeably, through their skin colours. With five articles focusing on world fairs and exhibitions in diverse locations and times, this special issue raises questions about the display and showcasing of humans that are still pertinent to the current contexts of anthropology. The articles call for ‘decolonising’ thoughts, discourses, and practices in political and public space in displaying contemporary cultures. While acknowledging the problematics and limits of ‘decolonisation’ itself, the articles reassess through a critical lens the connections between fairs and exhibitions in the early days of anthropology.

Open access

Linking Land and Sea

Intersections between Indigenous Peoples’ Dispossession and Asylum Seekers’ Containment by Australia

Susan Reardon-Smith

Australia’s harsh policy response to asylum seekers appears to be an extreme measure for a country that thinks of itself as a liberal democracy. Confining analyses of this regime to refugee law and policy overlooks the ways that Australia’s colonial history, Indigenous dispossession, and contemporary race relations interact with one another. Th is article argues that these historical dynamics are essential to understanding the Australian government’s response to asylum seekers in the present day, with asylum-seekers and Indigenous peoples in Australia both being utilized as tools of modern statecraft to shore up the legitimacy of the Australian state. Attention is drawn to parallels between the treatment of both Indigenous peoples and asylum seekers by the Australian government, with the increasingly harsh response to asylum seekers in Australian politics coinciding with the expansion of land rights for Indigenous Australians.

Open access

The Mise-en-Scène of Modernity

Exposición Internacional del Centenario, Buenos Aires (1910)

Nicolas Freeman


This article examines the various stagings of progress as exhibited at Argentina's International Centennial Exhibitions hosted in Buenos Aires in 1910. In preparation for the exhibitions, a wealthy port aristocracy oversaw renovations of the private and public, material and symbolic spaces of the city which transformed the capital into a political theatre. A chronology of the exhibitions (agriculture, industry, hygiene, railways, and the arts) and their accumulated symbols are read as multidimensional sites of encounter where a clash of contradictory interests and agencies interact. The text emerges out of a moment of ethnographic encounter and weaves together the words of my interlocutors with historical and theoretical analysis. In doing so, the article reflects from different angles upon the relationship between the rituals of showing and of spectatorship involved in the State's aesthetic performance of national progress.

Open access

A New Turn in Russian Ethnography

Science and Cultural Politics at Moscow's First Ethnographic Exhibition of 1867

Mariam M. Kerimova and Maria V. Zolotukhina


The article is based on the text analysis of previously unknown archival documents (letters, petitions) to assess the impact of Pervaa Vserossiiskaya etnographicheskaya vystavka (the first all-Russian ethnographic exhibition) had on different spheres of Russian life – ranging from reinterpreting Slavic identity and rallying Western and Southern Slavs around the empire to growing museum attendance. Demonstrating the diversity of ethnic groups in Russia, in addition to emphasising its imperial power managed to also serve the purpose of structuring and further developing academic knowledge, and presenting its results to the larger public in an easily accessible yet sophisticated way: the Ethnographic Department of the Imperial Society of Devotees of Natural Science, Anthropology and Ethnography at Moscow University was founded in 1868, and the first ethnographic museum (Dashkov Museum) in Moscow used the items for its collection. Russian ethnography exercised this new chance of proclaiming itself as an independent and actively evolving discipline and field of knowledge.

Open access

Picturesque Savagery on Display

Exhibition of Indigenous People, Science and Commerce in Argentina (1898–1904)

Diego Ballestero


This article discusses the importance of commercial exhibitions of Indigenous people in the development of anthropological practices in South America between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. First, it examines the intrinsic links between commercial ventures based on the exhibition of Indigenous people and anthropological practices. These spaces of scientific popularisation allowed the anthropologists to economise the time, economic, material and human resources involved in an excursion to the field in the classic sense. The article then presents and examines the anthropometric, linguistic, photographic and musicological investigations that the German anthropologist Robert Lehmann-Nitsche (1872–1938) conducted between 1898 and 1904 on Selk'nam, Qom and Tehuelche groups exhibited in local and international commercial enterprises. Finally, through Lehmann-Nitsche's research, I explore of how European anthropologists profited from these commercial ventures for the study of indigenous people, the use of urban spaces for ‘fieldwork’ and their transformation into anthropological ‘laboratories’.