It's safe to say that the world of publishing is where much of my academic passion resides. After co-editing EASA's flagship journal, Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, with Sarah Green for the past four years, what I feel I most strongly bring to AJEC is an interdisciplinary research profile and an international trajectory. With formative years in Edinburgh and London, I have been exposed to the diverse subfields of human ecology and medical anthropology as well as material, digital and visual culture studies. Indeed, much of my research has occurred in quite multi- or transdisciplinary settings, often dealing with the formulation of British and European sociocultural identities. This parallels the interests of many ethnographers who explore the anthropologies of the familiar or even ‘at home’ topics.
Introducing a New Co-Editor
Gabriela Kiliánová, Rūta Muktupāvela, Philip McDermott, Marion Demossier, Alessandro Testa, Alastair McIntosh, and Thomas M. Wilson
The success of an academic journal depends on many factors. Let us, however, only mention two of them: its high-quality editing and its continuity. The Anthropological Journal of European Cultures is prosperous because it fulfils both of these criteria. This means it has been published periodically, nonstop for nearly three decades under the supervision of editors with significant dedication to the journal.
Tiziana Soverino, Evgenia Mesaritou, Thomas M. Wilson, Steve Byrne, Dino Vukušić, Fabiana Dimpflmeier, Eva-Maria Walther, and Eva Schwab
Aníbal Arregui, Gesa Mackenthun and Stephanie Wodianka (eds.) (2018), DEcolonial Heritage: Natures, Cultures, and the Asymmetries of Memory (Cultural Encounters and the Discourses of Scholarship, vol. 10) (Münster: Waxmann), 278 pp., Paperback €34.90, ISBN 9783830937906.
Agnieszka Halemba (2015), Negotiating Marian Apparitions: The Politics of Religion in Transcarpathian Ukraine (Leipzig Studies on the History and Culture of East-Central Europe, vol. II) (Budapest: CEU Press), 312 pp., €52, ISBN 9786155053368.
Carolyn Korsmeyer (ed.) (2017), The Taste Culture Reader: Experiencing Food and Drink (2nd ed.) (London: Bloomsbury Academic), 410 pp., $35.95, ISBN 9780857857897.
Alex Rhys-Taylor (2017), Food and Multiculture: A Sensory Ethnography of East London (London: Bloomsbury Academic), 182 pp., £38.30, ISBN 9781472581167.
Simon McKerrell and Gary West (2018), Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition, Policy (Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series) (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge), 290 pp., Hardback £115, ISBN 9781138205222.
Dino Numerato (2018), Football Fans, Activism and Social Change (London and New York: Routledge), 164 pp., Hardbook £102, ISBN 9781138911871; eBook £18.50, ISBN: 9781315692302.
Perri 6 and Paul Richards (2017), Mary Douglas: Understanding Social Thought and Conflict (New York: Berghahn), 246 pp., Paperback £24, ISBN 9781785335617.
Sahar Sarreshtehdari (2017), Das ist so typisch persisch! Eine Untersuchung diasporischer Erinnerungskulturen am Beispiel der zweiten Generation iranischer MigrantInnen in Deutschland [That Is So typically Persian! A Study of Diasporic Memory Cultures Exemplified by Second-Generation Iranian Migrants in Germany] (Münster: Waxman), 332 pp., €39.90, ISBN 9783830936732.
Getraud Seiser (ed.) (2017), Ökonomische Anthropologie. Einführung und Fallbeispiele, (Wien: Facultas), 412 pp., €26.90, ISBN 9783708908359.
Producing East European Geosexual Backwardness in the Drop-In Centre for Male Sex Workers in Berlin
In this article I examine the negotiations of national and sexual belonging of a Romanian gay sex worker in Berlin in the contemporary geosexual context defined by binarism between ‘modern’, ‘liberal’ and ‘tolerant’ Western Europe and its ‘traditionalist’ and ‘homophobic’ East European Other. I analyse how, by means of an overt display of his own homosexuality, the sex worker symbolically distances himself from his native country. By extension, this reinforces the image of the East and its inhabitants as inherently homophobic and, therefore, backwards. The article is based on ethnographic research in the drop-in centre for male sex workers in Berlin, an environment that reveals how deeply contemporary geosexual differences are anchored in the cultural logic of everyday life.
Separating Heads and Bodies in Eastern Europe
What remains of the Soviet identity for those who grew up in an empire that started in the Baltic sea and ended in Kamchatka? What kind of post-Soviet cultural combos have been produced afterwards? Was it bizarre to listen to Led Zeppelin and Nirvana while being targeted with nuclear missiles from the West? In a retrospective way and engaging with the collective memory of his home country, Estonia, the author reflects on different narratives of Europeanisation, shame and peripherality and the way local people embodied them.
Embodied Claims between the Nation and Europe
In 2016 a legislative proposal introducing an abortion ban resulted in female mass mobilisations. The protests went along with frequent claims of Polish as well as European belonging. Next to this, creative appropriations of patriotic symbols related to national movements, fights and uprisings for independence and their transformation into a sign of female bodily sovereignty could be observed all over the country. The appearance of bodies needs to be looked at in relation to the concrete political context and conditions in which bodies materialise (). Bodies are in this sense always relational, but they also depend. The article argues that the constitution of ‘European bodies’ can serve to empower people exposed to and oppressed by nationalist biopolitics. In such cases a ‘European body’ might be constituted in distinction to the nation/nationalism and its claim of ownership on female bodies (the ‘national body’) and by performing multiple belongings extending national belonging.
Rethinking Power in Turkey through Everyday Practices
In an increasingly authoritarian Turkish context that precludes any serious chance of making tangible political gains, challenging common conception of ‘the political’ may expand our understanding of power dynamics. Attempting to track power relations outside the most official, legitimate, conventional and formalised forms of politics provides alternative and sharper insights into how the political is being reframed and how actors retain, uphold, perpetuate or transform their capacity for agency. In an interdisciplinary perspective, but drawing mainly on anthropological literature and methodology, the issue addresses four questions – both empirically in the Turkish case and more conceptually: politicisation, visibility, social stratification and domination.
Behnam Amini, Natalia Suit, and Soheila Shahshahani
Gareth Stansfield and Mohammed Shareef (eds), The Kurdish Question Revisited (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)
J. R. Osborn, Letters of Light: Arabic Script in Calligraphy, Print, and Digital Design (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017)
18th IUAES World Congress, ‘Word (of) Encounters: The Past, Present and Future of Anthropological Knowledge’, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil, 16–20 July 2018
Ethnographic Explorations of Moral Economies across Europe
Sabine Strasser and Luisa Piart
For this special issue we are bringing together six ethnographic cases of intimate uncertainties that are situated within different regimes of reproduction, healthcare and borders in and beyond Europe. These ethnographic inquiries exemplify unprecedented settings of moral ir/responsibility shaping the intimate on different scales and in various sites of power (agencies, clinics, borderlands). These uncertainties in times of major transitions from old to new moral orders, from industrial to postindustrial, from welfare to austerity spark off a renewed debate on moral economy. The authors of these contributions all focus the theoretical lens of moral economy squarely onto the intimate.
Popular Religious Practices and Perceptions in the Middle East and Central Asia
Mary Elaine Hegland
People at the popular level often hold religious perceptions and engage in religious practices that make sense to them within their own existential situations, even if they fall outside orthodoxy. Although political leaders and religious authorities may attempt to mould people’s religious perceptions and practices according to their own ideas and interpretations of religion, people frequently find ways to evade or ignore such pressures, to rationalise their deviations or to continue to live and think according to their own self-generated religious frameworks. The authors of the articles in this special issue provide examples of how people’s actual practices and religious beliefs arise out of their own personal situations and histories though at odds with the pronouncements of religious specialists.