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Mary Elaine Hegland

Zahra Tizro, Domestic Violence in Iran: Women, Marriage and Islam (New York: Routledge, 2012)

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Understanding the Zār

An African-Iranian Healing Dance Ritual

William O. Beeman

This article explores the structure and meaning of the Zār ceremony as carried out throughout the Persian Gulf. This ceremony is mirrored by similar ones throughout North and East Africa, suggesting that the Zār may have resulted from cultural diffusion along historical trade routes. The Zār practitioners, the bābā and the māmā, must cultivate extensive skills in musical performance, movement and coordination in order to affect a palliative relief for persons affected by spirit ‘winds’ that inhabit them, causing physical and emotional distress. The Zār ceremony is an important method of non-allopathic treatment for emotional disorders that might elsewhere be treated through psychiatry in clinical settings. Practitioners see it as compatible with Islam, though not a strictly Islamic practice.

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AJEC

Investigating European Cultures, Bridging Disciplines

Gabriela Kiliánová and Tatiana Podolinská

The Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, initiated by German scholar Ina-Maria Greverus together with Christian Giordano in 1990, played a central role in the fundamental changes that the hitherto more or less nationally confined European ethnologies have undergone since then. The journal mediated the intensifying exchange between eastern and western Europe, while its attempt to cross boundaries in particular between an anthropology of Europe and European ethnology remains key.

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Anthropology of Europe Redux

Déjà vu in the South

Jon P. Mitchell

For good reasons, anthropology some decades ago deconstructed the Mediterraneanist picture of familialist societies in the South. However, this deconstruction unexpectedly had its political twin in Malta’s fight against corruption to meet the conditions for EU-membership in 2004. Drawing on a deeper concept of “territoriality”, introduced by anthropologist Ina-Maria Greverus, the article considers lately observed new variants of nationalist positions that paradoxically are deeply entwined with clientelistic dynamics against the state, culminating in the recent murder of critical journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

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Courage and Obstinacy

Remembering a Frontrunner

Johanna Rolshoven

In German academic Volkskunde of the 1970s, scholar Ina-Maria Greverus was a pioneer in several realms. As a woman and feminist, she challenged the discipline’s gender order, including its hidden gendered epistemology; as an early reader of international cultural anthropology, she transgressed nationalistically confined horizons, and her methodological openness created space for new formats that challenged false assumption of scientific objectivity and neutrality.

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Editorial

Ina-Maria Greverus, AJEC and the Anthropology of Europe

Ulrich Kockel and Elisabeth Timm

About a year ago – some of us had just met at the Göttingen congress of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) and discussed the idea of a Festschrift for her ninetieth birthday – we heard of the sudden death of Ina-Maria Greverus, founder-editor of this journal. In his contribution to the twenty-fifth anniversary issue of AJEC, Ullrich Kockel had recounted how the founders of AJEC had ‘set out to bridge the various real and imagined gulfs between disciplines and approaches’ and how ‘successive editorial teams have, in different ways, tried to continue that original project while negotiating contemporary pressures’, noting that ‘[a]long the way, the founding spirit may sometimes have appeared ousted by the hegemonic criteria of academic respectability’ but proved resilient in the face of such pressures (Kockel 2012: 58). With this in mind, the editorial board discussed the idea of a special issue featuring contributions by members of the board past and present as well as others whose paths had crossed with Ina-Maria’s, and we decided to issue an ‘open-format’ call, encouraging a variety of reflexive, reminiscent, or otherwise discursive engagement with Ina-Maria, her work, and her influence – both academic and personal – on so many of us, of her own as well as of younger generations.

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Gisela Welz

In the 1970s, scholar Ina-Maria Greverus was a pioneer in opening German Volkskunde towards international horizons. Her concept of human-environment interaction as “territoriality”, inspired by US-american cultural ecology, is reconsidered as an anthropology of the Anthropocene avant la lettre.

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Matteo Benussi

The ‘halal movement’ is an orientation predominantly mobilised by urban youth and by the emerging urban middle class in Tatarstan. It articulates a cosmopolitan, universal Islamic discourse, explicitly separates ethnicity and Muslimness, and stages religion as an ethical issue, tied neither to a nation nor to a theological doctrine.

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The Eurozone Crisis, Greece and European Integration

Anthropological Perspectives on Austerity in the EU

Sally Raudon and Cris Shore

Around 2010, a shift in the EU-understanding of austerity took place – from a future-orientated vision based on concepts of solidarity, cohesion and subsidiarity, to a crisis-driven present shaped around the imperatives of immediate fiscal discipline and debt repayment. This has had contradictory effects, producing widespread divisions, disunity and rising nationalism across Europe on one hand, and new forms of social solidarity and resistance on the other.

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False Signposts and High Climbing

The Search for a Localised Islamic Orthodoxy in Russia

Lili Di Puppo

In Russia, the division between a ‘folk’/‘ethnic’ and ‘doctrinal’ Islam is linked to the Soviet attempts to weaken scholarly religious knowledge. Today, similar to various regions of the Muslim world, certain Tatar Muslims with the madhhab system (Muslim schools of jurisprudence), engage in constructing a localised orthodoxy, an Islamic orthodoxy based on the universal foundations of Islam, while striving to integrate folk customs and traditions of ‘traditional Islam’ that formerly were denounced as state-loyal piety.