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The State of Emergency at Home

House Arrests, House Searches, and Intimacies in France

Flora Hergon

This article focuses on the massive house searches and house arrests that occurred during the state of emergency in France between 2015 and 2017. It draws from critical studies on counterterrorism as well as sociology of the intimate to analyze the aftermath of these measures on the Muslim households that experienced these procedures without being sentenced afterward. It examines how house arrests and searches redefine the respondents’ relationships to their domestic space and local environment as these places become spaces of fear, surveillance, discipline, and self-control. The analysis reveals a set of embodied and discursive strategies to prove an innocence that implies a reappropriation of state categories around social integration and the promotion of an acceptable and non-suspect religiosity.

Open access

Telling Tales?

Subjective Ethnography and Situated Narratives in Longitudinal Research on Violence in Nicaragua

Dennis Rodgers

The ethnographic representation of violence is a controversial issue, involving debates about (avoiding) sensationalism or (acknowledging) emotionality, for example. Less considered is how the subjective nature of ethnography and the fact that ethnographic narratives are always situated can have ramifications for both interpreting and representing violence, particularly in the context of longitudinal ethnographic research. Drawing on my investigations into Nicaraguan gang dynamics begun in 1996, this article explores the subjectivity of the longitudinal ethnographic experience of violence both in and out of “the field” through three specific examples. These highlight in different ways how ethnographic understanding is highly situational and time-bound, meaning that longitudinal research is particularly prone to episodes of discomfiting conceptual disjuncture. At the same time, it is precisely this that arguably imbues it with exceptional power and insight.

Open access

Times of Violence

The Shifting Temporalities of Long-Term Ethnographic Engagement with Burundi

Simon Turner

Over the past two decades, I have done ethnographic fieldwork amongst Burundians in Burundi and in exile, exploring the different ways they deal with the violence that the country has witnessed over the decades. In this article I follow my tracks back and forth and in and out of the country, reflecting on the advantages and challenges of long-term engagement. At a conceptual level, I propose that while violence is indeed lodged in a social context, violent events create a momentary temporal rupture, thereby dislodging meaning from its local context of understanding. My methodological contribution is to explore how long-term engagements, revisits, and diachronic comparisons in ethnography may help us understand violence and violent events. I explore how violent events have affected the past, the present, and the future, causing those who experience it to reorient their understanding not only of their pasts but also of their anticipations for the future.

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“What about Last Time?”

Exploring Potentiality in Danish Young Women’s Violent Conflicts

Ann-Karina Henriksen

The article explores how violence as actuality and potentiality shapes the lives of Danish at-risk girls and young women. The article draws on seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in Copenhagen and includes 25 girls and young women aged 13 to 23 who have all experienced using physical violence. Centering on a single young woman’s narrative, violence is analyzed as a meaningful social practice intimately linked to navigating violent social terrains and managing precarious everyday lives characterized by instability and marginalization. Drawing on the concept of potentiality, it is argued that violent interactions are shaped by both the fear of oncoming danger and the desire for powerful social positions. This perspective opens a micro-longitudinal perspective, which explores situational dynamics of violence through time, hereby contributing to micro-sociological studies of violence.

Open access

Amy Binning

Abstract

Tibetan Buddhist prophecies of decline are largely unattended when it comes to practitioners’ lived experiences. This article considers such narratives through a focus on a community of American Buddhists in California. The relationship between Buddhist narratives of degenerating future and the American landscape is played out through the creation and distribution of sacred objects, which are potent containers for—and portents of—prophetic futures. Ruptures in time and landscape become, through the frame of prophecy, imaginative spaces where the American topography is drawn into Tibetan history and prophetic future. Narratives of decline, this article argues, also find common ground with salient American rhetoric of preparedness and are therefore far from fringe beliefs, but a more widely available way of thinking through quotidian life.

Open access

Afterword

The Elsewhere beyond Religious Concerns

Annalisa Butticci and Amira Mittermaier

We are all connected to multiple Elsewheres: the place(s) where we grew up, the place we would rather be, the places that haunt us, the places where the dead dwell, the sites of empire. Geographical Elsewheres can be a source of fear. In the wake of Europe's so-called migrant crisis and border-crossing pandemic viruses, a moral and racist panic feeds off the supposed collapse of those ‘other places’ into ‘our society’. But other places can also be sites of fascination and longing. Think of the long history of travel accounts, or the long-standing desire to reach beyond the planetary horizon. The dream of a mission to Mars. Anything but the depressing here and now!

Open access

Julián Antonio Moraga Riquelme, Leslie E. Sponsel, Katrien Pype, Diana Riboli, Ellen Lewin, Marina Pignatelli, Katherine Swancutt, Alejandra Carreño Calderón, Anastasios Panagiotopoulos, Sergio González Varela, Eugenia Roussou, Juan Javier Rivera Andía, Miho Ishii, Markus Balkenhol, and Marcelo González Gálvez

Andía, Juan Javier Rivera, ed., Non-Humans in Amerindian South America: Ethnographies of Indigenous Cosmologies, Rituals and Songs, 396 pp., illustrations, bibliography, index. New York: Berghahn Books, 2018. Hardback, $135.00. ISBN 9781789200973.

Cassaniti, J. L., Remembering the Present: Mindfulness in Buddhist Asia, 318 pp., glossary, references, index. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018. Paperback, $27.95. ISBN 9781501709173.

Casselberry, Judith, and Elizabeth A. PRITCHARD, eds., Spirit on the Move: Black Women and Pentecostalism in Africa and the Diaspora, 248 pp. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019. Paperback, $25.95. ISBN 9781478000327.

Elison, William, The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai, 336 pp., illustrations, notes, references, index. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018. Paperback, $35.00. ISBN 9780226494906.

Hackman, Melissa, Desire Work: Ex-Gay and Pentecostal Masculinity in South Africa, 216 pp., illustrations, notes, references, index. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018. Paperback, $24.95. ISBN 9781478000822.

Leite, Naomi, Unorthodox Kin: Portuguese Marranos and the Global Search for Belonging, 344 pp., notes, references, index. Oakland: University of California Press, 2017. $29.95. ISBN 9780520285057.

Li, Geng, Fate Calculation Experts: Diviners Seeking Legitimation in Contemporary China, 158 pp., references, index. New York: Berghahn Books, 2019. Hardback, $120.00. ISBN 9781785339943.

Lynch, Rebbeca, The Devil Is Disorder: Bodies, Spirits and Misfortune in a Trinidadian Village, 282 pp., illustrations, bibliography, index. New York: Berghahn Books, 2020. Hardback, $120.00. ISBN 9781789204872

Matory, J. Lorand, The Fetish Reisited: Marx, Freud, and the Gods Black People Make, 392 pp., illustrations, bibliographical references, index. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018. Paperback, $29.95. ISBN 9781478001058.

Pansters, Wil G., ed., La Santa Muerte in Mexico: History, Devotion, and Society, 230 pp., illustrations, bibliography, index. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2019. Hardback, $65.00. ISBN 9780826360816.

Pierini, Emily, Jaguars of the Dawn: Spirit Mediumship in the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer, 290 pp., illustrations, bibliography, index. New York: Berghahn Books, 2020. Hardback, $135.00. ISBN 9781789205657.

Pitarch, Pedro, and José Antonio KELLY, eds., The Culture of Invention in the Americas: Anthropological Experiments with Roy Wagner, 288 pp. Canon Pyon: Sean Kingston Publishing, 2019. Hardback, $90.00. ISBN 9781912385027.

Rambelli, Fabio, ed., Spirits and Animism in Contemporary Japan: The Invisible Empire, 240 pp., illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019. Hardback, $153.00. ISBN 9781350097094.

Richman, Karen E., Migration and Vodou, 384 pp., illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2018. Paperback, $28.95. ISBN 9780813064864.

Vitebsky, Piers, Living without the Dead: Loss and Redemption in a Jungle Cosmos, 380 pp., illustrations, glossary, references, index. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. Paperback, $25.00. ISBN 9780226475622.

Open access

Ryan Goeckner, Sean M. Daley, Jordyn Gunville, and Christine M. Daley

Abstract

The No Dakota Access Pipeline resistance movement provides a poignant example of the way in which cultural, spiritual, and oral traditions remain authoritative in the lives of American Indian peoples, specifically the Lakota people. Confronted with restrictions of their religious freedoms and of access to clean drinking water due to construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), members of Lakota communities engaged with traditions specific to their communities to inform and structure the No DAPL resistance movement. A series of interviews conducted on the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation with tribal members reveal that Lakota spiritual traditions have been integral to every aspect of the movement, including the motivations for, organization of, and understanding of the future of the movement.

Open access

Dream-Realities

Rematerializing Martyrs and the Missing Soldiers of the Iran-Iraq War

Sana Chavoshian

Abstract

Casting the fallen soldiers of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988) as ‘martyrs’ plays a crucial role in the legitimation discourse of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The government has succeeded in integrating many ‘martyr families’ into a state-revering political cult. This ethnographic study draws on theories of affect and atmosphere to investigate how practices around saintly dreams and their materialization in photographs and gravestones of martyrs have challenged the state narratives and discourses. I approach the veneration of martyrs through both affective and narrative sources and explore gravestones as new saintly localities. These localities are spaces of divinely intermediation with intimate connection to the transcendental realm. The multifaceted atmosphere of these sites offers nonconformist and heterogeneous entanglements in which dream-images of martyrs allow for the momentary subversion of the state's political cult.

Open access

An Ethics of Response

Protestant Christians’ Relation with God and Elsewheres

Ingie Hovland

Abstract

How do Protestants engage with Elsewheres, such as God and other parts of the world? While anthropologists of Christianity have focused on the problems of presence and ‘mediating’ God, this article considers instead the concept of ‘responding’ to God/Elsewheres. In examining Lutheran women in early-twentieth-century Norway who held monthly mission meetings, I begin with their decision to remove crafts from their meetings, which created a different blend of sound and silence. I argue that, in their view, quiet listening was the most proper response to calls from Elsewhere and thus allowed them to have the most far-reaching effects. In other words, their right affect would affect Elsewheres. We gain a fuller anthropological description of this complex engagement with God/Elsewheres if we include their understanding of the responsibility to respond.