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Andrei V. Grinëv

The annexation of the Grand Duchy of Finland by the Russian Empire after the victorious war with Sweden in 1808–1809 sharply changed the military-political situation in the Baltic. Into the hands of the Russians fell a vast territory with such

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The Worth of the ‘While’

Time and Taxes in a Finnish Timebank

Matti Eräsaari

‘standard’. In Finland, for example, taxes have in the past been appraised using units such as the ‘hook’ ( koukku , the area farmed by a man with a pair of oxen) or the ‘mantal’ ( manttaali or ‘man count’, a taxation unit based on the yield of the land

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Perspectives of (and on) a Comedic Self

A Semiotics of Subjectivity in Stand-up Comedy

Marianna Keisalo

I was sitting in a bar in Helsinki after a comedy night chatting with well-established Finnish stand-up comedian Robert Pettersson, when he suggested that the key to comedy is “the relation of the performed material to the come-dian’s stage persona

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Border/land Sustainability

Communities at the External Border of the European Union

Karri Kiiskinen

This article contrasts the Finnish-Russian and Polish-Ukrainian borderlands situated at the external border of the EU. Based on multi-sited fieldwork, it observes how such EU level development concepts as sustainability and multiculturalism address cultural sharing as well as engage communities. Here everyday border crossings are limited, but the policies and practices of cross-border co-operation seek to produce sustainable border crossings in terms of projects and networking. The negotiations of the EU border by local Polish and Finnish actors reflect co-existing and alternative imaginations of borderland heritage. These heritages seem to suggest the 'right' ways not only for border crossings, but also for addressing the continuity and experience of cultural diversity. It is argued that recollections of borderland materiality in these ceded lands become a means for negotiating cultural borders, and verify the difference between European borderlands and borders.

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History between Red Brackets

The Cold War in History Museums around the Baltic Sea

Johan Hegardt

This article derives from the research project entitled “Art, Culture and Conflict: Transformations of Museums and Memory Culture around the Baltic Sea after 1989,” which was financed by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University. It discusses how history museums in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have reacted to the fall of the Iron Curtain and the conclusion of the Soviet occupation of the three Baltic states. It argues that the Cold War is understood by the museums as a special historical epoch not comparable to any other historical period in these six countries. It concludes that to be able to deal with this particular point in history we either need to metaphorically put the Cold War in between red brackets, as it were, which makes it possible to address the Cold War when needed, or to place it outside the historical narrative of the modern rise of the five discussed nation-states.

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Spatialising university reform

Between a centre and a periphery in contemporary Finland

Sonja Trifuljesko

This article investigates contemporary attempts to reform the institution of the university according to neoliberal ideological influences and oppositions to them. It employs Doreen Massey’s concept of space to focus on relations and separations made in the process. My ethnography of the University of Helsinki’s 375th anniversary celebration, which turned into a public spectacle of various visions of higher education, constitutes the main empirical material. Finland’s ambivalent position in the world renders the spatial work of forging connections and disconnections particularly conspicuous. It enables specific neoliberal aspirations (such as to be among ‘the world’s best universities’ amidst global competition) to become very strong but also allows additional trajectories, like the one about higher education as public goods, to present themselves as legitimate alternatives. The centre-periphery relations are therefore critical sites for analysing the contemporary university transformation, since they appear to be key drivers of the reform but also the primary source of resistance to it.

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Pertti Anttonen

All scholarly fields feed on rhetoric of praise and criticism, mostly self-praise and self-criticism. Ethnology and folklore studies are not exceptions in this, regardless of whether they constitute a single field or two separate but related ones. This essay discusses questions concerning ethnological practice and object formation, cultural theory and the theory of tradition (or the lack thereof), cultural transmission, cultural representation, and the ethics and politics of cultural ownership and repatriation. It draws on general observations as well as on work in progress. The main concern is with a discursive move: from tradition to heritage, from the ethnography of repetition and replication to cultural relativist descriptions and prescriptions of identity construction and cultural policy, from ethnography as explanation to ethnography as representation and presentation. In addition, the essay seeks to delineate other underlying tenets that appear to constitute our traditions and heritages - both as strengths and as long-term constraints and biases. Where is ethnology headed in its quest to transcend theories and practices? Less theory and more practice? More theory on practice? Or more practice on theory?

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An Environmentally Literate Explorer

A. E. Nordenskiöld’s Three Expeditions to the North Asian Coast, 1875–1879

Seija A. Niemi

In 1869, the Finnish Swedish explorer and scientist Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld 1 wrote the following in a letter to Mikhail Sidorov (1823–1887), a Russian merchant: “I presume that a scientific expedition will also be the best way to promote

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Hans Marks, Małgorzata Możdżyńska-Nawotka, Ewa Ignaczak, and Dorota Kolodziejczyk

Karen Armstrong, Remembering Karelia: a family’s story of displacement during and after the Finnish wars

Michael Carter, Fashion classics from Carlyle to Barthes

Halleh Ghorashi, Ways to survive, battles to win: Iranian women exiles in the Netherlands and the United States

Fred Inglis, Clifford Geertz: culture, custom and ethics

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Uralic Imaginations on Film

Markku Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui in Siberia and the Circumpolar World

Kathleen Osgood

Starting with instructional films about Finnish forestry in the 1970s, Markku Lehmuskallio has taken his cinematic vision progressively northward. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Leh mus kallio started intensive work among the Nenets, ultimately collaborating with Anastasia Lapsui to make remarkable “film poems“ among northern peoples at the edges of the world. Perhaps most impressive of their extensive Giron Film productions are the awardwinning Seven Songs of the Tundra (2000) and Earth Evocation (2009). This review essay focuses on their methods of representation of northern, native peoples over the course of their filmmaking career.