This article addresses the relations between archaeology and social anthropology, as exemplified by archaeological research in the Middle East. It is argued that further integration between both disciplines, as well as between archaeological theories, methods and data, is necessary. As an example of such an 'archaeology of relations', an analysis of domestication in the prehistoric Middle East is presented in summary.
Relating the Past and the Present
How an Anthropology of Childhood Reveals Kinship Structure
In recent anthropological trends, anthropologists have drawn attention to the social world of children as an independent category. Children have been observed as a peer group and a parallel society to the social world of adults, and span several
Pathways towards Another Aesthetic in Anthropology
The emergence of modern scientific thought has been characterised by a separation from the realm of art. Among others, German anthropologist Ina-Maria Greverus since the 1970s, in the context of the worldwide critique of the discipline’s formats, pioneered new approaches to articulate anthropological work and findings with and through artistic practices.
Birth and Becoming of a New Field of Studies
Laurent Sebastian Fournier and Jean-Marie Privat
In this article we present the ongoing theoretical discussions concerning the relations between anthropology and literature in France. We recall the historical relationship of a part of French anthropology and the world of literature. We then try to show how the anthropology of literature began by using the model of the anthropology of art, mainly concentrating on literary works as individual creations specific to the style or the cosmology of a given writer. We explore a new perspective on the analysis of the social and symbolic meanings of literary worlds, putting the emphasis on what is called ‘ethnocriticism’ in France. In order to understand better the influence of literature and literary motives on contemporary cultural practices, and to grasp the relation of literary works with the outside world and with everyday life, we propose to build up a comparative approach of literary works and rituals. Through different novels or other literary works, we address possible developments of contemporary anthropologies of literature in France.
Visual Anthropology in the Middle East
Esther Hertzog and Yael Katzir
This issue demonstrates the potential and unique contribution of visual anthropology to deepening and expanding anthropological knowledge with historical, artistic, cultural and political perspectives. Describing and analysing historical events, daily social life and the arts, the articles offer original interpretations of human experiences and social processes that are part of the Middle East reality, in the past and present. Some authors suggest striving to establish ethnic, cultural and national identities goes hand in hand with struggles for civilian rights and socio-economic equality. Using illustrations and a feminist analysis, other authors reflect on women’s marginalisation in the arts and in the historiography of this region. The use of visual materials, highlighting similarities among divergent communities, entails an optimistic view about the potential contribution of arts to break through fundamental dividing features.
Possibilities and Approaches – The Case of Slovakia
The article deals with the study of regionalism in European social anthropology with the focus on Slovakia's regions, regional diversities and identities in a broader perspective of European integration and regionalisation. It looks at socio-anthropological research on regionalism worldwide and in Slovakia particularly. The key objective is to examine the impact of geographical conditions and political-administrative reforms on the development of historic regions, sustainability of regionalism and the survival of regional differences and identities in Slovakia. The essay also discusses the creation of transborder regional co-operation and the establishment of Euroregions that only started to develop in the new democratic conditions after 1989. What do transborder regions mean to local people? Are they only bureaucratically constructed entities based on co-operation of formal authorities or do they also have an impact on people's identities? The essay aims at drawing attention to the importance of this research orientation in contemporary European social anthropology.
Reinventing Anthropological Topics
I am very pleased that once in a while our issues of AME become open-theme issues, allowing scholars who have not worked within a specific subfield of anthropology to send us their articles. Here we make sure that they do not fit within a close
Anthropological Perspectives on the Process of European Integration
After the fall of the Iron Curtain a new concept of Europe as a socially relevant object of study emerged in the social sciences challenging the model of Europe as historical entity, or a philosophical or literary concept. This concept provoked an upsurge of interest in the study of European identity among anthropologists who began to study how Europeanness is constructed and articulated both by the architects of the EU themselves and at a grass-root level. Drawing on notions of European culture and identity, this text examines the image of Europe/the EU in post-communist Europe, particularly in the Czech Republic, from two different perspectives. First, how the institutionalisation of Europe as a cultural idea is viewed by some of the Czech political commentators, and second, from an ethnographically grounded anthropological perspective, focusing on how and at what levels a Czech local community identifies with Europe and the EU. Drawing on a broad range of data, the text attempts to provide new insights into the pitfalls of collective European identity in the making, with the emphasis on its cultural dimension in the post-communist Czech Republic.
Remembering Ina-Maria Greverus
The author reconsiders German scholar Ina-Maria Greverus as a committed feminist supporter of female doctoral students and early career academics. Greverus acted as an innovator especially in the realms of anthropology and aesthetics, and initiated a new international dialogue forum with the Anthropological Journal or European Cultures, which she founded in 1990 together with Christian Giordano.
What is anthropology in France about, what is its image, its impact? Where do we come from? Where are we going? Finding answers to these questions would require a whole book. However, in a more modest way, I would like to make a number of observations related to the recent history of the discipline – history that, as we shall see, is inseparable from the general socio-political context and the place that the discipline occupies today in the French intellectual landscape.