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Ingie Hovland

In this article I will present a range of experiences of graduate socialisation that have been discussed in past articles in the journal Anthropology Matters. These are the experiences of social anthropology Ph.D. students in the United Kingdom. The overarching theme for the article is 'regulating emotions', and the excerpts presented illustrate how Ph.D. students experience and deal with different emotional states that they encounter during the pre-fieldwork, fieldwork and writing up stages. I argue that the way in which these emotional states are handled may be just as important, in terms of gaining a Ph.D., as the increase in knowledge that is the ostensible marker of a completed Ph.D.

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An Ethics of Response

Protestant Christians’ Relation with God and Elsewheres

Ingie Hovland


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.