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Stepan N. Katyginskii and John P. Ziker

Stepan Katyginskii’s manuscript “Dolgan National Games” (Tyalyn Narodnai Onnoolor) is presented here in translation from the Russian. Katyginskii’s material on games is a contribution to knowledge of the traditional means by which organized physical activity occurred in indigenous communities of the Russian Arctic. As an integral part of Dolgan traditional ecological knowledge, Katyginskii’s material includes games that develop skills of aim, endurance, and strength. The article also presents some ethnographic information on the social context of performance of traditional games.

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Houses for the Curious

Curating between Medicine, Life and Art

Ken Arnold

This article considers a curiosity-driven approach to curating focused on material culture that visitors encounter in physical spaces. Drawing on research into historical curiosity cabinets, it explores how a contemporary notion of curiosity has been put into practice in the new breed of culturally enlightened museums exploring interdisciplinary approaches to medicine, health, life, and art. Based on an inaugural professorial address at Copenhagen University, it reflects on exhibition projects there and at the Wellcome Collection in London. Museums are institutional machines that generate social understanding from material things. Their physical spaces influence how we learn, think, and feel in public; their material collections feed our comprehension, imagination, and emotions; and induce attentive behavior in curators and visitors.

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Collecting and Memory

A Study of Travel Archives

Lee Arnold and Thomas van der Walt

People’s travel collections serve as a memory aid to help them write travelogues, novels, or scientific reports when they return home. They may also have merely been a way to document a voyage or journey for future generations. Under the surface of any of these end uses is simply the need to collect, the need to hold on to memory—in the form of material culture, ephemera, photographic documentation or assiduous note taking. Travel archives are the materials (either in manuscript form or printed ephemera) that document the purposeful travel of an individual or group. Like family papers, they may be perceived as having limited value beyond their fellow travelers or family members. Irrespective of the motivation of the traveler, these collections often end up in repositories. How an archivist deals with this material is crucial to its future use.

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Repossession

Material Absences, Affective Presences, and the Life-Resumption Labors of Bosnians in Britain

Eleanor Ryan-Saha

Reflecting on ethnographic research undertaken in 2010–2011, I conceive of dispossession as fundamental to the individual and social experience of displacement for Bosnian former refugees residing in Britain. In this context, I pluck what I term 'repossession' from among the myriad strategies and practices that constitute life resumption after refugee displacement. Repossession is achieved through dynamic interplay between the affective influence of new material absences and presences. At the same time, it includes the reflexive construction of new rhetorical stances regarding materialism. I examine how the attainment of 'materially qualified life' through repossession contributes both to personal recovery and to the formation and consolidation of the British Bosnian diaspora. In this way, repossession achieves material certainty in the present, subsequent to the uncertainty of the past dispossession event.

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Wenyi Zhang and F.K.L. Chit Hlaing

This article outlines three historical transitions in Kachin chieftaincy in Burma and China. Picking up where the three main theoretical models in the literature leave off (the models of Leach, Nugent and Friedman), we put forward an analysis of Kachin sociopolitical organization using new China-based material. We compare this with Burma-based material in the literature, and re-analyse the interactions between the internal dynamics of Kachin chieftaincy and the politico-economic systems in Southwestern China and Northern Burma. We argue that Kachin chieftaincy in Burma and in China shared the same logic, although this logic was manifested differently in the two countries. We offer new material for understanding the lowland polities and upland chieftaincy in Southwestern China and mainland Southeast Asia.

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Constellations of Mobility and the Politics of Environment

Preliminary Considerations of the Shipbreaking Industry in Bangladesh

Deborah Breen

Although shipbreaking—the taking apart of a ship—signals the end of the useful maritime life of a vessel, the process is also the beginning of the recycling and reuse of the ship's constituent parts and materials. The process, while economically and materially useful, is also fraught with hazard, to both the environment and the laborers who undertake the breaking down of the ship. This essay examines that process in Bangladesh, one of the most significant sites for global shipbreaking. Mobility is a central theme of this examination, as the concept connects numerous aspects of the study: the shipping industry, the impact of shipbreaking on the environment; international maritime policy; and local and international responses to the industry. The essay explores the interactions that arise out of the shipbreaking industry's mobility and material and the subsequent impact on the environment and people of southern Bangladesh.

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Assessing Museums Online

The Digital Heritage Sustainability (DHS) Framework

Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws

Digital materials, the primary resources for the production of contemporary culture, have brought many challenges to the heritage sector in relation to their curation, conservation, and dissemination. Digital heritage sustainability involves practices that help ensure the maintenance, enrichment, and enjoyment of digital heritage resources over periods of time that span across generations. The digital heritage sustainability (DHS) framework presented in this article provides an analytic basis for understanding the challenges associated with the use of digital materials in museums and for assessing how digital heritage resources can be sustained over time. As an example of use, the framework is applied to the Museum of London's digital resources.

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An Ethnography of Change in Northeastern Siberia

Whither an Interdisciplinary Role?

Susan A. Crate

Using longitudinal ethnographic material, anthropologists are skilled to discern how change, in its many forms, interacts with the livelihoods of affected communities. Furthermore, multi-sited ethnography can show how local change is both a result of global to local phenomena and of origins affecting similar local contexts. Ethnographic material is therefore critical to interdisciplinary understandings of change. Through case study in native villages in north-eastern Siberia, Russia, this article argues for ethnography's unique capacity to understand change. In addition, it argues for ethnography's much-needed contribution in interdisciplinary efforts to account for attributes of global change both highly local and human.

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Alexandra Howson

This article reports on the incorporation of visual material as a tool for learning sociology and discusses a poster assignment introduced as a means of assessment in an academic context committed to innovative learning strategies and to teaching and learning enhancement. The article draws on an evaluation of using the poster assignment to assess student learning and argues that visual images can provide valid and insightful ways of 'telling about society' which challenge the reliance on text as a means of teaching and learning sociology. The article explores the context in which visual materials are used in teaching and learning sociology and their impact on and significance for assessment and learning.

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Carla Dahl-Jørgensen and Nigel Rapport

Work is not a narrow specialism. A workplace might be known as the site at which human capacities are applied for the purpose of addressing human needs (material and other). To work, one might conclude, is to be human. In his introduction to existentialism as a humanist accounting, Jean-Paul Sartre’s understanding is inclusive: