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Making Multitemporality with Houses

Time Trickery, Ethical Practice and Energy Demand in Postcolonial Britain

Roxana Moroşanu

The qualities of domestic buildings that are aimed for in the energy reduction agenda, such as efficiency and zero-carbon impacts, are often at odds with the aesthetic preferences of home-owners for keeping original features of their houses unaltered. The set of visual traits followed in the maintenance and listing of character houses in the UK, and their corresponding material affordances in relation to energy demand, can be regarded as affecting and delaying the future of carbon-emission reduction promised by the country’s own Climate Change Act. This article interrogates the temporal and ethical considerations enacted in maintaining and admiring character houses with ‘original’ features. It discusses the ways in which domestic buildings emerge as multitemporal assemblages, and the forms of time trickery these processes involve in relation to notions of history, tradition and national and cultural identity.

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The Other House

The Secondary Residence in Postwar France

Sarah Farmer

From the early 1960s to the mid-1980s, a revaluation of the French countryside as a site of leisure and as a place to imagine France’s rural past fueled an unprecedented boom in the ownership of peasant houses by urban dwellers for use as secondary residences. Peasants, shopkeepers, and artisans abandoned the countryside in extraordinary numbers in the 1950s and 1960s. They left behind a vast stock of old houses and agricultural buildings. Soon boarded-up farm houses and derelict barns caught the interest of members of the prospering urban middle class looking to purchase, as well as city dwellers of more modest income who inherited a family property in their pays d’origine.

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Building a House in Nepal

Auspiciousness as a Practice of Emplacement

John Gray

The subject of auspiciousness and inauspiciousness in South Asian society has largely been analyzed as a temporal condition in which there is a harmonious or inharmonious conjunction of people and events in time. In this article, the construction of houses by high-caste people living in a hamlet in Nepal is used to argue for a reconceptualization of auspiciousness and inauspiciousness as practices of emplacement in space and time. The analysis demonstrates how the rituals associated with the various stages of construction ensure the new house's compatibility with its spatial milieu—the soil, the site, the cardinal directions, and the reigning deities, as well as the vital force of the earth. Together with the auspicious timing of each stage of construction and its associated ritual with the owner's horoscope, the result of the building process shows auspiciousness to be a harmonious conjunction of person, place, and time.

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The House and Embodied Memory

Sharing and Negotiating Social Knowledge Through Space and Bodily Practice

Andreas Dafinger

This article takes the reader on a journey around the spaces of west African houses, and shows how the social world is replicated in the built environment. Based on the case study, this article argues that architecture serves as a model of the outside world to its inhabitants. Knowledge about the social order is embodied by moving through the architectural space. In this particular case, the society's kinship system and kin relations are encoded in the compounds' architectural spaces. This article traces how this order is created, read, and reproduced by its inhabitants, and argues that the house serves as a model of the social (kinship) order. I article conclude by showing that the emic architectural model of the local kinship systems allows for a higher complexity than verbal descriptions can. This article contributes to an anthropology of the house and discusses questions of collective knowledge and memory. It offers considerations of the nature of emic models and cognitive maps, and explores how these maps are shared and reproduced.

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Elizabeth Mazzola

This article investigates the transformation of Spenser’s image of himself as poet in the interval between the first and second instalments of The Faerie Queene. The poet’s habits of gazing are informed by the lessons Britomart learns about seeing, but Spenser also explores the issue in two other poems written during this period, The Epithalamion (1595) and The Prothalamion (1596). Both works clearly place the poet next to pictures of occluded male gazers, Spenser’s bridegroom as marginal and as crucial as the Essex who emerges only briefly from Leicester House. Both of these male figures are ultimately sidelined by other gazers, their vision finally irrelevant to the nuptial proceedings unfolded in each poem. The 1596 cancellation of the reunion between Amoret and Scudamour is accompanied by a revised representation of Britomart, too. Taught to move beyond the magic mirror she encounters early in Book 3, Britomart is guided to put herself in the larger world and – like the poet – to look away from the image reflected in and by her gaze.

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Stephanie Bunn

This article is an exploration of how the interdisciplinary relationship between art and anthropology can contribute to teaching anthropology in schools. The argument is made that through practical engagement with the environment - whether 'natural', social or built - one can develop important and complementary approaches to teaching and thinking about anthropology. Three specific areas of activity are examined: skill and practical work with materials, doing children's ethnographies and 'playing house'. The author draws upon her own experience of working both as an artist and an anthropologist.

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Holistic Houses and a Sense of Place

Contextualizing the Bishop Museum Hale Pili Exhibit through Archaeological Analyses

Jennifer G. Kahn

This article discusses the process of refinding the initial location of the Bishop Museum’s hale pili (Hawaiian pole and thatch house) and an archaeological investigation of the site’s surface architecture, use of space, and subsurface activities. The study touches upon themes relevant to representations of culture and place in museum exhibits, analysis of existing museum collections to holistically interpret material culture, and the history of anthropological collecting. The hale pili represents a “hybrid” form, with elements of precontact Hawaiian folk housing and European concepts introduced in the postcontact period. This problematizes the notion of “traditional” when used in relation to indigenous cultures in settler societies and the practice of exhibiting unique examples of “authentic” housing in isolation. Such analyses increase our interpretive abilities for museum collections and exhibits in the long term, particularly in reunifying folk housing and other material culture with location, a sense of place, and locale.

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Securing Intergenerational Kin Relationships and a House of One's Own

Muslims' Ways of Ageing Well in Kerala, India

Willemijn de Jong

The author explores trajectories of creating well-being with regard to old age in a poor Muslim community in Kerala, India. Theoretically, she draws on the nonstate-led concept of 'inclusive social security' and links it with the anthropology of the house. In doing so she takes approaches of 'making' kinship, gender, age as well as citizenship into account. Care and respect for the elderly result from strong but gendered intergenerational kin relationships in and around the house, which they establish for a large part themselves. Governmental and civil provisions play an enabling or supplementary role. Elderly women, particularly widows, benefit from property relationships that are less gendered. Surprisingly, there is a remarkable tendency of creating house ownership, and thus of bargaining power, for women in this community. It is suggested that this is effected by a combination of Muslim inheritance rules, recent dowry-giving practices and Kerala's matrilineal history.

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Majed Aladylah

It is important to stress that Arab women writers have produced a new kaleidoscope of narrative fiction in English. They focus on a variety of representations with respect to identity, dislocation, cultural hybridity and belonging. Moreover they have tried to construct a stable subjectivity and a space of belonging. These narratives are now dispersed and relocated by Arab women diasporic novelists such as Hala Alyan. This article will examine Hala Alyan’s 2017 novel, Salt Houses. This debut novel has amalgamated different narrative experimentations and techniques, and how polyphonic spaces have dislocated the conventional act of narration and relocated it in tandem with the non-homogeneity of the Arab world itself.

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Cleaning House

the Courtly and the Popular in The Merry Wives of Windsor

Graham Holderness

This paper explores the controversy as to whether The Merry Wives of Windsor is a celebration of royal and aristocratic power and of an imagined national community, or a suburban comedy whose viewpoint is that of the contemporary English middle-class. Drawing on recent work on female authority in household and community, it is suggested that Shakespeare's Windsor is not only discontinuous with the culture of nobility, but is presented as a parallel world or alternative universe where things are done quite differently. The play thus engages in a critique of the aristocratic values embodied in the Order of the Garter, and offers an alternative source of power in the domestic lives of ordinary women.