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Limits, Genealogies, and Openings

Introductory Remarks on Engaging Religion

Andreas Bandak and Simon Stjernholm

that of the past. We will return to this point later when we discuss the question of genealogies of religion. A conversation on how to engage religion needs to look back to the ways the category has been employed but also to how it is currently being

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Genealogical Avenues, Long-Distance Flows and Social Hierarchy

Hadramī Migrants in the Indonesian Diaspora

Johann Heiss and Martin Slama

The article reflects on the role of genealogy in the process of Hadramī migration to Indonesia and explores the relation between genealogy and the construction of hierarchy and identity among diaspora Hadramīs. In addition to persons and ideas travelling along genealogical networks from the Hadramawt to Indonesia, the authors examine long-distance flows originating from Middle Eastern centres of Islamic learning, which were used to question a genealogically based social hierarchy. After discussing the flows and movements of the colonial period, our focus advances to the present, as we investigate the consequences of both new and renewed long-distance connections between Indonesia and the Hadramawt.

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Introduction

Jelena Tošić and Annika Lems

troubling genealogies of exclusion as well as the oft-forgotten legacies of interconnection marking European-African trajectories of im/mobility. Through in-depth ethnographic case studies, the articles in this special section show the historical

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Ancestors, class, and contingency

Jeanette Edwards

Local family historians in the north of England are not only intent on "finding" their ancestors but in adding "flesh" to the bones of genealogy. Many are as interested in the social life of their ancestors as they are in their family tree or pedigree and, through their research, they excavate particular social and classed histories which combine discourses of land, labor, love, and loss. As well as deepening a sense of the workings of class in England, their research renders class identity more contingent than other contemporary public and media-driven versions. This article argues that family history and genealogical research destabilizes readings of English class identities as fixed, bounded and inescapable by revealing the vagaries of fate and chance and by making explicit other relevant and overlapping social distinctions in the provenance of one's ancestors.

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GROUNDING THE FAMILY

Elisabeth Timm

This paper discusses the grounding of the family in popular genealogy today. It applies a historical and comparative approach to the use of parish registers in three empirical cases from Austria. This use consists in a continued process of rooting the family locally, while simultaneously delocalizing it through the digital connection of data kept separate by the Catholic Church for many centuries. Grounding the family is thus a complex articulation of the modern discourse of settledness, closely bound up with a popular historical culture able to access archival sources directly for the first time in history. The paper questions the category of “imagined families”, which may marginalize this popular practice of producing kinship and perpetuate the essentialist notion of otherwise “authentic” (e.g. juridical, social, biological) families.1

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Delighting in kinship

Women’s relatedness and casual pleasures in village Tamil Nadu

Indira Arumugam

This paper is about pleasure, specifically the pleasure that women take in kinship. Contrary to its diminished importance within the discipline, kinship still resonates strongly for many of our interlocutors. Why is kinship so captivating? Kinship’s continued significance, I argue, is attributable not so much to its utility or morality but to the pleasure it evokes. In capturing the major implications of kinship, anthropologists have barely considered the small joys of living together with kin. Pleasure is understood in two terms. First, the experiential, where it is incidental to routine work and ritual obligations but is also deliberately sought and actively indulged in. Second, the aesthetic, where thinking abstractly and constructing genealogies are not simply anthropologists illusions, which is itself a form of pleasure for our interlocutors. Focusing on pleasure does not detract from structural constraints and customary suffering but textures everyday experiences of kinship. Offering another category to think with and opportunities to rethink extant ones, pleasure forces us to confront kinship’s open‐ended and improvisational qualities. While kinship’s consequence has been well scrutinised, privileging pleasure allows us to grapple with the insouciance with which kinship is also lived, felt and becomes taken for granted.

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Society, Morality, Embodiment

Tracing Durkheim's Legacy

Sondra L. Hausner

ways, asking creative questions that can move our discipline – and our understanding of disciplinary history – forward. But on the other, we move backwards in time as well, tracing the history and genealogy of Durkheim's school and work in order to

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The Contemporary Structures and Historical Formation of the Khawlān and Jumā'ah Tribes in Sa'dah, Northwest Yemen

Marieke Brandt

Khawlān and Jumā'ah are two out of eight tribes of the Khawlān b. 'Āmir confederation in Southwest Arabia, the territories of five of them being in Yemen and three in Saudi Arabia. Whereas the Yemeni tribes Munabbih, Sahār and Rāzih are well explored, little is known about the tribal structures of Jumā'ah and the homonymous tribe Khawlān. This article provides an overview of the present-day tribal structures of Khawlān and Jumā'ah, and traces their historical formation through comparison with the respective information available in the historical and geographical works of the Yemeni geographer and historian al-Hasan al-Hamdānī, dating back to the tenth century AD. The results of this study show that Jumā'ah and Khawlān were historically open to processes of social, spatial and genealogical changes. Whereas Jumā'ah can trace its lineage directly back to the ancestor Khawlān b. 'Āmir, Khawlān tribe represents a much looser entity of mutual alliances, which corresponds to its lack of genealogical coherence. Among Khawlān and Jumā'ah, the rhetoric of shared 'ancestry' is thus to a greater or a lesser extent a statement of identity and follows the general Middle Eastern practice in conceptualising groups as kin.

Open access

Race, Genealogy, and the Genomic Archive in Post-apartheid South Africa

Katharina Schramm

inform the archival infrastructure—the very understanding of the genome as archive. I then look at the specifics of colonial and apartheid genealogical practices and bureaucratic classifications that have shaped current understandings of what constitutes

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Genealogical Traces of the Misogynistic Murder Motif in Eugene O'Neill's Autobiographical Tragedies

Baike Zhang and Junwu Tian

, misogynistic murder. In these four biographical tragedies, women protagonists, whether they are mistresses, wives or mothers, are killed or imagined murdered by male protagonists via direct or indirect means. Critics have also not delved into the genealogical