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The South Side of Heaven

A Journey along the Iranian Collective Memory in Iran-Iraq War Memorial Sites

Younes Saramifar

I portray mnemonic practices of Iranians who engaged with the past and keep the memories of martyrs of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988) alive within frames and words. Through pictures taken during the annual commemoration of martyrs in southern Iran, I show how religiosity, politics and generational guilt are entangled in post-war Iran. I move against the grains of memory studies and visual anthropology by maintaining the silences and what is left unsaid instead of rendering war memories, acts of remembering and ways of seeing epistemologically coherent. I argue remembering is a practice locally shaped according to the politics of everyday life and not by imagined presupposition of memory scholars. Therefore, I draw an ontological approach towards memories in Iran by ways of seeing and religious worldview of those implicated in the Iranian memory machine.

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'Seeing' Environmental Process in Time

Questions of Evidence and Agency

David Sneath

This introduction reviews the articles collected in this special section, articles that explore different visions of the environment and how they engender particular ways of seeing evidence of climatic and environmental change. A key aspect of such distinctive understandings seems to be the attribution of agency within conceptions of the environment that in each case are entangled with humans. Notions of anthropogenic and non-equilibrial environments are explored in several of the articles collected here, along with ongoing debates surrounding the concept of the Anthropocene. An awareness of climate change has brought new urgency to the project of grasping our entangled environments in the diversity of their human understandings.

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Danai S. Mupotsa and Elina Oinas

In this themed issue we explore images that unsettle, disrupt, disqualify, and transgress the visual and affective expectations visited upon contemporary girls. The articles here suggest new ways of seeing, visualizing, and representing the girl, and of feeling and thinking about her. We begin from the recognition that girls are seduced into qualifying and passing in normative, intersecting ways that work along the various axes of sex, gender, age, corporeality, class, and race, and that we need to attend to possible disruptions of this logic. How do girls both entertain and interrupt the presumably obligatory wish to qualify? We attempt to answer this by looking at the intimate and embodied aspects of being a girl, and at the processes of estheticizing, and fetishizing the girly. We ask how the girl as subject-in-process establishes and challenges the notions of failing and passing.

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'Seeing’ Papua New Guinea

Making Order and Disorder through a Petroleum Project

Steffen Dalsgaard

This article contributes to debates about how capitalist corporations ‘see’, and how they concurrently relate to the places where they are located. It argues that an analytical focus on ‘seeing’ illuminates how internal organization and outward relation making are tied together in complex ways. Even so, corporations of the extractive industries in particular cannot be assumed to encompass a single coherent view. The empirical case is a critical examination of how a gas project employed strict health, safety, and security measures to generate order when encountering alterity in an unfamiliar environment in Papua New Guinea. It reveals how the project was organized around two conflicting ways of seeing its host country—trying to separate itself from it while simultaneously having to engage and provide benefits for it.

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Mirjam Lücking

Whereas the word is that the congregations of the official Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church are shrinking and few people take part in the services, a clear increase can be seen in the area of popular esotericism and spirituality. In the double sense, the question arises here as to the relationship of 'word' and 'deed'. How do our traditions respond to the challenge to our ability to act in relation to the individual's search for spirituality and to responsibility for society? Anthropological ways of seeing modernity, secularisation and Christianity (1) indicate theories regarding developments in religion and Christianity, and these are illustrated by empirical examples of a spiritual society (2). This is discussed in terms of what it can mean to take on responsibility (3), and what the relationship is between this and piety's end in itself.

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My Way or the Highway

Introduction to the Special Section on Roads

Thomas Zeller

Roads matter. They define spaces, spur economic development, provide ways of seeing cities and countryside, and enable generally faster forms of moving around. While the history of mobility and transportation has paid lots of attention to automobiles, trains, and airplanes, fewer scholarly accounts of streets, roads, and highways exist. For one, roads, unlike cars, almost never become individually owned objects of personal consumption. While some iconic highways such as the myth-laden “Route 66” in the U.S. exist, the majority of roads are nameless except for combinations of letters and numbers. As is the case with so many other everyday technologies, most observers only notice roads when they are dysfunctional: during traffic jams, when they contain potholes, during periods of construction and maintenance.

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Cancer the Bogeyman and Me

Reflexivity and Emotion in 'End of Life' Research

Fiona M. Harris

This article explores the embodied nature of training in social anthropology and reveals how, while working in multidisciplinary teams and drawing on research methods and approaches more commonly associated with other disciplines, one might still be 'outed' in one's interpretation and analysis. I draw on the experience of working on a project exploring methodological issues and challenges to conducting research with terminally ill cancer patients to reveal the importance of situating ourselves as researchers firmly within the prejudices of our own societies. While personal experience of losing a parent to cancer should have alerted me to other ways of seeing cancer, I was nevertheless obliged to confront sociocultural constructions of cancer and recognise them as my own. Through understanding the power of 'imagined experience', I gained further insight into how intersubjectivity and reflexivity are crucial to the research process.

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Refiguring Modernism in European Comics

'New Seeing' in the Works of Lorenzo Mattotti and Nicolas de Crécy

Barbara Uhlig

Both in literature and art, exponents of modernism sought new forms of expression that took into account changes in the social, economic, technical and political conditions of the time. A similar trend towards questioning outmoded forms of representation and establishing new ways of seeing has become apparent in European comics since the 1980s, a development that was initiated primarily in Italy and France. In Murmure (1989), Lorenzo Mattotti invokes expressionism and centres his mystical tale on the individual's inner being. In rejecting the representational norms traditionally applied to comics, Nicolas de Crécy also shows his allegiance to modernism yet reflects in his absurdly hyperrealist work, Foligatto (1991), the grotesque images of Otto Dix. The following article demonstrates how the two artists, despite the deliberate reversion to early twentieth-century art common to both, have, each in his own way, established a new approach to seeing in comics.

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Sol Neely

ways of seeing . (2008: 276) In order to “rearrange more permanently our ways of seeing,” we have to take up abjection not as cultural representation ( Tyler 2009: 82 ) or thematic ( Chanter 2008: 83 )—but as “formless, pre-symbolic and un

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Way to Go

The Significance of Place for Girls and Girlhood Studies

Eva Hoffmann

“smart girls to thrive” (68–69). Loren Lerner is interested in making the university art history classroom a site that “connects anthropological interpretations of place to feminist pedagogy and art historical ways of seeing” (175). Her goal is to