The 2017 Edvard Westermarck lecture will be held on May 9th, 6 pm, at the House of Science and Letters (Tieteiden Talo), Kirkkokatu 6.

The lecture will be given by professor Liisa Malkki (Stanford University), and the title is “Metalwork: Processes of Making and the Imagination”.


This paper is an ethnographic status report on two years of training in metalwork with a master smith and ongoing conversations with metal artists. My training in silversmithing is ongoing, and will be one element in a larger, multi-sited project on embodied processes and practices of making, the senses, and on making as a form of thinking. The research will be conducted with metalwork artists/artisans in California, Finland, and Ghana, and will be a close, exploratory examination of how metalworkers bodily make things and how they think about making, “creativity” and the imagination. Learning how to make things in metal and the experience of undergoing rigorous training are as essential to the project as learning a field language. In this process, it has been necessary to think critically about how the imagination is often linked with “creativity” — and in turn how “creation” is so often valued over “recreation”, production over reproduction, and “high art” over “mere craft”.

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