Suomen Antropologi Volume 35, 2/2010
Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society Volume 35(2) 2010: 3-4
In May of this year the annual Finnish Anthropology Conference was held at the University of Helsinki. Ideas of Value: Inquiries in Anthropology was hosted by the Finnish Anthropological Society with sponsorship from Social and Cultural Anthropology (University of Helsinki). Discussion in the twelve workshops ranged from the central theme—the concept of ‘value’ as it is theorized in anthropology and related disciplines— to more general ‘inquiries of value in anthropology’ being pursued by anthropologists at home and abroad. Coupled with a large number of non-Finnish participants—from Belgium, England, Estonia, France, Greece, India, Japan, Korea, Norway and Russia— the diversity was stimulating and generated animated discussion. Some of the material has already been submitted to Suomen Antropologi for possible publication with more to come.
The keynote speakers were Professor Keith Hart (Emeritus, Goldsmiths, University of London); Professor Jukka Siikala (University of Helsinki) and Dr. Martin Holbraad (University College London); Suomen Antropologi is proud to be able to publish the papers presented by Professors Siikala and Hart in this and the following issue. Thus, we begin this summer number with an article based on Professor Siikala’s lecture, titled ‘Hierarchy and Stratiﬁcation in Polynesia’. In this, he discusses the shifting roles of traditional hierarchy and its relationship to modern state structure in Fiji, Western Samoa and the Kingdom of Tonga. By providing an overview of recent political developments set against a backdrop of traditional socio-political formation, Siikala demonstrates the impact which different levels of social integration have had on actual social practice. All three cases represent major shifts in hierarchical systems coupled with increasing stratiﬁcation. The article notes variations in response to this situation based on the ways in which hierarchical values are operationalized in each society—thereby casting light on the complex structural linkages between authority and hierarchy and their modes of operation in the present day.
This is followed by a transcribed conversation held between Marilyn Strathern, Minna Ruckenstein (President of the Finnish Anthropological Society) and Matti Erasaari (Editorial Secretary, Suomen Antropologi) on the occasion of Professor Strathern’s visit to Helsinki in December 2009 to deliver the Westermarck Lecture (published in the previous issue). With additional comments added by Professor Strathern after the event, the discussion covers a range of topics from the value of academic disciplines through ‘audit culture’ to her use of irony in ‘taking a stand’. As in all Strathern’s work, her voice is a distinctive one and her perspective thought-provoking.
As well as warmly welcoming the writing of experienced scholars, the editorial policy of Suomen Antropologi is one of facilitating publication by relatively new anthropologists, often in the form of a research report; this is a medium which puts ongoing research up for comment and critique without the length, the theoretical certainty or quite the review/revision rigour required of research articles. In a format which will be repeated Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society in future issues with material from some of the workshops at the Finnish Anthropology Conference 2010, this issue presents a collection of ﬁve reports under the broad title of The Politics of Memory and the State in East and Southeast Asia, with an epilogue by Christina Schwenkel (University of California Riverside). These papers were developed from presentations delivered at the Society for East Asian Anthropology Conference, held in July 2009 on the Academia Sinica campus in Taipei. The collection was coordinated by Margaret Bodemer (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa) and I will leave it to Dr. Bodemer to introduce the thematic background and the papers themselves (see p. 26).
The regular Forum with which we conclude each issue comprises four different, and highly controversial, perspectives on what we have labeled Post-Conﬂict Culture. It begins with a piece by Sari Wastell (Goldsmiths) in which (in an echo of topics raised in the conversation with Marilyn Strathern) she notes and discusses the ‘worrying common denominators’ in the practices of international post-conﬂict interventions and ‘audit cultures’ in the Euro-Western world. The following three pieces are all written by scholars afﬁliated with the Finnish Academy-funded Centre of Excellence in Global Governance Research (University of Helsinki): Jarna Petman (International Law), Kirsten J. Fisher (Political Science) and Timo Kallinen (Anthropology). Petman’s paper takes up the discussion of war-crimes trials by noting that they are meant to offer, not only justice and retribution, but ‘a ﬁnal and authoritative account of the truth of events’. In doing so, a trial must navigate through different versions of history—aided by a good deal of ‘forgetting’. Fisher offers a different perspective on the ‘fresh adventure’ of International Criminal Law, discussing the various challenges the concept faces and suggesting alternatives; while Kallinen, discussing truth commisions, reprises some of the points raised by Wastell (both are anthropologists) concerning the Eurocentrism of such mechanisms and the concomitant problems of exporting them to non-European destinations.
I conclude by handing over to Miia Halme-Tuominen, Book Review Editor for Suomen Antropologi, who outlines revised book-review policy.
This issue features the ﬁrst ‘Interesting New Publications’ list, compiled by the book review editing team. The list follows the pulse of current anthropological scholarship, and will, in future, reﬂect the general themes in each issue of Suomen Antropologi. Further information may be found on the journal’s homepage where book titles are accompanied by abstracts. In addition to English-language publications, the list introduces exciting works produced by, among others, Nordic and French publishing houses. If you are interested in reviewing a book mentioned on the list, or another volume published 2009–2010, please contact Miia Halme-Tuomisaari at miia.halme@helsinki.ﬁ
BOOK REVIEW EDITOR
Keynote lecture: On Hierarchy and Stratification in Polynesia
Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society Volume 35(2) 2010: 5-19
In this article I will discuss the shifting roles of traditional hierarchy and its relationship to modern state structure in Fiji, Western Samoa and the Kingdom of Tonga. The interesting interplay of different levels of social integration has unfolded in conﬂicting ways in actual social practice. The combination of individualistic ideologies and democracy with traditional chieﬂy authority in these Paciﬁc societies illuminates the complex ways in which authority and hierarchy are structurally linked, ways which in turn provide insights into the modes whereby hierarchy operates in present day social and political contexts.
Interview: A conversation with Marilyn Strathern
Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society Volume 35(2) 2010: 20-25
Professor Strathern recently delivered the 25th annual Westermarck Memorial Lecture in Helsinki: the lecture, titled ‘Comparing Concerns’, was published in issue 4/2009 of Suomen Antropologi. In the lecture Professor Strathern highlighted a number of unvoiced assumptions prevalent in the ﬁelds of organ, tissue and blood donations, through a comparison of contexts that are often considered incompatible. This is a perspective that has been dominant in much of her work: opening up new angles of approach through comparisons from a broad range of ﬁelds including personhood, gender, systems of kinship, law, intellectual and cultural property, and new reproductive technologies, to mention but some of her interests. In addition, she has been an active discussant on questions of administrative reforms in academia, though she does not regard herself as political in the sense that many people who read her work actually do. These were the issues that were foremost in our minds as we sat down for a conversation with Professor Strathern. In between her Westermarck lecture, a seminar held in her honour, and the Finnish Anthropological Society Christmas party, time was a scarce resource; we therefore decided to waste no words on idle chit-chat and dove right in at the deep end.
SPECIAL COLLECTION: The Politics of Memory and the State in East and Southeast Asia
Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society Volume 35(2) 2010: 26-83
Margaret Bodemer: Introduction (26)
Chien-Yuan Chen: Transcending Whose Past? A critical view of the politics of forgetting in contemporary Taiwan (28)
Hidekazu Sensui: Frontier in the Far East: George H. Kerr’s historical narrative of the Ryukyu Islands (39)
Hyeon Ju Lee: Remembering and Forgetting the Korean War in the Republic of Korea (48)
Margaret B. Bodemer: Making Ordinary People Actors in National History: ‘Hanoi life under the subsidy economy’ in the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (56)
Daniel Roberts: Presenting the Past: The politics of memory in a rural Chinese village (68)
Christina Schwenkel: Afterword: Concluding thoughts on the politics of memory in Asia (77)
FORUM: Post-conflict Culture
Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society Volume 35(2) 2010: 84-96
Sari Wastell: Auditing War (84)
Jarna Petman: Judging Wars, Creating Truths (88)
Kirsten J. Fisher: Meandering along the ICL Path: Where are we headed? (90)
Timo Kallinen: Truth Commissions and the End of History (93)
Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society Volume 35(2) 2010: 97-106
Linda Hart: Edward Dutton. The Finnuit: Finnish Culture and the Religion of Uniqueness (97)
Eija Ranta-Owusu: Bret Gustafson. New Languages of the State: Indigenous Resurgence and the Politics of Knowledge in Bolivia (99)
Tuomas Tammisto: Rupert Stasch. Society of Others: Kinship and Mourning in a West Papuan Place (101)
Märta Salokoski: Suvi Keskinen, Anna Rastas and Salla Tuori (eds). En ole rasisti mutta... Maahanmuutosta, monikulttuurisuudesta ja kritiikistä (104)
Interesting New Publications
Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society Volume 35(2) 2010: 107-108
Anderson, Mark 2009. Black and Indigenous: Garifuna Activism and Consumer Culture in Honduras. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Boellstorff, Tom 2008. Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Bowen, John R. 2009. Can Islam Be French? Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Brubaker, Rogers, Margit Feischmidt, Jon Fox and Liana Grancea 2008. Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Dekens, Olivier 2010. Lévi-Strauss. Paris: Belles Lettres.
Geertz, Clifford (ed. Fred Inglis) 2010. Life among the Anthros and Other Essays. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Ghodsee, Kristen 2009. Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Good, Byron J., Michael M. J. Fischer, Sarah S. Willen, Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good (eds.) 2010. A Reader in Medical Anthropology: Theoretical Trajectories, Emergent Realities. Wiley: Wiley-Blackwell.
Granberg, Leo, Juha Kantanen and Katriina Soini (eds) 2009. Sakha Ynaga: Cattle of the Yakuts. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Tiedeakatemian Toimituksia.
Hammar, Lawrence James 2010. Sin, Sex and Stigma: A Paciﬁc Response to HIV and AIDS. Wantage: Sean Kingston.
Kreinath, Jens 2010. The Anthropology of Islam Reader. New York: Routledge.
Montgomery, Heather 2009. An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological Perspectives on Children’s Lives. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
Petryna, Adriana 2009. When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Rabinow, Paul and George E. Marcus 2008. Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary. Duke: Duke University Press
Semenescu, Dan 2008. Apparition des formes urbaines, Du symbolique vers le matériel au Sud-Est de l’Europe. Bucharest: Zeta Books.
Shapiro, Eve 2010. Gender Circuits: Bodies and Identities in a Technological Age. New York: Routledge.
Sharma, Aradhana 2008. Logics of Empowerment: Development, Gender, and Governance in Neoliberal India. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Sherman, Jennifer 2009. Those Who Work, Those Who Don’t: Poverty, Morality, and Family in Rural America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Soja, Edward W. 2010. Seeking Spatial Justice. Minnesota: Minnesota University Press.
Sumiala, Johanna 2010. Median rituaalit: Johdatus media-antropologiaan. Tampere: Vastapaino.
Tanase, T. (trans. Nottage, L. and Wolff, L.) 2009. Community and The Law: A Critical Reassessment of American Liberalism and Japanese Modernity. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.