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New Special Issue of the Journal of European Ethnology: Silence in Cultural Practices

Thursday, January 26, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate
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Contributions to this special issue take a back-door approach to the study of cultural practices by exploring various modes and forms of silence and silencing in daily life. Joining Gregory Bateson and scholars inspired by his concept of noncommunication, the articles examine situations and circumstances where communication is avoided, or deemed undesirable, because it would somehow alter the nature of the idea, relationship or situation in question. Authors also draw attention to the unspoken and the unspeakable as they emerge in ethnographic fieldwork and the research process, discussing the challenges of doing fieldwork on silence and pushing the boundaries of silence as an analytical category.
Silence emerges from this special issue as a productive and performative force constitutive of agency, power and the margins of society and language. Case studies from Estonia, Finland and the north-western and north-eastern part of European Russia trace the roles silence plays in "doing old age" (Karoliina Ojanen), "doing family" (Pihla Maria Siim), and sustaining co-existence in societies divided by ethnic lines (Elo-Hanna Seljamaa). By exploring the symbolic meanings of silence among Evangelicals, two articles (Tuija Hovi and Piret Koosa) add to the growing body of scholarship that questions the fundamental role of language in Evangelical Christianity and seeks to broaden perspectives on understanding conversion.
This volume also includes one open issue contribution by Anne Eriksen, who on the basis of British and Nordic examples explores the entangled genealogies of the notions of history and tradition as the twin products of a uniquely modern temporality.
About the journal
Ethnologia Europaea is a lively and interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal with a focus on European cultures and societies. It carries material of great interest not only for European ethnologists and anthropologists but also for sociologists, social historians and scholars involved in cultural studies.
An impression of the areas covered by the journal is reflected in some of the thematic topics of the issues recently published: Muslim Intimacies (2016), Rage, Anger and other Don’ts (2015), Foodways Redux (2013), Imagined Families in Mobile Worlds (2012), Irregular Ethnographies (2011), Performing Nordic Spaces (2010).
The journal was started in 1967 and is published biannually. Since its beginning it has acquired a central position in the international and interdisciplinary cooperation between scholars inside and outside Europe. Ethnologia Europaea is an A-ranked journal according to the European Science Foundation journal evaluation (European Reference Index for the Humanities initial list). Since 2015 it is the official print journal of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF). SIEF members receive printed copies of every issue and electronic access to backlist issues older than one year (plus current year). Issues older than three years (plus current year) are Open Access.
Ethnologia Europaea is edited by associate professor Marie Sandberg (University of Copenhagen, Ethnology Section) and from 2016, professor Monqiue Scheer (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen) has taken over the co-editorship from Regina F. Bendix.
Editorial Board
Pertti Anttonen (Finland), Brita Brenna (Norway), Tine Damsholt (Denmark), Anne Eriksen (Norway), Valdimar Tryggvi Hafstein (Iceland), Renata Jambrešić Kirin (Croatia), Ewa Klekot (Poland), Peter Jan Margry (The Netherlands), Máiréad Nic Craith (United Kingdom), Lotten Gustafsson Reinius (Sweden), Per‐Markku Ristilammi (Sweden), Johanna Rolshoven (Austria), Klaus Schriewer (Spain), Laura Stark (Finland), Birgitta Svensson (Sweden), Jean‐Louis Tornatore (France), Bernhard Tschofen (Switzerland) and Gisela Welz (Germany).
Ethnologia Europaea is published and distributed by
Museum Tusculanum Press
Dantes Plads 1
1556 Copenhagen V
Tel: +45 3234 1414
For more information visit our website at
To see the backlist of Ethnologia Europaea please follow this link
Selected back issues are available open access at Also available online through research library subscriptions. Please check with your local library.

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