See/download the final papers at Taylor & Francis Online (subscription required)
See/download the pre-publication open access versions below.


(Guest Editors: Simone Dennis and Yasmine Musharbash)

  • Simone Dennis and Yasmine Musharbash: Anthropology and Smoke
  • Yasmine Musharbash: Yulyurdu: Smoke in the Desert
  • Gillian G. Tan: Differentiating Smoke: Smoke as duwa and Smoke from bsang on the Tibetan Plateau
  • Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins: Monstrous Spectres: Chimneys and Their Smoke in Industrial Britain
  • Dena Sharrock: Smoky Boundaries, Permeable Selves: Exploring the Self in Relationship with the Amazonian Jungle Tobacco, Mapacho
  • Julia Brown: Smoking and Vaping While Being Pharmaceutically Treated for Schizophrenia
  • Simone Dennis: Touching Anthropology of Smoke, Violence and Institutions
  • Georgia Curran: On the Poetic Imagery of Smoke in Warlpiri



Guest Editors: Simone Dennis and Yasmine Musharbash

Simone Dennis and Yasmine Musharbash

College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University
Department of Anthropology, The University of Sydney

Anthropology and Smoke

pages 107-115

In this introductory paper, we contemplate both a variety of anthropological approaches to smoke and how analyses of smoke—as object, material, phenomenon, practice, or political fact—might contribute to anthropological knowledge. We consider these questions in and through the themes cross-cutting this collection, including: the sensuous aspects of smoke (especially in the olfactory, visual and haptic relations it occasions, entails and denies); the politics of smoke (in particular regard to climate change, public health, and Indigenous knowledge); smoke’s temporal dimensions (from the human mastery of fire via industrial chimneys to vaping e-cigarettes); and its ritual functions (encapsulating transition par excellence, curing ills, placating spirits, and marking time). We conclude by pondering smoke’s inherent capacity to escape the bounds we might set for it, including the imposition of highly politicised spatial, temporal, and intellectual constraints.



Yasmine Musharbash

Department of Anthropology, The University of Sydney

Yulyurdu: Smoke in the Desert

pages 116-125

I begin this paper with a nod to ‘the beginning’ by linking smoke to fire, and fire to humankind. Bound up in this deep history of smoke and humanity is a dichotomy cleaving humans from animals and the west from the rest. Taking smoke at Yuendumu, a Warlpiri community in central Australia as my subject, I aim to destabilise some of the certainties entrenched in this dichotomy.
Smoke, of course, is nigh impossible to pin down, literally as well as conceptually. So rather than trying to immobilise it, I follow in smoke’s own fashion and waft across different kinds of fires and different kinds of analytical approaches. Ethnographically, I draw a narrative picture of the different ways in which smoke at Yuendumu permeates everyday life by considering the smoke of breakfast fires, signalling fires, cooking fires during storms, caring-for-country fires, and the scent of cold smoke on blankets, clothes and bodies. Analytically, I move from smoke and how it relates to embodied Warlpiri ways of being in the world, to smoke and childhood socialisation, including baby smoking rituals. From there I shift to the smoke of caring-for-country fires, and on to smoke, memory, odourphilia and odourphobia. I conclude by pondering the potential of a smoke-like approach.



Gillian G. Tan

School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University

Differentiating Smoke: Smoke as duwa and Smoke from bsang on the Tibetan Plateau

pages 126-136

On the Tibetan plateau, smoke, either as by-product of heat-generating activities or intentionally produced, is ubiquitous. Wafts of smoke rising from the central flaps of black yak-hair tents in pastoral communities are mirrored by yak-dung smoke rising out of chimneys in stone houses of agricultural areas. Observers of summer horse races and other community events might note the presence of thick plumes of smoke emerging from pyres of dried branches, often placed within or near a cairn of stones and prayer flags or latse (T. la rdzas).  To a casual observer, the ever-present smoke might seem homogenous but, for Tibetans, smoke is expressive of multiple contexts and meanings. In this article, I attend to different kinds of smoke as they are articulated in the literature and experienced by nomadic pastoralists in eastern Tibet. Smoke as duwa (T. du ba, dud pa) from everyday activities including yak-dung burning and cigarette smoking and smoke from bsang (T. bsang)—a ritual complex of fumigation and purification—reveal that Tibetan perspectives distinguish kinds of smoke. Understanding where smoke comes from and the contexts of which it is part are crucial when attempting to delineate a conceptual and terminological category such as smoke. Tibetan phenomenological categories broadly prioritise vernacular ways of knowing and classifying, which presents a corrective to a dominant classification of smoke that could be used as rationale to resettle nomadic pastoralists and transform their way of life.



Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University

Monstrous Spectres: Chimneys and Their Smoke in Industrial Britain

pages 137-145

What does a chimney mean? As Britain industrialised, chimneys and smoke grew out of technological change and expanding manufacturing. Yet, as I demonstrate here, the substances of brick and particulates had – and have - more than material meaning. This article offers a brief ethnography of industrial chimneys and their smoke in Britain, from the nineteenth century to the smokeless, postindustrial present. Taking as my concern how chimneys and smoke have been ‘written’ into socio-spatial symbolism, I show their polarisation between triumphant spectacle and savage monstrosity. I then reflect on their current, spectral, presence.



Dena Sharrock

School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Newcastle

Smoky Boundaries, Permeable Selves: Exploring the Self in Relationship with the Amazonian Jungle Tobacco, Mapacho

pages 146-157

As more Westerners travel to the Amazon Jungle to seek healing through the increasingly popular plant medicine, ayahuasca, they are exposed to an environment pervaded by the use of tobacco smoke. Mapacho is the name of the potent jungle tobacco that is central to the shamanic practices of Amazonian plant medicine healing, regarded locally not as a pathogen but rather as a potent ally: a spirit that can be co-opted as a purifier, healer, protector and teacher. In order to render these functions available to patients, Mapacho must be smoked, its efficacy, along with that of the shaman, activated through the absorption of each into the other. By means of this relationship, Mapacho smoke pervades culturally-recognised boundaries of the Western Self, simultaneously permeating both the internal and external realms that constitute the healing environment. In this paper, I explore the relationship between Mapacho, Peruvian Shipibo shamans, and Western patients, suggesting that the boundaries that are often conceived by Westerners to distinguish each from the other may well be as smoky as the medicine practices they engage in.



Julia Brown

Department of Anthropology, Australian National University

‘Doing Things Little by Little’: Smoking and Vaping While Being Pharmaceutically Treated for Schizophrenia

pages 158-170

This paper explores the experiences of smoking and ‘vaping’ while being pharmaceutically treated for schizophrenia, as well as what the experiences of breathing smoke and vapour in and out can reveal about health ‘care’, toward the self and others. Drawing on ethnographic data collected over 2015-2016 in Australia and the UK, and particularly on patient experiences in the UK where electronic cigarettes had become an endorsed Nicotine Replacement Therapy, I argue that inhaling nicotine via e-cigarettes can, like tobacco cigarettes, be experienced in terms of temporal opportunities for self-reclamation and experiences of health. When patients opted to vape instead of smoke, their sense of self-reclamation allowed for shifted attention toward the movement and materiality of exhalations, and toward how second-hand vapour (compared to smoke) is socially received. Experiences of vaping were, however, contingent on the clinical endorsement of e-cigarettes, and were inconsistent inside and outside of clinical spaces. Further consideration should be given to vaping as a harm minimisation tool in Western societies dealing with widening disparities in health. Ultimately, clozapine-treated schizophrenia patients continue to smoke or vape for reasons that speak to the desire to make ‘time’; to find connections to life rather than focusing on death.


Simone Dennis

College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University

Analysing Smokefree: Notes on Senses, Smoke and Violence

pages 171-182

Throughout my fifteen-years-long exploration of tobacco smoking in Australia, I have analysed the practice and the legislation pertaining to it using sensory tools. Ten years distant from the beginning of my engagement with smoking, I can appreciate that a striking feature of the sensory analyses I have made is what they reveal of violence. Included here is (not only) the violence done to the smoker’s own body – by the biotechnology of cigarettes themselves, and by the state; the violence she does to nonsmoking others with her dangerous exhalations; and a kind of violence conducted against a critical anthropology by, precisely, a veraciously interventionist form of medical anthropology. In what follows I reveal some of these violences. In this paper, I use key examples that have featured in my published work before to make the related points that (a) sensory analyses are good for thinking about and revealing powerful relations and (b) that it really matters what kind of sensory analysis we do; some kinds, I suggest, might actually work to shore up the powerful conditions under which a topic, an issue or a problem has emerged. Others might lay those conditions bare and make plain their violent operations.



Georgia Curran

Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Music

On the Poetic Imagery of Smoke in Warlpiri Songs

pages 183-196

Smoke, an ever-present source of comfort in day-to-day Warlpiri lives, is also a powerful ritual symbol and theme in the poetic language of Warlpiri songs. Rather than signalling these soothing qualities, in this more formalised sung context, smoke symbolically alludes to tension, uncertainty and unknown liminal states of transition. Here, I analyse examples from Warlpiri song texts to argue that, rather than being a semantic paradox, the cultural symbolism surrounding smoke has a functional poetic purpose in that it flags circumstances of discomfort or unknown states within the Dreaming narratives upon which Warlpiri songs are centred. To illustrate this point, I analyse song imagery in which smoke and other visually similar phenomena are focal.


See/download the final papers at Taylor & Francis Online (subscription required)
See/download the pre-publication open access versions below.


(Guest Editor: Giovanni da Col)

  • Giovanni Da Col: Spirits of Uncertainty: Eventologies of Nature on China’s Frontiers
  • Stéphane Gros: Nature De-naturalised: Modes of Relation with the Environment among the Drung of Northwest Yunnan (China)
  • Magnus Fiskesjö: People First: The Wa World of Spirits and Other Enemies
  • Koen Wellens: Resilient Cosmologies: Water Deities and Divine Agency in Post-Mao China
  • Charles F. McKhann: Crimes Against Nature: Kincest, Cosmology, and Conservation in Southwest China
  • Admet Yuet Chau: Human Organs in Oil Tank Trucks: An Extractology



Guest Editor: Giovanni da Col

Giovanni Da Col

SOAS, University of London

Spirits of Uncertainty: Eventologies of Nature on China’s Frontiers

pages 307-320

Studies of the environmental spirit world have been pursuing two main lines of inquiry: (1) that indigenous claims on ecological thought, including beliefs in chthonic spirits and mountain deities, are the outcome of a global process of abstraction and the commoditisation of nature which acts as technology of governmentality for the production of discursive formations through which neoliberal environmental subjectivities can emerge and (2) that the pitfalls of the nature/culture dualism can be avoided by giving priority to nonhuman subjectivities and positing sociologies of nature as subordinate to ontologies of the self-other divide or action-orienting cosmologies of local ‘nature’. The contributors of this collection engage with the spirit worlds and other invisible agents that constitute the everyday landscape of a number of ethnic groups in western China. While declining to engage with the notion of animism or subscribing to totalising ‘cosmologies’, the authors prefer to extract the eventfulness of haphazard and radically uncertain interactions with spirits or wondrous signs apt to be transformed into marvels and rumours. The ethnographies presented in this collection reveal an eventology of spirit worlds and landscape on China’s borderlands, an inquiry that – unlike history – does not study ‘events’ as such but the relation between what is deemed to be an event, a surprise, or a manifestation of wonder and what is deemed to be the innate, natural, ordinary, everyday life.networks.


Stéphane Gros

Center for Himalayan Studies, CNRS, France

Nature De-naturalised: Modes of Relation with the Environment among the Drung of Northwest Yunnan (China)

pages 321-339

This article is about the ways the Drung (Dulong), a minority inhabiting a remote mountainous valley of Northwest Yunnan province (China), view the ‘natural world’ as part of a cosmological order in which human society is integrated. The article explores the principles of differentiation that preside over the modes of relation between the diverse components of this world, by paying close attention to subsistence activities. Until recently, the Drung people practised swidden agriculture, and hunting and collecting remained important secondary sources of food. These activities imply specific relationships with natural forces, deities and spirits, which constitute a socio-cultural means of accessing natural resources and obtaining prosperity, or ‘good fortune’. Four mutually non-exclusive modalities of transaction with these entities are identified, which capture the variability of peoples’ attitudes toward natural resources and ideas of social reproduction. Recent socio-economic reforms that have brought traditional cultivation to an end, threatening Drung people’s livelihood and culture, seem to influence the dominance of a certain modality of economic transaction.


Magnus Fiskesjö

Cornell University

People First: The Wa World of Spirits and Other Enemies

pages 340-364

The Wa spirit world implies a certain rootedness. Knowledge of the location and propensities of spirits is necessary to engage their capricious menace through divination diagnostics and sacrificial remedies. Even as outsiders have attempted to introduce modern medicine, spirit neighbours and enemies continue to figure prominently in Wa health, disease and death. I outline how these practices for managing the menaces of the spirit world survived the demise of the political autonomy of the Wa in the 1950s and 1960s, when the ancient Wa lands were divided and annexed by the nation-states of China and Burma. Finally, I discuss the disastrous consequences of recent forced displacements of large numbers of people, which caused many unnecessary deaths by disrupted the victim’s established ways of dealing with disease as anchored in the local landscape.


Koen Wellens

University of Oslo

Resilient Cosmologies: Water Deities and Divine Agency in Post-Mao China

pages 365-381

This article explores ritual practices among the Premi people in Southwest China at the beginning of the new millennium. Living in the periphery of Tibetan, Han Chinese and other Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups, Premi villagers have continued to keep an understanding of how the world works that is markedly different from their neighbours. The all-encompassing economic development of China is posing new challenges to the intangible entities in Premi cosmology. In its management of forests, waterways or birth control, the Chinese state is increasingly interfering with Premi ways of dealing with their surroundings. The chapter proposes to focus on the way one category of intangible entities of Premi cosmology, the lwéjabu or water deities, are seen as acting towards these challenges, rather than on the underlying ontological changes. An event where a member of a neighbouring ethnic group becomes an unwitting participant in a Premi medium séance makes the case for approaching extra-human forms of agency by beginning with the ‘work’ or ‘effect’ of the divine entities.


Charles F. McKhann

Department of Anthropology, Whitman College, Walla Walla

Crimes Against Nature: Kincest, Cosmology, and Conservation in Southwest China

pages 382-401

The post-Mao era (1976–present) has seen a number of great changes in China. Two of these – the revival of religion and the emergence of a nascent, but powerful environmental movement – have come together in a unique way in the revitalisation of dongba religion among the Naxi nationality (pop. 300,000) of northwest Yunnan and southwest Sichuan provinces. This paper examines the relations between indigenous Naxi and outside tourists (mainly Han from other parts of China) through multiple lenses, including traditional Naxi cosmologies and theories of kinship and hospitality, as well as contemporary ideas concerning tourism development and environmental protection. The aim is to show that: (1) Naxi theories of alterity occur at multiple levels simultaneously – gods/demons vs. humans, kin vs. non-kin, native vs. stranger, host vs. guest, etc. – but that a unified logic underlies the relations, transactions, and interpenetration of these groups and (2) this logic is a productive force in its own right, that is, capable of harnessing new situations to it, even as it itself evolves as novel meanings are engendered in the process of intentional action. In all of this, one figure stands out: the dongba, a traditional shaman-priest viewed as a kind of mediator or facilitator in interactions and exchanges involving a wide range of human and non-human subjects.


Admet Yuet Chau

Department of East Asian Studies, University of Cambridge

Human Organs in Oil Tank Trucks: An Extractology

pages 402-421

Since the 1980s the northern part of Shaanbei (northern Shaanxi Province) and neighbouring areas of Inner Mongolia have been experiencing a huge economic boom, thanks to the discovery and successful extraction of coal, oil, and natural gas. While conducting fieldwork on the revival of popular religion in this region in the mid- and late 1990s, I came across various stories relating to suspicions of human organs being transported in large oil tank trucks going out of Shaanbei. Could there have been a link between what is invisible that lies underneath the surface of the earth (coal and oil) and those that lie within human bodies but then allegedly taken out and transported in oil tank trucks (human organs)? This article proposes an ‘extractological’ approach that brings together yet diverges from the methodological and theoretical concerns in anthropological studies on extractive industries and the commercialisation of human organ transplants. In analysing the image of ‘human organs in oil tank trucks’ in juxtaposition with various other pertinent extractological scenarios, an analytical tack emerges, crucially drawing upon Carlo Severi’s work on images and pictography, that goes beyond (or by-passes?) the anti-extraction politics of indignation and points towards an anthropology of conceptual interfacing and articulation (through investigating various kinds of ‘conceptual clutches’).







See/download the final papers at Taylor & Francis Online (subscription required)
See/download the pre-publication open access versions below.


(Guest Editors: Peter Monteath & Matthew P. Fitzpatrick)

  • Peter Monteath & Matthew P. Fitzpatrick: German Missionaries and Australian Anthropology
  • Felicity Jensz: ‘Anthropological Investigation has Very Little Interest for Me’: Notes from Moravian Missionaries in Australia
  • Peggy Brock: Evangelism, Ethnography and Linguistics: Carl Strehlow and J. R. B. Love
  • Peter Monteath: Erhard Eylmann’s Missionary Position


  • Tanya Jakimow: Becoming a Developer: Processes of Personhood in Urban Community-driven Development, Indonesia


Guest editors: Peter Monteath & Matthew P. Fitzpatrick


Peter Monteath and Matthew P. Fitzpatrick

College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

German Missionaries and Australian Anthropology

pages 197-208

In their primary task of converting Indigenous Australians to Christianity, German missions active in various parts of Australia through the nineteenth and into the twentieth century recorded relatively few successes. On the other hand, their endeavours in observing and recording Aboriginal languages and cultures have left a rich – and yet frequently overlooked – anthropological legacy. A common element in that legacy is their work in the area of linguistics, which they understood to be a necessary foundation for their evangelical work. Nonetheless, caution must be exercised in evaluating the German missionary contribution to Australian anthropology according to either national or religious paradigms. German anthropology, as practised within the community of missionaries and outside, evinces a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. Moreover German anthropologists, including missionaries, were by the late nineteenth century connected into international knowledge networks.


Felicity Jensz

Cluster of Excellence for Religion and Politics, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany

‘Anthropological Investigation has Very Little Interest for Me’: Notes from Moravian Missionaries in Australia

pages 209-223

As some of the first people to spend extended amounts of time with Indigenous peoples, missionaries were well placed to provide information to European and colonial audiences on non-European peoples. Moravian missionaries arrived in Australia in the mid-nineteenth century and over the next six decades worked amongst numerous Indigenous groups in the south-eastern part of Australia, in the interior, and in northern Queensland. This paper will trace the contributions made by German Moravian missionaries to anthropological and ethnographical knowledge both in the colonies as well as in Germany. It will particularly focus upon the connections forged in religious and scientific networks through anthropological work. The paper contends that a unified German identity was forged through scientific work that transcended denominational boundaries. Moreover, the ability to disseminate ethnographical knowledge within secular circles, both in the colonies and in Germany, provided legitimisation to missionary work and embedded missionaries within global knowledge networks. Through examining the work of one individual missionary, Friedrich Hagenauer, the fragility of these global knowledge networks is explored.


Peggy Brock

Edith Cowan University - Mount Lawley Campus, North Adelaide, South Australia

Evangelism, Ethnography and Linguistics: Carl Strehlow and J. R. B. Love

pages 224-239

This article considers the intersection of evangelism, ethnography and linguistics in the work of two missionaries living among Aboriginal communities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Carl Strehlow was one of several German missionaries working in central Australia in the 1890s and into the twentieth century. J. R. B. Love met Strehlow briefly in 1913, but did not become a fully committed missionary himself until the 1920s. This paper first considers Strehlow’s evangelical, linguistic and ethnographic interests in relation to some of his German contemporaries, before comparing his approach to that of the younger, Presbyterian, Love to elucidate the inter-relationships between evangelism, linguistics and ethnography in the 1890s and early twentieth century in Australia.


Peter Monteath

College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Erhard Eylmann’s Missionary Position

pages 240-255

The German anthropologist Erhard Eylmann relied heavily on assistance provided by missionaries when he undertook fieldwork in Australia. During two periods at the Hermannsburg mission he developed a strained relationship with Carl Strehlow. In his major work Eylmann wrote a damning critique of missionaries. While there was a level of personal animosity between Eylmann and Strehlow, at the heart of the antagonism were fundamental differences concerning the nature and function of the discipline of anthropology. The missionaries sought anthropological knowledge to promote mutual understanding, above all through language, as a prelude to conversion to Christianity. They proceeded from the assumption that the future of Indigenous Australians would be within the context of the adoption of Christian belief systems. Eylmann in contrast took the view that the differences between Europeans and Indigenous Australians were physical, essential and insuperable. Sceptical about the possibility of achieving mutual understanding, he devoted his fieldwork primarily to describing, recording and collecting for the purpose of assembling a detailed record of a population he believed destined for extinction. Eylmann and German missionary anthropologists such as Strehlow had in common that they stood outside the paradigm of British social evolutionistic thinking which dominated Australian anthropology around the turn of the century at the time. At the same time, the differences in the anthropological endeavours of Eylmann and Strehlow indicate the great breadth of approaches opening up within German anthropology. In particular they point to the emergence of an ‘antihumanist’ turn at the end of the nineteenth century.




Tanya Jakimow

School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia

Becoming a Developer: Processes of Personhood in Urban Community-driven Development, Indonesia

pages 256-276

Community-driven development in Indonesia requires the recruitment of volunteers: local residents with the will to develop themselves and others. By revealing the processes of personhood in light of volunteers’ own theories of self, I aim to disrupt simple readings of subjectification in the anthropology of development. Local volunteers understand their recruitment as having the opportunity to occupy a social position that is aligned with their jiwa (nature), and their participation as satisfying their hati (seat of emotion). Rather than assess the success or failure of state actions to regulate or constitute citizens through discursive and affective means, I take seriously this understanding of development as a process of locating and recruiting people predisposed to becoming the subjects of state development. Doing so prompts new lines of enquiry that have been overlooked in understanding processes of subjectification in development: namely the reason why some people are recruited as development subject, while the majority are not.




Margaret Lock and Gisli Palsson. Can Science Resolve the Nature/Nurture Debate? (Jocelyn D. Avery)

Julian C.H. Lee.Thoughts: On Malaysia, Globalisation, Society and Self.(May Ting Beh)

Abhijit Guha. Tarak Chandra Das: An Unsung Hero of Indian Anthropology (Roma Chatterji)

Barbara Glowczewski. Desert Dreamers: With the Warlpiri People of Australia.(Georgia Curran)

Shane Greene. Punk and Revolution: 7 More Interpretations of Peruvian Reality (Jim Donaghey)

Maurice Godelier. L’Imaginé, l’imaginaire & le Symbolique (Laurent Dousset)

Stephen Gudeman. Anthropology and the Economy (Keith Hart)

Elisabeth Schober. Base Encounters: The US Armed Forces in South Korea (Masamichi Inoue)

Victoria Stead. Becoming Landowners: Entanglements of Custom and Modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.(Stuart Kirsch)

Emma Kowal. Trapped in the Gap: Doing Good in Aboriginal Australia (Jasmin Korte)

Emily Martin. The Meaning of Money in China and the United States: The 1986 Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures (Lara McKenzie)

Brad Weiss. Real Pigs: Shifting Values in the Field of Local Pork.(Adele Millard)

Carlo Severi. The Chimera Principle: An Anthropology of Memory and Imagination (Roger Sansi)

Frederick H. Damon. Trees, Knots, and Outriggers: Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring (Paul Sillitoe)

Loretta Baldassar, Graeme Johanson, Narelle McAuliffe and Massimo Bressan. Chinese Migration to Europe: Prato, Italy, and Beyond (Mette Thunø)




See/download the final papers at Taylor & Francis Online (subscription required)
See/download the pre-publication open access versions below.

  • Yasmine Musharbash: Telling Warlpiri Dog Stories
  • Stephanie Ketterer Hobbis and Geoffrey Hobbis: Voter Integrity, Trust and the Promise of Digital Technologies: Biometric Voter Registration in Solomon Islands
  • Frederic Pain: Local versus Trans-Regional Perspectives on Southeast Asian ‘Indianness’ 


Yasmine Musharbash

Department of Anthropology, The University of Sydney

Telling Warlpiri Dog Stories

pages 95-113

Ostensibly about dingoes and dogs, this paper explores aspects of the contemporary social world of Warlpiri people in the camps of the central Australian settlement of Yuendumu (Northern Territory) through canines. Analyses of dog socialisation, kinds of domestication, and the roles that camp dogs perform (such as protector, family, and witness) provide insights into Warlpiri notions of moral personhood, and are employed to reflect about the ethical foundations of how the oppositional categories of Yapa (self, Indigenous, Black, colonised) and Kardiya (other, non-Indigenous, ‘whitefella’, coloniser) are conceptualised.



Stephanie Ketterer Hobbisand Geoffrey Hobbis2

a) University of British Columbia
b) Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, EHESS - CREDO

Voter Integrity, Trust and the Promise of Digital Technologies: Biometric Voter Registration in Solomon Islands

pages 114-134

Drawing on the anthropology of technology, this article examines the introduction of a digital biometric voter registration for Solomon Islands 2014 national election. Four perspectives on biometric voting are brought into dialogue: (1) the technological particularities, strengths and shortcomings of BVR, (2) a global and international embrace of the technology for its perceived ‘universal’ tendency to secure identities, (3) efforts by the Solomon Islands state to showcase its political stability by means of BVR and (4) the ways village-based voters come to understand, interpret and re-imagine BVR as political technology. We show how, within the ethnographic context of North Malaita, debates surrounding BVR reveal a continued distrust and uncertainty in North Malaitans’ relationship with the Solomon Islands state and its representatives. Within the context of this uncertainty BVR is re-imagined as technology that aids voter integrity within rather than beyond patronage networks.



Frederic Pain

Academia Sinica, Taipei
Laboratoire Langues et Civilisation à Tradition Orale, Paris (CNRS-LACITO, UMR 7107)

Local versus Trans-Regional Perspectives on Southeast Asian ‘Indianness’

pages 135-154

This article is an attempt to define the concept ‘(Southeast Asian) Indianness’ through a comparative approach based on a local vs. trans-regional perspective. I shall analyse the complex relationships that develop between a trans-local, urban and literate Indo-Aryan Great Tradition and a local, rural and oral Little Tradition. First, I shall tackle the question of whether literacy has any socio-religious relevance and endeavour to identify its relationship to orality. I will subsequently analyse the (re-)Indianisation process as a socio-political construct and will finally propose some re-readings of ‘Aryapheresis’ (i.e. ‘Indian [Ārya] Transplant’ [phérein]), which I believe has been applied wrongly in some cases, to some Southeast Asian Indian-based socio-cultural realities. 




  • Sean Brennan, Megan Davis, Brendan Edgeworth and Leon Terrill (eds). Native Title from Mabo to Akiba: A Vehicle for Change and Empowerment? (Paul Burke)
  • Bill Maurer. How Would You Like to Pay? How Technology is Changing the Future of Money (John Cox)
  • Katherine A. Gordy. Living ideology in Cuba: socialism in principle and practice (Marina Gold)
  • Susanne Bregnbæk. Fragile Elite: The Dilemmas of China’s Top University Students (Gil Hizi)
  • Catherine Besteman. Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine (Jennifer Hyndman)
  • Jennifer Loureide Biddle. Remote Avant-Garde: Aboriginal Art Under Occupation (Darren Jorgensen)
  • Jared Mackley-Crump. The Pacific Festivals of Aotearoa New Zealand. Negotiating Place and Identity in a New Homeland (Jari Kupiainen)
  • Alison Holland. Just relations: The Story of Mary Bennett’s Crusade for Aboriginal Rights (Marilyn Lake)
  • Alice Street. Biomedicine in an Unstable Place: Infrastructure and Personhood in a Papua New Guinean Hospital (David Lipset)
  • Paolo Gaibazzi. Bush Bound: Young Men and Rural Permanence in Migrant West Africa (Isidore Lobnibe)
  • Ernesto De Martino, translated and annotated by Dorothy Louise Zinn. Magic: A Theory from the South (Fraser MacDonald)
  • Daniel Fisher. The Voice and its Doubles: Media and Music in Northern Australia (Toby Martin)
  • Yasmine Musharbash and Geir Henning Presterudstuen (eds). Monster Anthropology: In Australasia and Beyond (Caroline Joan ‘Kay’ S. Picart)
  • Douglas Rogers . The depths of Russia: Oil, power, and Culture after Socialism (Stephen Reyna)
  • Daniel H. Lende and Greg Downey (eds). The Encultured brain: An introduction to Neuroanthropology (Sally Robertson)
  • Jerry K. Jacka. Alchemy in the Rain Forest: Politics, Ecology and Resilience in a New Guinea Mining Area (Richard Scaglion)
  • Isabell Herrmans. Ritual Retellings: Luangan Healing Performances Through Practice (Anne Schiller)
  • Nils Bubandt. The Empty Seashell: Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island (Patricia Spyer)
  • Jean La Fontaine. Witches and Demons: A Comparative Perspective on Witchcraft and Satanism (Phillips Stevens)
  • Caroline Joan S. Picart. Law in and as Culture – Intellectual Property, Minority Rights, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Tine Suartina)
  • Debra McDougall. Engaging with Strangers: Love and Violence in the Rural Solomon Islands (Geoffrey White)