What is day-to-day life like for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities who live in group homes? How do they express their desires and wishes? How do care workers think about them and treat them? Do they have basic rights to activities most of us take for granted: activities like sociability, sexuality, and moral affirmation?
Narrowed Lives is an illuminating portrait of what life is like in Finnish group homes where adults who have profound intellectual and multiple disabilities live their lives. Based upon ethnographic data, it documents how care workers strive to guarantee individuality and dignity against a backdrop of scarce resources and misguided policies. This book argues that the lives of people with profound disabilities need not be determined by their impairments. It calls for a re-evaluation of disability policy so that its underlying conviction of people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities as equally valuable fellow humans would materialise in practice.Book Details
By invoking Flora Nwapa, this monograph draws attention to Nigerian women writers in world literature, with an emphasis on femininity and spirituality. Flora Nwapa’s Efuru (1966) was the first internationally published novel in English by a female African writer. With the establishment of Tana Press in 1977, Flora Nwapa also became the first female publisher in Africa. Although Flora Nwapa has been recognized as the ‘mother of modern African literature’, she is not sufficiently acknowledged in world literary canons or world literature studies, which is something this monograph aspires to redress, with the help of earlier studies, especially Nigerian scholarship. Drawing on the Efuru@50 celebration in Nigeria in 2016, this book explores the revival of Flora Nwapa’s fame as the pioneer of African women’s literature. Using an ethnographic rather than biographical approach, it captures Flora Nwapa’s literary practice in the context of the Nigerian literary scene and its interlinkages with world literature. The ethnographic portrayal of Flora Nwapa is complemented with an exposé of a select number of contemporary Nigerian women writers, based on interviews during fieldwork in Nigeria. The book uses concepts like creolized aesthetics and womanist worldmaking to advance scholarly understandings of world literature, which is conceived here as a pluriverse of aesthetic worlds.
Exploring experimental ethnographic writing, the book combines the genres of creative non-fiction, descriptive ethnography and scholarly analysis, in an effort to make the text more accessible to academic as well as non-academic readers. Through travel notes the experience of fieldwork is shared in a candid manner. Detailed ethnography from the Efuru@50 literary festival is presented to show the expansion of Flora Nwapa’s fame. In-depth analyses of Flora Nwapa’s literary works and the cultural context of her literary practice cover a wide range of themes, from feminine storytelling and children’s literature, to publishing and digitalization. The theoretical discussion draws on anthropological, literary and African womanist theory to contextualize and explore the central themes of femininity and spirituality in world literature.
Inspired by the social change perspective of African womanism and critical decolonial theory, the book makes a contribution to current efforts to explore a more socially just and environmentally sustainable world of many worlds. Paying close attention to gender complementarity and sacred engagements in Flora Nwapa’s literary worldmaking, it shows how world literature can help us create other possible worlds of human, spiritual and environmental coexistence.Book Details
This book aims to investigate the taking and giving of hostages in peace processes during the Viking Age and early Middle Ages in Scandinavia and adjacent areas. Scandinavia has been absent in previous research about hostages from the perspectives of legal and social history, which has mostly focused on Antiquity (the Roman Empire), Continental Germanic cultures, such as the Merovingian realm, and Anglo-Saxon England.
The examples presented are from confrontations between Scandinavians and other peoples in which the hostage giving and taking was displayed as a ritual act and thus became symbolically important. Hostages were a vital part of the peace processes and used as resources by both sides in the ‘areas of communication’ within the ‘areas of confrontation’. Literary texts as well as runic inscriptions, picture stones, place names, and personal names are used as source material.
‘It is a work of very high academic quality. It is based upon meticulous and thorough studies of a great variety of sources. The author has definitely a very good knowledge of the source material. It is a very good study of a previously neglected research field.’ — Thomas Lindkvist, Professor emeritus, University of GothenburgBook Details
The authors of the present volume, Myth, Materiality, and Lived Religion, focus on the material dimension of Old Norse mythology and the role played by myths in everyday life. More broadly expressed, the collection looks at the social, ceremonial and material contexts of myths. This topic has been underexplored in previous research on Old Norse myths, despite its important theoretical implications. However, discussions around materiality, in a more general sense, have for a long time been significant for historians of religion, especially archaeologists. Myth, Materiality, and Lived Religion seeks to make the case for the relevance of materiality to literary historians and philologists as well.
Questions relating to the theme of materiality and lived religion are posed in this book, including:
• What do myths tell us about the material culture of the periods in which they were narrated?
• What role did myths or mythical beings play in connection to, for instance, illnesses and remedies during the Viking Period and the Middle Ages?
• How did ordinary people experience participation in a more formal sacrificial feast led by ritual specialists?
The editors of this book are all associated with the Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Genders Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden.Book Details
Hur blir de svenska migranterna i södra Spanien en livsstilsdiaspora?
Huvudaktören i denna bok är de stora nordiska sociala föreningarna i södra Spanien och de verksamheter de utvecklar för att främja svenskarnas sammanhållning. Studien visar att föreningarna går i spetsen för en diasporisk mobilisering av en svensk gemenskap. Detta görs genom att erbjuda de svenska migranterna sociala arenor, innehållsrika aktiviteter och service av olika slag. Föreningarna kan på så sätt underlätta migranternas förverkligande av sina livsstilsprojekt samtidigt som de också snitslar en väg in i Spaniensverige. Boken handlar om hur diasporagemenskap görs genom en mobilisering kring livsstilsprojektet där ålder, klass och transnationalitet är viktiga ingredienser.
"Guiden till Spaniensverige" (The Guide to Spanish-Sweden) is an ethnographic account on the mobilisation of a social community of Swedish migrants who otherwise belongs to the diverse networks of lifestyle migrants or resident tourists in Southern Spain. The book is based on interviews with people who are engaged in Scandinavian associations/clubs or in other ways involved in practices which are associated with a Swedish community in Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol, which are two main destinations for lifestyle migrants in Spain. In addition the analysis is based on the discursive material that the social clubs, and to some extent other organisations and networks, are using in the service to their members.
The book demonstrates how the practices of the large Scandinavian social clubs, but also other organisations like the Swedish church and some of the business associations, are operating at the locus of an ethnic and transnationalised form of community-making. The offering of a home-like social arena with social and cultural activities are privileging the Swedish language and the Swedish origin. This study concludes that the social practices employed by the clubs are guiding potential members to a social space in which preferably ‘senior’ Swedish migrants meet, socialise, and, to some extent, also consume in ‘Swedish’. The book argues that the practices of the social clubs reveal the contours and infrastructure of a lifestyle diaspora in which a comfortable life in Spain – but in Swedish and with maintained relations with the Swedish society – is accentuated and given priority.Book Details