Archives and the Cultural Heritage
The edited volume Archives and the Cultural Heritage focuses on archives as institutions and to their tense relationship with archives as material. These dynamics are discussed in respect of the past, the present, and the future. The focus lies in the mechanisms the Finnish archive institutions have utilised when taking part in forming the cultural heritage and in debating the importance of the private archives in society.
Within social sciences and history from the early 1990s onwards, the effects of globalisation have been seen as a new focal point for research. Momentarily, the archives saw the same paradigm shift as the focus of the archival studies proceeded from state to society. This brought forth the notion that the values of society are reflected in the acquisition of archival material. This archival turn draws attention to the archives as entities formed by cultural practices.
The volume discusses cultural heritage within Finnish archives with diverse perspectives and from various time periods. The key concepts are cultural heritage and archives – both as institution and as material. Articles review the formation of archival collections spanning from the 19th to the 21st century and highlight that the archives have never been neutral or objective actors; rather, they have always been an active process of remembering and forgetting, a matter of inclusion and exclusion.
The focus is on private archives and on the choices that guided the creation of the archives and the cultural perceptions and power structures associated with them. Although private archives have considerable social and research value, and although their material complements the picture of society provided by documentary data produced by public administrations, they have only risen to the theoretical discussions in the 21st century.
The authors consider what has happened before the material ends up in the archive, what happens in the archive and what can be deduced from this. It shows how archival solutions manifest themselves, how they have influenced research and how they still affect it. One of the key questions is whose past has been preserved and whose is deemed worthy of preservation. Under what conditions have the permanently preserved documents been selected and how can they be accessed? In addition, the volume pays attention to whose documents have been ignored or forgotten, as well as to the networks and power of the individuals within the archival institution and to the politics of memory.
The Archives and the Cultural Heritage is an opening to a discussion on the mechanisms, practices and goals of Finnish archival activities. It challenges archival organisations to reflect on their own operating models and to make visible their own conscious or unconscious choices. It raises awareness of the formation of the Finnish documentary cultural heritage, produces new information about private archives and participates in the scientific debate on the changing significance of archives in society.
The volume is related to the Academy of Finland research project “Making and Interpreting National Pasts – Role of Finnish Archives as Networks of Power and Sites of Memory” (no 25257, 2011–2014/2019), University of Turku. Project partners Finnish Literature Society (SKS) and Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS).Book Details
For the first time worldwide, this collection brings together analyses of the last two centuries of historical change around the shores and drainage basin of Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest lake. The main focus of the narrative is the Northern Ladoga region, which was a Finnish administrative area between 1812 and 1944. After the Second World War, the entire shoreline of Lake Ladoga was incorporated into the northeast part of Russia’s border region, the Autonomous Republic of Karelia and the Leningrad Province.
The main theme uniting this collection is how the relationship between humans and nature is shaped by industrialization and modernization in society. Other key issues include protecting nature and perspectives on particular places and times, which are reflected in the methodological and thematic choices made in this volume.
The research framework set by the editor, Professor Maria Lähteenmäki, is the new lakefront history (Finn. uusi rantahistoria), focusing on approaches to environmental, economic and sensory history of lakes. To draw broad conclusions, on the one hand, the multilevel changes on the lakefront cannot be understood without knowledge of the history of the wider drainage basin, and awareness of the geopolitics of the region and the climate changes. On the other hand, the human relationship to natural waters has changed significantly in 200 years. Thinking in terms of economic benefit has gradually given way to principles of sustainable development. Lake Ladoga is also being redefined from a spatial perspective, as nationalist ownership of the region is coupled with global concern about the state of Europe’s largest lake.Book Details
This book is the first edited volume focusing on handwritten newspapersas an alternative medium from a wide interdisciplinary and internationalperspective. Our primary focus is on handwritten newspapers as a socialpractice. The case studies contextualize the source materials in relation topolitical, cultural, literary, and economic history. The analysis reveals bothcontinuity and change across the different forms and functions of the textualmaterials.
In the 16th century, handwritten newspapers evolved as a news mediumreporting history in the making. It was both a rather expensive publiccommodity and a gift exchanged in social relationships. Both functionsappealed to public elites and their news consumption for about 300 years.From the late 18th century onwards, changing notions of publicness as well asthe social needs of private or even secluded groups re-defined the medium.Handwritten newspapers turned more and more into an internal or evenclandestine medium of communication. As such, it has served as a meansto create social cohesion, political debate, and religious education for nonelitegroups until the 20th century. Despite these changes, continuities canbe observed both in the material layout of handwritten newspapers and thepractices of distribution.Book Details
This volume analyses the societal legacy of Lutheranism in Finland in broad terms. It contributes to the recent renewed interest in the history of religion in Finland and the Nordic countries by bringing together researchers in history, political science, economics, social psychology, education, linguistics, media studies, and theology to examine the mutual relationship between Lutheranism and society in Finland. The two main foci are (i) the historical effects of the Reformation and its aftermath on societal structures and on national identity, values, linguistic culture, education, and the economy, and (ii) the adaptation of the church – and its theology – to changes in the geo-political and sociocultural context. Important sub-themes include nationalism and religion, the secularization and institutionalization of traditional values, multiple Protestant ethics, and long continuities in history. Overall the book argues that large changes in societies cannot be explained via ‘secular’ factors alone, such as economic development or urbanization, but that factors pertaining to religion provide substantial explanatory power for understanding societal change and the resulting societal structures.Book Details
With so much of the global population living on the move, away from their homelands, and in diasporic communities, death and mourning practices are inevitably impacted. Transnational Death brings together eleven cutting-edge articles from the emerging field of transnational death studies. By highlighting European, Asian, North American, and Middle Eastern perspectives, the collection provides timely and fresh analysis and reflection on people’s changing experiences with death in the context of migration over time. First beginning with a thematic assessment of the field of transnational death studies, readers then have the opportunity to delve into case studies that examine experiences with death and mourning at a distance from the viewpoints of Family, Community, and Commemoration. The chapters highlight complicated issues confronting migrants, their families, and communities, including: negotiations of burial preferences and challenges of corpse repatriation; the financial costs of providing end-of-life care, travel at times of death, and arranging culturally appropriate funerals and religious services; as well as the emotional and sociocultural weight of mourning and commemoration from afar. Overall, Transnational Death provides new insights on identity and belonging, community reciprocity, transnational communication, and spaces of mourning and commemoration.Book Details
Health and healing have been central concerns throughout human history. Individuals and societies have devised multiple ways to health. Healing practices have often been linked to questions of knowledge, power, politics, and morals. The limits of acceptable healing have been contested by men and women, priests and doctors, elites and commoners, indigenous peoples and colonialists. Successful healers have sometimes been labeled as witches, quacks, or dangerous political agitators.
The contributions in this volume concentrate on healing in global history with case studies about Finland, southern Asia and Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean and North America. They discuss medical pluralism and consider the arguments for and against individual healers and different healing systems. The authors focus on the popularity of medical systems, the appropriation and adoption of healing practices in cross-cultural contexts, and the prohibition of certain forms of healing.Book Details
The divine kingship and chiefship of the Asante people of central Ghana have been undergoing a shift towards secularization since the start of the colonial era. Timo Kallinen maintains that a close examination of this transformation provides us with a better understanding of secularization processes in Ghana more broadly, and in other post-colonial societies whose historical development likewise differs from that of the modern West, and which have largely confronted secular modernity through encounters with European colonialism. Throughout the volume secularization is understood as a process in modern society whereby divinity is separated from the ways in which both human society is regulated and physical nature is understood to function.
Divine Rulers in a Secular State has been divided into three thematic parts, each with a short theoretical introduction. In the first two, analysis is primarily inspired by the work of Louis Dumont, while in the third the theoretical ideas of Webb Keane and Bruno Latour are of central importance. The undifferentiated order of the pre-colonial Asante kingdom, in which the chiefly and priestly functions of the rulers were not separated, comprises the initial focus. Sacrifices and marriage exchanges, both of which were directed at establishing and perpetuating relations between the living and the spirits of the dead ancestors, are posited as the most important responsibilities of the chief. Also explored are perceptions that the founding of the kingdom and its authority structure are the results of sacrifices offered to various gods by the Asante king and his chiefs.
The second part examines the dissolution of the traditional order since the onset of British colonial occupation. The secularization process was initiated by the aspirations of colonial administrators and missionary bodies who aimed to maintain Christian converts under the ‘political’ authority of their non-Christian chiefs, who were still important ritual leaders. Consequently, it was necessary to start dividing society along ‘political’ and ‘religious’ lines so that only the former was a mandatory concern for all. The kernel of modern citizenship was planted at the same time as the ‘religious’ conscience of individuals started to shape their rights and duties towards their ‘political’ rulers. Furthermore, theories about Asante as a state based on contract and representation were proposed and developed. In the post-colonial era chiefship has been put into the service of the independent nation state – both as an instrument of administration and a nationalistic symbol, while, most recently, chiefs have been depicted as leaders in civil society, even receiving support from global developmental organizations. Yet traditional chieftaincy is strongly criticized by certain Christian groups belonging to the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement, which still see it as integrally linked to traditional cosmologies.
The third part of the book takes the discussion beyond the separation of the categories of religion and politics. Secularization has also has also entailed the dematerialization of religion, establishing it as something that ought to be understood primarily as mental or spiritual; in a secular society ‘things’ like deities, witchcraft, or sacrifices should not be recognized as proper agents and actions at the level of immanent relations. In Ghana such views are effectively contradicted by religious groups which see spiritual forces as the most powerful agents in social relations. The cases discussed deal with attempted state control of anti-witchcraft activities, the efficiency of protective magic during political upheavals, and Pentecostal notions of demonic influences in secular politics. The Conclusions section brings the themes of the book together by discussing the large-scale effects of the secular project in contemporary Ghanaian society.
Research is based on anthropological fieldwork conducted in Ghana in 2000–2001 and 2005–2006, data drawn from several archival sources located in Ghana and the United Kingdom, and the anthropological and historical literature on Ghana and the Asante.Book Details
This book presents, above all, a study of the establishment and development of the Soviet organization and system of fashion industry and design as it gradually evolved in the years after the Second World War in the Soviet Union, which was, in the understanding of its leaders, reaching the mature or last stage of socialism when the country was firmly set on the straight trajectory to its final goal, Communism. What was typical of this complex and extensive system of fashion was that it was always loyally subservient to the principles of the planned socialist economy. This did not by any means indicate that everything the designers and other fashion professionals did was dictated entirely from above by the central planning agencies. Neither did it mean that their professional judgment would have been only secondary to ideological and political standards set by the Communist Party and the government of the Soviet Union. On the contrary, as our study shows, the Soviet fashion professionals had a lot of autonomy. They were eager and willing to exercise their own judgment in matters of taste and to set the agenda of beauty and style for Soviet citizens.
The present book is the first comprehensive and systematic history of the development of fashion and fashion institutions in the Soviet Union after the Second World War. Our study makes use of rich empirical and historical material that has been made available for the first time for scientific analysis and discussion. The main sources for our study came from the state, party and departmental archives of the former Soviet Union. We also make extensive use of oral history and the writings published in Soviet popular and professional press.Book Details
The chapters of Fibula, Fabula, Fact – The Viking Age in Finland are intended to provide essential foundations for approaching the important topic of the Viking Age in Finland. These chapters are oriented to provide introductions to the sources, methods and perspectives of diverse disciplines in a way that is accessible to specialists from other fields, specialists from outside Finland, and also to non-specialist readers and students who may be more generally interested in the topic. Rather than detailed case studies, the contributors have sought to negotiate definitions of the Viking Age as a historical period in the cultural areas associated with modern-day Finland, and in areas associated with Finns, Karelians and other North Finnic linguistic-cultural groups more generally. Within the incredible diversity of data and disciplines represented here, the Viking Age tends to be distinguished by differentiating it from earlier and later periods, while the geographical space is quite fluidly defined for this era, which was long before the construction of modern nations with their fenced and guarded borders. Most significantly, the contributions lay emphasis on contextualizing the Viking Age within the complexities of defining cultural identities in the past through traces of cultural, linguistic or genetic features.
The volume opens with a general introduction to the topic that is intended to provide a frame of reference for discussion, paralleled by a closing afterward. The following chapters are organized according to three thematic sections which reflect the three aspects of any discussion of the Viking Age in Finland: Time, Space, and People – because any discussion of the ‘Viking Age’ in ‘Finland’ is necessarily concerned with individuals, societies and cultures.Book Details
In the mid-19th century, letters to newspapers in Finland began to condemn a practice known as home thievery, in which farm mistresses pilfered goods from their farms to sell behind the farm master’s back. Why did farm mistresses engage home thievery and why were writers so harsh in their disapproval of it? Why did many men in their letters nonetheless sympathize with women’s pilfering? What opinions did farm daughters express?
This book explores theoretical concepts of agency and power applied to the 19th-century context and takes a closer look at the family patriarch, resistance to patriarchal power by farm mistresses and their daughters, and the identities of those Finnish men who already in the 1850s and 1860s sought to defend the rights of rural farm women.Book Details