International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, ed. Hillary Callan
In political philosophy and in general use, “sovereignty” refers to supreme political authority within a territory. This meaning is limited to state sovereignty, a usage that emerged with the modern state. Anthropology, however, has historically taken a wider view of sovereignty, in line with the discipline's more expansive understanding of the political. In line with constructivist political theory thatviews sovereignty as an everyday
On Critical Times: Return, Repetition, and the Uncanny Present
This article posits that the vernacular understanding of crisis as existing in a different sort of time needs to be mined for what it tells us about social perceptions of temporality. Using three ethnographic examples from Cyprus, I ask here what temporal features we may identify that lead our interlocutors to see certain periods as “times of crisis”. In particular, I propose a notion that I call the uncanny present to refer to a particular sense of present-ness produced by futures that cannot be anticipated. Crisis, I claim, becomes such precisely because it brings the present into consciousness, creating an awareness or perception of present-ness that we do not normally have.
Introduction: Everyday Coexistence in the Post-Ottoman Space
In Southeast Europe, the Balkans, and Middle East, scholars often refer to the “peaceful coexistence” of various religious and ethnic groups under the Ottoman Empire before ethnonationalist conflicts dissolved that shared space and created legacies of division. This theoretical introduction to the volume provides an overview of meanings of coexistence in the context of lived histories of both peace and violence and offers an an understanding of coexistence through the frame of everyday diplomacy. Discussing what I call the "labor of peace" that regulates neighborly relations, I examine its relationship to the sovereignty of the house and to theories of hospitality.
History's Remainders: On Time and Objects After Conflict in Cyprus
In the aftermath of war, those who remain must rebuild lives in spaces that bear the scars of conflict. This essay focuses on one such space, the unrecognized state in north Cyprus, which has experienced waves of displacement, ethnic cleansing, and the appropriation and redistribution of “enemy” property. Families raise children in plundered spaces; grandchildren play in gardens replanted after war; houses are furnished with the remains of others’ lives. In such contexts, the questions of what belongs to whom, and who belongs where, or with whom, are particularly contested, while the future of these places and objects remains uncertain. This essay asks what everyday historical work may be done with looted homes and objects, and it shows how practices with and stories about belongings may also be ways of helping us to “belong” in history.
Partitions of Memory: Wounds and Witnessing in Cyprus
The image has become an iconic one: five young men in dirty uniforms kneel in the middle of a dusty plain with their hands behind their heads. They squint in the blinding midday sun, their faces expressing anxiety and a measure of fear. A Turkish soldier leans to talk to one of them, appearing calm, even friendly. To one side another Turkish soldier whose face we do not see stands guard. This photograph has become one of the most famous images to come out of the Cyprus conflict. The men's kneeling posture, the fright in their eyes, and the apparent calm of the soldiers all evoke a vulnerability to violence. And like the bloody photo of a woman and her children murdered in their Nicosia home that was used for decades by the Turkish Cypriot administration, or like certain photographs of distraught women crying for losses that we can only imagine, the image of these five young men has been reprinted in pamphlets and brochures, newspapers and books, in ways that take for granted its power to evoke their uncertain fate.