Research in Progress at the Royal Anthropological Institute is starting up for the Autumn on Friday 21st September at 3pm with a seminar by Kirsty Wissin on 'Pure water: purity and power in ritual meanings and uses of water in Ghana'. All welcome - tea and cake provided!
"Research in Progress" is a special seminar series of presentations by PhD candidates, Post-Docs and Early Career researchers. Its aim is to share work, get feedback in a supportive environment, and build new networks that cut across universities, sub-disciplines and hierarchies. Seminars are chaired by peers on a rotational basis and take the form of the presentation of a piece of written work followed by lots of discussion and refreshments. Seminars are free and everyone is welcome, booking advised. Early career anthropologists from all sub-disciplines are encouraged to present their work. Please contact Gemma Aellah, RAI Research Officer on [log in to unmask] for more information about the series. If you would like to present please include a title and an abstract of max 250 words.
Title: Pure water: purity and power in ritual meanings and uses of water in Ghana
Kirsty Wissing, Australian National University
Friday 21 September 2018, 3.00 pm – 4.45 pm.
The RAI, 50 Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 5BT
Free, but booking advised https://kirstywissing.eventbrite.co.uk
Water, being essential to life and fluid in form, is a useful metaphor to explore human social relations and human-environment relations. With its cleansing property, water is often conceptually associated with physical and moral purity, and is treated as integral to the creation of a moral person and an orderly, moral environment. In this presentation, I hypothesise that water is a critical natural resource to which Ghanaians ritually attribute transcendental properties to cleanse moral as well as physical impurity. This presentation will draw on thirteen months of ethnographic field research relating to the Volta River/Lake in the Akwamu Traditional Area in proximity to the Akosombo Dam in Ghana. I will explore the intersection between ritual meanings and uses of water with its cleansing and purifying properties, and the religious and secular ‘order’ of purity as compared to the ‘disorder’ of pollution. By researching traditional Akwamu ritual practices relating to water, I will consider how purity discourses contest moral authority and bounded control (and classification) of water as a natural and symbolic resource. I will also consider issues of responsibility for water and ask who has the power to determine the quality and quantity of water, and how this power in turn impacts management of water.
Kirsty Wissing is an anthropology PhD candidate at the Australian National University. She is also affiliated with the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana, Legon. Her research focuses on Indigenous religious affiliations to water sources and how introduced influences have affected such affiliations. Influences considered include colonialism, Christianity and the hydro-power industry. In 2016 and 2017, Kirsty conducted ethnographic field research primarily in Akwamufie and Akosombo in the Eastern Region of Ghana which informs her thesis. Kirsty has former research experience with Australian Indigenous communities under the Native Title and Aboriginal Land Rights legislation in the Central Australia and the Pilbara regions of Australia. In addition, she has conducted research into and managed programs about the petroleum, mining and hydro-power industries in Ghana for the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP). She has also researched the impact of mining on customary law and cultural heritage in both Ghana and Western Australia from heritage and legal perspectives.
The information contained in this communication from the sender is confidential. It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others authorized to receive it. If you are not the recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking action in relation of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.
This email has been scanned for viruses and malware, and may have been automatically archived by Mimecast Ltd, an innovator in Software as a Service (SaaS) for business. Providing a safer and more useful place for your human generated data. Specializing in; Security, archiving and compliance. To find out more visit the Mimecast website.
* Anthropology-Matters Mailing List
* http://www.anthropologymatters.com *
* A postgraduate project comprising online journal, *
* online discussions, teaching and research resources *
* and international contacts directory. *
* To join this list or to look at the archived previous *
* messages visit: *
* https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/Anthropology-Matters *
* If you have ALREADY subscribed: to send a message to all *
* those currently subscribed to the list,just send mail to: *
* [log in to unmask] *
* Enjoyed the mailing list? Why not join the new *
* CONTACTS SECTION @ www.anthropologymatters.com *
* an international directory of anthropology researchers *
To unsubscribe please click here: