Henni Alava

Henni Alava
Tampere University | UTA

PhD

About

20
Publications
2,522
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153
Citations
Citations since 2017
14 Research Items
147 Citations
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Introduction
I am an anthropologist and development scholar currently working as a post-doc in Gender Studies at Tampere University. My book, 'Christianity, Politics and the Afterlives of War. There is Confusion' (New Directions in the Anthropology of Christianity, Bloomsbury 2022) draws on ethnographic fieldwork to explore the societal role of the Catholic and Anglican Churches in Acholi. In 2022, I began a new ethnographic project on families' experiences of persistent pediatric pain in Finland.

Publications

Publications (20)
Article
Full-text available
Christian churches have played crucial but diverse roles in public debates over homosexuality in Africa. In contrast to the vocal and explicit homophobia witnessed in many Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches (PCCs), homosexuality has until recently been an overwhelmingly silenced issue in the Acholi region of Northern Uganda, and an almost complete no...
Article
Full-text available
Christian churches control substantial areas of land in Africa. While intensifying struggles over their holdings are partly due to the increased pressure on land in general, they also reflect transformations in the relations through which churches’ claims to land are legitimized, the increased association of churches with business, and churches’ un...
Article
Full-text available
This article develops the notion of polyphonic silence as a means for thinking through the ethical and political ramifications of ethnographically encountering and writing about silenced violent pasts. To do so, it analyses and contrasts the silence surrounding two periods of extreme violence in northern Uganda: 1) the northern Ugandan war (1986–20...
Book
Christianity, Politics and the Afterlives of War in Uganda sheds critical light on the complex and unstable relationship between Christianity and politics, and peace and war. Drawing on long-running ethnographic fieldwork in Uganda’s largest religious communities, it maps the tensions and ironies found in the Catholic and Anglican Churches in the w...
Article
Full-text available
Rules concerning romantic relationships and sex—what we term ‘purity rules’—are central to Pentecostalism in Uganda. In public church arenas, the born-again variant of the rules laid down during Uganda’s ‘ABC’ response to HIV/AIDS — ‘abstain till marriage and be faithful once you marry’—are presented as clear and non-negotiable. Yet in church membe...
Article
Full-text available
Many feminist scholars have experienced receiving critique for what are claimed to be overly narrative, emotional, or insufficiently scholarly pieces of writing. This piece speaks to this experience. The text was originally read as a presentation in a webinar on 'Patchwork Ethnography'. In resisting the coerciveness of dominant academic rhetorical...
Article
Full-text available
Rules are a crucial part of much religious thought and practice. Their importance or insignificance, their strictness or laxness, and their rigidity or flexibility in the face of change are constant themes of debate, both within and outside religious communities. Yet they have arguably not been given the attention they deserve within recent anthrop...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter contributes to understanding the space between religion, gender and citizenship through a focus on teaching and learning about marriage in Ugandan churches. While pastors focused marriage teaching on the primacy of a church wedding, sexual purity and harmony through hierarchy, church-going women saw cohesion, spirituality and physical...
Chapter
Full-text available
Drawing on ethnographic research in the Acholi town of Kitgum in northern Uganda, this chapter illustrates how citizenship practices are embedded in particular relationships between the state and its citizens. Two key arenas for learning are identified: the everyday, which in this region is tinged by memories of past violence and fears of its recur...
Chapter
Full-text available
According to the pragmatist framework of this book, practices in which citizenship is constructed are embedded in certain environments and, accordingly, current citizenship habits have been formulated in the course of a continuity of experiences and in interaction with existing circumstances (Holma & Kontinen, this volume). In this chapter, we prov...
Article
Full-text available
Few things inspire the anthropologist’s imagination and analytical speculation as much as silences and secrets encountered in fieldwork. They compel one to ponder whether something interesting might lie beneath what appears to be covered by silence or secrets, and if so, through what means that something might be uncovered. Relatedly, few things la...
Chapter
Full-text available
Drawing on ethnographic research in the Acholi town of Kitgum in northern Uganda, this chapter illustrates how citizenship practices are embedded in particular relationships between the state and its citizens. Two key arenas for learning are identified: the everyday, which in this region is tinged by memories of past violence and fears of its recur...
Article
Full-text available
Religion has influenced Ugandan politics ever since colonial times. While the interrelations of religion and politics have altered since the coming to power of president Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM), religion continues to influence Ugandan public culture and formal politics in important ways. Building on ethnographic fieldwork in K...
Chapter
Full-text available
What should development organisations take into account when considering whether to provide funding to a long-established church in the Global South, or to an organisation af¿liated with such a church? Drawing on research in Northern Uganda, this article suggests that the key to addressing this question is in recognition of churches’ unique histori...
Article
Endast avhandlingens sammandrag. Pappersexemplaret av hela avhandlingen finns för läsesalsbruk i Statsvetenskapliga biblioteket (Unionsgatan 35). Dessa avhandlingar fjärrutlånas endast som microfiche. Abstract only. The paper copy of the whole thesis is available for reading room use at the Library of Social Sciences (Unioninkatu 35) . Microfiche c...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The project investigates the management of gendered chronic illness at the intersection of three ongoing developments: the introduction of personalized or precision medicine, public plans for rationalizing treatment, and global disruptions in the availability of pharmaceuticals. We focus on three diseases, endometriosis, migraine and fibromyalgia, which are all characterized by episodes of pain and debated in terms of their link to gendered embodied processes, especially ones involving hormones. The three diseases shed crucial light on tensions in emerging biomedicine: as chronic pain is difficult to standardize, it falls outside the logic of both precision medicine and rationalization, while pharmaceutical products used in its prevention may not be seen as ”essential drugs”, and are thus affected by drug shortages. We approach the management of gendered chronic disease through four sites: 1) patient organizations and activism, 2) patient-clinician encounters where individual treatment plans are negotiated, 3) public health governance of gendered chronic diseases, including both rationalization plans and approval of new and repurposed drugs, and 4) biomedical research on causative mechanisms and search for new therapies. The project also theorizes chronic pain as an embodied, intersectional phenomenon and explores the temporality of chronicity through questions of age. We have received a 4-year grant from the Academy of Finland as well as a 4-year grant from Kone Foundation.