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Memory, Place, and Identity: Nardi, Orange, High, and Koskinen-Koivisto’s The Routledge Handbook of Memory and Place

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Book review: The Routledge Handbook of Memory and Place. Edited by Sarah De Nardi, Hilary Orange, Steven High, and Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto. London: Routledge, 2019.
also points to the recent and growing work of scholars engaged
in the anthropology of the good,in which relations between
well-being and happiness are being teased out in ethnographic
and theoretical works. I do not agree with Schoenhals when he
states that utopian thinking and anthropologies geared toward
the study of well-being are scarce. It would have been helpful to
engage with such works, notably the excellent HAU: Journal
of Ethnographic Theory special issue titled Happiness: Horizons
of Purpose (Kavedžija and Walker 2015).
As an anthropologist who works in a very different eld
from Schoenhals, I appreciated his clarity. Even when dealing
with complex ideas of evolutionary biology or psychology, he
does not use jargon but builds his arguments with plain lan-
guage. Any chapter would make a good launching pad for
enlivened conversations in the classroom. The book is holistic,
provocative at times, and peppered with the authors ethno-
graphic observations, like those of the Yi minority in China,
which allow readers to understand the complex matters at
hand. More importantly, it is a timely book, as our conversa-
tions about race, class, gender, and social justice sorely need to
be future oriented and anchored in radical equality.
References Cited
Brodsky, Alexandra, and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, eds. 2015. The feminist
utopia project. New York: Feminist Press.
Kavedžija, Iza, and Harry Walker, eds. 2015. Happiness: horizons of purpose.
Thematic issue, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 5(3).
Memory, Place, and Identity
Rachel Tough
School of International Development, University of East Anglia,
Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom
(rachel.tough@uea.ac.uk). 8 I 21
The Routledge Handbook of Memory and Place. Edited by
Sarah De Nardi, Hilary Orange, Steven High, and Eerika
Koskinen-Koivisto. London: Routledge, 2019.
The George Floyd demonstrations of summer 2020 saw city
streets reclaimed for protest marches drawing on collective
memories of oppression. Statues honoring perpetrators of his-
toric wrongs were toppled in the United States, New Zealand,
South Africa, India, the United Kingdom, and Belgium. During
these upheavals, place has functioned as a realm of contestation
and the realization of rights, drawing fresh attention to the com-
plex relationship between place, memory, and social justice.
The Routledge Handbook of Memory and Place brings to-
gether recent scholarship at the intersection of memory studies,
place, and identity. The book starts by presenting the respective
editorscredentials in heritage, tourism, history, ethnology, and
archaeology (About the Editors) before authors from PhD
students to tenured professors are showcased (Contributors),
underlining the volumes inclusivity. In the introduction, the
editors argue that a dearth of collaboration between social sci-
ences and humanities researchers is inhibiting the development
of memory studies as an interdisciplinary eld. However, read-
ers who recognize memory as an increasingly dynamic, unbound
phenomenon (see Bond, Craps, and Vermeulen 2017) may ques-
tion whether such disciplinary divides endure.
The text is structured into seven main parts, each preceded
by a short introduction. Mobilityexplores memories of mi-
gration, diaspora, and displacement. Two contributions high-
light the restorative function of community-run museums for
displaced people. One, detailing how Concordia University re-
searchers harnessed digital technologies to map the memories
of exiles, may, in conjunction with chapter 26, on critical car-
tography, provide methodological inspiration for tech-savvy
activists. The contribution that has most notably inuenced
policy is Shawn SoberssColonial Complexity in the British
Landscape: An African-Centric Autoethnography,about a pil-
grimage to UK heritage sites; along with other recent scholar-
ship exploring Britains postcolonial identity, it preceded the
publication of a widely discussed new National Trust (2020)
report examining links between colonialism and the properties
in its care. The offerings in this section do a good job of revealing
the tacticsor coping strategies(de Certeau 1984) used by
marginalized people to produce powerful alternative memory
narratives, whether inside the institutional setting of the mu-
seum, individually, or collaboratively.
Veteran and witness storytelling is the focus of part 2 (Dif-
cult Memories). Sarah Gensburger and Melisa Salerno pres-
ent compelling data that demonstrate the ways in which the
liminality of their respective eld sitesthe former Austerlitz
camp in Paris and a Salesian missionary cemetery in Tierra del
Fuego, Argentinahas inuenced the positionalities of their
research participants and their production of liminal memo-
ries. I found Lilia Topouzovas powerful account from Belene,
a former Soviet prison island in the Danube, the most thought-
provoking chapter in this book. In oral history interviews, sur-
vivors and relatives of those who perished discuss the vigils,
research, and campaigning they conduct to resist the erasure of
the campspastits turning into a non-place(Augé 1995) by
the disinterested Bulgarian state. Readers will rightly be in-
spired by their methods. But their moving testimony reveals the
agonizing consequences for individuals when the state absents
itself entirely from debates around historical atrocities. Excluded
from ofcial accounts, they are reduced to pursuing coping strat-
egies (de Certeau 1984) because they cannot win the epistemic
justice they deserve.
Part 3 (Memoryscapes) focuses on the signicance of
place making in everyday lives and its loss. Jihwan Yoon and
Derek H. Aldermans rich chapter on the Korean Comfort
Womencampaign that has spread around Asia and beyond
recognizes commemoration as increasingly mobile and spa-
tially interconnected, bringing a transnational approach to the
study of memory and place. This may be applied by those
118 Current Anthropology Volume 62, Number 1, February 2021
seeking to add to recent scholarship on the global reach of the
Black Lives Matter movement (Liebermann 2020). Meanwhile,
Toby Butlers pedagogical work on East London memoryscapes
is a useful resource for educators that could be read alongside
Ceri Morgans account ofher work with graduate students using
walking methodologies in their creative writing (chapter 25).
Two other chapters that explore indigenous ways of knowing
the land in Canada and Zimbabwe demonstrate the potential
for memoryscape studies to disrupt the logics of colonialism
and contribute to the wider aim of decolonizing knowledge
production in memory studies. Taken together, these chapters
skillfully recast place as an active part of memory research, not
just a frame for it.
Six contributions make up part 4 (Industry). Martin Con-
lons offering on deindustrializing southwest Glasgow fruitfully
applies Tim Ingolds (1993) taskscapeconcept to reveal, through
interviews with those who dwell therein,a socially constructed
form of landscape. Jeff Benjamin takes a novel approach, draw-
ing on the philosophical scholarship on possible worldsto
consider the absence of any industrialization at the Delaware
River. Meanwhile, Lucy Taksa uncovers the gendered politics
of memory at Sydneys Eveleigh Railway Workshops by read-
ing the site as a narrative text(Brockmeier 2002). This in-
volves a combined study of buildings, oral histories, heritage
assessments, and document analysis to reveal the authorized
sexual division of labor during the sites history. This section
presents methodologically innovative work, although additional
contributions from woman authors would have been welcome
given that masculine perspectives have historically dominated
discussions of industrial heritage (Reading 2015).
The Bodyconsiders memory as an embodied phenome-
non. In addition to the abovementioned essays on mapping
and walking that complement contributions on memoryscapes,
we get a chapter on postconict performing arts in Colombia as
well as two submissions arguing for a greater consideration of
sensory experience in studies of memory sites. Emma Watertons
project on Pearl Harbor is particularly effective in unpicking the
links between bodies, the material, and the affective at a prom-
inent site of ofcial memory. It draws on extensive datamore
than 100 interviews, an analysis of interpretive materials, and the
authors performative autoethnographyto offer insights into
the private memory work that individuals undertake at memo-
rial sites, about which relatively little is known as it exceeds our
representational canon.
Shared Traditionsand Ritualsare the two nal parts. It
is to their 11 substantive chapters that general readers may rst
turn, as they provide accessible analyses of issues recently cov-
ered in popular media. Music fans may appreciate Hilary Or-
ange and Paul Graves-Brownschapter,whichdiscussesthe
early ndings of their longitudinal study of David Bowie tribute
sites in London. Conservationists may take inspiration from
Nadia Bartolini and Caitlin DeSilveys exploration of rewilding
as heritage, and this part of the book will also appeal to scholars
aware of their previous work on the future orientation of her-
itage. Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby rounds off the volume
with an inquiry into the role of legends in negotiations around
memory at the Lozhok holy spring in Siberia at the site of a
former Stalin-era prison camp. This bookschaptersonBul-
garia, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia speak to a thriving vein
of postsocialist memory studies, and the author urges further
folkloric investigations to complement the existing anthropo-
logical and historical literature in this subeld, especially as reli-
gious institutions resurge.
I came to The Routledge Handbook of Memory and Place
wanting to learn more about approaches to studying situated
memory across the disciplinary spectrum and to think more
about how memory, place, and identity are connected. The edi-
tors have done an excellent job of drawing together so much
innovative scholarship, from oral history to folklore studies and
from forensic archaeology to performative autoethnography,
and there is plenty from which doctoral researchers and others
planning studies of emplaced memory will take inspiration.
Readers looking for earlier examples of cross-disciplinary re-
search may turn to anthropologist Roger Bastides (1960, 1967)
work on collective memory in Brazil, in which he incorporates
sociologist Maurice Halbwachss spatial theorization of mem-
ory. This is briey discussed in Sarah Gensburgers chapter.
A notable strength of this book is the international distri-
bution of its authors and the insights they bring from un-
fashionable and unfamiliar places, which will maintain a cu-
rious readers interest. This breadth brings an impressively rich
array of accounts, but this arguably comes at the expense of
conceptual depth. I would like to have seen more accounts of
indigenous memory paradigms and a greater share of contri-
butions from authors in the Global South. At the very least, I
would have appreciated a suggestion that readers consult the
transitional justice literature for accounts of the localmem-
ory of indigenous and other groups.
At 415 pages and like other handbooks in the series, this is a
lengthy volume encompassing diverse themes. The short edi-
torial preludes that open each chapter mean that, whether the
reader is digesting the entire volume or using only one or two
sections, helpful context is provided for the six or seven con-
tributions that follow. By structuring the book in this way, the
editors alert readers to interesting connections between chap-
ters. These introductions also permit readers unfamiliar with
the eld to gauge their interest before committing to a section.
The themes of social justice and scholarly openness that per-
meate the 38 substantive chapters capture the zeitgeist of the
Black Lives Matter movement, and this book may be a useful
resource for those thinking through the recent protests. It will
also be of interest to anthropologists, archaeologists, geogra-
phers, and scholars of memory, heritage, and tourism and general
readers interested in geopolitics or world history.
Acknowledgments
I would like to thank Dr. Daniel James and the editor for their
comments on the draft review.
119
References Cited
Augé, Marc. 1995. Non-places: introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity.
John Howe, trans. London: Verso.
Bastide, Roger. 1960. The African religions of Brazil: toward a sociology of the
interpenetration of civilizations. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
———. 1967. Les Amériques noires. Paris: Payot.
Bond, Lucy, Stef Craps, and Pieter Vermeulen, eds. 2017. Memory unbound:
tracing the dynamics of memory studies. New York: Berghahn.
Brockmeier, Jens. 2002. Remembering and forgetting: narrative as cultural
memory. Culture Psychology 8(1):1543.
de Certeau, Michel. 1984. The practice of everyday life. Berkeley: University of
California Press.
Ingold, Tim. 1993. The temporality of the landscape. World Archaeology
25(2):152174.
Liebermann, Yvonne. 2020. Born digital: the Black Lives Matter movement
and memory after the digital turn. Memory Studies, https://doi.org/10.1177
/1750698020959799.
National Trust. 2020. Interim report on the connections between colonialism
and properties now in the care of the National Trust, including links with
historic slavery. Swindon, UK: National Trust. http://nt.global.ssl.fastly.net
/documents/colionialism-and-historic-slavery-report.pdf.
Reading, Anna. 2015. Making feminist heritage work: gender and heritage. In
The Palgrave handbook of contemporary heritage research. Emma Waterton
and Steve Watson, eds. Pp. 397410. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Review of A War on People: Drug User
Politics and a New Ethics of Community
Matthew McCoy
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los
Angeles, and Veterans Affairs Center for the Study of Health-
care Innovation, Implementation, and Policy, Los Angeles,
California, USA (mcy@ucla.edu). 8 I 21
A War on People: Drug User Politics and a New Ethics
of Community. By Jarrett Zigon. Oakland: University
of California Press, 2018.
In A War on People: Drug User Politics and a New Ethics of
Community, Jarrett Zigon asks how political anthropology can
move beyond critique to render visible how people productively
respond to the violent and dispossessing global drug war. Fo-
cusing on the political activities of the antidrug war move-
ment, Zigons important book explores the experimentation of
activists who build egalitarian spaces that offer political alter-
natives to unjust biopolitical forms of governance. A War on
People is a skillful multisited ethnography with a distinctive vi-
sion for political anthropology, the anthropology of ethics, and
the practice of ethnographic eldwork under the banner of an
anthropology of potentiality.
The books overall interventions challenge scholars to rethink
the intellectual foundations of political activity that emphasizes
process over results, tactics over strategy, intimate locality over
abstract globality, identity over conditions, and individualizing
simplicity over complexity(11). Zigon addresses the two central
concerns of political anthropologists and theorists. First is the
lack of widespread commitment to enduring participatory po-
litical activity. Second is the overemphasis on critique. Instead,
Zigon proposes that we follow the visionary interventions of po-
litical actors making ethico-politicalworlds that persistacross
different scales and locations. Antidrug war agonists(Zigons
preferred name for activists) create enduring egalitarian political
worlds by forging solidarity through loss and by redening social
relations to build a community of whoever arrives.Though this
ethnography touches on the concerns of carceral studies literature,
ZigonsbookdoesnotfocusonthecontextofUSmassincar-
ceration or engage with the relevant literature (more on this be-
low).Instead,Zigonspolitics of worldbuildingis inuenced by
hermeneutic phenomenology. Reading Hannah Arendtsideaof
freedom enacted through political action alongside Martin Hei-
deggers idea of the human capacity to disclose new worlds,
Zigon aligns his political theory with the participatory con-
cepts created from the heterogeneously assembled worlds of
his participants.
In Introduction: On War and Potentiality,Zigon argues
that the drug war created a variety of dehumanizing regulations.
Today, this war on peoplecontinues to decimate the lives of
drug users, families, and marginal communities. While impact-
ing local politics and changing legislation is one goal of antidrug
war agonists, Zigon argues that their activities also alter the range
of possibilities available to envision better ways of relating to
others. Zigon introduces Downtown Eastside VancouversInsite
as a key ethnographic example of this activity. Insite is the rst legal
supervised injection community in North America, founded, in
part, by the experimental activities of agonists to offer drug users
alternative futures outside addict shaming and incarceration.
The rst chapter, The Drug War as Widely Diffused Com-
plexity,details Zigons methodology of assemblic ethnogra-
phyand introduces readers to a brief genealogy of the global
drug war rst announced by Richard Nixon in 1971. Zigons
assemblic ethnography takes place across multiple sitespri-
marily Vancouver, Copenhagen, and New York but also Indo-
nesia and Russiabut differs from traditional multisited eld-
work by eschewing predetermined sites. Assemblic ethnography
entails chasing and tracing a complex phenomenon through its
continual process of assembling across different global scales
and its temporally differential location as situations in diverse
places(23). Following this, Zigon frames the drug war as an
assembled aspect of other assemblagesthat manifests in global
situations(41). When combined with other social processes,
the drug war can become more harmful, but it also can facilitate
shared potentialities and emergent actualities(43) in response.
Zigons helpful concept of situationthus encompasses the multi-
ple social processes arising amid the drug war to capture the
complexity, density, and emergence of ethical activities arising
against and potentiated by the drug war.
The second chapter, “‘Addictsand the Disruptive Politics of
Showing,explores how addictshave become an internal and
ungrievable enemy surviving in zones of uninhabitability(55).
To subvert this identity, agonists respond with a disruptive
politics of showingagainst a fantasy worldreinforced by
journalists by dressing sharply for meetings with politicians or
bureaucrats and displaying a masterful command of policy is-
sues. While performing a Wall Streetidentity, the drug users
120 Current Anthropology Volume 62, Number 1, February 2021
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Landscape and temporality are the major unifying themes of archaeology and social‐cultural anthropology. This paper attempts to show how the temporality of the landscape may be understood by way of a ‘dwelling perspective’ that sets out from the premise of people's active, perceptual engagement in the world. The meaning of ‘landscape’ is clarified by contrast to the concepts of land, nature and space. The notion of ‘taskscape’ is introduced to denote a pattern of dwelling activities, and the intrinsic temporality of the taskscape is shown to lie in its rhythmic interrelations or patterns of resonance. By considering how taskscape relates to landscape, the distinction between them is ultimately dissolved, and the landscape itself is shown to be fundamentally temporal. Some concrete illustrations of these arguments are drawn from a painting by Bruegel, The Harvesters.
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Interim report on the connections between colonialism and properties now in the care of the National Trust, including links with historic slavery
  • Yvonne Liebermann
Liebermann, Yvonne. 2020. Born digital: the Black Lives Matter movement and memory after the digital turn. Memory Studies, https://doi.org/10.1177 /1750698020959799. National Trust. 2020. Interim report on the connections between colonialism and properties now in the care of the National Trust, including links with historic slavery. Swindon, UK: National Trust. http://nt.global.ssl.fastly.net /documents/colionialism-and-historic-slavery-report.pdf.
Review of A War on People: Drug User Politics and a New Ethics of Community Matthew McCoy Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, and Veterans Affairs Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, and Policy
  • Anna Reading
Reading, Anna. 2015. Making feminist heritage work: gender and heritage. In The Palgrave handbook of contemporary heritage research. Emma Waterton and Steve Watson, eds. Pp. 397-410. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Review of A War on People: Drug User Politics and a New Ethics of Community Matthew McCoy Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, and Veterans Affairs Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, and Policy, Los Angeles, California, USA (mcy@ucla.edu). 8 I 21