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About the Hearth

About the Hearth

David G. Anderson | Robert P. Wishart | Virginie Vaté


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Due to changing climates and demographics, questions of policy in the circumpolar north have focused attention on the very structures that people call home. Dwellings lie at the heart of many forms of negotiation. Based on years of in-depth research, this book presents and analyzes how the people of the circumpolar regions conceive, build, memorialize, and live in their dwellings. This book seeks to set a new standard for interdisciplinary work within the humanities and social sciences and includes anthropological work on vernacular architecture, environmental anthropology, household archaeology and demographics.

“Each chapter offers something interesting for the reader...One can list bright and sometimes provocative ideas put forth by each contributor…The main advantage of this book is the ability to spark interest among the most diverse groups of specialists in the field of indigenous cultures.” · Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale

“…being packed with ethnographic, historical, and archaeological data, [this volume] can serve as an introduction to regional circumpolar studies as well as to Northern communities, past and present, indigenous or simply local.” · Laboratorium. Russian Review of Social Research

A very exciting book that addresses classical topics of anthropology of the North: housing, hearth and household, with a completely renewed approach. Chapters reconsider central issues in the study of material culture and social organization with a vivid ethnography and a compelling theoretical questioning.” · Charles Stépanoff, Sorbonne

David G. Anderson is Professor of Anthropology and Chair in Anthropology of the North at the University of Aberdeen. He was the leader of the collaborative research project entitled BOREAS Homes, Hearths and Households in the Circumpolar North and is presently the PI of an ERC-funded advanced grant entitled Arctic Domestication: Emplacing Human-Animal Relations in the Circumpolar North. He is the author of a monograph on Taimyr Evenkis and Dolgans, and the editor or co-editor of several collections published by Berghahn Books, most recently, The 1926/27 Soviet Polar Census Expeditions (2011).

Robert P. Wishart is Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen. His ethnographic work has been on the Gwich’in-Dene of the Mackenzie Delta in Northern Canada, with the Ojibwe of Ontario, and with Scottish fishers. He led an associated project on vernacular architecture in the Gwich’in settlement area for the HHH research consortium and is now a team member of the ERC funded project Arctic Domestication: Emplacing Human-Animal Relations in the Circumpolar North.

Virginie Vaté is an anthropologist, researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France. Since 1994, she has been doing research in Chukotka (Northeastern Siberia) and, since 2011, in Alaska. Within the ESF/BOREAS collaborative framework, she led an associated project on conversion to Christianity in Chukotka for the research program NEWREL (New religious Movements in the Russian North).