- From the Editors / Note de la rédaction
Alicia and I welcome you to this issue and to May, the month of spring flowers after a long winter, and to our annual CASCA meetings where we renew friendships, make new ones and recharge our intellectual batteries. I am so very impressed with the calibre and the variety of research undertaken by anthropologists and this issue is no exception. We are honoured to present our 2013 Weaver-Tremblay Award winner, Prof. Adrian Tanner of Memorial University, who offers us a glimpse into his remarkable record of 50 years research with Indigenous communities in Canada’s north. Our thematic section focuses on Queer Studies in anthropology guest edited by Michelle Walks, who re-introduces us to the work accomplished in the anthropology of gender, sex and sexuality to contextualize this current research. These articles explore queer experiences and queer identities in Turkey, Singapore, Vancouver, Toronto and, in a research note, in Thailand. Through these articles, we get new insights into key theoretical issues—homonormativity, neoliberalism, activism, intersectionality, social media, transgender, globalization, immigration and diaspora—in Queer Studies and cultural anthropology more generally. In Anthropological Reflections, Jocelyn Gadbois’s engaging article analyzes the tributes that celebrated Claude Lévi-Strauss on the occasion of his 100th birthday and how commemorative discourses about his death lead to a form of sacrifice whereby those who consider themselves his inheritors absorbed and revivified fragments of his oeuvre. Under the rubric Museum Review, Jasmin Habib shares her fascinating interview with Allyson Purpura, curator of African art, about her work but also about the life of objects across space as epistemological categories become transformed and repurposed. Here we encounter the arts of Africa, and museology, differently.
There is an embarrassment of riches in our individual articles. Au courant of current issues about government surveillance of their citizens and the citizens of other countries and by corporations trying to steal a march and profit by scooping their competitors, Craig Proulx shines a light on how Canadian Indigenous peoples are constructed by our government as “potential insurgents, terrorists and criminals” thus coming under constant government surveillance. Wayne Fife explores less volatile material pertaining to the bioregulation of sport and subsistence fishing in Newfoundland, where “seemingly [End Page 1] innocuous regulatory [governmental] bureaucracies… serve as technologies of power,” creating fault-lines and pressures between the regulators and the regulated. In rural Bangladesh, HM Ashraf Ali exposes governance inequities in the form of the coercive, if not cruel, behaviours of NGO managers in recovering microcredit loans, primarily made to women but used by men, from poor villagers. Rather than empower women and improve their circumstances, these microfinance institutions seem to be digging loan recipients even further into poverty. Trudi Lynn Smith examines another government initiative, the national park as tourist destination, using historical photographs to look not only at the visible, but also at representations that do not appear in photographic archives. Usually invisible in historic photographs of early forays into Canada as terra nullius are First Nations peoples. Katie Bresner’s article discusses issues of control, hybridity and authenticity as the Osoyoos Indian Band insist on their visibility to communicate their Indigenous identity and history to visitors through exhibits at their Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre.
Four articles consider drugs, herbal and otherwise. In South Africa, Julie Laplante considers how scientists, herbalists and traditional healer-diviners attempt to reconcile their different ontologies as revealed through their use of a traditional medicinal plant. In Fiji, S. (Apo) Aporosa and Matt Tomlinson report their study of physical effects on heavy drinkers, particularly on teachers, of kava, a plant-based beverage drunk socially and ceremonially. Kava use is controversial in Fiji and in some European and North American health food stores where it is sold as a calming herbal medicine. Fabrice Fernandez unpacks the tensions and the moral judgments generated by awareness-raising and prevention policies geared at drug users and by how prevention policies ultimately stress utilitarian individual responsibility over collective solidarity. Jérôme Beauchez weaves ethnographic field observations with references to film and music that make up the “anthropological silhouette” of French punks’ and skinheads’ life...