On religion and Indegneity in the Sakha Republic (Russia). RVS member Liudmila Nikanorova to defend her thesis
RVS member Liudmila Nikanorova will defend her PhD thesis "Religion and Indegneity at Yhyakh" at the Artic University of Norway (UiT) on 9 September 2019.
Lidumila has done fieldwork in the Sakha Republic in Russia, exploring an event called yhyakh which attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year. In her thesis she explore the far-reaching effects of categorizing- both for those who categorize as well as for the one being categorized. For more on her thesis see below.
Her project is part of a larger NFR-funded comparative project on indigenous religion and global networks, the INREL-project.
Religion and Indigeneity at Yhyakh
Each summer in the Sakha Republic (Russia), hundreds of thousands of people celebrate an event called yhyakh. This dissertation explores articulations, performances, and translations of the concepts ‘religion’ and ‘indigeneity’ at and around contemporary yhyakhs. It focuses particularly on how yhyakh is understood and performed by its participants, on the motivations of the actors who promote different yhyakhs, and on a wide variety of circulating narratives. The study is ethnographic in method and based on fieldwork at and around the Tuymaada Yhyakh and the Olongkho Yhyakh from 2016 to 2018. Using articulation theory and heuristic models of religion-making and indigenous-making, the analysis unpacks how ‘religion’ and ‘indigeneity’ appear as descriptors, aspects, and parts of yhyakh. Yhyakh has attracted scholarly interest since the 17th century. This attention has only increased after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, as the celebration of yhyakh has expanded rapidly and become a major rallying point of the Sakha revitalization movements. In both historical and contemporary contexts, scholars have categorized yhyakh as, for example, a ‘shamanic ceremony’, a ‘religious ritual’, the ‘Sakha national day’, and an ‘indigenous festival’. My ethnographic material reveals much broader variety of understandings of yhyakh, including ‘healing’, a ‘family holiday’, and a ‘day when Sakha feel Sakha’. By exploring how yhyakh and its practices are translated towards and away from ‘religion’ and ‘indigeneity’, not only by scholars but also by a wide range of other actors, I show how categorizing are powerful acts with far-reaching effects both for those who categorize and for that which is categorized.
And here is an article in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten covering some of his findings.
On religion, migration and youth in Norway. We congratulate Hildegunn Valen Kleive!
We congratulate RVS Ph.D. student Hildegunn Valen Kleive! She successfully defended her thesis 10 Mai 2019 at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society.
The title of the thesis is Not that religious. A study of young Tamil religiosity in North-Western Norway.
This is how she describes her work : "In this article based dissertation the aim is to shed light on how young Tamils, mainly Hindus,view their religion and how they practice it. Yet, the aim is more than describing views and practices, the dissertation also intend to suggest how it is generated, in other words why it appears as it does. In order to achieve these aims, I have analysed how the young Tamil Hindus relate to the materiality of religion, in which ways experiences living in North-Western Norway influences their religiosity and how public places of Hindu worship matters for them."
For more about her thesis and defense visit the MF webpage or Volda University College's page.
Migrant churches and mission, cases from Norway. Congratulations Stian Sørlie Eriksen!
RVS PhD student Stian Sørlie Eriksen has completed a PhD on an innovative topic within migration reserach in Norway: migrant churches and the practice and understanding of mission. The title of his project is "Beyond ‘Reverse Mission’? Transnational Religion, Transforming Spirituality, and Transcultural Mission among Migrant Churches in Norway".