(Monday) 15:45 - 16:15
mbatS Hakobyan: New Space, New Rituals How does the new space affect ritual? One of the ritual theorists Jonathan Z. Smith would suggest, that space is
mbatS Hakobyan: New Space, New Rituals
How does the new space affect ritual? One of the ritual theorists Jonathan Z. Smith would suggest, that space is a very crucial component in ritual, it determines ritual not only in a geographical sense, but it also impacts ritual’s cultural of performative aspects. Though Smith was criticized for his reductionism and oversimplification, in my current research I would like to defend Smith’s approach and contribute to his theory of ritual space. Through the recent 4-5 years, funeral houses started to function in Armenia and ritual space has started to change gradually. In the past, the home was the main place of funeral, most of the rituals occurred either within the house or in the yard, but now people prefer to organize their burials from funeral houses. In this research, I would not touch the discursive aspects of this change, but instead, I will try to look at performances and how they have transformed due to these new places. My fieldwork observations proved that new space brings a lot of structural, performative and even emotional changes in the funerals and many rituals which were a usual part of “home funerals” disappeared in recent years.
Speakers for this event
I am a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, NAS Armenia. I do anthropological study of contemporary funerals in Yerevan - the capital of Armenia. I mainly focus on discourses - how people discuss problems and issues about funerals and I also explore practices, in particular how they change, transform in the course of time and what these discourses and practices display about contemporary Armenian culture and society. Beyond funerals I am also interested in the theory of rituals and in social/cultural theory in general, I also hold a lot of seminars about qualitative research methods.