Research seminar in Cultural Anthropology/Workshop. Annika Teppo. Wedding Anthropology

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Engelska parken Uppsala, the English park, room Eng/3-2028
  • Lecturer: Annika Teppo, organiser, Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor
  • Organiser: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
  • Contact person: Annika Teppo
  • Seminarium

In the classic anthropological kinship studies, weddings have been examined mainly as rituals of transition and exchange. As the ideas of ’new kinship’ have gained popularity, focus has shifted to processes of relatedness and new ways of making kin relations such as assisted reproduction, polyamory and queer kinship. In this seminar we call for new approaches to wedding anthropology.

If you are interested in attending, send us an abstract of 150-200 words by the 30th of May 2022. This will be an offline event for 8 to 10 people only.

While the primacy of a dyadic, heterosexual marriage has waned in the anthropological kinship studies, also weddings seem to have faded from disciplinary view, perhaps as for many they still represent patriarchal, reactionary gender norms. Or perhaps they just seem too trivial with their conspicuous consumption and increasingly globalized cultural forms? Yet, all over the world people aspire to, reject, and consume entertainment regarding weddings as well as invest in, plan and attend them. While there are a number of societies where the significance of marriage has been declining, weddings remain popular and important events that mark the changes in the cycles of life everywhere.
In this seminar we call for new approaches to wedding anthropology. We invite you to re-explore the idea that weddings offer anthropologists rich, yet well focused ethnographic material, and a lens for cross-cultural comparison, or for examining how (for example) gendered, class-bound and culturally bound processes of social transformation and contestation take place in contemporary societies. Weddings provide useful windows through which we can examine topical issues on our fields of inquiry. In this seminar, these renewed ways of examining weddings could include (but not be limited to) entirely new perspectives, or bring about creative combinations of more established and innovative understandings such as: 
Materiality of weddings and weddings as publics:
- Representations of partnership and kinship – wedding media, reality TV, magazines, wedding expos, social media, but also private media; wedding photos and albums, wedding videos
- Weddings as industries providing employment; how these are gendered and merged with neoliberal “structures of feeling” (Freeman 2014) of entreprenerialism
Social and affective meanings and symbolisms of weddings: 
- Weddings as events and rituals/rites of transition and parties
- Weddings as pinnacles of processes; couple/relationship-work, aspirations, wedding planning as a charged affective process (Bridezillas) 
- Weddings as social dramas, symbolic loci of social aspirations, contestations and networking events, weddings as memories (and their affective interpretations).
- New wedding practices and ideas for new forms of kinship.