A Stranger in the House : Situating Deviance in an ‘Alterity’ Research Approach

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Wasmuth , M 2022 , ' A Stranger in the House : Situating Deviance in an ‘Alterity’ Research Approach ' , Avar , vol. 1 , no. 1 , pp. 139-183 . https://doi.org/10.33182/aijls.v1i1.1646

Title: A Stranger in the House : Situating Deviance in an ‘Alterity’ Research Approach
Author: Wasmuth, Melanie
Contributor organization: Faculty Common Matters (Faculty of Arts)
Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires (ANEE)
Date: 2022-01-28
Language: eng
Number of pages: 45
Belongs to series: Avar
ISSN: 2752-3527
DOI: https://doi.org/10.33182/aijls.v1i1.1646
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/341297
Abstract: The paper exemplifies how the modern semantic field of ‘alterity’ can be turned into a fruitful research approach for Ancient Near Eastern Studies and where ‘deviance’ would be situated in such an approach. I ask how modern terms and concepts that intentionally or unconsciously enter our modern interpretation of ancient sources can be instrumentalised for countering historiographical ‘othering’. The key idea is to turn the modern terms and underlying concepts and connotations into a research tool that facilitates a systematic search for additional direct or circumstantial evidence on the chosen topic, in this case that of ‘a stranger in the house’. The paper has the format of a double note. The first part highlights some general methodological questions and sketches out the research tool via sets of characteristic key questions. The second part provides an application example for illustrating how the different questions change the scope of interpretation of ancient sources. The sample case study is a characteristically underdetermined private legal document from 7th c. Assur concerning a group of Egyptian merchants who are attacked in the house of their host.
Description: by invitation
Subject: 5143 Social and cultural anthropology
615 History and Archaeology
research tool
Egyptian merchants
case study
7th c. BCE
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: unspecified
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion
Funder: Academy of Finland
Grant number:

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