Spring program!

We have discussed the spring program and have had many good suggestion on themes and topics. We will continue according to the alternation system established in the fall in that readings of seminal texts alternate with manuscripts from participants. As done in the fall, there will be room for two papers in each session.

The meetings will be held every three weeks, the first meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 21:st at 16:15 was unfortunately cancelled and held to a week later.

The meeting schedule is as follows:

28.1. During the spring session, we will be shifting focus from legal pluralism to the rights discourse. To kick things off, Reetta will lead the first discussion beginning from Jane Cowan’s seminal (oh yes, I have learned a new word) text Culture and Rights after Culture and Rights.

11.2. we will discuss Reetta Toivanen’s paper on indigenous rights and the Sami movement. NB: due to the preceding workshop (in Finnish), on Sami issues at the faculty room P545, the start time will be 17:15!

4.3. text TBA

25.3. We will have two papers to discuss, one by Mari Tapaninen: TBA, the other by Miia Halme-Tuomisaari: “Anthropologically Blonde at the UN: Methodological Reflections of a Conspicuous Ethnographer”

15.4. For the last session, we will have a quest speaker TBA

Texts are again distributed via the colloquium noodle site, but due to the issues they will henceforth be added to the emails as well. They will be available roughly one week before each session. To get access, one needs to contact Susanne Dahlgren to be included in the list. If you have signed up on WebOodi, you will be added automatically.

The meetings are during the spring at the Porthania 5th floor coffee room between 16:15-17:45.

And, like before, this page is being continually updated.

Suggestions for Spring program

The colloquium is now collecting its program for the Spring semester. The timetable will be roughly the same, meetings are every three weeks or so. We welcome suggestions for readings, works in progress and simply things that would be interesting. Please write to one of the organizers or come and have a chat at the university.

Updated Fall Program

Today, we had our first meeting of the fall in Porthania, with nearly two dozen people in attendance. The format of the fall is to have a combination of manuscripts from ongoing research projects as well as discussion texts such as interesting, irritating, stimulating and exciting recent works on legal anthropology. The following preliminary program was agreed upon and each session will have either one or two items of discussion:

8.10. we will have 1) a discussion on the conflicting intellectual legacy of legal anthropology on the basis of a classic (the Introduction on Sally Falk Moore’s Law as Process), then 2) Sonal Makhija will present her article draft on the traditional courts in India.

29.10. Two article manuscripts will be on the agenda: 1) Freek van der Vet: “Finding Justice in Europe: Russian NGO litigation before the European Court of Human Rights on Torture, Disappearances, and Discrimination”, 2) Sanna Mustasaari: “Wives and Mothers or Children with Children? Rights, Relationships, and Belonging in Transnational Families”

19.11. Discussion on culture, rights and traditions inspired by Sally Engle Merry, based on two texts, the first is her 1988 article Legal Pluralism, the second is a recent article on female inheritance in Hong Kong. Enjoy!

10.12. Kaius Tuori will present his ongoing work on the history of legal anthropology.


Due to obvious reasons, texts are distributed via the colloquium moodle site. They will be available roughly one week before each session. To get access, one needs to contact Susanne Dahlgren to be included in the list. If you have signed up on WebOodi, you will be added automatically. The moodle site is now up and running and papers are distributed there.

The meetings are during the fall at the Porthania 5th floor coffee room between 16:15-17:45.


PS: This post will be continually updated for more information. Last updated 18.11.2013.

Introducing the Legal Anthropology Research Colloquium

What is the role of law in society? What has led to the globalisation of international law? How does anthropology contribute to our understanding of tradition, kinship, property and human rights? These are some of the questions that the discipline of Legal Anthropology engages with.

A reading group on Law & Anthropology seeks to engage with some of these themes and aims to bring participants working or interested in the field of legal anthropology to discuss the developments in the discipline. Anthropology of Law, while a burgeoning field, has received scant academic attention in both disciplines – law and anthropology.

In each meeting, the group would discuss new or emerging work on the subject, a project or paper that participants may be currently working on and readings assigned for discussion. The purpose of the group is not merely to discuss readings or current literature, but also encourage conversations between researchers that situate themselves between the two disciplines of law and anthropology and respond to each other’s inquiries on the subject.

The reading group would be open to all researchers; this includes graduate students and postdoctoral students at the University. Graduate students attending the reading group would receive credits for participating in the seminar.

The group is presently helmed by Dr. Kaius Tuori, Dr. Reetta Toivanen, Dr. Susanne Dahlgren and Sonal Makhija.

The first group would meeting will take place at the University of Helsinki on September 17th, 2013 at Porthania room 525 (Yliopistonkatu 3).

If you are interested, kindly reach out to Kaius Tuori (kaius.tuori (a) helsinki.fi) to confirm your participation. You can also sign up via WebOodi (search for “22249, Legal Anthropology Research Colloquim, 4 op”).