PhD candidate, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo.
About Lotte Danielsen
Lotte Danielsen is a PhD candidate in social anthropology at the University of Oslo. Her PhD research focuses on conflict and various forms of social stratification in a South African township. Through ethnographic fieldwork in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, her work traces tensions and contests over ethnicity, gender, class and age in the four inter-related areas of kinship; work; the handling of domestic animals; and religion and ritual.
Summary of individual project in REDO
In her contribution to REDO, Danielsen will study the role of ritual slaughter for ancestral spirits in present-day South Africa. Starting with the viewpoint of isiXhosa-speaking South Africans in the Eastern Cape who are at the centrum of the ritual action, she will approach the issue in a broad social context and relate it to classical perspectives on ritual (e.g. Turner, Kapferer and Geertz) to inquire into forms of reflexivity and relations produced between various modes of ritual (non-)engagement: What is the current importance and significance of slaughtering for the participants and non-participants, and how do narratives of animal slaughtering travel and change in diverse spaces? The study will situate these understandings in a historical context. The aim is to expand the purview of the analysis beyond explicit ritual engagement/action and to include apparently ‘inactive’ or disconnected spaces in order to highlight the effects on social relations, and eventually on democracy.