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Anthropology in Austria @ Wolfson Room, British Academy
Dec 8 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Anthropology in Austria

From the “Blue Danube“ to studying the diversity of the world

Tuesday 8 November 2016, 10.00am to 6.00pm

Venue: Wolfson Room, British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Anthropology in Austria has long entertained lively, fairly continuous, and multi-facetted interactions with the UK. These have ranged from Habsburg Empire citizen Bronislaw Malinowski’s odyssey through London to the Trobriand Islanders, Siegfried Nadel’s emigration to England from Vienna through Berlin, Christoph Fürer-Haimendorf’s dissociation from Nazi-occupied Austria in moving to British India and later to SOAS; Vienna-born Scarlett Epstein’s affiliation with Max Gluckmann and the Manchester school, to Ernest Gellner’s engagement with those intellectual legacies of Central Europe in which his parents had grown up. Many of those past interactions in fact were related to Austrian movements of intellectual and political thought.

Yet Anthropology in Austria has completely re-organized itself in recent decades, and has opened up to the world more than ever before. Today it represents a major branch in German-speaking and European social anthropology. The RAI’s day of anthropology in Austria strives to take stock of these recent developments by presenting and discussing major trends, advances, and insights in the fields of regional studies, qualitative methodologies, and topical areas of interest. Several of anthropology’s key representatives in the Austrian Academy of Sciences and at the University of Vienna will reflect critically upon the directions anthropology in Austria is taking in the early 21st century. This will focus on studies in Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas, on comparative and historical methods, and on fields ranging from mobility and refugee studies to the anthropology of art and of the environment, and medical anthropology. Contributors will include several mid-career scholars as well as Ayşe Çağlar, Thomas Fillitz, Andre Gingrich, and Peter Schweitzer.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked.  To book tickets please go to


Welcome & Opening, High Representatives of the British Academy and the Royal Anthropological Institute

Welcome Address, HE Martin Eichtinger, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Austria to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Heinz Fassmann, Deputy Rector of the University of Vienna & Chair of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Academy Council

Morning Session

Andre Gingrich, A First Overview: Introducing Anthropology from Austria

Ayşe Çağlar, Migrants and City Making in a Multiscalar Perspective: Space and Time in Anthropology of Migration

Peter Schweitzer, Remote Connections: Human Entanglements with Built and Natural Environments in the Arctic and Elsewhere

Eva-Maria Knoll, In Motion: Genes, Identities and Mediated Lives in Small Scale Contexts

Discussant 1 Chris Hann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale, G)

Lunch Break

Afternoon Session

Thomas Fillitz, Visual Research in Social Sciences, and an Anthropology of Contemporary Art

Elke Mader, Ritual Transformations: Vision Quest, Shamanism, and Globalization in Amazonia

Stephan Kloos, From Buddhist Deities to the Spirit of Capitalism: Tibetan Medicine and the Remaking of Inner Asia

Maria Six-Hohenbalken, On Violence and Displacement: Memories after Extreme Violent Experiences in Kurdish Society

Andre Gingrich, Critical Re-Assessments: Historical Anthropology and the History of Anthropology

Discussant 2 João de Pina-Cabral, School of Anthropology & Conservation, Univ. of Kent

For abstracts please go to the event page on our website,