Senka Božić-Vrbančić is employed as a Professor in Anthropology at the University of Zadar, Croatia. She holds a PhD in Anthropology  from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  She has worked at the University of Melbourne, Australia (McArthur Research Fellowship 2007-2010), Center for Sociology and Cultural Studies in Lviv, Ukraine and Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia. Her work spans the fields of anthropology, cultural and visual studies with an emphasis on the politics of culture and affective components of belonging  (class/ gender/ ethnicity/ race).  She is the author of two books Tarara: Croatians and Maori in New  Zealand – memory, belonging, identity (2008, 2018) and Hitchcockian gaze: a paranoid reading of contemporary culture (2017). She is currently finishing a book on the precariousness as a social condition based on an ethnographic research of everyday and the structures of feeling associated with precarious lifeworlds in Croatia. The title of her lecture at IUAES2020 is Domestication in the Ruins of Anthropocene (abstract of the lecture will be available soon).



Empowering Anthropology in the Face of Crises – sponsored by World Anthropological Union (WAU)

(organizers: Junji Koizumi, Japan, and Carmen Rial, Brasil)

The news that anthropology is facing crisis is on the rise. A similar process seems to be underway also in some disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Changes in classification of science, weakened position in the academic system and student enrollment, dominance by neoliberalism and instrumentalism, decreasing institutional and financial support, difficulties in field research and cases of arrests of researchers, targeted attacks on certain research areas, loss of unretrievable materials due to fire and other destruction, to name a few. On the other hand, there are cases in which anthropology goes strong and expectations are high that anthropology among human and social sciences can make valuable contributions in the contemporary globalized and globalizing world. This panel sponsored by WAU, the World Anthropological Union, asks: What exactly is the nature of these crises and what are the real threats we are facing; If we can theorize the general contexts in which they arise, or we should understand each and specific situation in order to cope with them better; What WAU can do as a newly established global organization based on the integration of IUAES and WCAA, and what are the new resources we obtained through this integration; How, after all, we can effectively empower anthropology in general and anthropologies in specific as WAU, IUAES and WCAA, and what are anthropology’s unique strengths in contributing to a global public good. These are among the central questions this panel will address.

List of participants will be available soon.


Not Quite the End of Nomadism?

(organizer: Anthony Howarth, University of Oxford, UK)

Nomadism is a hugely problematic concept. Those who fall within its bounds range from mobile pastoralists in Asia and Africa, to Gypsies and Travellers in Europe. Despite critiques demonstrating its shortcomings, the nomad(ism) category continues to have a social, political, and academic life. The aim of this roundtable is to bring together scholars whose work has focused on nomadism, to explore whether and in what ways the nomad category remains analytically tenable and to shed light on why it endures. Employing comparison to tease out the nomadic category’s social life in different geo-political contexts, the panellists will explore the following questions. Is the nomad category analytically tenable? If so/not, how? Do the ways the nomad category is popularly imagined, politically deployed, and historically documented, make it an empirical/ethnographic object worthy of analysis? If, as some scholars suggest, nomadism is a category imagined by outsiders, is its academic usage appropriate? Due to their widespread sedentarisation, is it useful to categorise once mobile people as nomads? Are there cases of mobile people describing themselves as nomads, and what circumstances led to this? Is there such a thing as a nomadic mind-set and, if so, what might this entail? What commonalities exist between different groups categorised as nomads? Through examining these questions, the aim is to tease out nuance, by engaging with previous accounts that have either completely rejected the nomad category or employed it uncritically, to shed light on how and why categories as contested as nomadism endure.

List of Participants

David Sneath (University of Cambridge); Dawn Chatty (University of Oxford); Thomas Barfield (University of Boston); Ariell Ahearn (University of Oxford); Greta Semplici (European University Institute) Freya Hope (University of Oxford); Jakko Heiskanen (University of Cambridge); Marco Solimene (University of Iceland); Cory Rodgers (University of Oxford). 


Final program will be available in February 2021

Congress starts in