23rd April, 4.30pm in Anthropology Seminar Room

Dr Kiri Santer
Institut für Sozialanthropologie, University of Bern

Title: The social life of a (global) carbon tax: disorderly politics of decarbonization and perspectives from the Global South

What happens when a carbon tax is introduced by the global north on, amongst others, imports of steel and aluminum? From the perspective of so-called emerging economies and developing countries for whom industrialization and the development of a manufacturing industry are seen as key to economic growth, this is a question of heavy implications. The introduction of the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), a key part of the EU’s decarbonization plans, is one of the newer developments from within what authors have called the “new carbon economy” (Boyd, Boykoff, and Newell 2012). CBAM will force European importers to pay for the carbon content of imported goods from targeted polluting sectors. Faced with its imminent roll-out, BRICS countries are already pushing back against the West’s so-called ‘green protectionism’. Offering ethnographic insights from the aluminum and steel industries in Mozambique and South Africa, this paper zooms into the unplanned and far-flung extraterritorial effects of CBAM. The EU’s attempts to push for an effective (global) price on carbon will likely have repercussions far down value chains but if global production networks are going to be transformed by the increasing adoption of environmental tariffs, impacts will be multifaceted and need to be examined in their complexity. Probing the question of CBAM’s effects down the value chain enables to get closer the disorderly politics of decarbonization in a heating world.


16th April, 4.30pm in Anthropology Seminar Room

Dr Sarah Green
University of Helskinki

Title: Animal Relocations in Epirus and Beirut: wild, domestic and microbial crosslocations

More than human creatures co-exist in a human-centred world and they move around a planet that is crosscut by a variety of human-generated borders: political borders, classificatory borders, economic/property borders, even metaphysical and sacred borders. The more-than humans usually traverse, or are transported across, this crosslocated world without being aware of these borders (though sometimes, it turns out, they are more aware of them than we realise). It is rare for the activities of the more-than human creatures to be the centre of attention when the borders are made, with the result that the human-generated crosslocated world is often ill-fitting for them. Drawing on some brief ethnographic research in the Beirut area of Lebanon and two areas in Greece (Epirus on the northwestern mainland and the Aegean island of Lesvos), this paper will take a look at how the movements and activities of more than human creatures and how people engage with them can provide a different perspective on border dynamics and location. It will include discussion of livestock transport, the tracking of wild animals, the cross-border spread of microbes and the concept of invasive species. The core argument will be that more than human movements and human attempts to deal with them (or ignore them) highlights the way all borders, however powerful, coexist in a multiply occupied world, with the result that no borders are either conceptually or physically impermeable.

19th March, 4.30pm in Anthropology Seminar Room

Dr Josefine Wagner
Post-doctoral researcher from the University of Innsbrook

Title:  "Continuities and Ruptures of Eugenics Discourses in (Special Needs) Education"

In my talk, titled "Continuities and Ruptures of Eugenic Discourses in (Special Needs) Education," I will present artifacts and data related to textbooks, teaching manuals, oral testimony, and other education related files and materials from Nazi bureaucracy that I collected as a Visiting Fellow with the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through this material, I will trace some of the Nazification measures that took place in the special educational profession and focus on the site of special schools as they became invigorated in service of the Reich's racial hygiene measures. After all, teachers, teacher educators and special pedagogues played a significant role in realizing the annihilation projects at the "home front" through selection, sterilization, and killing of children and adults with disabilities and special needs. In my talk I want to show how eugenics served as a way to structurally implement population management that was geared towards separation, isolation, and forgetting, while it also fuelled a pedagogy of shame, envy and aggression against the "weak". Drawing on the Museum's resources, I give insights into historical foundations of discourses around cultural, social and biological deviance through which special pedagogy established itself as a credible pedagogical discipline and argue that some of its Nazi era "achievements" (Hänsel 2006) seem difficult to let go off when it comes to knowledge production vis-à-vis the "disabled" student

21st November, 4.30pm in TSI118

Prof Angela Bourke
Senior Professor Emerita Irish-Language Studies at UCD


Title: 'Máire Ní Mhongáin', a Song from Conamara: its Making and Reception

This sean-nós song from the Conamara Gaeltacht is attributed to the woman whose name it bears, and is said to have been made near Renvyle, at the mouth of Killary Harbour, where Irish is no longer generally spoken. Máire's verses lament her sons, who have long departed the area, expressing her fear that she won’t see them again in her lifetime. Peadar was her favourite, but her own death is not far off. My talk will explore where and by whom the song has been sung, how a tragic narrative has accreted over many generations, and what may lie behind it.


14th November, 4.30pm, Anthropology Seminar Room, upstairs in Rowan House

Prof Rajko Music
(Creole Exchange, Ljubljana)

Title:  Walter Benjamin on Radio: Ethnographic Vignettes for Children and Other Audiences


7th November, 4.30pm in SE130, School of Education Building

Prof Harry West
Co-Director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research; Lead of Exeter Food (University Research Network); and Convener of the Masters in Food Studies at the University of Exeter

Title:    "War and Cheese"

Abstract: Treatments of the relationship between war and food have often emphasized the effects of food upon war, which may certainly be profound. Such perspectives, however, over-simplify the dynamic between war and food, suggesting for example that food is a factor in war that can and should be managed by wartime leaders to desired effects. Drawing on Tolstoy’s view of war as the sum of a multitude of infinitesimal units of activity, I suggest the relationship between war and food is much more complex. Actors in wartime are driven by myriad motives, and waging war is not their only end. In such contexts, food itself may be the focus of some actions, and in any case, food may be as profoundly shaped by war as war is shaped by food. This paper considers the complex relationship between food and war through comparative historical examination on one foodstuff, namely cheese. It suggests that future scholarship see food and war as mutually constitutive, and view wartime transformations of food and foodways as historically significant in their own right.