Temporality/materiality: ethnography in time
The research at the Department of Social Anthropology comprises several subjects. Many of our researchers are interested in related topics and we have currently three research groups.
This group looks at relations between ethnography and time. Since anthropology’s origins, time and history have been productive challenges, generating archival ethnographies and oral histories, and ethnographies of local historiography and its contemporary social and political use.
Such work is enriched by recent (renewed) interest in artefacts, materials and non-human beings, and the intersection between materiality and temporality in objects, waste, landscape, architecture, plants and animals, as well as sedimented routines and gestures, habits and circulations. Such entanglement with past times, through present materials, is constitutive of subjectivity and sociality, and of future imaginaries, positioned interests and politics. Hence it is central to anthropology.
Our group wants to explore the temporality/materiality nexus in diverse directions, driven by members’ interest and inspiration from external, interdisciplinary visitors. To achieve this, we use history, archaeology, science and technology studies, affect theory and performance studies and recent work across the humanities on themes like ruination and landscape, nostalgia and rhythms, and the ‘crisis of time’ and, by extension, modernity.