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Starting anew: ethnological trajectories in exile and displacement 
Katharina Lange (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient)
Katja Geisenhainer (University of Vienna and Frobenius Institute Frankfurt)
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Knowledge Production
Thursday 8 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Prague

Short Abstract:

Since the 1930s, European ethnologists from countries suffering from war and conflict have had to relocate to new places and research traditions. This panel invites historical and contemporary case studies about scholarly lives and careers in situations of unplanned relocation, refuge, and exile.

Long Abstract:

Like other professions, ethnologists, folklorists and (social/cultural) anthropologists from countries that have suffered from war, violent conflict, or political repression have in recent years been forced to adjust to sudden and sometimes existential disruptions: scholars have had to relocate to unfamiliar national research traditions, and work and write in languages that are not their mother tongue. While such abrupt relocations have received renewed attention in Europe over the past decade, similar phenomena have been taking place since the 1930s.

This panel invites historical and contemporary case studies to enable a diachronic and comparative view on scholarly lives and careers in situations of unplanned relocation, refuge, and exile. Through ethnographic and biographical approaches, we want to reflect on questions such as:

1) Which challenges do and did exiled ethnologists face, and how does/did this impact their scholarly output? Which promising research themes had to be abandoned, which academic careers were forced to end?

2) Which relations and structures have helped ethnologists navigate such sudden relocations? What roles do cross-border professional networks and personal connections play for accessing resources and facilitating acclimatisation to new environments?

3) To which extent have displaced ethnologists been able to continue their scholarly work? How did their thematic or regional foci, the sources and methods they employed, shift - and what continuities do we see?

4) Under which circumstances were emigrants able to open up new and innovative perspectives for colleagues that stayed in place, both in "host" research communities and in the countries they left behind?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 8 June, 2023, -