Vårens seminarieserie arrangeras av Beppe Karlsson, Gabriella Körling, Johan Lindquist och Erik Olsson. Listan uppdateras kontinuerligt.



Monday January 20, 13.00–15.00, B600
Jennifer Mack, Associate Professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University.
The Construction of Equality: Syriac Immigration and the Swedish City

Discussant: Annika Rabo, Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

In The Construction of Equality: Syriac Immigration and the Swedish City (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), Jennifer Mack investigates the Swedish town of Södertälje, which has become the global capital of the Syriac Orthodox Christian diaspora. Since the 1960s, this Syriac community (known as assyrier/syrianer in Swedish) has transformed the standardized welfare-state spaces of the city’s neighborhoods into its own “Mesopotälje,” defined by houses with international influences, a major soccer stadium, churches, social clubs, and more. Mack argues that these Syriac projects – which often highlight the group’s minority status – have challenged the postwar principles of Swedish utopian architecture and planning that explicitly emphasized the erasure of difference. Neither are such projects merely the result of the grassroots social practices usually attributed to migrants; instead, they emerge through dialogues between residents and accredited architects, urban planners, and civic bureaucrats. Using interdisciplinary methods from anthropology and architectural history, Mack investigates urban development and the migrant experience in Europe over a fifty-year period.

Jennifer Mack is Associate Professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Researcher at the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University. She holds a PhD from Harvard University, an MArch and MCP from MIT, and a BA from Wesleyan University. Broadly, Mack’s work focuses on social change and the built environment, with ongoing research on the architecture and planning of mosques and churches in Sweden and on how discourses of sustainability and democracy are used in the renovations of the green, open, and public spaces created around Swedish multifamily housing during the 1960s and 1970s. Mack has previously published work on the “right to the garden” (with Justin Parscher), mid-20th century youth centers, and architects and bureaucratic expertise, among other topics. She is the co-editor of two anthologies: Rethinking the Social (Actar, 2019) and Life Among Urban Planners (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming 2020). Mack has also worked as an architectural and urban designer and is a member of several international research networks, including “New Towns, Arrival Cities” and three NOS-HS networks on welfare state architecture, architectural anthropology, and welfare landscapes.



Monday January 27, 13.00–14.30, B600
Andrew McWilliam is Professor of Anthropology in the School of Social Science at Western Sydney University, Australia
Poverty and Prosperity for Sama Bajo Fishing Communities in Southeast Sulawesi

Indonesia has experienced sustained economic growth in recent decades and is now a middle-income country with over 100million of its citizens entering the middle class. Despite these impressive gains, 28 million citizens remain impoverished with as many as 40million vulnerable to falling into poverty. Some of the poorest communities live on the coast pursuing low technology artisanal fishing livelihoods. In this presentation, I explore patterns of poverty and livelihood insecurity in two Sama Bajo coastal settlements of Southeast Sulawesi. Sama bajo livelihoods are shaped by seasonal patterns of fishing and marine based harvesting and trading. A strong feature of these communities is the presence of enduring patron-client relationships (punggawa –sabi) that provide forms of economic support and unequal co-dependence founded on debt. Findings of the study highlight the contribution of this key relationship to both the persistence of poverty in these communities but also opportunities for enhanced incomes and relative prosperity through fishing among resident households.

Andrew McWilliam is Professor of Anthropology in the School of Social Science at Western Sydney University, Australia. He is a specialist in the anthropology of Southeast Asia and has continuing ethnographic research interests in Eastern Indonesia and Timor-Leste as well as Northern Australia. His current research work includes the role of customary governance in post-conflict Timor-Leste; studies of maritime livelihoods and the politics of social protection in Indonesia; and work in northern Australia with indigenous native title claims and cultural heritage protection. He is Editor of The Australian Journal of Anthropology (TAJA). Recent book publications include a new monograph entitled, Post-Conflict Social and Economic Recovery in Timor-Leste: Redemptive Legacies (Routledge 2020), and a co-edited volume, The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Timor-Leste (2019 with M.Leach).




Monday February 3, 13.00–15.00, B600
Richard Swedberg: Department ofSociology, Cornell University (USA)
Theorizing in General & Theorizing with Metaphors

Today's talk has two parts. First an introduction to what the speaker means by theorizing; and then a discussion of the role of metaphors in theorizing. The introduction to theorizing will quickly touch on key points, such as the disrtinction between theory and theorizing as well as that between context of discovery and context of justification. Something will also be said about theorizing as working on the self (a topic discussed in the appended article). The part on metaphors mirrors my current work on this topic. I will present my ideas so far, which focus on the theory of the metaphor, its heuristic power and how to avoid making errors when using a metaphor.

Richard Swedberg: Department ofSociology, Cornell University (USA). Richard Swedberg is Professor ofSociology at Cornell University. His two specialties are economic sociology and social theory. He is currently working on various aspects of theorizing: how to do it, and how to teach it to students.



Monday February 10, 13.00–14.30, B600
Claudia Merli, Senior lecturer at Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University



Monday February 17, 13.00–14.30, B600
Gunnel Cederlöf, Linnaeus University, Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
A Historian among the Anthropologists: Imperial Competition in the Late 19th Century Burma–China Borderland


The large and interconnected territories between northeast India, Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar and southwest China have among the world’s most varied natural and socio-political conditions. High-value goods have travelled with caravans across the landscapes for at least a millennium within what is known as the southwestern branch of the Silk Road network. From the 19th century onwards, the region has been plagued by violent upheavals, colonial and imperial conquests, and authoritarian regimes and controls. The political borders are hard and heavily militarised. Yet, people move and migrate across those borders, and with people follow items, wealth, labour, animals, networks, kinship, beliefs, and behaviour.

By studying an unusual event—the first European led expedition from Bhamo in north Burma to Momein in western Yunnan in 1868, at the time of the large Panthay rebellion in Yunnan—we can trace how flows of communication moved in this frontier zone. Documentation kept by the British and Qing imperial administrations provides rich descriptions of the political events and their social and economic consequences with authors representing different parties in conflicts.

The expedition crossed the northern Shan-Dai multi-ethnic polities. Academically speaking, these large hill tracts between Yunnan and Burma have long been anthropology territory with important studies of the Wa, Shan, Dai, Jinghpaw/Kachin, and other ethnic groups. The rich composition of these societies has been researched in detail. Lately, their singular dissimilarity as people of the mountains, apart from the lowlands or valley kingdoms, has even been made theoretical iconography of ethnographic difference. As historian of the dramatic shifts of the 19th century one marvels at the absence of temporal shifts and transformations in these texts other than in grand terms of production systems or colonial conquest, or when a village is invaded by or included into modern society.

By keeping a narrow view on the 1868-expedition and the people and events it encountered, I will discuss how flows passed via the communication routes as they branched out in the hills and connected Burma and Yunnan via the Shan-Dai polities. With this perspective, we may also see how large and global empires collided in their competition for wealth in the web of routes.                                                             


Gunnel Cederlöf is Professor of History at the Linnaeus University, Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. Her work intersects the fields of colonial, environmental and legal history of modern India. She is the author of Founding an Empire on India’s North-Eastern Frontiers, 1790-1840: Climate, Commerce, Polity (2014), Landscapes and the Law: Environmental Politics, Regional Histories, and Contests over Nature (2008, 2019), Bonds Lost: Subordination, Conflict and Mobilisation in Rural South India c. 1900-1970 (1997, 2020), At Nature’s Edge: The Global Present and Long-Term History (2018 with M. Rangarajan), Subjects, Citizens and Law: Colonial and Independent India (2017 with S. Das Gupta), and Ecological Nationalisms: Nature, Livelihoods, and Identities in South Asia (2006, 2014 with K. Sivaramakrishnan).



Monday February 24, 13.00–14.30, B600
Liza Schuster, Reader in Sociology, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology, City University of London




Monday Mars 23, 13.00–14.30, B600
Anna Hedlund, Researcher Social Anthropology, Lund University
”Stop Shooting” Focused deterrence and crime prevention strategies in Malmö, Sweden 

Gun violence is an increased concern in Sweden. How are political authorities and the police dealing with violence prevention efforts in practice? What violence reduction strategies do they employ and what impacts do such interventions have on people and communities who are targets for such efforts? Building on theories on crime prevention and policing, this presentation will focus on the issue of gun violence in Malmö and the prevention methods employed. In Malmö, the police, social service and law enforcement agencies are currently implementing an American model (Group Violence Intervention) to reduce crime and gang related shootings. What kind of social and cultural challenges does Malmö face in terms of how to implement an effective program that can prevent gun violence? Based on ethnographic fieldwork among policy and decision makers in Malmö, interviews with key-persons who work with violence prevention in practice, as well as, individuals who partake in violence reduction programs, the aim with the project is to investigate the actual consequences of such strategies.

Anna Hedlund is a researcher at the Department of Sociology/Division of Social Anthropology, Lund University. Anna is currently conducting research on gun violence and crime prevention efforts in Malmö, Sweden. The research project is funded by Forte.





Monday 20 April, 13.00–14.30, B600
Sara Johnsdotter, Professor of Medical Anthropology, Malmö University