RESA: Research School for Swedish Anthropology
PhD course open to: PhD students in Anthropology and related disciplines
Course title: Design Anthropology of Borders
Dates: November 2017 – January 2018
Location: Engaging Vulnerability, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University
Course coordinators/Teaching: Mahmoud Keshavarz and Shahram Khosravi
ECTS: 7.5 credits
Contact: Mats Hyvönen (

Borders seem to be everywhere. However, some borders are more visible than others due to the way they are designed. Some borders perform heavier than others due to their distinctive material qualities and some are mare lethal than others because of the way they perform. Some borders operate not only to repress but to produce different kinds of subject, wealth and capital, and they do so due to their specific design and materiality. This interdisciplinary course takes you to an inquiry of and intervention in the materiality of the geopolitical, urban and technological borders of the contemporary.

Objective of the course

The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the anthropology of objects, sites and spaces as borders and bordering processes through implying different ethnographic as well as design concepts and methods.


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Teaching activities include series of lectures, seminars, tutoring and workshops. Class attendance is obligatory. The language of instruction is English. For each seminar students are required to do an exercise.


Class attendance is obligatory.


Besides active participation in the course and short exercises, the students are expected to conduct and present a specific project that addresses encounters, negotiations and challenges around a border site of their choice. For the project, they can work individually or in a group of two if they wish. Second, they are expected to deliver an essay of max. 3000 words reflecting critically on the process of their work by analysing and referring to the course literature and their ethnographic practice. Students will be assessed for their active participation in class, their oral presentations of the project and for the quality of their final paper.

Application deadline: October 20.

If you wish to apply, please submit a short description of your academic background. Applications are sent to Mats Hyvönen at no later than October 20.