Our doctoral programme is a joint project of European Ethnology together with the Cultural and Social Anthropology institutes and departments at the Universities of Basel, Copenhagen, Graz, Inverness (University of the Highlands and Islands), Murcia, Tel Aviv, and Zagreb
English is the official language of the programme. The workshops and schools are conducted in English, but there are also some German-language events and seminars at LMU, the University of Basel and the University of Graz. International students in attendance receive support from a German-speaking peer if necessary. Conferences are held in English. Participants can choose to write their doctoral theses in English, German, Hebrew, Danish, Croatian or Spanish.
The programme starts in October. Students have three years to complete it.
Societies and social spaces change constantly, and certainly not just since people have started talking about globalisation. This means that profound cultural transformations are a constant throughout history. Historical and contemporary processes and phenomena linked to these transformations lie at the heart of the research agenda of our doctoral programme, which deals with European societies even though the transformations occur in global contexts.
Prospective doctoral students are encouraged to develop research questions related to the research agendas of the participating institutions and scholars. Our doctoral programme focuses on three closely linked research areas: migration, mobility, and multilocality; urban anthropology; and ethnography of work. However, prospective students may also propose research projects on other forms and aspects of social transformation.
Mobility, Migration, Multilocality
Against the backdrop of globalisation and migration in the second half of the twentieth century, "mobility", "migration", and "multilocality" became key paradigms of social research. The same can be said about transcultural anthropology, a perspective associated with these topics. Looking at the ways in which different actors cross borders and their cultures of knowledge makes it possible to grasp the nature of transnational spaces, borders, and regional and socio-cultural formations.
Doctoral projects in this area should look at "liquefying" and (in some cases) "re-solidifying" traditional spaces. In line with contemporary social theory, these spaces should be seen as physical as well as temporal, social, cultural, economic, and political spaces.
There has been a global re-ordering and re-positioning of cities in the last decades driven by globalisation and the extension of networks involving people and spaces. In some instances, the dynamic changes in question lead to homogenisation, but they are also always over-determined by developments specific to concrete places, which means they play out differently in different cities. Cities do not just develop within the confines of their political boundaries, but they are also interlinked with both their immediate surroundings and distant regions of the world. At the same time, there is a "renaissance of the city": all over the world. This gives rise to questions concerning the sustainability of city life, the conceptions of public space informing it, and the revitalisation of urban communities.
Ethnography of Work
In the last 20 years, research in European ethnology has increasingly applied ethnographic approaches and concepts to “work” and to the radical process of economisation affecting the life-world in post-Fordist times. Scholars in the field are discussing the usefulness of an extended concept of work, which takes into account people’s lives – and thus also refers to subjectification and the blurring of boundaries between work and life.
Building on this research and the corresponding concepts, doctoral students are asked to produce case studies on the transformations occurring in the contemporary world of work.
Additional support is offered by the GraduateCenter.