Franz Graf

Franz Graf, Mag. phil. Dr. phil.

Postdoctoral researcher



Research profile 

Franz Graf earned his PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Vienna and pursued studies in Medical Anthropology at Brunel University, London. Conducting fieldwork in Europe and Meso-America, he developed expertise in environmental anthropology and the anthropology of religion.

Franz served as the Fellows Program Coordinator at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) Vienna and facilitated the establishment of field schools in Burgenland, providing students with practical ethnographic research opportunities.

Currently, while continuing part-time lecturing at the University of Vienna, Franz is engaged in researching the interplay between memory and populism as part of the MEMPOP project led by Johana Wyss. His research focuses on the borderland of Burgenland between Austria and Hungary.


Research output 

Scientific Publications

Edited Volumes

2019    Luger, M., Graf, F.  and Budka P. Ritualisierung - Mediatisierung - Performance. V&R Unipress/Vienna University Press.

Book Chapters

2022    Graf, F. Ecological Subjectivity: A Case of Chemical and Other More-than-Human Sensitivities. In L. Masana and A.M. Hernáez (eds.) Subjectivities and Afflictions: A Medical Anthropology Approach, 153-173. Barcelona: Cambridge Scholar Publishing.

2019    Kremser, M., Graf, F. and Seiser, G. „Ein Leben scannen“: Fragmentarische Retrospektive von und auf Manfred Kremser. In M. Luger, F. Graf and P. Budka (eds.) Ritualisierung - Mediatisierung – Performance, 253-283. Göttingen: V&R Unipress/Vienna University Press.

2019    Luger, M, Budka, P. and Graf, F. Kultur- und Sozialanthropologische Perspektiven auf Ritualisierung, Mediatisierung und Performance - Eine Einleitung, 15-28. In M. Luger, F. Graf and P. Budka (eds.) Ritualisierung - Mediatisierung - Performance. V&R Unipress /Vienna University Press.

2017    Graf, F. Emerging Animistic Socialities? An Example of Transnational Appropriation of Curanderismo. In A. Hardon and B. Hadolt (eds.) New Socialities in Twenty-First Century Health Care, 25-41. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

2013    Graf, F. „Ich bin keine Mexikanerin, aber ich bin Mexica“: Über die Aneignung einer mexikanischen Heilpraxis im Umfeld von Revitalisierung und internationaler Verbreitung. In V. Futterknecht, M. Noseck-Licul and M. Kremser (eds.) Heilung in den Religionen: Religiöse, spirituelle und leibliche Dimensionen, 467-483. Vienna: Lit-Verlag.


2023    Graf, F. Teaching Local Anthropology on Climate Change: Ethnographic Field Schools at Lake Neusiedl, Austria. Policies & Practices 153 (December): 1-14.

2018    Luger, M. and Graf, F. Stereotype und Perturbationen: Ansätze systemisch-ökologischer Kritik in der späten Moderne. Systemische Notizen, 18(2): 14-18.

Research Reports

2011    Seiser, G. and Graf, F. Generationswechsel in kleinen Familienbetrieben. Deskriptive Analyse der quantitativen Erhebung in St. Georgen am Walde. Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna.

2010    Graf, F. Shamanism/Neo-Shamanism in Austria. In M. Noseck-Licul (ed.) Erhebung traditioneller und komplementärer Heilmethoden in Österreich. UNESCO-Commission/NA for the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Federal Ministry of Health and UNIQA.

Conference and Workshop Presentations

Invited Lectures and Contributions

2023    Comments and Discussion. M. Saha, Labour Train. Teaching Local Histories and Geographies of Climate-Induced Migration, CRG Teacher’s Workshop, Kolkata, 26 August 2023.

2023    Teaching Local Anthropology on Climate: Ethnographic Field Schools at Lake Neusiedl, Austria. Keynote Lecture, CRG Teacher’s Workshop, Kolkata, 25 August 2023.

2023    Comments and Discussion. S. Oushakine, Bringing Beauty into Life: How Soviet Workers Discovered Aesthetics after Stalin. IWM Fellows Colloquium, Vienna, 22 May 2023.

2021    Sprachencafé Nahuatl. Exhibition The Aztecs, World Museum Vienna, 19 April 2021 (online).

2021    „Nueva” Filosofia Nahuatl: Zur Revitalisierung einer magisch-religiösen Heilpraxis und ihrer internationalen Verbreitung. Exhibition The Aztecs, World Museum Vienna, 11 January 2021 (online).

2020    Comments and Discussion. M. Verbovska, How to Be a Climate Change Journalist in Ukraine and Why Environmental Storytelling Can Help Spread Important Ideas. IWM Fellows Colloquium, Vienna, 14 September 2020.

2019    Animismus zwischen Anziehung und Ablehnung: Ethnographische Beispiele und empirische Theoretisierung, Guest Lecture, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, 15 May 2019.

2019    Natur, Religion und Wissenschaft: Ethnische Religionen und aktuelle Debatten. Archdiocese Vienna, Vienna, 1 April 2019.

2015    Comments and Discussion, Rituale und materielle Kultur, Workshop, 10th Vienna Anthropology Days, with G. Seiser, University of Vienna, 25 April 2015.

2013    Die Lehre: Überlegungen einer radikalisierten Form der Teilnehmenden Beobachtung. Guest Lecture, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, 12 December 2013.

2012    La Mexicayotl: Studium eines medizinisch-spirituellen Systems im Umfeld von Revitalisierung und internationaler Verbreitung. Guest Lecture, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, 24 January 2012.

2011    Lernen heißt Teilnehmen: Aneignung von Heil-Praktiken im Umfeld von Revitalisierung und internationaler Verbreitung. Woche der Heilkunst, Vienna, 11 August 2011.

Conference and Other Presentations

2019    Ritualisierung – Mediatisierung – Performance. Book Release with M. Luger and P. Budka, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, 17. May 2019

2018    “What We Know of Aliveness”: Modern Paganism, Environmental Illness and More-than-Human Subjectivity. Medical Anthropology at Home (MAAH) conference, Universita Rovirai Virgili, Tarragona, 20 October 2018.

2018    Ecological Subjectivity and the Search for Truth in a More-than-Human World. The International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture (ISRLC) conference, Uppsala University, 29 September 2018.

2017    “Loving the Earth”: Britische Pagans und die Schaffung von Zugehörigkeit in einer mehr-als-menschlichen Welt. DGV/DGSKA conference, FU Berlin, 7 October 2017.

2014    Earth Based Spiritualities as a Resource for Sustainable Human-Environment Relations? An Example of Neo-Pagans in and around Bristol/UK. Summer School Workshop, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, 20 July 2014.

2013    Deep Social Nature: Animistic Ideas and Practices in Contemporary England from an Anthropological Perspective. Graduate Centre of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Vienna, 5 November 2013.

2013    “It Is an Illusion That You Are Separated from Everything That Is around You”: Animistic Rhetoric or Dwelling in a Living Environment? Sociology of Religion Study Group (SocRel) conference. Durham University, 9 April 2013.

2012    Engaging with a More-than-Human World: Contemporary Animic Practices as Critique of Modernity. EASA conference, Université Paris Nanterre, 11 July 2012.

2012    Engaging with a More-than-Human World: Curandersimo and “New” Animism. Medical Anthropology at Home (MAAH) conference, University of Amsterdam, 23 June 2012.

2012    Animismen in unserer modernen Zeit? Ethnologische Perspektiven auf Vorstellungen über die Beseeltheit der Welt. Jewish Institute for Adult Education, Vienna, 23 May 2012.

2009    Tradition ist Medizin: Lernen und Weitergabe von therapeutischen Praktiken in der mexikanischen Heilkunde. DGV conference, Goethe-University Frankfurt, 2 October 2009.

2009    Wissenschaftliche Positionierung der Awareness Research Group (ARG). Moving Anthropology Student/Social Network, with B. Fordinal and M. Luger. Vienna, 1 June 2009

Other selected publications and activities

Audio/visual publications

2017    Bukasa, D.-T. and Graf, F. Animismus und relationale Ontologien. Radio Orange 94.0, 60 min, Vienna: International Center for African Perspectives (ICAP).

2009    Haworth, S., Graf, F. and Rhodes, R. Viviendo el Día de Los Muertos / Living the Day of the Dead. Video, 20 min, Spanish with English subtitles. Mexico: Calpulli Cencalli.

2008    Graf F. and Kiesel H. Erinnern an traditionelles Heilwissen. Kongress-Dokumentation. Radio Orange 94.0, 50 min. Vienna: World Media Insights (wmi).

2007    Kiesel, H. and Graf, F. Moving Womenlife: Wer die Welt bewegen will, sollte erst sich selbst bewegen. Okto TV, 57 min. Vienna: World Media Insights (wmi).

2005    Zips, W. and Graf, F. Blut für Penkye Otu. Das Aboakyer Festival in Winneba/Ghana. Video, Bayern Alpha, 45min. München: Bayrischer Rundfunk.

Teaching in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna

2023, 2024     Seiser, G. and Graf, F. Field School: Borderland – Perceptions of the Environment between Leithagebirge and Hanság, 15.00 ECTS.

2023    Seiser, G. and Graf, F. Seminar: Bachelor's Thesis, 15.00 ECTS.

since 2011      Seiser, G., Graf, F. and Mixan, R. Qualitative Research Methods, 10.00 ECTS.

2022    Graf, F. and Luger, M. Landscape, Indigeneity and Mediatization - in memoriam Elke Mader, 3.00 ECTS.

2019-2022      Graf, F. Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods, 5.00 ECTS.

2020    Graf, F. and Luger, M. Anthropology of Religious Movements, 5.00 ECTS.

2017    Mader, E. and Graf, F. Animism: Theoretical Perspectives and Ethnographic Approaches, 10.00 ECTS.