Memory and Populism from Below (MEMPOP)
ERC 2022 Starting Grant, Horizont Europe, European Commisssion
101076092; 1.1.2024 – 31.12.2028
Principal Investigator: MSc. Johana Wyss D.Phil.
Political polarisation with rising support for populist movements is one of the most pressing global issues that we are facing worldwide. Yet, it is usually Central and Eastern Europe that are singled out for examples of unprecedented resurgences of populism, illiberal nationalism, and increasingly authoritarian forms of government. However, considering how divergent the so-called populist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe are, as well as the types of mnemonic populism they employ, ‘populism’ has become a label that is as empty as it is fashionable. To scrutinise the notion of Central and Eastern European populism and provide a novel perspective on this phenomenon, the project proposes a radical shift from the two units of analysis that are taken for granted in populism studies: the temporal unit that presumes Central and Eastern European populism is a post-socialist consequence; and the geographical unit that essentialises contemporary nation-states of Central and Eastern Europe. By adopting a bottom-up approach and investigating the everyday mnemonic practices and populist sentiments of ordinary people living in the transnational borderland periphery, namely, Burgenland, Galicia, Istria, and Silesia, this pioneering study moves away from the elite, top-down investigation of populism as well as the tendency to treat the state as the primary unit of analysis. Instead, it shifts the centre of focus to the postimperial transnational borderlands where, in fact, both antagonistic memories and support for populist movements are arguably the strongest.
This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 101076092).
Veterinarization of Europe? Hunting for Wild Boar Futures in the Time of African Swine Fever (BOAR)
ERC Consolidator Grant, Horizon 2020, European Commission
Grant agreement ID: 866350; 2020-2025
Principal Investigator: Luděk Brož
Team members: Aníbal G. Arregui, Erica von Essen, Thorsten Gieser, Paul G. Keil, Laura J. Kuen, Kieran O’Mahony, Garry Marvin, Marianna Szczygielska, Virginie Vaté, André Thiemann
African Swine Fever is a fatal porcine virus infecting Europe’s prolific wild boar. Human conflict with wild boar has intensified over fears that exposure to a diseased population will contaminate domestic pig farms. Veterinarians play an important role in European State management of the viral threat. The BOAR project is an EU-funded, anthropological study of veterinary knowledge and practice beyond animal health, examining how veterinary science increasingly mediates human-wildlife interactions, and serves to structure and govern society through biosecurity measures. As self-appointed stewards of wild boar, recreational hunting communities are key subjects for researching veterinary interventions. The BOAR project will deliver innovative insights for the anthropology of hunting, the future of human-porcine relations, and the emerging subfield of 'veterinary anthropology'.
This project proposes a collaborative, ethnographic investigation of the relationship between three understudied subjects in anthropology: veterinary medicine, European hunting and wild boars. In recent decades, the wild boar has proliferated, (re)conquering the natural, rural and urban landscapes of Europe, and increasingly clashing with human practices and worlds. Classified as a game animal, the boar is primarily killed and managed by recreational hunters. Yet, hunters are proving incapable of stemming the tide of this intelligent, adaptable being, an interspecies relation that challenges hunting’s value and legitimacy in European society. This tension has amplified with the arrival of African Swine Fever (ASF) to the continent: a fatal virus that travels between wild boar and domestic pig, forest and farm, and threatens to infect and ruin the pig industry. In the name of biosecurity, and informed by veterinary knowledge, some States have intervened and conducted mass culls, erected dividing fences across Schengen space, or instituted no-go zones. During this crisis we witnessed how veterinary medicine’s role can extend beyond mediating human-animal relations, and work to structure and govern human lives in general. At the intersection of boars, hunting, ASF and veterinary medicine, this project has two main objectives: first, to examine how European hunting and porcine futures are intertwined, and the role of veterinarians in shaping these futures, and; second, through human-boar relations, study how society is becoming increasingly veterinarized and thus shape the conceptual and methodological development of the emerging field of veterinary anthropology. This project will further contribute to anthropology by opening a novel empirical and theoretical niche for the anthropology of hunting, and experiment with ethnography as a tool of engagement with near futures. The emerging and uncertain impact of ASF in Europe is an excellent moment to conduct such a project.
This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 866350).
European projects (other)
Network for forest by-products charcoal, resin, tar, potash (EU-PoTaRCh)
COST Action, COST: European Cooperation in Science & Technology
Start date: October 2023
Principal investigator: Poznań University of Life Sciences – Prof Magdalena ZBOROWSKA
Partners: Etnologický ústav AV ČR, Botanický ústav AV ČR
Project participants from the Institute: Dr. Jiří Woitsch (člen CA22155 Management Committee a WG1 co-coordinator)
EU-PoTaRCh-establishes a network for the past, present and future of use of major non-timber forest raw materials and products in Europe. Whilst it will focus on forest by-products mainly Potash Tar Resin Charcoal (PoTaRCh)–as representatives of traditional forest exploitation heritage, it will touch upon other forest by-products (tannins, pitches). The scholarly vision is to enlighten the relevance of these products in history, especially their role in industrialization. The goal is to identify and assess production changes and their social and environmental impacts on sustainable development, and based on their heritage, to draw lessons for the future. The Action will support stakeholders who know these products and are interested in them, as they use them in the production, education, and promotion of heritage. Due to the participation of stakeholders with significantly different activity profiles (museums, state forests, associations, etc.), hence high diversity of needs will have to be answered by this Action.
The Action will put emphasis on ITCs participation, which have a rich history of producing PoTaRCh, and also special attention to Gender balance mobilizing in particular women to act as leaders of WG, STMS and workshop organizers. The Action will help to find ways to sustainable forest use and transfer knowledge to better methods and products in the bioeconomy.
Project flyer here.
COST Action, COST: European Cooperation in Science & Technology
Start date: Autumn 2022
Principal investigator: CEVA Animal Health – Dr. Gwenaëlle Dauphin
Partners: Etnologický ústav AV ČR
Project participants from the Institute: Dr. Luděk Brož
Swine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease in pigs caused by influenza A viruses (swIAV) which leads to production losses. The intensification of pork production systems and free livestock movement across borders fosters the spread of the virus in Europe. New variants, some with zoonotic potential, constantly emerge. Recent human pandemics have highlighted the zoonotic and reverse zoonotic potential of swine influenza and its risks for both animal and public health. Despite the burdens caused by swine influenza, surveillance across Europe is scanty and fragmented. Disease awareness is low in some European countries, diagnostic protocols are not harmonized, most countries lack standardised procedures and vaccine coverage is inconsistent. An interdisciplinary expert network is needed to develop a comprehensive view of the disease and its impacts to better manage swine influenza in Europe. ESFLU will:
● Facilitate data sharing and analysis for swIAV surveillance with national and international agencies
● Establish the network as the European OFFLU counterpart and support global surveillance and pandemic preparedness
● Strengthen capability in Europe to detect, identify and characterize swIAV virus
● Establish guidelines for swIAV management and control in pig herds
● Promote dialog between stakeholders and inform policymakers and the general public on swine flu disease burden and the risks to public health.
ESFLU gathers 76 experts in an interdisciplinary One Health approach. The Action will advance scientific knowledge concerning swIAV, improve disease surveillance and management capabilities, benefit pork production and reduce risks to both animal and human health.
Slow Memory: Transformative Practices for Times of Uneven and Accelerated Change
COST Action, COST: European Cooperation in Science & Technology
Principal Investigator: Nottingham Trent University – Prof. Jenny Wüstenberg
Partners: Etnologický ústav AV ČR
Project participants from the Institute: Dr. Johana Wyss
We are living in times of deep contradictions. While our world accelerates and grows smaller through superfast digital networks, it is also marked by widening socio-economic disparities. We face viral pandemics, rapid species extinction, increased automation of work, quick fixes for mental health, political upheavals and displacements of old certainties. Adaptation and resilience to these challenges must draw on past experiences and cultural resources – this can only happen if we slow down and take time to remember well. This Action addresses the need for increased interdisciplinarity in our understanding of how societies confront their past to contend with environmental, economic and social changes brought on by sudden events and by slow and creeping transformations. The future of peace, prosperity, politics, work and climate will depend upon how we remember socio-cultural and political changes. Transformative practices of remembrance – as objects of study and as critical interventions – will be shared collaboratively across Arts and Sciences in order to reveal the ways in which humans confront large-scale processes of change. This Action will uniquely focus the attention of scholars, policymakers and cultural professionals on alternative paths to build resilience in the face of contemporary rapid-response culture. Through transnational and interdisciplinary discussions, we will address urgency, emergency, crisis and acceleration by drawing together the ‘multi-sited’, ‘eventless’ and slow-moving phenomena that can best be studied by ‘slowing down’ our research methods, to afford capacity building, knowledge generation and impact activities. Inspired by ‘slow science’ (Stengers 2018), we seek an alternative kind of social remembering.
Projects funded by The Czech Science Foundation
Unequal citizenship and transnational mobilisation of Polish, Czech, and Ukrainian Roma in the face of war in Ukraine
Bilateral NCN-GACR Lead Agency Project
Partner organisation: Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw and Seminar of Romani Studies, IECEBS, Faculty of Arts, Charles University
The solidarity shown towards Ukrainians fleeing the war by Poland and Czechia was unprecedented, but not everyone was treated equally. This bilateral Polish-Czech project involving three institutions focuses on the migration experiences and trajectories of Ukrainian Roma, that is those who did not fit the dominant racial and gender profile of a deserving Ukrainian refugee. It also examines the actions of Czech and Polish Roma who mobilized to assist them. The study looks at the unequal nature of citizenship in Central and Eastern Europe and how antigypsyism affects and is reproduced in different relationships and dynamics that emerge in the context of war, such as refugee relief. By comparing Poland and Czechia, countries with a significant Ukrainian population and a high proportion of Ukrainian refugees, the research provides a unique perspective. Moreover, both countries have complex and specific histories of Romani and non-Romani relations. Mixed Romani and non-Romani research teams will use various ethnographic methods to highlight Romani agency and challenge the legacy of methodological nationalism that reproduces the exclusionary nature of the nation-state towards ethnic minorities.
Between “East” and “West” – border experiences and narratives on the Czech-Slovak and Slovak-Ukrainian state borders
Standard Projects, Czech Science Foundation, 23-05924S, 2023–2025
Principal Investigator: Institute of Ethnology CAS – Mgr. Jana Nosková, Ph.D.
Partners: Institute of Ethnology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague
Project participants from the Institute: PhDr. Katarína Popelková, CSc., Dr. Natalia Zaitseva-Chipak
The interdisciplinary project deals with border experiences and their changes in times of crises. The subject of its empirical research is the Czech-Slovak and Slovak-Ukrainian borders. The project focuses on the following areas: (1) identifying how borders are perceived, experienced and narrated by local actors; (2) analysing how borders are (re)produced in and through practices and discourses; (3) exploring the strategies and ways for “creating” and “using” borders as resources at the local and national levels; (4) questioning the role of communicative and cultural memory in thematizing state borders and analysing the politics of memory. The research results will be synthesized; will elucidate how borders are (re)constructed from both the micro- and macro-perspectives; and will significantly expand knowledge about border experiences in contemporary, glocalized society. The research uses qualitative methods; its theoretical framework is based on concepts and approaches related to border studies, memory studies, and narrative studies.
Folklore revival in post-socialist countries: politics, memory, heritization and sustainability
Mezinárodní project Lead Agency, Grantová agentura ČR
P410 - Moderní dějiny (od roku 1780) a etnologie
GAČR 22-31474K; 2022–2024
Principal Investigator: Etnologický ústav AV ČR, v. v. i.
Partners: The Institute of Ethnomusicology, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The project will focus on monitoring the folklore activities in contemporary society, which are associated with making music and dance with elements of traditional folk culture without an obvious intention to cultivate, care for or further disseminate. Unlike the ideologically conceived folklore movement of the second half of the 20th century, there is a shift from presentational to participatory. There is a change in the environment of these activities, which take place not only in the activities of folklore ensembles and associated events, but in connection with emerging events. Important is the process of adopting images of the folklore movement in cultural memory, it is also a shift from local to global: folklore as a reflection of local or regional identity versus folklore as a field of hybrid and multi-genre musical dance expression using bricolage and appropriation of deterritorialized traditions. The theoretical frameworks will provide ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology focused on the study of music and dance in everyday life, their performativity and ways of communication.
Standardní projekt 2022, Grantová agentura České republiky
Principal Investigator: Slezské zemské muzeum – Dr. Ondřej Kolář
Partners: Etnologický ústav AV ČR
Project participants from the Institute: Dr. Johana Wyss, Mgr. Anežka Brožová
This interdisciplinary project focuses on social transformations and their impact in the region of Czech Silesia and the surrounding North Moravian territories (within the purview of the Provincial National Committee located in Ostrava) during the period between the end of World War II in Europe and the rise of communist regime in Czechoslovakia in February 1948. During the stated period, officially dubbed the Third Republic, the region was affected by the forced expulsion of the majority of German population, as well as by massive industrialisation. This period was also significant due to the re-shaping of Czech-Polish relations and ongoing debates about the role of Silesia in the Czech Lands. Demographic, economic, administrative, and social changes were also accompanied by policies of "czechisation" regarding cultural and academic life. This project focuses on four research themes: Administration, Identity, Migration, and Urbanism. To satisfactorily cover these multidisciplinary topics, the research team is comprised of historians, art historians, and social anthropologists.
Minutes between life and death: Changes in emergency medical service and the professional identity of its employees in the Czech lands 1952−2003
Grant no.: GA23-05753S; 2023−2025
Coordinator: Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences, Mgr. Jiří Hlaváček, Ph.D.
Partners: Institute of Ethnology, Czech Academy of Sciences
Project participant from the Institute: Mgr. Olga Nešporová, Ph.D
The project focuses on the analysis and identification of processes in the development of emergency medical service (EMS) and the professional identity of its employees in the Czech
lands from 1952, when professional pre-hospital emergency care was taken over by the state, to 2003 when EMS transformed into regional contributory organizations. The aim is to describe EMS institutionalization, professionalization and modernization by comparing the official discourse (legislation and departmental documents) and actors’ perspectives (witnesses’ reflections) through regional micro-historical surveys. Interdisciplinary research combines history of medical science, contemporary history, memory and identity studies. The data will be collected and processed using the methods of classical historiography (archival research), historical anthropology (discursive, narrative and symbolic analysis) and social anthropology (qualitatively focused narrative and semi-structured interviews). A published collective monograph and six partial studies on the issue will be the main output of the project.
Lumina quaeruntur (Czech Academy of Sciences)
Principal Investigator: Martin Fotta
Team Members: Mária Málková, Anna Clara Viana de Oliveira, Tina Magazzini
This project recasts Roma from ‘the largest European minority’ to a pan-Atlantic diaspora shaped by the processes and relationships that structure the globalized world. It advances our understanding of the relational nature of identity formation and social classifications. Despite the centuries-long presence of Roma in America and Africa, scholarship remains methodologically Eurocentric. Romani identities are commonly treated in isolation from global connections that shape how they view themselves and are viewed relative to other ethno-racial communities. Alternatively, the project proposes to investigate Romani identity within comparative, transnational, and intercultural frameworks. The team will conduct ethnographic and archival research in the South Atlantic and examine Romani social position in relation to other ethno-racial projects (e.g., Atlantic slavery). This will generate insights into how different racial contexts impact their belonging and interethnic interactions.
Praemium Academiae (Czech Academy of Sciences)
Research on Environmental Sustainability and on the Use of Resources in Central European Households (RESOURCE).
Praemium Academiae/Akademická prémie 2023, Akademie věd České republiky
2024 - 2029
Principal Investigator: Petr Jehlička
Research Associates: Evelien de Hoop (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Lucie Sovová (Wageningen University & Research), Esther Veen (Aeres University of Applied Sciences)
The rationale for this project is the realisation that Czech (and other Central European) households harbour a range of everyday practices that are significant in terms of key insights into the efficient and sustainable use of resources. The RESOURCE Project looks at two everyday practices – the production of food waste and consumption of tap water by Czech households – that are at per capita levels considerably below European Union averages. For comparative reasons, it investigates these practices also in the Netherlands. At the same time, both in academic and public policy circles the fact that Czech households master these frugal and thrifty practices is rarely reflected upon. Consequently, little is known about how these remarkable successes are achieved.
Most research projects concerned with efficient resource management on the household level seek to identify ways of reducing or minimising the use of resources while relying, explicitly or implicitly, on the adoption of knowledge and know-how transferred from Western contexts. In contrast, the originality of this Project stems from a reversed logic of questioning. How can the already low, thrifty and frugal use of resources in society be understood and this knowledge made transferrable to other societies? Answering these questions is not only an enticing scholarly challenge but, more importantly, a source of valuable knowledge and practical know-how. If this know-how on household frugal resource use were adopted at the European level, some of the European Union’s key targets concerning reductions in resource use would have been not only met but significantly exceeded.
Strategy AV21, Czech Academy of Sciences; 2020–2021
Investigator: Markéta Holubová
The aim of the project is to create and launch a model e-edition of the annual reports of the Jesuit residence a place of pilgrimage in Bohosudov near Teplice. Electronic access to the annual reports of the Jesuit residence will emable very effective work with them with the help of quality registration and other aids.
Researcher: Jaroslav Otčenášek
This project focused on selected areas of the Czech countryside, where the traditional cultural landscape and the associated cultural memory have either completely disappeared or been significantly interrupted, and efforts to reconnect with older traditions are so difficult, if not sometimes impossible. Specifically, these are military areas, areas of dam construction and regions affected by opencast minning, especially brown coal after 1945. Numerous documents are stored in the collections of the Institute of Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic v. v. i., on the basis of which the study of collective memory, cultural landscape memory etc., can be studied very well. Areas flooded by dams and devastated by opencast coal minning are captured relatively well, but military areas and the border zone are unfortunately insufficiently captured, mainly due to practical inaccessibility at the time.
Selected locations with relevant photos and details can be found here.
Zpřístupnění a uchování fondu Zaměřovací akce České akademie věd a umění – Národopisné komise pomocí digitalizace
Team members: PhDr. Dana Motyčková, CSc. a PhDr. Kateřina Sedlická
Cílem aktivity je zpřístupnění a uchování fondu Zaměřovací akce současnými neinvazivními prostředky, dále revize a doplnění databáze a především digitalizace plánové dokumentace a fotografií, v první fázi z lokalit ve Středočeském kraji. Fond byl protektorátním projektem Národopisné komise (1940–1946), za cíl si kladl především dokumentaci vesnické roubené architektury s jejími regionálními specifiky a vytvoření stavebně-technických výkresů tradičního lidového stavitelství. Vzniklý jedinečný soubor plánů a kreseb (2000 jednotek formátu A0 - A2), fotografií (10 000 jednotek) a písemných materiálů má nevyčíslitelnou historicko-oborovou dokumentační hodnotou pro poznání jeho tradičních forem.
Ediční řada Češi v cizině (project website, Czech only)
Databáze Kramářských a starých tisků Etnologického ústavu AV ČR, v. v. i. (project website, Czech only)
Databáze německých kramářských tisků, jednolistů a kupletů Etnologického ústavu AV ČR, v. v. i. (project website, Czech only)
Digitalizace Zpravodajů KSVI 2017 (project website, Czech only)
Lidová kultura - Národopisná encyklopedie Čech, Moravy a Slezska (elektronická verze) (project website, Czech only)
The urbanonyms of Ostrava in time and space
Strategy AV21, Czech Academy of Sciences, 2020
Investigator: Přemysl Mácha
Team members: Luděk Krtička, Jaroslav David
Partners: University of Ostrava, City of Ostrava
The goal is to build upon, and expand, previous research on Ostrava urbanonyms in order to create an interactive public on-line database with the possibility of visualizing information about street names and the history of individual places. Additional outputs include a peer-reviewed article and a paper presented at an international conference.
National recovery plan
Programme of support for excellent research in priority areas of public interest in health care - EXCELES, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
Research group leader Social Resilience: Alice Koubová, Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Principal investigator from IE CAS: Michal Šípoš
Team members from IE CAS: Luděk Brož, Martin Fotta, Mária Málková
SYRI is a scientific platform that brings together experts from Masaryk University, Charles University, and Czech Academy of Sciences. Its aim is to examine risks and mitigate social issues triggered by dramatic events such as the global health crisis, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and environmental crises.