Meet our new colleagues
Camelia Dewan, associate senior lecturer
Dr Camelia Dewan is an environmental anthropologist focusing on the anthropology of development. She holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and Environment from the University of London (SOAS/Birkbeck) and is an Associate Senior Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology at Uppsala University examining the socio-environmental effects of shipbreaking in Bangladesh. Dr Dewan is the author of Misreading the Bengal Delta: Climate Change, Development and Livelihoods in Coastal Bangladesh (University of Washington Press, 2021) and co-editor of two special issues: "Fluid Dispossessions: Contested Waters in Capitalist Natures” (Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology) and "Scaled Ethnographies of Toxic Flows" (Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space).
Mahmoud Keshavarz, Associate Senior Lecturer
I am a Docent in Cultural Anthropology and have engaged in a transdisciplinary research and teaching practice situated at the intersection of anthropology, design studies and critical border studies with a particular focus on the question of (de-)coloniality. My work addresses the violent yet imaginative capacities of materialities of borders and (im)mobilities. I have done ethnographic work on materialities of undocumented lives in Europe, practices of smuggling and border transgression, and colonial imaginaries of humanitarian design and innovation. I am author of The Design Politics of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility, and Dissent (Bloomsbury, 2019) and co-editor of Seeing Like a Smuggler: Borders from Below (Pluto Press, 2022). Previously, I have hold teaching and research positions at Malmö University, Uppsala University, Stockholm University and University of Gothenburg in both anthropology and design studies. Between 2019 and 2022 I was co-editor-in-chief of the journal Design and Culture. I am also co-founder of Decolonizing Design collective and Critical Border Studies Network.
Currently I am working on my next book tentatively titled Towards a Design Anthropology of Borders which is a visual-textual narrative of how borders and bordering practices are shaped by the materials, images, and technologies originated within colonial and liberal discourses and how they may shape in return bordered or no-border imaginations and worldviews, normalized or unsettled through technological consumption and use.
Matias Menalled, PhD student
I studied Sociocultural Anthropology at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina (2011-2017) and my Master in Anthropology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (2018-2020). Between 2016-2018 and 2020-2023, I worked as a Scientific Application Specialist with orientation in Disaster Risk Management at the Servicio Meteorológico Nacional in Argentina. Since September 2023, I am a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Anthropology at Uppsala University in Sweden and a member of the C-URGE Doctoral Network of Anthropology of Global Climate Urgency (2023-2027) funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. My doctoral research focuses on technology and expertise in the urgency of drought in Argentina. The aim of this PhD project is to gain ethnographic knowledge about how water scarcity and drought are understood, framed and managed by different social actors in the Esteros del Iberá (Corrientes, Argentina) through an anthropological perspective.
Metztli Sarai Hernández Garcia, PhD student
I am a social anthropologist who specializes in land-related affairs and indigenous rights, with an MA in environmental anthropology from the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CEISAS). I’ve engaged in collaborations with both private and public institutions, contributing to the development of territorial programs and initiatives with a comprehensive and culturally sensitive approach in México and Peru. Currently, I’m a Doctoral student at Uppsala University as part of the C-urge project, investigating the repercussions of the Carbon Credit Market on the territorial rights of the Qom people in Formosa, Argentina.
Sam Kniknie, Guest PhD student
Sam Kniknie is a PhD researcher at Conflict Research Group (Ghent University). His research looks at urban protest in the conflict-ridden city of Goma, DR Congo. Building on an ethnographic approach, he studies how youth in urban peripheries engage in practices of urban political violence and how their subjectivities are moulded in an in-between space. More specifically, he focuses on how urban political youth groups mobilize local and global subjectivities, how violence is both an experience and a form of agency for these groups and how in-between spaces and identities produce riots.
Inna Shvorak, Guest Researcher
I am an ethnomusicologist and a folk singer, researching rituals in the rural culture of Ukraine. In 2021, I defended my PhD, titled "Mythological structures in the traditional wedding ceremony of Western Volhynia." The thesis tackles the binary oppositions of the worldview of traditional society through the prism of the wedding ritual. The folklore base primarily consists of recording from my own expeditions, conducted between 2011 and 2015. During these expeditions, I visited various villages and had the privilege of interacting with the older generation, who graciously shared their fascinating accounts of traditional marriage customs and practices, providing me with valuable insights into the ways in which they and their ancestors used to enter into matrimony.
In my current research, I am studying new rituals in the current militarized society of Ukraine since 2014, which arise both in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in civilian life.
Jecinta Okumu, Research Coordinator
I hold a PHD in medical sociology from Northumbria University, Newcastle UK, which focused on young people living with HIV/AIDS and issues around adherence and identity as they transition into adulthood. I also hold a M.SC in Sustainable development from Uppsala University and diploma in HR from Kenya institute of management. My research combines sustainable development practices in promoting good health especially for people living with chronic illnesses; young people and identity, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health identity issues globalization, migration and their implications to good health; issues of ethics and qualitative research methodologies in general.
Currently, I work ad a research co-ordinator for the forum for Africa Studies where I together with the team plan for and administrate the forums activities.
Kajsa Hallberg Adu, Research Coordinator
My research turns towards the future as I research youth in Ghana and beyond, student migration, integration, knowledge societies, social media in the classroom, social media in African elections, uses of augmented reality, and recent publications have been on the important issue of decolonizing the academy. My dissertation was on migration aspirations among university students in Ghana and findings pointed to an education culture, more than a migration culture with plans of returning. My informants kept closely in touch with friends and family overseas and also shared reservations about the migration option and cited racism and different religious morals abroad. At the department, I teach African studies, spring 2023 two courses: A2 Africa in the 2000s and A3 African Cultural Expressions.
Before joining UU, I was a project coordinator for international and regional projects at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, a postdoc at the Nordic Africa Institute 2019-2021, and before that, I taught for 10 years at Ashesi University in Ghana. I am the co-founder of BloggingGhana.org, the first and biggest organization for social media influencers and enthusiasts in Ghana, and a Senior Adviser at the Sweden-based think tank Global Challenge. I hold a Ph.D. degree in African Studies (University of Ghana) and a Master's degree in Political Science (Uppsala University, Sweden).
Marcelo Pablo Pacheco Camacho, PhD student
I am Marcelo Pablo Pacheco Camacho and I join the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Uppsala University through the ASDI Doctorate Scholarship (Swedish Cooperation to Bolivia) between the International Science Programme (ISP) and DIPGIS, the research unit of Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, in La Paz. I am also part of the Psychology Department at UMSA, working for its Institute of Research, Interaction and Graduate Studies. My research at Uppsala will be carried out with migrants from the Bolivian highlands, belonging specifically to Batallas and Tiwanaku populations that currently live in La Paz, in the context of climate change psychosocial dynamics. I am seeking for ways to build and restore mental health, individual resilience and specially to find mechanisms that would enable Human Agency to cancel out thought-process precariousness and generate value for life projects. My interests also include Peacebuilding, Cognitive Anthropology, Community Psychology and how Culture influences our sense of self within a Neuroanthropological perspective.
Jennie will work with communication in Susann Baez Ullberg’s project C-Urge and assist Angelika in the work with the department website. Jennie got her master’s degree in Anthropology from Uppsala University in 2018. Since then she has work as a research assistant in an international project about extended working life at Karlstad University, as well as at a communications agency in Uppsala. Now she is looking forward to combining her past experiences in her new role at the department.
Chakad Ojani, Postdoctoral position
I am a social anthropologist working at the intersection between infrastructures and environments. My research is concerned with the socio-political possibilities that infrastructures enable and foreclose, as well as the practices of speculation that people sometimes engage in when envisaging novel ways in which environments and infrastructures might become related. I am currently writing a book on fog capture in coastal Peru, as well as a series of articles on science fiction and outer space infrastructures and imaginaries in Sweden.
Ana Chiritoiu, Postdoctoral position
I am a social anthropologist working at the intersection of legal, moral, and political anthropology. I've been conducting research with Roma in Eastern Europe for over a decade now, both as an academic and as an engaged researcher, working on ethnic conflict, marginalization, and Romani politics. I am especially interested in how the social exclusion of Roma reflects onto the Roma’s own notions and practices of kinship, social order, exchange, and moral norms. These topics inform my envisaged book, titled Making Virtue Out of Necessity In a Romanian Mahala. My next research project, titled Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, examines the role of digital media in the social reproduction of Romaniness in the context of Roma migration.
Juan Miguel Fabbri Zeballos, PhD student
I studied my BA in Anthropology at Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA) in Bolivia and I am currently a teacher and researcher at the Anthropology and Archaeology Research Institute at this university. I have a Master degree in Visual Anthropology from the Latin American Faculty of Social Science (FLACSO) in Ecuador. I also have a background in the visual arts. I was the curator of the Bolivian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennial, and curator and chief of the National Museum of Art of Bolivia.
My dissertation research aims to understand how indigenous communities in Bolivia cope with migration and climate change. The Bolivian Highlands, the so called altiplano, is among the areas that has been most affected by climate change in this country, pushing people to migrate due to water scarcity, drought, land erosion, biodiversity loss and increased fragility of ecosystems. The project investigates the identity dynamics of the indigenous population in their communities of origin and in their migrant destinations. I will apply ethnographic and visual methodologies in my fieldwork.
Huai-Tse Yang, PhD student
My research is about the contemporarily everyday experiences of the Uyghur and Kazakh people in the Almaty region along the Kazakhstani-Chinese borderlands, particularly people who hold ties to Xinjiang, the Northwest region of China. Since 2017, China’s government has conducted the operation of internment camps targeting Turkic Muslim communities. Such omnipresent oppression floods over the Central Asian borders, disrupting the life of the migrated communities that relied on cross-border connections. In this project, the aftermath of the crackdown and cultural erasure would be understood by the concepts of fear and perceptions of environment.
Several site experiences in the Uyghur/Kazakh homeland from 2009 and my transdisciplinary background illuminate me on the pathway to anthropology. Prior to my PhD studies, I have years of working experience in an environmental NGO in China. Currently, I also offer column articles to Taiwanese media on the ongoing issues of the Uyghur people and Xinjiang.
Bim Kilje, PhD student
I received my MA in Cultural Anthropology from Uppsala University and have recently worked as a research assistant at Stockholm University, in a project on sustainable city planning. My dissertation will treat the topic of how people in a rural, post-industrial town in Uppland, Sweden, attempt to create a sense of safety and social belonging in times of global crises, national discourses on unsafety and the withdrawal of local state services.
Oulia Makkonen, Research Coordinator
Oulia Makkonen holds a PhD in Mission Studies and World Christianity from the faculty of Theology at Uppsala University (2022). She has a background in Cultural History, with an emphasis on film (MA from the State University of Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2003-2009) and has taken advance studies in Practical Theology (University of Helsinki 2011-2014). Her research combines film studies and theology in African contexts. Her doctoral dissertation They Will Call me the Black God: Imaging Christianity and the Bible in African Film explores the political and historical implications of the Christianisation on the continent through the lenses of African filmmakers.
Her research interests include the aesthetics and narratives of political film, religion in postcolonial contexts, feminist and womanist theologies, art and decoloniality.
Oulia currently works as research coordinator at the Forum for Africa Studies, where she is involved in the organisation and administration of Forum’s various seminar series, as well as academic and public events including roundtables, conferences, doctoral schools, film screenings and discussions.
Viktorija Ceginkas, Guest Researcher
Until June 9th 2022 we will have a guest researcher, ethnologist Viktorija Čeginskas at our departement. Viktorija is from the Departement of Ethnology at Jyväskylä University (Finland) and also based in Munich (Germany). She works in two research projects: "Sensory and Material Memories: Exploring Autobiographical Materiality" (SENSOMEMO) and "EU Heritage Diplomacy and the Dynamics of Inter-Heritage Dialogue" (HERIDI).
Eric Orlowski, Affiliated PhD
Eric Orlowski is a PhD researcher based at University College London’s (UCL) Department of Anthropology. Starting during his MSc. in 2018, his research interests focused on early human augmentation practices in Sweden, specifically by looking at the fledgling human microchipping scene. His PhD project looks at the futures imagined by the designers and inventors of these emergent technologies, how they assess the present and future risks of their creations, and the implications these ideas have on the view of the future human/human in the future.
Eric is currently doing his fieldwork in Sweden, and throughout this period, he is affiliated as a visiting doctoral researcher at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
Carl Rommel, Researcher
Carl is a researcher, whose research focus on contemporary Egypt. His research interests include the politics of emotions and affect, masculinity, temporality, sports, the ‘project form’ and authoritarian statecraft.
He completed dual degrees in Sociotechnical Engineering and the History of Science and Ideas at Uppsala University between 2001 and 2007. After a period of of Arabic studies and freelance journalism in Cairo, he moved on to SOAS, University of London, where he earned an MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies (2009) and PhD in Social Anthropology (2015). Based on twenty months of ethnographic fieldwork in Cairo between 2011 and 2013, his doctoral dissertation traces transformations within the emotional politics of Egyptian football before and after the 2011 Revolution. The thesis has been redeveloped into his first ethnographic monograph, Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics (University of Texas Press, 2021).
Between 2017 and 2021, Carl worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the ERC-funded Crosslocations project at the University of Helsinki. He has also held research fellowships at Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin and the University of Bern and taught social anthropology at the Free University in Berlin, the University of Helsinki, and Stockholm University.
His current research – Egypt as a Project: Dreamwork and Masculinity in a Projectified Society – is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. It explores social and political implications of Egyptian dreams of projects.
Susanne Wikman, Financial Administrator
I am adopted from Sri Lanka and have lived in Uppsala all my life. Before my career in finance, I studied to be a finance administrator and worked extra on the radio channel P3 Humorhimlen as a sidekick because I love to laugh and have a fun. After my parental leave, I started working at Uppsala University's finance department in January 2015 and have also worked at various departments.
In September 2021, I started working here at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology and in the Engaging Vulnerability project where I take care of all finances related to the project.
Aksana Mushkavets, Finance officer
I grew up in Germany and Russia. I have a master´s degree in international economics. I´ve been living and working in different countries. I moved to Uppsala in 2012 and started working at Uppsala University International Science program where I worked as a program administrator for several years. Since january 2021 I´m working as a financial administrator at Geocentrum and form September I am excited to start my new career journey at Center for Gender Research, 50% and at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, 50%. I am going to work with financial management of externally funded research projects, financial accounting, follow-up and reporting of projects, forecasts and will take responsibillity for the institutions total finances, budget work, invoice management and more.
Arvid Lundberg, Researcher
One of our three research environments belonging to the department - Engaging Vulnerability - has been expanded expanded with yet another researcher. The department welcomes Arvid Lundberg who will research the following theme:
The Arab Spring showed that democratization in the Arab world seldom follows from an uprising against an authoritarian regime. Rather, democratization depends on slower changes. But what kind of changes? The project answers that question by studying a case where political liberalization is connected to a broader cultural change: the transformation of the political and social culture of Maan, a desert town in southern Jordan. This transformation is about the emergence of political parties, but also of certain forms of education and social life. The change is not only about a new national identity or a stronger civil society, but about something else, which several of Maan’s young residents call infitāḥ (openness), and which they contrast with the social and political landscape their parents grew up in. What is the character of infitāḥ? What can it teach us about the cultural foundations of political liberalization in the Arab world? And how does this “openness” differ from ideals that are associated with liberalism in a European context? These are the questions this project wants to answer.
Per Vesterlund, Researcher
One of our three research environments belonging to the department - Engaging Vulnerability - has been expanded expanded with yet another researcher. The department welcomes Per Vesterlund who will research the following theme:
In the mid 1960s, Swedish public service TV radically changed the policy of drama production. The strategy was introduced as an explicit ambition to affect public opinion and increase the awareness on societal matters.
The aim of the project is to examine Swedish TV-drama in the period 1965-1975. The project will contribute to the understanding of Swedish audiovisual culture in the period, where research hitherto has been dominated by studies of films for cinematic use.One objective is to analyze institutional matters concerning the organization of drama department in the overall public service-organization. The public reception of TV-drama will be a prioritized field, as will aesthetical matters. Hypothetically TV-drama was a yet un-institutionalized field around which values and ideas from other adjacent fields circulated. Examples of TV-drama will be examined and analyzed from aesthetic and rhetorical angles. The concept of vulnerability will be a prioritized key to the analysis of both style and thematic patterns. Swedish social drama focused how efficiency and bureaucracy in the rapidly changing welfare state led to alienation and despair. Depictions of dysfunctions concerning societal institutions and legislations dominated. A preliminary observation is that the problems of the Swedish welfare state were considered as being primarily of immaterial kind.The project will run for three years, results will continuously be published in articles and presented at conferences.
Gurbet Peker, PhD
Gurbet Peker is a PhD candidate in Ethnology. She is also part of the Multidisciplinary Graduate School in Sustainability Development at Campus Gotland. Her PhD project focuses on how sustainability is narrated and practiced in the everyday life on the Gotlandic countryside.
Her research interests also include human-nonhuman relationships, identity and belonging, urban and rural relationships, migration and materiality.
Marie Deridder, researcher
Marie Deridder holds a PHD in Social Anthropology from UCLouvain (Belgium). Her doctoral dissertation examined the decentralization of the state, local governance and the political transformations in rural Central Mali. After the completion of her PHD, Marie worked several years in NGOs and trade union international cooperation. Then, from October 2016 to August 2020, she has taught as an external lecturer at UCLouvain and UMons. In September 2020, she was granted a three years Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF) at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology and the Forum for Africa Studies of Uppsala University. She is developing a comparative research project (NEGOMOBI) on the making of the Euro-African ‘migration-development-security’ nexus in both Mali and Burkina Faso, and its practical negotiations and impacts on West-African mobility in a postcolonial setting. Her main research areas are in political socio-anthropology, migration, policy-making processes and critical development studies “from below”, with a focus on practices and representations of actors. More info here on NEGOMOBI: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/895859
Alec Forss, PhD
Alec Forss is a new PhD Candidate at the Department for Cultural Anthropology. He is interested in processes of social and spatial change in post-conflict Belfast in Northern Ireland, with a particular focus on grassroots initiatives around desegregation and shared space. His research is taking place at a time when Brexit has brought issues around the sustainability of the 1998 Belfast peace agreement sharply into focus. His research interests touch on space, borders, identity, intercultural dialogue, and reconciliation.
Jossias Humbane, PhD
Jossias Humbane is a new PhD candidate at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University, in the programme “Biocultural Heritage in Mozambique: developing new heritage industries”. His PhD project focuses on climate change and local adaptations strategies in Gaza province, Mozambique. He is also interested in gender issues, especially on masculinities.
Marcia Manhique, PhD
Marcia Manhique is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at Uppsala University, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology. She received her master’s degree in Social Anthropology at Eduardo Mondlane University, where she also graduated in History. Her areas of interest are around the intersection between biomedical technologies and bodies in context of social inequalities and vulnerabilities, embodiment, lived experience of disease, chronicity, caregiving relations, and health services.
Chris Meyns, PhD
Chris Meyns is a poet, developer and graphic designer with training in history of science and philosophy. She has published on the history of data, on Anton Wilhelm Amo’s philosophy of mind, and her books Philosophical Empires (with Adam Ferner) and Information and the History of Philosophy (ed.) will appear in 2021. She joined the Engaging Vulnerability Program and the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology in September 2020, contributing a project on vulnerability in information sharing ecosystems.
Anyssa Neumann, Postdoctoral position
From the earliest decades of sound cinema, films have incorporated classical and popular music in their soundtracks. One of the major directors to make pre-existing music a regular feature was Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, whose output of over 40 films between 1946 and 2004 propelled him to the forefront of international art cinema. This music often appears onscreen; his characters listen to it, talk about it, play it, perform it, or are haunted by it. Unlike conventional film music, Bergman’s pre-existing music, when placed onscreen in the narrative, speaks not only to his audience but also – and perhaps primarily – to his characters. It is the human aspect of onscreen musical interaction that I find compelling and that I explore in my work. I am also interested in film as musical interpretation, the intersection of music and violence onscreen, the portrayal of onscreen musical performance as ritualised humiliation, and the influence of musical structure, method, and history on approaches to filmmaking, both in regard to Bergman and to other filmmakers.
Anyssa Neumann is a concert pianist, musicologist, and postdoctoral researcher in the Engaging Vulnerability program. Her work focuses on the convergence of music and cinema.
Shen Qing, PhD
Prior to Shen Qing's PhD program here at Uppsala U, he had been working as a journalist for five years in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, China. His work experience in journalism lead to a profound interest in anthropology, a discipline that has the capacity to explore nooks and cranny of the world. Currently, his project concerns queer and sexuality in contemporary China, but he is eager to branch out to other research interests and expand his geographical location. Besides his academic pursuit, he is also a translator of five books spanning from fiction to nonfiction.
Zora Saskova, Guest PhD
Currently a visiting Erasmus scholar at our department, Zora Saskova is a final year PhD student in the School of Sport at Ulster University, Northern Ireland. Her research focuses on football migration between Sierra Leone and Scandinavia.
Her research examines football as a vehicle for navigating the ‘crisis of youth’, and within this, as a strategy to enact social becoming for young men in Sierra Leone. Second, it analyses the multidirectional nexus between sport, identity and football, through the imagined and actual experiences of aspiring players from Sierra Leone and those with an actual experience as football players in Scandinavia. Additionally, the study investigated the dynamics of development of the emerging football migration network between Sierra Leone and Scandinavian countries.
She conducted a year-long bout of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork involving 50 interviews with players and other stakeholders in Sierra Leone and Scandinavia. As revealed, one of the most significant strategies employed by players in pursuit of transnational football mobility was the navigation of various types of patrimonial and kin-like relations with other members of the society, particularly those that were referred to as ‘football managers’. Secondly, it also showed the mismatch between the expectations and the reality of players regarding the actual migration experience. While home-based players main concerns about migration to Europe being centred on adjustment to weather patterns especially in winter, it was revealed that what they mostly struggle with is social isolation, racism, and practices akin to trafficking.
Aliaksandra Shrubok, PhD
Aliaksandra Shrubok is one of six new PhD students who has joined the department this year. She received her MA in anthropology (Belarusian State University) in 2013 and joined then The Department of Folklore and Culture of Slavic people of The Center for the Belarusian culture, language and literature research of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, where she studied Belarusian verbal healing charms and folk veterinary. For the last years, her research interests have revolved around human-plant relations and multispecies ethnography, with a particular focus on methodological and theoretical challenges of ethnobotanical research in post-Soviet countries.
Her current research is about the kinds of relationships that humans maintain with plants. In the country of Belarus, the rural area of Dokšycy district of Viciebsk region is a region with an extremely high rate of depopulation. The majority of residents are elderly women who often live alone. These women have vast stores of knowledge about local flora and ornamental plants, and they interact with them intensively. The research seeks to examine how plants are thought about and approached, what affects are associated with them, and what their role is in sustaining the lifeways of the women who know about them and care about them.
Anastasia Ulturgasheva, PhD
Anastasia Ulturgasheva is a new PhD student at the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology and Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES). Her research interests include human-nonhuman relationships, materiality, climate change and human mobility.