EASA webinars

Webinars have made their way into our academic habits. While we all regret the reason for this sudden impulse, they have also prompted us to keep in touch across countries and continents and tackle more quickly and near-carbon-neutrally important issues such as the transition to open science, the impact or rather lack of impact of our research findings on societal measure, the question of scholars’ precarity and risks, and many other hot topics. If you did not join us live, please find here the archive of our past webinars.

Table of contents

Trypillia megasites: teachings and memory of Ukrainian heritage at a moment of danger. Speakers: Bisserka Gaydarska, John Chapman, David Wengrow

Humanitarian responses to the 2022 Russian war on Ukraine: anthropological perspectives. Speakers: Olena Fedyuk, Anna Balazs, Céline Cantat, Ela Drążkiewicz

Open Data and its impact on anthropological research. Speakers: Katja Müller, Jessica De Largy Healy and James Rose

Global Trajectories of Open Access. Speakers: Marcel LaFlamme, Vivian Berghahn and Angela Okune

ISE policy paper on the transition to open science. Speakers: Toma Susi, Marco Masia

Fund but disregard? EU research funding and meaningful research impact. Speakers: Céline Cantat, Barak Kalir, Chowra Makaremi

A 2020 webinar: launch of the 'The anthropological career in Europe' report

Trypillia megasites: teachings and memory of Ukrainian heritage at a moment of danger.
Speakers: Bisserka Gaydarska, John Chapman, David Wengrow

This fundraising webinar collected funds for the Ukrainian organization Zminy (who fund logistics, assistance to medical institutions and the armed forces, and humanitarian aid). Funds were directed to providing medical and protective aid. This fundraising webinar also supported the Aid for Ukrainian Archeologists from Armed Forces, Territorial Defense and the National Guard initiative launched by the Museum of Archeology of Poznan, to support our Ukrainian archeologist colleagues who joined the Territorial Defense Forces.

The destruction of cultural and historical heritage is always a risk of war. This destruction is not only a “casualty” of conflict. It is often weaponized to subjugate civil life, by eradicating the traces of multiplicity and alternatives histories written into stone and memory which so often work to refute the destructive ideologies of a given conflict: we think here of the Bouddhas of Bâmiyân Afghanistan, the citadel of Hatra in Iraq or the mausolea of Tombouctou (among many sites). The destruction of archeological and historical heritage, like the destruction of landscapes, is, as such, a tool for terror. It produces a moral wounding by anchoring the destruction in a scale and temporality that go well beyond a singular life span. These issues are also at stake in the war waged by Russia in Ukraine. In response to the technologies and politics of destruction that target human lives and beyond, this webinar will focus on the Trypillia megasites located in today's Ukraine, as sites of knowledge that must be protected, but that can also protect us from the epistemic and political foundations of the global security architecture, and our over-militarized yet impotent societies. Indeed, the vestiges of the megasites built 6-7 millennia ago have raised interest and attention. As case studies, they open an empirical field and raise new questions for the writing of a feminist urban prehistory and history that challenge our understanding of social organization and power, as The dawn of everything, recently published by late David Graeber and David Wengrow highlights.

In the current war and radical destruction of civil life in Ukraine, it is timely to explore what Trypillia megasites, sometimes called “Ukrainian megasites” can teach us, and to seize hold of their “memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger” to paraphrase Walter Benjamin. What is the history of their archeological exploration? What insights do these traces offer to think about social organization and power? How does this resonate and help us make sense of the Ukrainian resistance?

Bisserka Gaydarska is a Bulgarian-born European prehistorian, currently working as a post-doctoral research assistant for the “Project Radiocarbon' - Big Data, integrated cross-national heritage histories” at Manchester Metropolitan University. She received her first degree in Sofia University, followed by a PhD in Durham University on landscape archaeology in Bulgaria. Her broad research interests in material culture studies, landscape archaeology, inter-disciplinary studies, identity and early urbanism brought involvement in numerous field projects and research collaborations. She worked as a post-doctoral research assistant and co-director on the “Early urbanism in prehistoric Europe?: the case of the Ukrainian Trypillia megasites” Project and was the author and main editor of the project monograph (2020).

John Chapman is Emeritus Professor of European Prehistory at Durham University. He retired in 2018 after working in Durham since 1996, after 17 years’ work in Newcastle University. He has spent his career working on archaeological theory and later Balkan prehistory, co-directing major field projects in Croatia (the Neothermal Dalmatia Project), Hungary (the Upper Tisza Project) and Ukraine (the Trypillia Megasites Project). He recently published two complementary books - a synthesis of his Balkan research (Forging identities in the prehistory of Old Europe, 2020) and a memoir entitled A life in Balkan prehistory (2020). He was the first Editor of the European Journal of Archaeology and served as Vice-President for the UK Prehistoric Society.

David Wengrow is Professor of Comparative Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL) and has been a visiting professor at New York University, the University of Auckland, and the University of Freiburg. He is co-author with David Graeber of the international bestseller The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. Wengrow has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Africa and the Middle East, and has contributed op-eds to The Guardian, and The New York Times.

Convener: Chowra Makaremi, CNRS/EASA exec

Humanitarian responses to the 2022 Russian war on Ukraine: anthropological perspectives.
Speakers: Olena Fedyuk, Anna Balazs, Céline Cantat, Ela Drążkiewicz

This fundraising webinar collected €1715 for Scholars at Risk (matched and thus raised to €3430 from EASA reserves) for their work with scholars escaping war and authoritarian regimes.
The 2022 invasion of Ukraine prompted the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe’s recent history. With this panel we want to use anthropological knowledge to shed some light on this current crisis: its long-duree origins and precedents, parallels and contrasts, as well as its projections into the future. Hosted by the EASA and co-sponsored by AAA/Soyuz and SAE and SIEF, this webinar is one out of two events that will invite discussants focusing on different aspects of the crisis. We ask: What impact will this humanitarian crisis have on the political landscape not only of Ukraine but also of the whole region and the European continent?

In particular we are interested in discussing:

    How can we understand the ‘selective compassion’ phenomenon when it comes to both the war and the refugee wave that emerged? How does the institutional, media, and grassroots reaction compare to other waves of military and economic warfare that have caused mass migration? What is this crisis revealing about the mechanisms generating or preventing humanitarian compassion? What is this crisis revealing about the current state of the aid industry: its structures, modalities, trajectories and principles? The last 20 years have shown the aid industry to be highly divided. The proliferation of actors, and the growing competition between aid providers revealed strong hierarchisation of the aid structures and the increasing frictions between new and old players, established and emerging organizations. How is this tension playing out in Ukraine? How is it shaping the response to the crisis? Are we observing a shift towards bottom-up, civilian and network led assistance? What are the pros and cons of this shift?
  • When the ‘new’ Eastern European countries joined the EU not as aid recipients but as donors, most of them were strongly criticized in Brussels for their reluctance to provide support for African states, and instead prioritising the Eastern Partnership countries, in particular Ukraine. How is this trajectory influencing their current response and ability to support Ukraine? Finally, what does the current crisis means for the moral economy of aid: its global ‘principles’ but also local variants of the aid ideology. What is the furture of neutrality paradigm, especially vis-a-vis controversies surrounding the work of the IRC? , the actions of the IRC once again brought to the light the question of neutrality in humanitarian assistance. What is the future of humanitarian industry?
  • What is the impact of the war and resultant mass migration in Ukraine, where the shocks of a severe post-socialist crisis of social reproduction has long been absorbed by labour migration into Europe with Ukrainians taking up precarious insecure positions in some of the most undervalued and underpaid sectors such as agriculture, construction and care work? What would a meaningful long-term strategy look like and what would be the challenges to recuperate the social fabric of the country once war is over? In what ways can the outcomes of this crisis be mitigate to prevent further exploitation of the country such as economic exploitation, brain drain or emptying towns and villages?

Dr Elżbieta Drążkiewicz is a graduate of Cambridge Anthropology and she is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Sociology at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. She is an author of ‘Institutional Dreams: the Art of Managing Foreign Aid’ (Berghahn) - book analyzing Polish humanitarian and development activities in Eastern Europe and in Africa. Her expertise builds not only on extensive fieldwork but also practical experience of working with numerous NGOs and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dr Olena Fedyuk is an expert on transnational labour migration, distant motherhood and transnational youth, her regional focus is on Ukraine and wider EU-Eastern Partnership relations. Her work appeared in numerous academic journals, she has also directed two documentary films Currently, she is a MSCA IF fellow in a project “RightsLab: Towards Transnational Labour Rights? Temporary Work Agencies and Third Country National Workers in the EU” at the University of Padua.

Dr Anna Balazs received her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester. Her doctoral research explored how residents in the East Ukrainian city of Mariupol re-evaluate infrastructural and symbolic legacies of the Soviet past after the start of the Donbas war. Dr Balazs is currently working as a researcher at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests include temporalities of crisis and transformation, deindustrialization and the material afterlives of socialism.

Dr Céline Cantat research concerns practices and politics of migration as well as migrant solidarity. In the past she held several research positions in Sciences Po (Paris) and at the Central European University (CEU). She also acted as Academic Program Manager for CEU's Open Learning Initiatives, which focus on providing access to higher education for displaced students. Currently she servs as Academic Advisor at the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po.

Chair: Prem Kumar Rajaram, Central European University

Open Data and its impact on anthropological research
Speakers: Katja Müller, Jessica De Largy Healy and James Rose

New European policies on Open Science pose important questions to the discipline about the management of anthropological materials collected during field research. The aim of this webinar is to explore what ‘open’ would mean for access to past and present anthropological data - written, visual, audio or audio-visual.

It will also address the scientific, ethical, juridical and technical incentives and barriers to the opening of such data. The webinar engages in dialogue researchers, archivists and other data managers who can bring in their experience coming from the opening of anthropologists’ data sets.

Katja Müller conducts research into digitization, museum studies, material culture and visual anthropology, as well as energy and environmental humanities. She is Visiting Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, and Privatdozentin for social anthropology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Her latest book analyses online access to heritage material in India and Europe.

Jessica De Largy Healy is an anthropologist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France. Building on long term ethnography and collaborations with Yolngu collectives in Arnhem Land (northern Australia), with a focus on digital repatriation and Indigenous archiving practices, her recent research interrogates the Open Access movement and its relevance for anthropological and Indigenous knowledge(s).

James Rose is a forensic social anthropologist with 20 years’ experience providing legal evidence and advice on Indigenous Australian claims to data assets, land and natural resources, cultural heritage, and child custody. James is Senior Research Fellow with the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne.

Chairs: Monica Heintz (University of Paris Nanterre and EASA Secretary) and David Mills (University of Oxford and EASA Treasurer).

Global Trajectories of Open Access
Speakers: Marcel LaFlamme, Vivian Berghahn and Angela Okune

In this third EASA Autumn webinar, we explore the contested meanings and forms of value associated with Open Access publishing, as well as its implications for the discipline of anthropology. Tracing its roots back to scholar-led online initiatives in the 1990s, Open Access has since become both a political movement to democratise scholarly knowledge and a highly profitable business model.

This webinar will explore how Open Access debates have changed over twenty years and the key questions that remain: open for whom, by whom, at what cost, and with what infrastructural support (Meagher et al 2021)?

At a time when EASA’s journal Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale is about to be published by Berghahn under a ‘subscribe-to-open’ model, we will explore different approaches to, and financial models for, Open Access publishing initiatives across the disciplines and around the world. We ask why sustainability and community control are important principles for Open Access, and explore how they are being implemented in low resource settings. We also look beyond journals to think about the future and alternative forms of digital scholarship.

Marcel is Open Research Manager at the Public Library of Science (PLOS). Trained as a librarian and an anthropologist, he served from 2015 to 2019 as the managing editor of Cultural Anthropology. He sits on the executive committee of Libraria, a collective of researchers in the social sciences who seek to bring about a more open, diverse, and community-controlled scholarly communication system.

Vivian Berghahn is Managing Director and Journals Editorial Director at Berghahn Books. She has over 20 years of experience in academic publishing, and previously worked for Blackwell Publishing and Northeastern University Press. She serves on the AAP-PSP Committee and was co-opted member of the ALPSP Council (2015-2020), and is currently completing her PhD in Anthropology from the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Angela is an Associate Editor for the Open Access journal, Engaging Science, Technology, and Society where she supports contributors to experiment with new genres and mindful sharing of ethnographic data objects towards scholarly community building. Further, building on ten years of work in Nairobi’s tech research sector, Angela co-founded and maintains an experimental, open ethnographic data portal called Research Data Share (www.researchdatashare.org) that leverages the open-source “Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography” (PECE) to hold space for thinking about what postcolonial objectivity in Kenya is and could be. Angela will receive her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine in December 2021.

Chair: David Mills, University of Oxford and EASA exec member

ISE policy paper on the transition to open science
Speakers: Toma Susi, Marco Masia

Following the opening up of research articles via open access mandates (including Plan S), several research funders including the European Commission are moving ahead with a transition to Open Science. However, while there is increasing agreement of the need to improve the transparency, reproducibility and robustness of research, current academic evaluation systems still place undue emphasis on inappropriate metrics.

A reform of these reward systems would be an important step to incentivizing better research practices, but communities of researchers should remain the main actors in this transition. This is why the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) is preparing a policy paper to put researchers' voices at the heart of the process.

Join us for a presentation of this paper with Toma Susi and Marco Masia.

Toma Susi is Assistant Professor in nanomaterials at the University of Vienna and an ERC Starting Grantee. He has long been an advocate for open access publishing, participating in national and international policy discussions, and in his research work, contributed open data and code as well as an open grant application. In 2018, he was elected Vice-Chair of the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), coordinating the organization’s efforts in science policy, especially around Plan S, until the end of his tenure in 2020. He chaired the open science task force of the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE).

Marco Masia is the Executive Coordinator of the Initiative for Science in Europe, an umbrella organization representing researchers from multiple learned societies and scientific organisations. He coordinates the work of different task forces and brings ISE positions and recommendation to the attention of EU policy makers and other relevant stakeholders. Marco holds a PhD in physics; after 10 years of professorship at the university, he graduated from an Executive MBA.

Chair: Monica Heintz, University of Paris Nanterre and EASA exec member

Fund but disregard? EU research funding and meaningful research impact
Speakers: Céline Cantat, Barak Kalir, Chowra Makaremi

The European Union funds extensive academic research with the potential to inform humane and effective border policies. Yet evidence-based immigration policy is undermined by the EU’s increasingly repressive border regime. How do we make sense of this contradiction? And what are the transformations that are needed to address it?

To address these questions, we will speak in this webinar to Celine Cantat and Barak Kalir about their experience with EU funded research (Horizon 2020 and ERC). Drawing on Celine and Barak’s experience navigating EU funding requirements while trying to make meaningful policy impact through their research on migration and border regimes during the ongoing EU border crisis, we will open the discussion to the audience and ask: What are the opportunities and limitations of cyclical research funding to contribute to social change? What can learned societies such as EASA do to facilitate better use of anthropological insights into EU/national policies?

This event is the first in a series which continues our EASA webinar tradition initiated during the coronavirus pandemic. In the series we discuss pertinent issues that affect the anthropological community in Europe and beyond. In this webinar, we specifically connect two of the topics that the previous and current EASA exec committees have prioritised in our agendas: the question of research funding as structured within the framework of the EU and national agencies, and the question of scholars imperilled by the escalating political crises in Europe and beyond.

To foreground the discussion we suggest two texts from the contributors that speak directly to these issues: Cantat & Kalir 2020 and Guild & Makaremi 2021.

Chair: Chowra Makaremi, IRIS (CNRS/EHESS) and EASA exec member

Céline Cantat is Academic Advisor at the Paris School of International Affairs. She holds a PhD in Social Sciences from the University of East London, an MSc in Globalisation and Development from SOAS, University of London, and a BA in European Studies from King’s College London. Her academic work has focused on migration, humanitarianism, solidarity mobilisation and the relation between macro processes, such as globalisation and state formation, and the forced movement of people within and across borders. She is also interested in higher education and in particular on the politics of university access.

Barak Kalir is an anthropologist based at the University of Amsterdam. He is the co-director of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies and is currently involved in the H2020 project: Advancing Alternative Migration Governance. Barak recently rounded off an ERC-funded project entitled: The Social Life of State Deportation Regimes. His recent publications include: “Departheid: The Draconian Governance of Illegalized Migrants in Western States” (Conflict and Society), “Repressive Compassion: Deportation Caseworkers Furnishing an Emotional Comfort Zone in Encounters with Illegalized Migrants” (PoLAR), and a co-edited special issue on “Re‐searching access: what do attempts at studying migration control tell us about the state?” (Social Anthropology).

Precarity Report

A 2020 webinar: launch of the 'The anthropological career in Europe' report

To learn more about this report and view the webinar where it was launched see the dedicated page on our site.