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Updates from CARMAH

Dear readers,

We hope you enjoy our spring newsletter and  look forward to brighter and warmer days ahead.

We are happy to announce this semester's weekly event series WARP – Werkstatt für kulturelle Ausdrucksweisen und Recherche in der Praxis (Workshop for Cultural Expressions and Research in Practice) at the Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik (HZK) and online. 

WARP is a series of talks and workshops on knowledge in material culture, curating, urban practice, technology, and the arts, which takes place every Wednesday at 4 pm

The programme is coordinated by Magdalena Buchczyk and Dominik Biewer and can be found here

New CARMAH Colleageus & Guests

Isabel Bredenbröker is a social and cultural anthropologist working between academia and art. As DFG Walter Benjamin Postdoctoral Fellow, Isabel's research project Queering the Museum? – An anthropological toolkit for intersectional relations in the arts is based at CARMAH and HZK.

Jenny Chio is a cultural anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker. As a Humboldt Research Fellow at CARMAH, Jenny is extending her research interests on Chinese development and modernization into the German context, beginning with a case study of the impacts and affects of China's Belt and Road infrastructural investments in the port city of Duisburg.

Teaching at CARMAH

In the summer semester 2023, CARMAH researchers offer a range of teaching at the Institute of European Ethnology. 

Isabel Bredenbröker: Non-normative relations wanted: Testing queer methods at the Berlin Ethnological Museum (X-Student Research Groups)

Magdalena Buchczyk & Franka Schneider: Makeshift Europe (in collaboration with MEK, Museum Europäischer Kulturen) (BA)

Maxime Le Calvé & Sharon Macdonald: Anthropology of Techniques (MA)

Larissa Förster: Deutschland und Namibia: Forschungen zu einer (post)kolonialen Beziehungsgeschichte (BA)

Elisabeth Heyne, Tahani Nadim & Julia Tovote: Anthropozän – Das Making of (BA)

Irene Hilden & Sharon Macdonald: Heritage Matters (BA)

Margareta von Oswald & Jonas Tinius: Awkward Archives. Ethnographic encounters with Berlin histories and presents (BA)

Book Launch | 
Cross Purposes: Catholicism and the Political Imagination in Poland

June 6th, 2023 | 6 pm | Room 408 at CARMAH

By Magdalena Waligórska (Cambridge University Press, 2023) with the author and the commentators: Dr. Karolina Wigura (Freie Universität Berlin) and Prof. Felix Ackermann (FernUniversität Hagen), followed by a reception in CARMAH's library room.

Book Launch | Terribly Close: The Holocaust in Polish Folk Art

June 13th, 2023 | 6 pm | Room 408 at CARMAH

By Erica Lehrer, Roma Sendyka, Wojciech Wilczyk and Magdalena Zych. Authors Erica Lehrer and Roma Sendyka will be present. Moderation: Magdalena Waligórska.

A Series of Museum Visits | Exhibiting Music

Margareta von Oswald
(CARMAH/CMB) and Serge Reubi (Muséum national d'histoire naturelle/CMB) will organize a series of museum visits dedicated to exhibiting music.

May 3rd, 2023 | 10h-12h
Hamburger Bahnhof | Broken Music Vol. 2
The visit will be followed by a talk and Q&A with the curator Sven Beckstette.

June 7th, 2023 | 10h-12h
Musical Instruments Museum | visit to the permanent exhibition
The visit will be followed by a talk and Q&A with a curator (tbd).

July 5th, 2023 | 10h30-12h30
Humboldt Forum | Sounds of the World & Listening Space in the Ethnological Museum and Entertainment in the exhibition BERLIN GLOBAL
The visit will be followed by a group discussion moderated by Margareta von Oswald and Serge Reubi.

If you are interested, please write to Margareta von Oswald (, as the number of participants is limited and free tickets will be available.

Call for Fellows

The new Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Study inHerit. Heritage in Transformation, based at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, invites applications for fellowships to begin in 2024. 

The application deadline is May 12th, 2023

For more information, please visit

Call for Papers

CARMAH Reflection

In her reflection Atmende Trauer (in German), Alice von Bieberstein writes about the artist Hrair Sarkissian in the exhibition The Other Side of Silence at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht.


Weaving Europe, Crafting the Museum: Textiles, history and ethnography at the Museum of European Cultures, Berlin
 by Magdalena Buchczyk (2023). London: Bloomsbury.

Decolonial Museology in East-Central Europe: A Preliminary To-Do List by Erica Lehrer & Joanna Wawrzyniak (2023). Europe Now Journal

Immersion, impersonation and engagement in dangerous pasts. Limits, effects and ethics of immersive heritage experiences by Sharon Macdonald (2022). In Agiati Bernadou & Anna Maria Droumpouki (eds) Difficult Heritage and Immersive Experiences, London: Routledge.

Sighting the dust. Attending to the museum through its residues by Sharon Macdonald (2022). In Nina Samuel & Felix Sattler (eds) Museale Reste, Bildwelten des Wissens, Band 18. Berlin: De Gruyter.

Awkward Archives. Ethnographic Drafts for a Modular Curriculum (Volume 1) by Margareta von Oswald & Jonas Tinius (eds) (2022). Haus der Kulturen der Welt / archive books.

'Goodbye Mshatta': Connections and Disconnections on Berlin’s Museum Island by Katarzyna Puzon (2023). Review of Middle East Studies.

Cross Purposes: Catholicism and the Political Imagination in Poland by Magdalena Waligorska (2023). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

On Behalf of Silence, Seeking Sacturary ed. by Shura Dogadaeva & Andrei Zavadski (2023). The February Journal, 01-02: 1–310.

Public History in Russia and Its Failed Struggle against Putin’s Historical Politics by Andrei Zavadski (2023). De Gruyter Conversations.

Public history in Russia: The past, the present, and (thoughts about) the future by Andrei Zavadski (2022). International Public History, 5(2): 143–156.

Upcoming Events, Talks, Workshops....

April 19th, 2023
Together with Thomas Sieber, Christine Gerbich will moderate the Making Museums Matter online discussion on Klimakatastrophe und Klimaschutz. Museen zwischen Verantwortung und/oder Aktivismus.

April 24th, 2023
Julia Leser and Astrid Klinge will present the Netzwerk Halt!ung at the Jahrestagung des Sächsischen Museumsbundes in Leipzig: Gesellschaftliche Diskurse in Museen.

April 27th–28th, 2023
Magdalena Buchczyk will coordinate an interdisciplinary, hybrid workshop on Tracing Temporalities // Unearthing Archives. The workshop is funded by TRACTS COST Action and co-hosted by Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik (HZK), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) in Potsdam. 

May 1st, 2023
Together with Damani Partridge, Jenny Chio will be a participant and speaker at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Experimental Ethnography CARNIVAL

May 5th, 2023
Magdalena Waligórska will give a guest lecture on The Shtetl after 1945: Explorations of Lost Towns in the Polish-Belarusian Borderlands at Universität Gießen. 

May 7th, 2023
Together with Jonas Tinius, Margareta von Oswald will launch their book Awkward Archives. Ethnographic Drafts for a Modular Curriculum at SAVVY Contemporary. 

May 12th, 2023
Magdalena Buchczyk will present on (Un)homely waterscapes – tracing the changing ecologies of making, dwelling and protection during Home/Making Symposium at Concordia University in Montreal.

May 13th, 2023
Magdalena Waligórska will attend the podium discussion on Querdenker oder Selbstdenker: Demagogie und Populismus at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften.

May 22nd–23rd, 2023
Magdalena Waligórska will participate in the workshop Beyond Nationalism at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin. 

May 25th–26th, 2023
Julia Leser will co-organize the workshop Ethnography & Epistemic Hierarchies at Erfurt University together with the DVPW theme group Political Ethnography

June 2nd, 2023
Alice von Bieberstein will attend a conference on Past and Futures of Sovereignty in Kurdistan at the University of Oxford. 

June 7th, 2023
Margareta von Oswald will give a talk on Towards curatorial work beyond exhibitions. Modes of representing 'Africa' in Berlin and the collection’s potential futures at a conference on Museumisation in Central Europe: Opportunities and Challenges at the Central European University's Institute for Advanced Study in Vienna.

June 8th, 2023
Magdalena Buchczyk will give a paper on Woven waterscapes beyond regimes of heritage, conservation and sustainability during the 16th SIEF Congress in Brno.

June 26th–27th, 2023
Alice von Bieberstein will attend a conference on More-than-human memory at the University of Cambridge. 

July 14th, 2023 
Magdalena Buchczyk will present a paper on Salvaging Wetlands, Safeguarding Heritage during the Folklore, Geography and Environment: Ways of Knowing Water, Landscape and Climate in the Anthropocene Folklore Society Conference in Hull. 

July 26th–29th, 2023
Habiba Insaf will co-convene a panel called South Asian Collections in European Museums: Examining their acquisition, display, and futures and present a paper called Biography of a Naga Object: Movements, Transformations and Continuities at the European Conference of South Asian Studies in Turin.

For more information about past and upcoming events, please visit our website!

Images included in this email have been provided by: Zuzanna Lakuzna, Jenny Chio, Cambridge University Press, Michelle Mantel, Bloomsbury, De Gruyter, archive books, Bonnefanten Maastricht.