Dr. Russell Zanca is a professor of anthropology at Northeastern Illinois University and serves as a visiting professor and member of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at the University of Chicago.
Zanca has spent more than three decades researching and writing about Central Asia on topics ranging from rural economics to religion and cookery. While most of his earlier research was based on fieldwork in Uzbekistan, more recently he has switched his field studies to Kazakhstan.
In collaboration with Prof. Peter Finke, Zanca’s time in Zurich is shared via a senior fellowship at the Collegium Helveticum and at ISEK-UZH. Zanca’s purpose in Zurich is to work with Prof. Finke and others to develop a long-term research proposal for a project in Kazakhstan focused on pastoralism and the country’s human-ecological interface given increasingly perilous climactic conditions.
He will work in Zurich through the month of April 2023.
Ahmad Wali Ahmad Yar is a Ph.D. researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) with the Interface Demography (ID) research group. He works on the Horizon 2020 project Enhanced Migration Measures from A Multidimensional Perspective (HumMingBird). His research focuses on international migration, the integration of migrants, migration data, theoretical and data gaps in migration research, EU policies on migration, and migrant integration policies at the local level. Previously, Ahmad Wali worked for almost three years at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in the economic policy and GRID units.
Ahmad Wali holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and a bachelor’s in International Relations from the Al Farabi Kazakh National University. He also has experience in non-academic activities and worked as an interpreter for the UNHCR and as a Public Relations Officer for the Ariana Social Centre in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He is originally from Afghanistan and has a keen personal interest in the history and current affairs of South-Central Asia. Ahmad Wali is currently a visiting researcher at UZH – ISEK Chair Prof. Peter Finke until mid-April and will predominantly work on the HumMingBird project on migration, where UZH – ISEK is also a partner.