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ISEK - Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies Social and Cultural Anthropology

Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi, Stellvertretung für Prof. Mareile Flitsch in der Lehre im FS17

Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi


Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi


Stellvertretung Professur ‘Anthropologie Chinas’,

FS 2017 // Replacement professorship in the Anthropology of China, Spring Semester 2017


Dear students,

In the spring semester of 2017 I will teach multiple courses at ISEK Social and Cultural Anthropology, replacing Prof. Mareile Flitsch for the duration of her sabbatical. I am an anthropologist with a regional interest in China. I received my MA in China Studies from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and my PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Bern. After completing my PhD I worked as a university lecturer at the Institute of Social Anthropology and at the Central Asian Studies Unit at the University of Bern, and as a guest professor at the Cultural Studies Department at the University of St. Gallen. Following this period of teaching, I returned to full-time research, first with a grant from the Swiss National Foundation at the University of Bern, and then as a research fellow in the network ‘Crossroads Asia’ at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. In between the various teaching and research assignments, I was also a visiting scholar at the University of Washington, Oslo University and Cambridge University.

My research focuses primarily on the multi-ethnic region of western China, though I have also conducted longer periods of fieldwork in Beijing and Shanghai – China’s two largest metropolises. Altogether, I lived in China for 5 years, first learning the language and travelling, and then conducting research. My research interests have changed over the years, from identity politics and ethnicity, through questions of migration and belonging, to the most recent interest in the anthropology of place, space and infrastructures. In my last research project, for example, I studied the ways in which the use of transportation infrastructures – buses, trains, cars, airplanes – intersects with ethnicity, class, gender and other social categorizations in the multi-ethnic region of Xinjiang in northwest China. The results of my research, which I conducted over many months of fieldwork ‘on the road’, have revealed complex geographies of mobility and immobility, which affect individuals in northwest China, and beyond.

My research interests and fieldwork experiences have directly inspired the courses I have conceived for teaching at ISEK. I look forward to engaging with you on these and other topics during the upcoming semester! If you would like to learn more about my research, publications and academic career, please have a look at my websites:üthi