Dr. Carna Brkovic

From 2018 to 2023 I was a lecturer, postdoctoral researcher in Cultural Anthropology / European Ethnology at the University of Goettingen and a research fellow at the Centre for Global Migration Studies. Previously, I held postdoctoral fellowships at the CEU IAS, NEC IAS, and GSOSES.

Since April 2023 I am professor of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at Johannes-Gutenberg-University, Mainz.

I hold a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester. My research has been published in Anthropological TheorySocial Anthropology, Ethnos, Focaal, and AJEC, among other journals.

I have published two books: an ethnographic monograph Managing Ambiguity (2017, Berghahn) and an edited volume Negotiating Social Relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2016, Routledge, with Stef Jansen and Vanja Čelebičić).

My work combines a focus on inequalities and power with a focus on social complexity and ambiguity. I am particularly interested in developing concepts that help us to understand how people pursue moral projects within structural inequality in Southeast Europe and elsewhere.

In my work, (South) Eastern Europe figures as a region that poses unexpected theoretical challenges to conventional directions of anthropological analysis. I am deeply critical of hegemonic visions of the region as a poor copyist of theory produced elsewhere – in the former colonial centres, or peripheries. To counteract such visions, I strive to test and develop new concepts that reflect the ethnographic realities of the region but also help understand socio-political entanglements throughout the globe.

I serve as the Secretary-Elect for 2020-2021 of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, a section of the AAA, and a member of the editorial board of PoLAR. I co-founded and served as a co-convener (2018-2020) of EASA’s Anthropology of Humanitarianism Network.

I also serve as Erasmus+ coordinator: if you are a student interested for an Erasmus+ exchange from or to Goettingen, please follow this link.

Research interests:

  • anthropology of humanitarianism, borders, refugee camps
  • clientelism, favors, the gift
  • nationalism, the state, policy
  • gender and sexuality
  • activism, engagement, citizenship
  • histories of ethnology and anthropology
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Europe