Principal Investigators

Magdalena Buchczyk

I am a Junior Professor of Social Anthropology at the Institute for European Ethnology working across CARMAH and HZK (Hermannn von Helmholtz Centre for Cultural Techniques). My work focuses on heritage and material and visual culture . I am interested in questions of collection history, memory, knowledge production, materiality, politics and affect. I have conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Romania and the UK and brief stints of research in Italy, Germany and Poland.

I currently serve as a co-chair of the international COST Action TRACTS: Traces as Research Agenda for Climate Change, Technology Studies & Social Justice (2021 – 2025). Within TRACTS, I have co-edited the TRACTS Practicing Collection Ethics Toolkit, worked within the curatorial collective to develop a Counter-Atlas of the Trace, and currently co-edit a book on temporality, archives, and ethics. I am also a DFG Public Anthropology Network member, co-organising the network meeting in Berlin (November 2022). My teaching focuses on museum and collection research, as well as anthropological perspectives on visual and material culture. In my pedagogical practice and museum research, I collaborate with the Museum of European Cultures in Berlin (MEK), the Deutsches Hygiene Museum in Dresden (DHMD), and the Weltmuseum in Vienna.

I joined HU and CARMAH as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow after completing a postdoctoral project on learning cities at the University of Bristol. Initially trained in anthropology and critical heritage studies (UCL, Goldsmiths), I have previously taught at Goldsmiths, the Bristol Doctoral School, and Imperial College London. In 2018-2019, I helped coordinate the development of the UK Research Infrastructure Roadmap Landscape Analysis and Opportunity Report in the area of arts and humanities, with a focus on interdisciplinary heritage studies. I have also worked in applied anthropology in the private and museum sector. I am particularly interested in developing new modes of ethnographic writing and exhibition-making.

Previous co-curated exhibitions include:
Revisiting Romania: Dress and Identity at the Horniman Museum in London that reimagined a 1950s museum collection through ethnographic research
Forging Folklore, Disrupting Archives at Constance Howard Gallery in London that worked to remediate textile collections through critical art interventions
Learning City: A Self-Portrait at Coexist Gallery, Hamilton House in Bristol that brought together contributions from Barton Hill Settlement, Countering Colston, Dhek Bhal, Easton Community Centre, Bristol Bike Project, Coexist Community Kitchen, Refugee Women of Bristol, St Mungo’s, Workers’ Educational Association and Wild Walks for Wellbeing as well as artists Eleanor Shipman, Joff Winterhart and Biggerhouse Film.

Research areas:
Material and Visual Culture
Collection Ethnography
Memory, Heritage Politics and Activism
Intangible Heritage
Trace as Epistemological, Ethical and Methodological Challenge
Making and Knowledge Production
Learning, Affect and Care
Curatorial Practice