AGENET Webinars 2021

1st AGENET WEBINAR (in collaboration with VANEASA)

Touchscreen: Approaches for Visual and Sensory Ethnography in Aging Research

AGENET & VANEASA Webinar by Angela Torresan, PhD (University of Manchester, Granada Center for Visual Anthropology), 30 June 2021

Video recording AGENET & VANEASA webinar, by Dr. Angela Torresan, Granada Center for Visual Anthropology, Touchscreen: Approaches for Visual and Sensory Ethnography

Participants in the webinar were asked to work through a pre-recorded lecture on sensory ethnography and ethnographic films. Link to the lecture below. Password: sensoryfilm… Drawing on the discussion provided in the lecture, we looked at how one can use a smartphone camera to engage with an exploratory audio-visual sensorial approach to research on ageing. As such, this webinar focused mostly on methodology, but with a theoretical attention to the role of the senses, both as a subject matter and a mode of making knowledge, in our ethnographic research.

Angela Torresan is a diasporic Brazilian visual anthropologist, born in Rio de Janeiro and living in the UK. She has been teaching visual anthropology at the University of Manchester, Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, since 2007. Having worked with indigenous peoples in Brazil, Brazilian immigrants in London and Lisbon, and slum gentrification, her current research interest is on processes of securitization and police violence in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.


Aspirations, Obligations, Linked Lives: Understanding Life-Course Transitions through Configurations of Care

AGENET Webinar by Swetlana Torno, Dr. phil. (Heidelber Center for Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University), 8 September 2021

Video recording AGENET Webinar by Dr. Swetlana Torno, HCTS, Heidelberg University, Aspirations, Obligations, Linked Lives: Understanding Life-Course Transitions through Configurations of Care

Taking as a starting point the assumption that lives are socially structured and contingent, this talk suggests the lens of “care configurations”for the study of life-course transitions and trajectories. Anthropological approaches to people’s lives tend to assume an automatic or obvious movement of a person from one life-course position to another. Moreover, anthropologists often focus on distinct life phases without extrapolating to previous and post-phase conditions. Finally, and seminal for this talk’s theme, the role of care in shaping people’s life trajectories is often overlooked. Acknowledging concepts developed in historical and sociological life course research and by attending to configurations of care that surround people in particular moments in time, this lecture offers an alternative framework for the study of life-course transitions and extended periods of life. To exemplify my approach, I will focus on the daily routine of a young girl from a low-income household in Tajikistan and discuss how different constellations and practices of care shaped her trajectory from school to university. The presentation is based on eleven months of ethnographic fieldwork in a provincial town in Tajikistan on women’s life-courses and the re-organization of public and private care arrangements in post-socialist transformation contexts.

Swetlana Torno is associated member at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) at Heidelberg University, Germany. She obtained her PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Heidelberg University (March 2021) with a thesis titled “Life Courses and Care: Contingencies between Growing-up and Getting Old in Tajikistan”. Her research focuses on aging, care, life course, intergenerational and gender relations, personhood, Tajikistan and Central Asia, where she has extensive ethnographic fieldwork experience. Before joining the HCTS, she studied Social and Cultural Anthropology, Geography and Biology at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and the McGill University, Canada. Her Master thesis explored the notion of the person in Kyrgyz rituals at the life’s beginning (onset) and was based on ethnographic research in Kyrgyzstan. She also worked as a consultant for the Swiss Center of International Health of Swiss Tropical Institute Office in the Republic of Tajikistan. Her publications include “Family Matters: The Making and Remaking of Family during Conflict Periods in Central Asia” (with Sophie Roche and Said Reza Kazemi), “Tajik in Content—Soviet in Form? Reading Tajik Political Discourse on and for Women”, and “How Relations Make Persons: Rituals Accompanying Childbirth and Socialization of Infants in Kyrgyzstan.”