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In an interview with Kathrin Hondl from the German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, Christoph Brumann talks about why UNESCO’s vision of creating comprehensive, multilateral protection of exceptional landmarks of cultural and natural heritage has never been truly realized. And he explains why, even after reforms of the nomination process, the rich nations of the Global North continue be at a significant advantage and are better able to ensure that their interests are represented on the list. more

On Friday, 2 July, the volume Explorations in Economic Anthropology was symbolically presented to Chris Hann, Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (MPI) during a virtual conference. In short, incisive essays, the 20 contributors engage with the topics and debates that have played a central role in Hann’s work for more than four decades: the development of postsocialist states, global economic and social transformations, and the connection between economic action and religious values. more

Moral rules and imperatives are of immense importance for our social coexistence. But how did they originate, what functions do they serve, and how have they changed over the course of human history? These questions are at the heart of the conference “Society and Morality in Eurasia: From Prehistory to the Present Day” organized by Chris Hann, Director of the Department ‘Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (MPI) in cooperation with archaeologist Franҫois Bertemes and historian Andreas Pečar from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The conference will be held online and take place on 7 to 9 July 2021. more

On 24 June 2021 at 18:00, Norwegian anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen will give the annual Goody Lecture of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (MPI). Titled “The Treadmill Paradox in Cultural History: Competitive global capitalism and the Anthropocene challenge”, his lecture takes off from Goody’s theories of alternating leadership between Western Europe and China. Eriksen will question contemporary evolutionist approaches in the context of intensifying economic competition and the catastrophic consequences it is having for humans and the global environment. Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and an External Scientific Member of the MPI. more

On 3 June 2021 at 19:00 Jason Cons (University of Texas at Austin) will give a lecture about his anthropological field research in the Sundarbans of Bangladesh, the largest mangrove area in the world, and how it is being affected by global warming and human activity. But it is not just nature that is undergoing profound transformations: as Cons shows in his talk, the many interventions also threaten the societies living in this coastal region. more

Hanover‘s 7th biennial Festival der Philosophie opens on Wednesday, 26 May 2021. The Max Planck Society is a partner of this year’s event, and ten researchers from eight Max Planck Institutes will join in the online discussions with German and international philosophers and humanities scholars. From the nature of the universe to the crisis of the Anthropocene, from the freedom of science to the question of free will, the panelists examine central elements of how we see ourselves and the world, connecting these questions to current knowledge and scientific debates. more

The Department ‘Anthropology of Economic Experimentation’ launched its MoLab Inventory of Mobilities and Socioeconomic Changes today. MoLab stands for the Mobility, Technology and Wellbeing Lab. Consisting of entries that represent cases of emerging patterns or meanings of mobility, the Inventory documents ongoing changes in mobilities and explores new research angles that arise from the empirical data. more

During the summer semester 2021 Hatem Elliesie, Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, is serving as Acting Professor for Islamic Law at the Institute of Oriental Studies at the University of Leipzig. In February this year he additionally began a position as Head of Junior Research Group at Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU). more

At irregular intervals we publish interviews with alumni of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. We find out where they are living and working now, what they are conducting research on, and how their time at the MPI shaped their subsequent careers. In closing they share their advice for young anthropologists and name a book that has impressed them recently. more

On 25 March 2021, the Chinese tech giant Tencent, owner of the app WeChat with over 1.2 billion users, organised a dialogue between Biao Xiang, Director of the Department ‘Anthropology of Economic Experimentation: Frontiers of Transformation’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, and data engineers and economic analysts from top tech companies. Titled “Human, Algorithm and System”, the discussion was based on Xiang’s talk at the 2021 Tencent annual conference in the section “Technologies for the Good” on 9 January. more

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