Cooperative project ANARCHIE begins its fourth cycle

Joint doctoral school of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and Martin Luther University Halle

October 25, 2017

On 1 November 2017 the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (MPI) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) will welcome the newest cohort of doctoral students in their joint graduate school ANARCHIE. The school was established in 2012 as an interdisciplinary project between anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians. To mark the beginning of the four-year programme, the MPI will host a special lecture at 18:00 by Russian anthropologist Prof. Dr. Victor Shnirelman on "Eurasian Theory or Eurasian Discourse: the many faces of Eurasia".

Five years of fruitful collaboration
The International Max Planck Research School for the Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Eurasia, or ANARCHIE, is a cooperation between the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and several departments at MLU. This year marks the admission of the research school’s fourth cohort; each cohort consists of 12 doctoral students from three disciplines. Three spokespeople representing the two partner institutions head the school: Prof. Dr. Chris Hann (Director of the Department 'Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia' at the MPI), Prof. Dr. François Bertemes (Institute for Art History and European Archaeology, MLU), and Prof. Dr. Andreas Pečar (Institute for History, MLU).

Experiencing interdisciplinarity
The doctoral students in ANARCHIE are jointly supervised for four years by professors at both the university and the MPI. "The advantage of this intensive cooperative work is the constant confrontation with different academic cultures and perspectives", notes Sascha Roth, coordinator of the programme at the MPI. "Everyone talks about how important interdisciplinarity is – we experience it every single day. And we discover that it truly is invaluable for our research." Anthropologist Roth has experienced this at first hand: he was a doctoral student in the first ANARCHIE cohort and received his degree in 2016. "At the beginning working together is quite challenging, because anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians often have very different understandings and interpretations of the concepts they use. So first we have to learn how to communicate with one another."

Discovering new research methods
Roth has no doubt that he benefited substantially from the contact with other disciplines. For his research project on state housing policies in Azerbaijan and its effects on marriage and living strategies, archives turned out to be a source of key data. Roth: "If I had not learned from the historians in our group how to conduct archival research and what this data can be useful for, it would never have occurred to me as an anthropologist to visit archives at all." In accordance with this commitment to interdisciplinarity, the new group of doctoral students consists of four scholars each from the fields of social anthropology, archaeology, and history. They come from Chile, Austria, Armenia, India, Germany, South Korea, Russia, Spain, Macedonia, and Poland and were selected from more than 120 international applicants. "This incredible diversity shows the attractiveness of our joint doctoral programme with the university in Halle", Roth says.

Studying global social change
The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the world’s leading centres for research in socio-cultural anthropology. It was established in 1999 by Chris Hann and Günther Schlee, and moved to its permanent buildings at Advokatenweg 36 in Halle/Saale in 2001. Marie-Claire Foblets joined the Institute as Director of the department 'Law & Anthropology' in 2012.
Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality. Fieldwork is an essential part of almost all projects. Some 175 researchers from over 30 countries currently work at the Institute. In addition, the Institute also hosts countless guest researchers who join in the scholarly discussions.

More information about the graduate school ANARCHIE.

Contact for this press release
Sascha Roth
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Department 'Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia'
Advokatenweg 36, 06114 Halle (Saale)
Tel.: 0345 2927-377

PR contact
Stefan Schwendtner
Press and Public Relations
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Advokatenweg 36, 06114 Halle (Saale)
Tel.: 0345 2927-425

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