V4 Net

Postscript (January 2023)

In the final phase of this Network, mobility was hindered by the pandemic. Postdocs continued to work on papers and books, while doctoral students continued to work on their dissertations (most of which were submitted at their home institutions and are not recorded here). It was possible to organize several meetings. By July 2021, the Covid virus had relented sufficiently to allow members of V4 NET to gather in large numbers and in style at Schloss Ringberg, the Max Planck Society‘s charming castle in Bavaria, for a meeting titled Vox Populi Visegradensis: The Anthropology of East-Central Europe. The 31 presentations covered a wide range, reflecting how young social anthropologists are investigating new technological developments (such as E-waste and the production of Bitcoin) as well as the challenges of the populism-illiberalism nexus, while continuing to work in established fields such as historical memory and transformations of the peasantry. Highlights included after-dinner presentations by two longstanding associates of the department, Don Kalb and Deema Kaneff. Thanks were due to Jochen Essl and his team at Schloss Ringberg for their excellent support; and to the Schloeßmann Foundation for subsidising the costs of this meeting.

Smaller in-person meetings took place in Warsaw in September 2020 (convened by Agnieszka Halemba, Locating Religion and Nonreligion in Eastern/ Central Europe); and in Pezinok, Slovakia, in April 2022 (postponed from March 2021, convened by Juraj Buzalka and Margit Feischmidt, Tradition and Solidarity in the Visegrád Countries in the Pandemic Moment).
It is important to disseminate anthropological research of the kind that animated V4 NET to audiences beyond anthropology. The special issue of Europe-Asia Studies which Chris Hann edited with sociologist Gabor Scheiring, was an example of how this can be achieved (Hann and Scheiring 2021; most contributors to the issue were members of the Network). When life gradually returned to normal in 2022, Hann co-organized in-person panels to debate core themes of this issue at meetings of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (Cambridge, April 2022) and the Council for European Studies (Lisbon, June-July 2022).

Hann, Chris and Gábor Scheiring (eds.). 2021. Neoliberal Capitalism and Visegrád Countermovements. Special Issue of Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 73, No. 9.

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