Medical anthropology, political anthropology, anthropology of the future, conspiracy, healing, alternative medicine, prefigurative politics, pseudoscience
Prague, Czech Republic
I joined the department ‘Anthropology of Politics and Governance’ as a student assistant in December 2020 before becoming a PhD candidate in February 2022. Previously, I received my BA in Religious Studies from Charles University in Prague and my MA in Anthropology from Leipzig University.
My PhD project is a study of the covid-skeptical movement in the Czech Republic. As activists demand the end of vaccination programs, restrictions, and masks mandates, some of them also interpret the pandemic for its potential as catalysis of dramatic social change. I follow them as they attempt to create alternative futures, and as they prefigure a new and desirable vision of society – through political mobilization, lifestyle choices, and engagements with alternative medicine and spirituality. I am particularly interested in questions of hope and agency as I explore how people keep trying to radically change the world outside of the boundaries of traditional politics, even in situations where they have limited means to do so.
My MA thesis dealt with similar topics, focusing on alternative healers and health-seekers in Prague. In this study, I examined how the long-term engagement with alternative medicine shaped health-seekers’ lives and identities in pandemic times, as their continuous healing became entangled with the language of conspiracy and suspicion. This has also led me to develop an interest in the boundaries between science and pseudoscience and in the popular imaginaries which surround certain technoscientific projects, such as vaccinations or AI.