Ladislav Holy Lecture 2023 – 25. 2. 2023





Queen’s University Belfast

Confronting the Un/Expected:
Reflections on Stretched Ethnography

25 February 2023 from 16.00

The lecture will be held in the auditorium of the Institute of Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Na Florenci 3, Praha 1)
and online via ZOOM here.


This talk argues that the production of ethnographic knowledge is always a relational process in which human and nonhuman affective forces interact in expected and unexpected ways: researchers need to improvise and thus be creative in their dealings with interlocutors and research technologies. Not all fieldwork is improvisational and exploratory to the same degree, however, as a comparison of some of my pre-pandemic and pandemic research projects demonstrate. Of particular interest are cases that either purposely or unavoidably led to the blurring of boundaries between ethnography, art, documentation and play.


Maruška Svašek is Professor of Anthropology at Queens University Belfast, UK. Her main research interests include migration, art/efacts, politics and emotions. In the last ten years, her work has brought these strands together, exploring the affective relationality of humans, artefacts and spaces in an era of globalization, transnational connectivity and environmental change. At present, she is working on a book on art and the politics of visibility in Czechoslovakia/the Czech Republic, and investigating the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the lives of migrant women in Ireland. Her publications include Ethnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space: Place-Making in the New Northern Ireland (2018, with Milena Komarova), Creativity in Transition: Politics and Aesthetics of Cultural Production Across the Globe (2016, with Birgit Meyer), Emotions and Human Mobility: Ethnographies of Movement (2012), Moving Subjects, Moving Objects: Transnationalism, Cultural Production and Emotions (2012), Anthropology, Art and Cultural Production (2007), Postsocialism: Politics and Emotions in Central and Eastern Europe (2006) and Mixed Emotions: Anthropological Studies of Feelings (2005, with Kay Milton).

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