Research vision – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Anthropology > Research > Research vision

Research Vision

June 2012

The Department of Anthropology is one of the larger anthropology departments in Europe. Its staff comprises around professors and fifteen associate professors, as well as around ten postdoctoral researchers and thirty doctoral students, mostly financed from externally funded research programs hosted at the Department of Anthropology. We see fieldwork as the cornerstone of anthropological knowledge production and pride ourselves with covering all major ethnographic regions of the world. For decades, the Department of Anthropology has maintained a strong focus on sub-Saharan Africa in particular but also on other regions, including Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, and the North Atlantic/Arctic region. More recently, regional expertise has been built up on the Middle East and Europe including Denmark, where anthropologists have gained an increasingly vigorous voice in public discourse, policy development, and the business sector in recent years.

The Department aspires to be a regional hub for ethnographic research in all guises and a powerhouse for generating anthropological theory. At the heart of our collective research vision lies a shared commitment to an engaged anthropology, which seeks to combine, in different and often experimental ways, a critical attention to pressing social problems and their potential solutions with a strong desire to formulate cutting-edge anthropological theories based on solid bodies of ethnography originating from creative combinations of new and old methods. Thus, our vision boils down to what we like to call The Triple E:

Engagement. Department of Anthropology's research aspires to be collaborative, critical, and consequential. People with whom we work matter to us, and we try to matter to them. We are moved by the world and want to move it in turn.

Ethnography. Department of Anthropology's research aspires to be empirically detailed and yet broadly comparative in scope. We believe in difference, in the ethical, epistemological, and political value of diverse peoples and places.

Experimentation. Department of Anthropology's research aspires to be methodologically innovative and theoretically explorative. We see it as our mission to experiment with our methods, our concepts, and our scholarly identities.

Read the entire vision of the Department (pdf).

Read the Department strategy (pdf).