Project Researchers

Magdalena Buchczyk

© M Buchczyk

I am Junior Professor of Social Anthropology at the Institute for European Ethnology working across CARMAH and HZK (Hermannn von Helmholtz Centre for Cultural Techniques). My work focuses on material culture and critical understandings of heritage with reference to collections and making. I am also interested in questions of knowledge production, materiality, politics and affect. I have conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Romania and the UK, as well as projects in Italy, Germany and Poland. As I member of the management committee, I currently help to coordinate the TRACTS network: Traces as Research Agenda for Climate Change, Technology Studies & Social Justice (COST Action 20134, 2021 – 2025).

I joined the HU as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow in 2019 after a postdoctoral project on learning cities at the University of Bristol. Originally trained in anthropology and critical heritage studies (UCL, Goldsmiths), I have previously taught at Goldsmiths, Bristol Doctoral School and Imperial College London. I currently teaching applied museum and collection research (in collaboration with the Museum of European Cultures) and anthropological perspectives on visual and material culture.

I have also worked in applied anthropology in the private and the museum sector, and I am particularly interested in developing new modes of ethnographic writing and exhibition making. Previous co-curated exhibitions include:
Revisiting Romania: Dress and Identity at the Horniman Museum in London that reimagined a 1950s museum collection through ethnographic research
Forging Folklore, Disrupting Archives at Constance Howard Gallery in London that worked to remediate textile collections through critical art interventions
Learning City: A Self-Portrait at Coexist Gallery, Hamilton House in Bristol that brought together contributions from Barton Hill Settlement, Countering Colston, Dhek Bhal, Easton Community Centre, Bristol Bike Project, Coexist Community Kitchen, Refugee Women of Bristol, St Mungo’s, Workers’ Educational Association and Wild Walks for Wellbeing as well as artists Eleanor Shipman, Joff Winterhart and Biggerhouse Film

Research areas
material culture
collection research
heritage ethnography
memory, heritage politics and activism
making, craft, knowledge production
trace as epistemological, ethical and methodological challenge
making and ways of knowing
informal learning, affect and care
curatorial practice