Events 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016

At CARMAH we regularly interact with other researchers and museum professionals, as well as with the interested public, through talks, panels discussions and other formats of critical engagement. In this section you can read further information on upcoming as well as past events at CARMAH.



HZK / CARMAH Colloquium: Digital Network Collections

Presentation of the project "Digital Network Collections", which deals with a conceptual planning of a digital network of Berlin's university collections, in order to create a common interdisciplinary basis that enables the research and digital evidence of objects. The lecture will be held in German. 


CARMAH / Making Museums Matter Initiative: Sociomuseology

Museums making social policy! A conversation between Prof. Dr. Mario Moutinho with Moana Souto and students of Würzburg, exploring how to engage in the development of public policies, activism, and protest in the field of museums. 

Paper presentation

'Curated textiles'

Magda Buchczyk will present her research on the social and political transformations of Polish weaving in the context of Nazi-era curating, state socialist craft revival in Poland and current global, commercial afterlives of this art 

HZK / CARMAH Colloquium: Cabinet of Curiosities in museum exhibition practice

Sarah Wagner will present her dissertation, recently submitted to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in which she investigated the Kunst- und Wunderkammer in museum exhibition practice. The starting point was the boom of such exhibitions around the year 2000, which gave rise to the question of why cabinets of art and curiosities are resurgent in such large numbers, in what way they differ from one another, and ultimately what still connects these exhibitions to the historical type of collection. 

Grassi Museum: Across Anthropology | Book Presentation & Online Talk

Book presentation of 'Across Anthropology. Troubling Colonial Legacies, Museums, and the Curatorial' by Jonas Tinius and Margareta von Oswald, in an online talk, together with Leontine Meijer-van Mensch (Director of the Ethnological Museums in Leipzig, Dresden, Herrnhut). 

Discussion: Memorylands We Live In. Part of the 'At a Distance' Series at the International Cultural Centre in Krakow

Join Sharon Macdonald (founder and director of CARMAH) and Maria Kobielska (Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland) on October 7, 2021, at 7 p.m., for a discussion of the memorylands we live in. The discussion will focus on Prof. Macdonald's acclaimed book 'Memorylands: Heritage and Identity in Europe Today' (2013), which has been translated into Polish by Robert Kusek and published the International Cultural Centre in Krakow.  

Online Workshop

After the Void: New Perspectives on the Shtetl in the Postwar Polish-Belarusian-Ukrainian Borderlands

The Second World War, the Holocaust, and the mass (forced) migrations triggered by the post-war power shifts have not only caused a gigantic death toll and material damage in East-Central Europe, but transformed the patterns of urban life in the entire region. While cities like Vilnius or Pinsk suffered a nearly complete loss of their pre-war population, others, like Minsk or Warsaw, got almost completely wiped out in their material substance (Ciborowski 1969, Vale and Campanella 2005, Bohn 2008, Bartetzky and Benthin 2017). Erasing entire cities off the map was not only a contingency of military activities, but also a conscious strategy of the German armed forces to wreak psychological terror and demoralize the enemy. For example, Himmler’s plan to level Warsaw with the ground after the uprising of 1944 was meant to “decapitate” Poland as a nation, and carry long-time geo-political consequences for the entire region (Borodziej 2010: 251). While the physical destruction of the urban built environment during the Second World War turned out to be a reversible phenomenon, and all major urban centers of East-Central Europe were painstakingly rebuilt or even partly reconstructed (like Warsaw), the loss of the original ethnic structure, social networks, cultural heritage and even memory of their past, has been permanent and left a lasting, traumatic and culturally devastating influence on this part of Europe to this day (Snyder 2010, Meng 2011, Janicka 2011, Napiórkowski 2016). The greatest loss concerned the shtetls: small to mid-size towns with considerable Jewish population (often a majority) which constituted the key emanation of Jewish urban life and formed a unique socio-cultural communal pattern on a vast territory of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. These urban pockets were, in the mid-eighteen century, the home of over a third of world Jewry, which made the largest Jewish community in the world. Three quarters of these East European Jews inhabited small to mid-size towns (Polonsky 2004: 14). Although they were all repopulated in the aftermath of the Holocaust, they underwent processes of abandonment, loss of heritage and social amnesia. It is the lost Jewish town—as a built environment, a social geography, a “paradigmatic locus of communality,” and a metonym of traditional values—that constitutes the greatest lacuna in the East-Central European urban landscape (Shandler 2014: 44). Its central importance to Jewish life and traditions makes it also a key Jewish archetype and the source of “a transcendent Jewish cultural essence” (ibid.: 90). It is no wonder then that the lost Jewish towns have received a large amount of attention in the post-1945 scholarship: as a figure of nostalgia (Abramovitsh 1947, Zborowski and Herzog 1952), a concept or literary trope (Dawidowicz 1967, Roskies and Roskies 1975, Wisse 1986, Dymshits, Lvov and Sokolova 2008, Shandler 2014), or an actual space of Jewish life and death (Hundert 1992, Gross 2000, Hoffman 2009, Kobrin 2010, Tryczyk 2015, Engelking et al. 2018, Bartov 2018). At the same time, while individual shtetls and their pre-WWII history have been intensively examined, studies that concentrate on what became of the lost towns after 1945 (Polec 2006, Dymshits, Lvov and Sokolova 2008) and comparative studies (Bauer 2009) are less numerous. A systematic and transnational examination of how these urban centers were appropriated, repopulated and filled with new meanings still needs to be written. The present workshop addresses this gap in the research, bringing together two international teams of scholars currently embarked on comparative projects exploring the post-1945 history of the shtetls in the Polish-Belarusian-Ukrainian borderlands. Bringing together some of the most renown experts on Jewish history and memory in the region and young scholars in the field, the workshop has the goal of presenting the first, preliminary results of the new cutting-edge research in this area, as well as addressing some overarching methodological questions about the challenges of investigating the Jewish absence (and presence) in the post-Holocaust and post-Soviet rural setting.  

Workshop: Capital in the Web of Sovereignty

Capital in the Web of Sovereignty: Anthropological Reflections on Extraction, Appropriation and Violence

Focusing on contemporary cases of violent dispossession, appropriation and extraction as well as struggles for the commons, the workshop poses the question anew as to the relation between capital and sovereignty in the contemporary moment. The aim is to explore the current processes of capitalist accumulation against the background of the past and present histories of nation-states, empires and settler colonialisms, and to do so through two angles. The first focuses on the role and genealogy of sovereign logics and techniques in facilitating the movement and advancement of capital and on related value regimes. The second explores the intersection of forms and logics of violence and processes of dispossession and appropriation that cannot be reduced to the history of capitalism and extends to the relation of struggles over commons with the layered histories of multiple sovereignties.  



Digital Truth-Making. Ethnographic Perspectives on Practices, Infrastructures and Affordances of Truth-Making in Digital Societies

Over the last two decades, the ubiquity of digital infrastructures has brought about numerous drastic changes to a globalized world. One of the most pressing socio-political questions on a global scale is how digitization has changed the ways in which particular truths are enacted and established in everyday life. Following these and further examples, the 7th conference of the dgv-working group “Digitization in Everyday Life” at the Humboldt University of Berlin will examine concrete practices of digital truth-making. 


A digital museum of restitution

‘A digital museum of restitution’. Conversation with artist Emeka Ogboh. Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH), Institute of European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Germany. 22 January 2020.  


Panel discussion:

Decolonising Islam in Museums

A discussion on decolonising Islam in museums with Mirjam Shatanawi (Reinwardt Academie, Amsterdam), Stefan Weber (Museum für Islamische Kunst (SMB/SPK), and Katarzyna Puzon (CARMAH). 

EASA Meeting:

The Trouble with Art

On 21-22 September, Roger Sansi (Barcelona) and CARMAH research fellow Jonas Tinius organised the 2019 interim meeting of the Anthropology and the Arts (ANTART) Network, which they convened within the the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA). CARMAH was delighted to host the event, which was open to the public. 

Workshop series:


ODDKIN°labs are prototype workshops that explore the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin by questioning objects, spaces and narratives with a transdisciplinary approach.  


Museums, Religion, and the Work of Reconciliation and Remembrance

In their collections and their buildings, museums often carry traces of religion, past and present, which they curate and narrate for diverse audiences. Increasingly, museums are called on to represent and acknowledge the politics embedded in these collections, whether by repatriating spiritually-charged objects acquired through colonial networks or by telling more complex stories of national histories of racism, antisemitism, and violence. 


Islam and Heritage in Europe

Convened by Katarzyna Puzon, the workshop brought together international scholars to discuss Islam and heritage in different parts of Europe and across various scales. 



Mediated Pasts – Popular Pleasures

Organized by Christoph Bareither and Ingrid Tomkowiak, the 5th conference of the dgv working group „Kulturen populärer Unterhaltung und Vergnügung” ( in cooperation with the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH) raises critical questions at the intersection of popular culture and memory/heritage studies. 


Anthropology, Art, and Alterity

Alterity describes the state of bring other or different. A concept entangling postcolonial critique with key debates around ontology, phenomenology, and anthropology. This symposium opens up discussions around alterity from the field between art and anthropology.  

CARMAH Research Encounter #1

The research encounter features presentations on the three key areas of: Media, Affordances, and the Digital, Participation, Engagement, Activism & Collections, Colonialism, and the Curatorial. The event takes place at Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin 

Exhibition and Conference:

Dead Images. Facing the History, Ethics and Politics of European Skull Collections

On 28 June, the “Dead Images” exhibition opens with a conversation, facilitated by Sam Alberti (National Museums Scotland), between Tal Adler (Humboldt University of Berlin) and Charlotte Roberts (University of Durham). This will be followed by a one-day international conference on 29 June that brings together individuals concerned with collections of human skulls, including artists, archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists. 

Public Dialogue

Gallery Reflection #5 Anthropology, Vulnerability, and Curatorial Practice

For this encounter, Alya Sebti (director, ifa-Gallery Berlin) and Jonas Tinius speak about the institutionalisation and destabilisation of curatorial and anthropological practices. Highlighting and concluding the Gallery Reflections series initiated in 2016, they are also addressing the complexities of creating such an exchange within the space of an institution itself. This dialogue within the Untie to Tie programme links On Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Societies (2017–18) to the upcoming section Movement.Bewegung (2018–19), for which Jonas Tinius will be coordinating a series of encounters on migration and movement entitled “All is in flux, nothing stands still”. 

World Café:

On Common Grounds: Rethinking (Islamic) Heritage in Europe

This event uses the motto of the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018 – Sharing Heritage – to critically explore the role of “Islam” in discourses about Europe’s heritage. Discussions will involve the motivations and practices that shape and are shaped by these discourses. 

Department seminar series:

Conjunctures and Creations: Anthropological Transformations / Transforming Anthropology

This upcoming semester, CARMAH is hosting the department seminar series jointly with the Institute of European Ethnology. The series is organised by Jonas Tinius, Tahani Nadim, Sharon Macdonald and features a set of international speakers as well as roundtables, panels, masterclasses, and evening lectures on transformations of anthropology and anthropological transformations. Feel free to join on Tuesdays, 12:15 - 1:45 p.m. 

Public dialogue

Gallery Reflection #4 Protesting Identities

Jonas Tinius, public discussion series "Gallery Reflections", #4 Protesting Identities with Dr Azadeh Sharifi (theatre scholar, LMU Munich), Natasha Ginwala (curator, Berlin), N.N. (tbc), and Dr Jonas Tinius (CARMAH, HU Berlin).  


Digital Memories

The workshop was a collaboration between CARMAH (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and the Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft der Universität Tübingen. 


Dealing with Islam in Berlin's Museum Context

Organised by Katarzyna Puzon and Christine Gerbich, the workshop brought together researchers and practitioners to discuss and reflect upon the ways in which Islam is represented in different museum contexts. 



Heritage, Religion, Authenticity, and Difference

Organized by Duane Jethro (CARMAH) and Abdoulaye Sounaye (ZMO), the workshop brought into conversation scholars working in different disciplines and a number of projects engaged with questions of material culture, religion, heritage and difference. 

TRACES Midterm Meeting

The meeting brought together all eleven TRACES partners to think through the concepts of “Contentious Heritage” and “Reflexive Europeanisation” as well as discuss the progress of each Creative Co-production and work package. 


Museums and Islam

One-day workshop at CARMAH, organised with the research team of the project "Museological Framings of Islam in Europe" (University of Gothenburg).