Anthropologies of Entanglements

International Conference of the Media Anthropology Centre of Excellence (KOMA) Bauhaus-University Weimar, Germany 9th – 11th October 2019

In recent decades the field of anthropological research has become more interdisciplinary, as approaches from cultural and media studies have been integrated, as well as those from visual anthropology, feminism, queer theory, ANT, and other fields. Last but not least, the current discourse on the “anthropocene” has stimulated a new reflection of anthropological concepts. Despite all methodological and conceptual differences, the various approaches share the view that the so-called “human nature” can no longer be thought of in an essentialist and ahistorical way. Instead, relational, operative and time- and process-based concepts (e.g. ”borrowed body”,  ”cyborg”, ”collectives”, ”extensions of the human body”, ”modes of existence”, “superject” etc.) as well as questions about the cultural and historical situatedness and embodiment of various forms of (human) existence come to the fore. Against this backdrop, the interest has thus shifted to the multitude of cultural, topographical, technical, historical, social, discursive, and media formats with which human existences are entangled.

The hosting institution of the conference – Media Anthropology Centre of Excellence (KOMA) – is funded by the “Pro-Exzellenz” program of the state of Thuringia and has advanced an innovative and interdisciplinary media anthropology during the last 4 years. Its leading concept of ”anthropomediality“ refers to the irreducible entanglement of human bodies and media (in a wide sense of the word) that is prior to any distinction between them. Heuristically, “anthropomediality” operates on an intermediate level between empirical case studies and historical and specified research in media on the one hand, and the mainly conceptual work of media and cultural philosophies and aesthetics on the other hand.

In preparation for further research initiatives, KOMA intends to conclude its funding period with an international conference, entering into a dialogue with internationally renowned experts in interdisciplinary anthropological research. We hope that the discussions will facilitate further exploration of the concept of “anthropomediality” and possibly lead to establishing promising exchanges and collaborations in the future.


Hosts: Prof. Dr. Christiane Voss
           Prof. Dr. Lorenz Engell