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On 18 October at 9:30 Thomas Zitelmann, who is a senior lecturer from the Freie Universität Berlin, will deliver the open lecture ‘Statehood, Politics and Kinship: An Ethiopianist Perspective on a Long Century of Traditions, Trends and Fashions in Anthropology’.


‘Current anthropological perspectives on statehood, politics and kinship contain emergent argumentative orthodoxies. One is the argument that the relationship between kinship and statehood, as an anthropological topic, contains a binary positioning, indicating a shifting boundary between "us" and "them", which has to be overcome. The other is a critique of the continuities of an evolutionist thought-style, a residual from the 19th century, according to which kinship is linked to the natural or "primitive" stage of political affairs, while territorial organization and eventually the formation of the state belongs to higher orders. The emergent orthodoxy would rather claim that kinship and state develop is in a mutual entanglement. The contribution will discuss the development of the intersection between kinship, politics and state-formation in anthropology,’ says Thomas Zitelmann.

Thomas Zitelmann is an Associate Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Social and Cultural Antropology, the Freie Universität Berlin. His regional focus is on North Africa, the Near East and Cambodia. Zitelmann’s research focuses on conflict studies, ethnohistory, and the history of anthropology.

The lecture will take place in English.

The open lecture is taking place within the frame of the RELATE.LV project and the Baltic Anthropology Graduate School, and is organised by the academic staff of the Social Anthropology Master’s programme of RSU.


Room B-203

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