1991 …2019
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Personal profile


Maruška Svašek (PhD Anthropology, Amsterdam 1996, Reader) studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Minerva in Groningen and cultural anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. Her main research interests include migration, material culture, and emotions. In her most recent work she seeks to bring these strands together, exploring the mobility and agency of humans, artefacts and images in an era of intensifying globalization and transnational connectivity. Her publications include 2018 Ethnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space. Place-Making in the New Northern Ireland (Berghahn, edited with Milena Komarova) 2016 Creativity in Transition. Politics and Aesthetics of Cultural Production Across the Globe. Oxford: Berghahn (ed. M. Svašek and B. Meyer), Emotions and Human Mobility. Ethnographies of Movement (Routledge 2012), Moving Subjects, Moving Objects: Transnationalism, Cultural Production and Emotions (Berghahn 2012), Anthropology, Art and Cultural Production (Pluto 2007), Postsocialism: Politics and Emotions in Central and Eastern Europe (Berghahn 2006) and (with Kay Milton) Mixed Emotions. Anthropological Studies of Feeling (Berg 2005). She is co-editor (with Birgit Meyer) of the Book Series ‘Material Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement’ (Oxford: Berghahn).

At present, she is working on two books on art and politics in Czechoslovakia/the Czech Republic.


Funded Research 

Svašek's interest in cultural production, emotional dynamics and globalising forces was nurtured through three AHRC-funded international interdisciplinary conferences, organised by her in 2006 and 2007. Resulting from this were special issues for the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36(6) (published in 2010) and the Journal of Intercultural Studies 29(3) (published in 2008). In 2010, Svašek secured HERA funding for a two-year collaborative research project entitled Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement (CIM). This interdisciplinary Consortium consists of eleven researchers (working in the fields of anthropology, art history and museum curation) in Belfast, Manchester, Norway, Amsterdam and Vienna. Her interest in migration and transnational family life resulted in research project (2010) funded by Changing Ageing Partnership on transnational families, emotions and ageing. Her research provided an insight into the challenges faced by elderly parents and adult children involved in transnational care giving. Exploring mobility and family life in the larger context of the European Union, she also contributed as senior researcher to the EU Framework 7 finded interdisciplinary project Euroidentities, headed by Prof Robert Miller at the School of Sociology and Social Policy (QUB). The Project, entitled Euroidentities, involved partners in Northern Ireland, Wales, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Bulgaria and Italy, was completed in 2011, and used autobiographical narration as its main method. Svašek also established the Cultural Dynamics and Emotions Network (CDEN) with Dr. Kala Shreen (MOP Vaishnav College for woman, Chennai, India) in 2007. It functions as a teaching tool to facilatate local and transnational communication between lectureres and students interested in the study of emotions. 




Research Statement

My research focuses on emotions, migration, transnational families, material culture and art.


I am open to PhD applications in the fields of

- material culture and art

- migration,transnationalism and placemaking

- affect and emotions






A World on the Move, ANT1003

Culture and Society, ANT1001
Anthropology of Material Culture and Visual Mediation, ANT2009/3029
Love, Hate and Beyond: Emotions, Culture, Practice, ANT2010/3035
Advanced Anthropological Methods, ANT7007
The Ethnographic Interview, AHS

Postgraduate Research Seminar




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sociality Social Sciences
ethnography Social Sciences
art Social Sciences
cultural management Social Sciences
politics Social Sciences
cultural relations Social Sciences
Social Role Social Sciences
time Social Sciences

Projects 2005 2005

R1730SAN: Migration: Emotions and Human Mobility

Svasek, M.


Project: Research

Research Output 1991 2019

The Art of the Game: Visual Methods, Artistic Engagement and Playful Ethnography

Svasek, M., 05 May 2019, (Accepted) In : Irish Journal of Anthropology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ageing Kin, Proximity and Distance: Translocal Relatedness as Affective Practice and Movement

Svasek, M., 2018, Affect in Relation. Families, Places, Technologies.: Essays on Affectivity and Subject Formation in the 21th Century. Birgit, R-R. & Slaby, J. (eds.). London: Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Criss-crossing Pathways: The Indian Community Centre as Focus of Diasporic and Cross-Community Place-Making

Svasek, M., 2018, Ethnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space: Place-making in the New Northern Ireland. Svasek, M. & Komarova, M. (eds.). Oxford and New York: Berghahn, p. 211-234 23 p. (Material Mediations; vol. 8).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Ethnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space: Place-Making in the New Northern Ireland

Svasek, M. (ed.) & Komarova, M. (ed.), Jul 2018, New York and Oxford: Berghahn. 298 p. (Material Mediations; vol. 8)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

Northern Ireland

Spatiality, Movement and Place-making

Svasek, M. & Komarova, M., 2018, Ethnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space: Place-making in the New Northern Ireland. Berghahn, p. 1-42 42 p. (Material Mediations; vol. 8).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


PhD Supervisory Excellence Award

Maruska Svasek (Recipient), 24 May 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 1990 2019

PACSA Conference: Creativity, Resistance and Hope:Towards an Anthropology of Peace

Maruska Svasek (Speaker)
04 Oct 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

De-Colonizing the Western Gaze: The Portrait as a Multi-Sensory Cultural Practice

Maruska Svasek (Examiner)
02 May 2019

Activity: Examination typesPhD external examination

Placemaking in Northern Ireland (and other 'post-conflict' societies)

Maruska Svasek (Advisor)
28 Mar 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

ASA Annual Conference

Maruska Svasek (Participant)
04 Sep 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Between Facts, Fictions and Fun: Spatiality, Temporarily and Multi-Sensorial Improvisation - Presentation of Paper

Maruska Svasek (Speaker)
14 Jun 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


The Sociocultural Milieux of ‘Chinese’ Language Learning in Belfast: Diaspora and Difference

Author: Wang, S., 25 Aug 2017

Supervisor: Svasek, M. (Supervisor) & Knight, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy