Dr Johana Wyss
I am a Social and Cultural Anthropologist, focusing on the dynamic relationship between collective identity and cultural collective memory. The main questions that drive my intellectual curiosity relate to the political use of the past in the present, to possibilities and limits of collective identity formation, and to exploring the most suitable methods and methodological positions to research these areas.
Research and teaching interests: Social and Cultural Anthropology, Memory Studies, Identity, Cultural Sociology, Contemporary History, Ethnicity and Nationalism, Regionalism and Separatism, Borderlands, Official and Vernacular Memories, Migration and Forced Displacement, Qualitative Methods and Methodology, Central Europe.
I completed my doctoral research at the University of Oxford in 2018 with a thesis entitled Silesian Identity: the Interplay of Memory, History and Borders. Based on longitudinal fieldwork in the Silesian borderlands (Opava and the Hlučín area), I provided an ethnographic account of how ostracised minority groups negotiate their collective identities and difficult heritage vis-à-vis national sentiments and nation-state apparatus within the social and historical context of East-Central Europe. My research was supported by the Scatcherd European Scholarship Award.
In addition to my doctoral research, I coordinated and delivered Undergraduate and Postgraduate classes, seminars, and tutorials at the University of Oxford and elsewhere. These classes included Introduction to Memory Studies, Nations and Nationalism, Anthropology of Europe, Social Psychology and Methods and Methodology in Social Sciences.
In the academic year of 2017-18, I was a Mellon-Sawyer Postgraduate Fellow, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Within this post, and as a member of an interdisciplinary team, I co-organised Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation held jointly at TORCH, the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. More details here.
February 2020 - January 2022, Prague CZ
RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE CZECH ACADEMY OF SCIENCE
August 2019 - July 2021, Halle (Saale) DE
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER AT THE MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Working on an individual research project ‘Memory and Commemoration in Czech Silesia’. More info here.
April 2018 - August 2020, Oxford UK
POSTDOCTORAL AFFILIATE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Research Affiliate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. More info here.
September 2018 - July 2019, Warwick UK
TEACHING FELLOW IN SOCIOLOGY, WARWICK UNIVERSITY
As a module convenor, developed detailed course outline and reading list. Convened and delivered all teaching in the form of lectures and seminars. Carried out on-going curriculum review including modules content and materials and contributed to learning and teaching strategy.
August 2017 - July 2018, Oxford UK
POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT MELLON SAWYER SEMINAR SERIES, OXFORD UNIVERSITY
Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series ‘Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation’, co-organised by TORCH, University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Responsible for the smooth organisation of lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences. Communication with both academic and public participants, preparation and submission of relevant documents, financial administration, and maintaining the online presence of these events. More info here.
December 2013 - September 2014, Prague CZ
PROJECT COORDINATOR, THE ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FORUM 2000 CONFERENCE
Planned and organised the conference and providing administrative support. In particular, overseeing the conference budget and monitoring its allocation.
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