Epistemology of Everyday Life

The Community approaches the knowledge of humanity from anthropological, historical, and philosophical perspectives. This interdisciplinary, yet common focus allows the students to broaden the frames of humanities’ knowledge beyond the disciplines they study. In the anthropological part, the initial focus is on digital and sensory approaches to the everyday, as well as new methodological approaches (such as computational and big data ethnography, sensory walking, ethnography on a distance). In the historical part we analyze the history of the cultural encounters generated by the European colonial expansion in the early modern period (such as the criollismo in Latin America). The philosophical part brings forward concepts such as the Other, the stranger, morality and critically reflects them through some of the key texts. In the final part of the Eutopia learning unit, at the Students’ Open Forum, participants present their own (ongoing) research and rethink it through the epistemological contexts of the three disciplines. The Forum also encourages the students to actively collaborate with each other, forming the ties across the partner universities.
Learning Community Activities
Upcoming Events

Student Open Forum
Connected Learning Community Epistemology of Everyday Life
January 26, 2024
9:00 - 14:55
LINK: https://shorturl.at/itD03

9.00 - 9.15 Introduction
9.15 - 10:30 Part 1
Victor Marquet
Saget Geopolitics of Architecture: The influence of Asian architecture and urban design in a geopolitical context
Matej Mali: "Exotic" and "tribal" Artist ethnographers and their echo chamber (a few practical examples)
Katarina Dolničar: Fieldwork in Zelena Jama and aestheticization of the neighborhood

10.30 - 10.45 Break

10.45 - 12.00 Part 2
Luís Eduardo Carneiro Cavalcanti: Going from white to Brazilian white in a foreign country: A self report on being perceived as something not entirely as the norm after 18 years of being in it
Oliwia Prusek: Is the Slovenian language going extinct?: Considerations from the perspectiveof a non Balkan individual, learning Slovenian
Munia Hassoun: Everyday life of asylum seekers at Swiss Asylum Federal Camps

12.00 - 12.15 Break

12.15 - 13.30 Part 3
Sofia Amaral: The difficulties faced by Roma people in the Portuguese educational system
Cristina de la Rosa García:When the Spanish left Oran The mixed community of the 'Corte Chica' by 1792
Laura Aixut Lopez: Catalan Spiritism through press (1875 - 1914)

13.00 - 13.15 Break

13:15 - 14:55 Part 4
Dariana Glava: A ritual or pilgrimage can transform even “non believers”
Pilar Salom: Culture and the perception of gender
Ayshan Farzaliyeva: The offshore windfarms in Azerbaijan as an e ndless power, its influence to the environment, and the concept of risk
Nuria Ferrer Añon: What will happen with Anthropology?

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Past Events
  • Student Open Forum
Student open forum
Student open forum
Student open forum
Student open forum
Student open forum
Student open forum

The current activities from this community started in October 2022 with the sensory walk Birds in the city, led by prof. Rajko Muršič and prof. Dan Podjed (UL) and ornithologist Dare Fekonja.

Birds in the city (photo: Ana Svetel)
Birds in the city (photo: Ana Svetel)

Coming up in November and December [all activities will take place online]:

  • November 23, 16.00-18.15 CET: Lecture by prof. Alexandre Coello (UPF): Martyrdom, sanctity and violence in colonial discourses
  • December 13, 18.00-20.00 CET: Workshop by prof. Rajko Muršič (UL): Sensory ethnography: Sound, walking and urban spaces
  • December 14, 16.00-18.15 CET: Workshop by assist. Ana Svetel and assist. Veronika Zavratnik (UL): Ethnography in/of the social networks
  • December 16, 10.00-13.30 CET: Student open forum (Students' discussion on the concepts of solidarity, mutuality and commons)

2021 - 2022:
Building of learning community, experimenting digital and sensory ethnography (October 28 and 29, 2021) which was led by prof. Rajko Muršič (University of Ljubljana).

This was delivered in a series of blended and practical classes where students covered the following:

a. Ethnography on a distance, Thursday, October 28, 13:00-16:10, CET
The aim of the first part of the blended practical classes is to try, reflect and discuss ethnographic work from a distance, as students had to practice during the pandemic, and a way of working that will remain one of the most important methodological tools in ethnographic practice. Rajko Muršič and Dan Podjed briefly presented methods and topics, and students then did a distant fieldwork exercise: i.e. making calls to previously informed societal actors who were ready to communicate with the student researcher. After the intensive communication, the student-researchers wrote short memos/reflections, and presented them to other students discussing their experiences with others, and critically reflecting on the merits and limitations of available smartphone applications for distance research.

b. Individual blended sensory walk, Friday, October 29, 9:40-13:00, CET
Is it possible to experience everyday environment completely anew? With this exercise, students tested an individual sensory walk, using smart phones and various other storage devices (sound recorder, video camera, etc.). Following a short introduction about sensory walks as a qualitative research method (by Rajko Muršič), the students went for a walk in their own spaces place, whilst being open to all kinds of sensory experience while walking (sounds, sights, odours, things to touch or taste …). With the use of digital devices, they recorded the experience (visual and aural) and then later presented the reasons for these captured moments to other students.

c. Challenging big data: Orange as an analytical tool*, Friday, October 29, 14:40-16:10 CET
Dr Ajda Pretnar Žagar demonstrated how to conduct ethnographic work with big data and how to use computational methods to answer anthropological questions. She will present two use cases, one with analysis of Twitter data and the other with analysis of Instagram images. All examples were demonstrated with the analytical software Orange, developed at the University of Ljubljana.

d. Ethics in digital research, Friday, October 29, 16:20-18:00 CET
Discussion on ethical limits in digital ethnographic research: Rajko Muršič, Ajda Pretnar Žagar, Dan Podjed, Ana Svetel and all student participants.

Ethnography and Cultural Encounters, 1492-1750, November 17 and December 1, 2021 - Led by prof. Alexandre Coello de la Rosa (Pompeu Fabra University)

This activity included a lecture followed by a presentation and discussion of the assigned readings. It took place on the Collaborate platform.

The aim of the course that the activity was based on is to analyse the history of the cultural encounters generated by the European colonial expansion in the early modern period (16th-18th centuries), with an emphasis on the production of ethnographic knowledge, literary and visual. The course adopts a global comparative perspective, taking account of the various contexts of such encounters in Africa, Asia, America and the Pacific. The course will emphasize the overseas empires of Spain and Portugal, but will also include materials generated by the Dutch, French and British commercial and colonial experiences. Each seminar will explore a distinct theme and will involve the contextual analysis of a variety of ethnographic sources. Four key questions will constitute a thread throughout the sessions: the problem of cultural perception and (mis)translation; the ideals, practices and contradictions of religious missions; the complex nature of colonial and imperial power; and the paradoxical development of universalist and cosmopolitan ideas.

'The Stranger', December 7 and December 16, 2021, led by prof. Marc Van den Bossche (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

This activity included lectures followed by discussions of the assigned readings. It took place on MS Teams.

a. Stranger, Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 18.00-20.00 CET
The question of the stranger. Students discussed the classic texts by Georg Simmel and Alfred Schütz. Students were asked to reflect on how Bauman translates their vision to our current dealings with the stranger? This was followed by a look at Sara Ahmed's critique of and additions to Bauman's thinking.

b. Morality, Thursday, December 16, 2021, 18.00-20.00 CET
Bauman's critique of modernity includes a revision of the conception of a kind of morality that would be bound to a specific social context. He wants to search for a universal morality that even precedes thought. Students across the universities compare this vision in a cross-campus setting with that of Judith Butler in her ‘Precarious Life’.

Concluding Event: Open Student Forum 

The Connected Learning Community’s activities were concluded with Student Open Forum event held online on January 27th. The final study activity within the EUTOPIA Learning Unit Epistemology of Everyday Life 2021/22, took place in the form of short presentations. Some of the students synthesized various theoretical and epistemological approaches, presented earlier through the lectures, workshops and practical classes of the Learning Unit. Furthermore, students reflected and re-assesed their own ethnographic work and anthropological positions in the light of the newly accessed knowledge.
See the programme.
How to get involved?

(Students and educators)
Contact the Learning Community: Rajko Muršič (rajko.mursic@ff.uni-lj.si) or Blaž Bajič (blaz.bajic@ff.uni-lj.si)
Learning Community Members
Lead: Rajko Muršič (UL). Email: rajko.mursic@ff.uni-lj.si

Rajko Muršič is a professor of ethnology/cultural anthropology at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Dept. of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. His research focuses on the anthropology of popular music, theories of culture, epistemology, urban anthropology, methodology of anthropological research, sensory studies, etc. He published eight monographs (all in Slovene) and co-edited nine collections (six in English). He was the initial editor of the monograph series Zupanič’s Collection. He served as a member of the Executive Committee of the IUAES and a president of the Slovenian Ethnological and Anthropological Association Kula. He participates as an expert researcher in the ERC project Sensotra (Sensory Transformations and Transgenerational Environmental Relationships in Europe, 1950-2020) at the University of Eastern Finland (2016-2021), and B-Air (Art Infinity Radio – Creating Sound Art for Babies, Toddlers and Vulnerable Groups) led by the Radio Slovenia (2020-2023).

Partner: Marc Van Den Bossche (VUB). Email: Marc.Van.den.Bossche@vub.be

Marc Van den Bossche is a full-time professor at the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences at the VUB. He teaches courses on contemporary philosophy of culture and is the author of Kritiek van de technische rede (‘Critique of technical reason’) (Leuven/Utrecht, 1995), Natuur en lijfelijkheid (‘Nature and Embodiment/Physicality’) (Utrecht, 1998), Ironie en solidareit. Een kennismaking met het werk van Richard Rorty (‘Irony and Solidarity: An introduction to the work of Richard Rorty’) (Rotterdam, 2001), Het pathos van het denken (‘The Pathos of Thinking’), De zinnen van het leven. Of de kunst van het verstaan (‘The Meanings of Life: Or the art of understanding’) and Vreemde wereld. Zygmunt Bauman over samenleven in vloeibare tijden(‘Strange World: Zygmunt Bauman on living in liquid times’). He also wrote essays on subjectivity and intersubjectivity, and two bestsellers: Wielrennen (‘Cycling’) and Sport als levenskunst (‘Sports as an art of living’) (Rotterdam, 2005 and 2010). He is the editor and co-editor of book volumes on Rorty, Arendt, Fukuyama and several topics within the history of philosophy. His recent research focuses on decoloniality, postcolonialism and non-western epistemologies.

Partner: Alexandre Coello (UPF). Email: alex.coello@upf.edu

Alexandre Coello de la Rosa earned his PhD at SUNY at Stony Brook (EUA). He is senior professor of history in the Department of Humanities and ICREA Academia researcher at the University Pompeu Fabra (UPF, Barcelona). He is co-editor of the journal Illes i Imperis / Islands and Empires and he is currently coordinating the Master in Asian-Pacific Studies in a Global Context at the UPF. His last publications include (with Josep Lluis Mateo-Dieste), In Praise of Historical Anthropology: Perspectives, Methods, and Applications to the Study of Power and Colonialism (Routledge, 2019), and (with Linda G. Jones), Saints and Sanctity in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Striving for remembrance (Routledge, 2020).

Partner: Pieter Meurs (VUB). Email: Pieter.Meurs@vub.be

Pieter Meurs
Pieter Meurs
Pieter Meurs holds a master degree in Adult Educational Sciences, and a master and doctoral (2013) degree in Philosophy and Moral Sciences (VUB – Free University of Brussels). He has presented and published papers on phenomenology, political philosophy, educational sciences and the work Jean-Luc Nancy. His current research is focused on critical citizenship and contentious politics. Drawing on contemporary continental philosophy, he investigates what social change and protest means to us and how we can act upon it. He is the author of "Democracy and Education: on citizenship and social change” (Democratie en Education: over burgerschap en maatschappelijke verandering - 2021 https://aspeditions.be/nl-be/book/democratie-en-educatie/18286.htm).

Assistant: Ana Svetel (UL). Email: Ana.Svetel@ff.uni-lj.si

Ana Svetel works as a researcher at the University of Ljubljana. She completed her BA and MA at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. As a junior research fellow, she works on her PhD thesis 'Weather, time, light and darkness in social dimensions of Icelandic landscape'. She participated in numerous study exchanges, research visits and fieldworks (University of Bergen, University of Stockholm, University of Vienna, University of Iceland) and was granted many scholarships (Zois, Erasmus, NFM, Ceepus scholarship). She is a co-chair of the Young Scholars Working Group within SIEF, a member of editorial board of the Bulletin of the Slovene Ethnological Society's Collection and a member of editorial board of the journal Svetovi / Worlds. As an assistant she's taught practical classes at both BA and MA level. In 2022 she was awarded the On Sustainability Research Network Emerging Scholar Award.

Assistant: Blaž Bajič (UL). Email: blaz.bajic@ff.uni-lj.si

Blaz Bajic
Blaz Bajic - Blaz Bajic
Blaž Bajič is a researcher at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, where, in 2017, he received his PhD. As a postdoctoral researcher in cultural studies at the School of Humanities of the University of Eastern Finland (2017-2021) he participated in the SENSOTRA project (ERC-2015-AdG 694893). His areas of interest include anthropology of the senses, popular culture and leisure, everyday life, anthropology of space and place, urban anthropology, globalization, anthropology of art and creativity, digitization, ecology, epistemology, etc. He also participated in the TRACES (H2020-EU.3.6.-693857; 2016-2019) and CSI CustomDigiTeach (KA226-050D8E8E; 2021-2023).

Recently, he co-edited the Senses of Cities: Anthropology, Art, Sensory Transformations (with Rajko Muršič and Sandi Abram; University of Ljubljana Press, 2022), Views of the Three Valleys (with Ana Svetel and Veronika Zavratnik; University of Ljubljana Press, 2021), Close-ups: Youth, the Future and Imagining Development in Solčavsko (with Ana Svetel and Veronika Zavratnik; University of Ljubljana Press, 2022) and Sensory Environmental Relations: Between Memories of the Past and Imaginings of the Future (with Ana Svetel; Vernon Press, 2023).

In 2021, Bajič was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award for outstanding early-career researchers by OnSustainability Research Network. He is also the current president of the Slovenian Ethnological and Anthropological Association KULA.