John Borneman
ifk Urban Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 1999 bis 31. January 2000

The changing Meaning of political Capitals and their Relation to political Identification following the End of the Cold War Division of Europe


The workshop will address the changing meaning of political capitals and their relation to political identification after the Cold War division of Europe in its Central and Eastern. Among the cities considered will be Berlin, Vienna, Budapest. Tbilisi, and Sarajewo. The workshop will try to focus upon questions such as: how can one describe the changing relation between economic, cultural, and political functions of capitals in the region? lf a capital city represents .,the political" of a country, then how is "the political" specifically understood today? What issues or functions does it include and exclude? Does it consider itself a center, and if so, a center of and for what? At a time when the symbolic geography of Europe is being radically reconfigured, what is the significance of national capitals in Central Europe? What is the relation of these national capitals to other European capitals? Are there other capital cities, either in the past or present, that serve as a central, symbolic/cultural referent?


Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University. Von 1986-1994 Feldforschungsaufenthalte in Berlin, Prag, Warschau, Budapest und Moskau. Gastprofessuren und Forschungsaufenthalte an internationalen Universitäten: University of California at Berkeley; Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris; Stockholm Universität; Universität Bergen; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; University of California at San Diego sowie Harvard University.


Zahlreiche Veröffentlichungen, u.a.: Gay Voices From East Germany Hg. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), After the Wall: East meets West in the New Berlin (New York: Basic Books, 1991, paperback 1992), Belonging in the Two Berlins: Kin, State, Nation (Cambridge University Press, No. 86, Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology, 1992), gemeinsam mit Jeffrey Peck: Sojourners: The Return of German-Jews and the Question of Identity (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995), Settling Accounts. Violence, Justice, and Accountability in Postsocialist Europe (Princeton University Press, 1997); Subversions of International Order: Studies in the Political Anthropology of Culture (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998); derzeit arbeitet er an der Publikation Death of the Father: An Anthropology of Closure in Political Authority, die auch als Audio Visual Essay bzw. Film und Website veröffentlicht wird.