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Inger Sjørslev

Inger Sjørslev

Associate Professor

Inger Sjørslev gained her Masters Degree (Mag. Scient.) in 1979 from the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. After a year of fieldwork in Brazil she left the university to become Curator at the Department of Ethnography at The National Museum of Denmark. As a curator she was responsible for the South Asia collection and she travelled extensively in India and made an exhibition on Indian popular culture. She was also the chief curator of a major exhibition on Brazil, which incorporated some results from her fieldwork. In 1987 she returned to Brazil for a fieldwork update, which resulted in a book, published in Danish in 1995 and in German in 1999.
She had then left the museum world and for some years been an independent consultant, followed by a stipend (Senior Stipendiat) at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. This was before the Ph.D. degree has been implemented at the Department. Without prospects of a career in the academic world, and with communication to a wider public as a steady interest throughout her work, the choice of publishing a book with a commercial publisher, and in Danish, was a deliberate one.After some years in the NGO world as the Director of IWGIA, The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, she returned to the Department of Anthropology in 1998 as an associate professor.
Communication to the public has continued to be of high priority in her work, and she has recently published a book on the material turn in anthropology, as well as a textbook for students on theory of science and philosophy in anthropology.  
Sjørslev’s multifaceted background has revealed itself both in her research, teaching and publications. A steady interest has, however, been performance and ritual, which was her fieldwork topic in Brazil. The museum background has strengthened her attention to materiality and aesthetics, and she has done a study on housing and material culture in Denmark. Setting out from her NGO and human rights work, she has also pursued her interest in political anthropology, co-editing a book on political culture in Denmark, and recently through a research project on performance and politics.

Inger Sjørslev is currently supervising the following PhD projects: 

  • Marie Kolling: New homes, new lives? Transformations of a neighbourhood and forced removals in urban Brazil.
  • Camilla Ida Ravnbøll: EU laws in the everyday life of Roma migrants in Øresund
  • Daniela Lazoroska: Almost nothing changed: Pacification, trafficking and social mobility in a Carioca favela (Brazil).

Primary fields of research

  • Ritual and performance
  • Materiality and sociality
  • Brazil, South America
  • Political culture
  • Theory of science and philosophy in anthropology

Membership of researcher groups

  • Business and organisation
  • Religion and Subjectivity
  • Technology and Political Economy

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Sandhed & genre: Videnskabsteori i antropologi og kulturanalyse

    Sjørslev, I. 15 Jan 2015 1.udgave ed. København: Samfundslitteratur. 291 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook

  2. Published

    The magic of the gestalt: forms and fetishes in the realms of rationality

    Sjørslev, I. 2015 Between magic and rationality: on the limits of reason in the modern world. Steffen, V., Jöncke, S. & Raahauge, K. M. (eds.). Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum, p. 149-174 25 p. (Critical Anthropology, Vol. 4).

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

  3. Published

    Is Form Really Primary or, What Makes Things Authentic?: Sociality and Materiality in Afro-Brazilian Ritual and Performance

    Sjørslev, I. 2012 Debating Authenticity: concepts of modernity in anthropological perspective. Fillitz, T. & Saris, J. (eds.). Berghahn Books

    Publication: ResearchBook chapter

  4. Published

    Boredom, Rythm, and the Temporality of Ritual: Recurring fieldwork in the Brazilian Candomblé

    Sjørslev, I. 2013 In : Social Analysis. 57, 1, p. 95-109 15 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  5. Published

    The material subject as political: Style and pointing in public performance

    Sjørslev, I. Jun 2012 In : Anthropological Theory. 12, 2, p. 209-228 20 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

ID: 5174