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André Thiemann: Towards an interspecies anthropology of the sea buckthorn food chains

On September 14, at 6:00 PM, anthropologist Andre Thiemann will give a public talk titled "Along the chain: Towards an interspecies anthropology of the sea buckthorn food chains in post-socialist Latvia and East Germany".

Event location: Robert's Books (Dzirnavu iela 51)

Event language: English

About the talk:

The post-socialist transformations in the Eastern European countryside triggered major restructurings like de-collectivization, privatization, increased international competition and formalization of daily practices. An economic entity’s ability to adapt to the competition and implement new national and EU regulations and policies is contingent upon its social, cultural and economic networks and socio-material activities. Both Eastern German and Latvia sea buckthorn growers and processors – engaged in alternative interspecies relations with a “wild fruit” – have typically embraced the current entrepreneurial discourse of rural development to access agricultural funds, engage in techno-scientific knowledge production and scale up operations. Latvians founded a new cooperative of integrated sea buckthorn growers for export, while a German association of sea buckthorn and wild fruits can look back upon two decades of successful operation. These specific mixes of collaboration and competition have enabled divergent responses to the boom-and bust cycles in the respective food chains.

About the speaker:

André Thiemann is Visiting Lead Researcher at Rīga Stradiņš University in the project ‘Comparing vital capitals: An anthropological analysis of the global value chains of sea buckthorn and raspberries’ (, Agreement No. 9.-14.5/87). In 2016, while at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, he received his PhD from Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. He has subsequently held fellowships at ZIF Bielefeld and at the IAS in Budapest and was Visiting Professor of Social Anthropology at the CEU Budapest. His research interests include kinship, economic, political and environmental anthropology, with a focus on global value chains, infrastructures and the welfare state in the post-Yugoslav and post-Soviet semi-peripheries.

The event is organized by the Latvian Association of Anthropologists in collaboration with Riga Stradins University.

Everyone welcome!

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