Space and Movement: Towards Anthropology of Locations and Migrations


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Anthropology: Understanding Worldmaking Practices

Course code: 60

Year of study: Not specified

Course principal:
Assist. Prof. Nataša Gregorič Bon, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods:

lectures, discussion classes


Course Syllabus

Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Anthropology of space and place:

  • Spatial turn;
  • Concepts: space, place, location, landscape, environment.


2. Spatial anthropology – key thinkers:

  • Production of space;
  • Space and everyday life;
  • Landscape and senses;
  • Dwelling and environment.


3. Social spaces:

  • Space and body;
  • Space and religion;
  • Space and gender;
  • Space and language.


4. Place, territory, power, identity:

  • Power relations and geopolitical hierarchy;
  • Identity processes;
  • Relocations;
  • Borders and boundaries.


5. Migrations, (non)movements, (im)mobility:

  • Migrations;
  • Non)movements;
  • (Im)mobility;
  • Returning;
  • Home.


6. Anthropology of infrastructure:

  • Material culture;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Anthropology of roads.


7. Environmental anthropology

  • Nature/culture dualism;
  • Anthropocene;
  • sustainability;
  • water and water environments.



  • Brightman, Marc & Jerome Lewis (eds.). 2017. The Anthropology of Sustainability. Beyond Development and Progress. Palgrave MacMillan.
  • de Certeau, Michel. 1984. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Descola, Philippe. 2013). Beyond Nature and Culture. Janet Lloyd (trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Feld, Steven and Keith Basso (ur.). 1996. Senses of Place. Santa Fe: School of American Research (izbrana poglavja).
  • Green, Sarah F. 2005. Notes from the Balkans. Locating Marginality and Ambiguity on the Greek-Albanian Border. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Gregorič Bon, Nataša and Jaka Repič. 2016 (ur., v tisku). Moving Places. Return, Relations and Belonging. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books (izbrana poglavja).
  • Gupta, Akhil and James Ferguson (ur.) 2001 [1997]. Culture, Power and Place. Explorations in Critical Anthropology. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
  • Haenn, Nora, Richard R. Wilk & Allison Harnish (eds.). 2016. The Environment in Anthropology. A Reader in Ecology, Culture, and Sustainable Living. Washington, New York: New York University Press (izbrana poglavja).
  • Hastrup, Kirsten &Karen F. Olwig. 2012. Climate Change and Human Mobility. Challenges to the Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ingold, Tim. 2011. Being Alive. Essays on Movements, Knowledge and Description. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Larkin, Brian. 2013. “The politics and poetics of infrastructure.” Annual Review of Anthropology 42:327-43.
  • Lefebvre, Henri. 1991[1974]. The Production of Space. Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Low, Setha M. and Denise Lawrence-Zuñiga (ur.). 2003. Anthropology of Space and Place. Malden and Oxford: Blackwell (izbrana poglavja).
  • Moore, A. 2015. Anthropocene anthropology: reconceptualizing contemporary global change.
  • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 22(1): 27–46.
  • Rapport, Nigel and Angela Dawson (ur.). 1998. Migrants of Identity. Perceptions of Home in a World of Movement. Oxford: Berg (izbrana poglavja).
  • Tilley, Christopher (1994). A Phenomenology of Landscape. Places, Paths and Monuments. Oxford: Berg (izbrana poglavja).


Objectives and competences

Space along with time is one of the important dimensions of human “being in the world”. This study course opens and discusses spatial concepts, such as space, place, landscape, location, environment., that were discussed in the social sciences and humanities in the late 1970s. This was the period in which a more critical approach towards Eurocentric conceptualisations of space and place was established, first in human geography, archaeology and later in anthropology. Places and locations were no longer conceived as passive concepts but rather as active processes, strongly related to different types of movement from/within/through them. This course aims to critically engage the topic of how to approach the study of spatial concepts, mobility and immobility in the period of fast-developing information technology. Numerous contemporary studies that draw from spatial anthropology are focusing on movement as one of the immanent processes of human life as opposed to the more traditional notions of space and place. Movement does not only relate to the individual mode of dwelling but is also part of the spatial production. Namely, location is generated precisely through mobility, movements and migrations, all of which are generated through routes, such as roads and paths for example. And these routes engender relations between people and their places. The “meshwork” of routes is therefore important for our understanding of worldmaking practices. Moreover this study will also delve in environmental anthropology. Particularly it will question the multitude of entanglements between human and nonhuman.



None required.



Short written assignment (20 %), presentation (20 %), final examination (written/oral) (60 %).


Anthropology of Consciousness and Practices of Awareness

Assist. Prof. Maja Petrović Šteger, Ph. D.,


Anthropology of Fertility

Assoc. Prof. Duška Kneževič Hočevar, Ph.D.,


Cosmology of Mesoamerican Societies

Prof. Ivan Šprajc, Ph.D.,


Epistemological pluralism and “decolonizing” methods in ethnographic research

Assoc. Prof. Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Ph.D.,


Laughing Politically: Toward the Anthropology of Humor

Prof. Tanja Petrović, Ph.D.,


Public anthropology, social engagement and activism

Assoc. Prof. Ana Hofman, Ph.D.,


Research Methodology in Anthropological Linguistics

Karmen Kenda-Jež, Ph.D.,

Prof. Borut Telban, Ph.D.,


Space and Movement: Towards Anthropology of Locations and Migrations

Assist. Prof. Nataša Gregorič Bon, Ph.D.,