SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Encounters and Border Crossings: Towards a Post-Lockdown Anthropology


Date: 22 October 2020Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 22 October 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar

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Faced with conversations about reduced social proximity, this experimental panel seeks to explore the multiple affective and political registers of encounters. Through a succession of ten-minute presentations, each relying on a single image, the panellists consider encounters over dinner, sports, ritual, heritage, time and borders. Extending their analyses from specific situations, these short talks invite the audience to unpack the notions of proximity and distance through ethnography. The second half of the panel is a conversation with the attendees about encounters, borders and knowledge towards potential post-lockdown perspectives.


  • Dr Safet Hadzimuhamedovic and Professor Tom Selwyn


  • Geoffrey DeVito - ‘Encounter over dinner’
  • Linda Coventon - ‘Encounter over sports’
  • Safet HadžiMuhamedović - ‘Encounter over time’
  • Senija Čaušević - ‘Encounter over heritage’ (TBC)
  • Tom Selwyn - ‘Encounter over borders’
Linda Coventon

Linda Coventon is an anthropologist of sports and tourism and a co-convenor of the SOAS summer school in the Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage. She is a researcher in organization/management of mega sporting events and a consultant for Cutting Edge Tourism. Linda has worked as a volunteer/ambassador in press and media for a number of large sporting events, such as the 2012 Olympics, the World Athletics Championship and the Rugby World Cup. Her work focuses is on global cities.

Tom Selwyn

Tom Selwyn is an anthropologist of travel, tourism, home and belonging. He has received an Emeritus Professorial Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Foundation in 2014 and is widely published in anthropology of travel, tourism, pilgrimage (ATTP) as well as heritage/hospitality/borders/home. His interests are Palestine/Israel and the wider Mediterranean region, for which he has directed/co-directed four major EC research/development projects. He founded the SOAS ATTP MA and co-convenes the summer school in that field.

Safet HadžiMuhamedović

Safet HadžiMuhamedović is an anthropologist of religion, landscape and migration. He is a research associate in the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme at the University of Cambridge and a co-convenor of the SOAS summer school in the Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage. Safet has convened a wide array of anthropological courses in religion, kinship, gender, landscapes, politics and social theory. His ethnographic publications consider temporality and religious plurality in post-conflict landscapes, migration, home and belonging, and the value of thinking with nonhumans.

Geoff DeVito

Geoff DeVito is a career travel and tourism professional and trained anthropologist. Having studied and worked in the cruise industry for over fifteen years, Geoff developed a keen interest in the corporate construction of cultural and historical narrative and performance, as well as social relationships between travellers. He is a graduate of both University of St. Andrews and SOAS, and co-convenes the ATTP summer school when he is not consulting from his New Hampshire home.


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This event is part of the Virtual SOAS Festival of Ideas, a week-long series of virtual events. The festival includes: panel discussions, student led installations, masterclasses, keynote lectures, a public debate for/against on Decolonising Knowledge and a Verbatim performance by Bhuchar Boulevard on ‘Decolonising Not Just a Buzzword’ capturing SOAS conversations about the need to decolonise its imperial mission.

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Organiser: SOAS Festival of Ideas, SOAS Middle East Institute

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