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Department of Social Anthropology

The Fredrik Barth Honorary Lecture 2015: Magnus Marsden

Revisiting Entrepreneurs: Afghan trans-regional trading networks across Eurasia and beyond

We are pleased to announce that Professor Magnus Marsden, University of Sussex, will give the inaugural Fredrik Barth Honorary Lecture, on the 15th of October 2015. Marsden’s research focuses on Islam in Central and South Asia, the very same region where Barth conducted some of his first significant fieldwork. Marsden’s previous work has explored the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Tajikistan borderland as a setting for complex interactions between Muslims from across Cold War boundaries. In his latest book Trading Worlds: Afghan Merchants Across Modern Frontiers (2015) Marsden develops his interest in mobile individuals and families in the region further by looking at Afghan trading networks and the skills and values that people attach to trade and working life.

The annual Fredrik Barth Honorary Lecture has been established by the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen, in connection with the department’s 50th anniversary, and in honour of its founder, Professor Fredrik Barth. The scholars invited to give the lecture will represent some of the trademarks of Fredrik Barth’s anthropological scholarship: the development of theory grounded in solid ethnography and based on participant observation, as well as an attention to comparison. The invited scholar will in some way be concerned in his or her work with those regions and topics explored by Fredrik Barth. The lecture will be held at the start of the autumn semester.