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Biography

I studied social anthropology and Balkan studies at Free University Berlin, conducting my first ethnography in Albania in 1992, when the country had only just emerged from isolation and state socialism. I became fascinated with the translocal evocations of local pasts in the rapidly, often violently, changing period of postsocialist transition. Social actors mobilised these pasts to construct new identities and social statuses and to negotiate conflicts over scarce resources. From 2000 I extended my research to the politics of memory and identity in post-war Kosovo.

From 1997 to 2003 I served as the first Nash Fellow for Albanian Studies at SSEES, UCL. Subsequently I worked as an independent academic consultant with international agencies including the OSCE, World Bank, NATO, IOM and the ICTY. I was also called upon as an academic expert by police and social services, the Crown Court and immigration tribunals in the UK in cases involving blood feuds, homicide, war rape, trafficking, ethnic and sexual minorities and migrant family conflicts...

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Favourites

  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2013. The Bequest of Ilegalja: Contested Memories and Moralities in Contemporary Kosovo. Nationalities Papers, 41 (6), 953-970.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Ströhle, I., 2012. An Ethnography of 'Political Will': Towards a Thick Description of Internal Scripts in Post-War Kosovo’. Südosteuropa, 60 (4), 497-513.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2008. Albanians, Albanianism and the Strategic Subversion of Stereotypes (republication). Anthropological Notebooks, 14 (2), 47-64.
  • Di Lellio, A. and Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2006. The legendary commander: The construction of an Albanian master-narrative in post-war Kosovo. Nations and Nationalism, 12 (3), 513-529.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Di Lellio, A., 2006. Sacred Journey to a Nation: the Construction of a Shrine in Postwar Kosovo. Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing, 7 (1), 27-49.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 1999. Humiliation and Reconciliation in Northern Albania: The Logics of Feuding in Symbolic and Diachronic Perspectives. Sociologus, Supplement 1, 133-152.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2013. Democratisation through Defiance? The Albanian Civil Organisation 'Self-Determination' and International Supervision in Kosovo. In: Bojicic-Dzelilovic, V., Ker-Lindsay, J. and Kostovicova, D., eds. Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2010. Invisible - Inaudible: Albanian Memory of Socialism after the War in Kosovo. In: Todorova, M. and Gille, Z., eds. Post-Communist Nostalgia. Oxford - New York: Berghahn Books, 96-112.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2010. Between Social Opprobrium and Repeat Trafficking: choices and chances of Albanian women deported from the UK. In: Holmes, L., ed. Trafficking and Human Rights: European and Asia-Pacific Perspectives. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 95-115.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2009. Securing Safe Spaces: Field Diplomacy in Albania and Kosovo. In: Huggins, M.K. and Glebbeek, M.-L., eds. Women Fielding Danger: Negotiating Ethnographic Identities in Field Research. Boulder, New York and Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 173-198.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2005. ‘Culture' in Court: Albanian Migrants and the Anthropologist as Expert Witness. In: Pink, S., ed. Applications of Anthropology: Professional Anthropology in the Twenty-first Century. Oxford - New York: Berghahn Books, 209-228.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 1999. The Albanian Aromanians' Awakening: Identity Politics and Conflict in Post-communist Albania. Flensburg, Germany: European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI).

Journal Articles

  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2013. The Bequest of Ilegalja: Contested Memories and Moralities in Contemporary Kosovo. Nationalities Papers, 41 (6), 953-970.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Ströhle, I., 2012. An Ethnography of 'Political Will': Towards a Thick Description of Internal Scripts in Post-War Kosovo’. Südosteuropa, 60 (4), 497-513.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2012. Ivan ČOLOVIĆ, The Balkans: The Terror of Culture: Essays in Political Anthropology. Baden-Baden: Nomos 2011 (Southeast European Integration Perspectives vol. 5). 196 pp., ISBN 978-3-8329-6303-3, € 34.00. Südosteuropa, 1 (60), 137-139.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2010. Dukuri trafikimi dhe ritrafikimi të shqiptareve [the phenomenon of trafficking and retrafficking of Albanians] (Albanian). Perpjekja, 17 (26-27), 213-232.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2010. Religion, Nation und Religiosität in Albanien [Religion, Nation and Religiosity in Albania] (German). Zeitschrift OST-WEST: Europäische Perspektiven (OWEP), 11 (4), 276-285.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2008. Albanians, Albanianism and the Strategic Subversion of Stereotypes (republication). Anthropological Notebooks, 14 (2), 47-64.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Di Lellio, A., 2006. Komandanti legjendar: Ndërtimi i një master-narracioni shqiptar në Kosovën e pasluftës [The Legendary Commander: The construction of an Albanian master-narrative in post-war Kosovo] (Albanian). Perpjekja, 12 (23), 77-95.
  • Di Lellio, A. and Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2006. The legendary commander: The construction of an Albanian master-narrative in post-war Kosovo. Nations and Nationalism, 12 (3), 513-529.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Di Lellio, A., 2006. Udhetimi I shenjtë drejt kombit: ndërtimi i një faltoreje në Kosovën e pasluftës [Sacred Journey to a Nation: the Construction of a Shrine in Postwar Kosovo] (Albanian). Perpjekja, 13 (24), 27-49.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Di Lellio, A., 2006. Sacred Journey to a Nation: the Construction of a Shrine in Postwar Kosovo. Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing, 7 (1), 27-49.
  • Mai, N. and Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2003. Albanian migration and new transnationalisms. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 29 (6), 939-948.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2003. Imagologie und 'Albanismus' – Zu den Identifikationen der Albaner [Imagology and 'Albanianism' - about the identifications of the Albanians] (German). Österreichische Osthefte, 14 (1-2), 195-226.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 1999. Humiliation and Reconciliation in Northern Albania: The Logics of Feuding in Symbolic and Diachronic Perspectives. Sociologus, Supplement 1, 133-152.

Books

  • Αλβανικές ταυτότητες: Μύθος και ιστορία [Albanian Identities: Myth and History] (Greek, unauthorised translation). Athens: Papazisis.
  • The New Albanian Migration. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.
  • Albanian Migration and New Transnationalisms, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. University of Sussex.
  • Albanien: Geographie - historische Anthropologie - Geschichte - Kultur - postkommunistische Transformation [Albania: geography - historical anthropology - history - culture - postcommunist transformation] (German). Vienna - Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang Pub Inc.
  • Die weite Welt und das Dorf: Albanische Emigration am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts [Wide world and village: Albanian emigrations at the end of the 20th century] (German). Vienna: Böhlau Verlag.
  • Albanian Identities: Myth and History. C. HURST & CO. PUBLISHERS.

Chapters

  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2014. Was ist das Visuelle an der Visuellen Geschichtskultur? – Kommentar zu einem neuen Forschungskonzept [What is the Visual in Historical Visual Culture?: a commentary on a new research concept],. In: Gasior, A., Halemba, A. and Troebst, S., eds. Gebrochene Kontinuitäten: Transnationalität in den Erinnerungskulturen Ostmitteleuropas im 20. Jahrhundert (German). Vienna - Cologne - Weimar: Böhlau-Verlag Gmbh.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2013. Democratisation through Defiance? The Albanian Civil Organisation 'Self-Determination' and International Supervision in Kosovo. In: Bojicic-Dzelilovic, V., Ker-Lindsay, J. and Kostovicova, D., eds. Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2012. 'Virgjëreshat' dhe 'elevantët në dyqanin e qelqurinave': Rreth sfidave ndërkombëtare të etnologjisë shqiptare në epokën post-socialiste ['Virgins’ and 'Bulls in a China Shop’: about the international challenges to Albanian Ethnology during the postsocialist period] (Albanian). In: Schmitt, O.J. and Frantz, E.A., eds. Historia e Shqiptarëve: Gjendja dhe perspektivat e studimeve [Albanian History Studies: state and perspectives] (Albanian). Tirana, Albania: Botime Përpjekja, 219-254.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2010. Invisible - Inaudible: Albanian Memory of Socialism after the War in Kosovo. In: Todorova, M. and Gille, Z., eds. Post-Communist Nostalgia. Oxford - New York: Berghahn Books, 96-112.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2010. Between Social Opprobrium and Repeat Trafficking: choices and chances of Albanian women deported from the UK. In: Holmes, L., ed. Trafficking and Human Rights: European and Asia-Pacific Perspectives. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 95-115.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2010. Bridging gaps between local and foreign concerns? Communication across symbolic divides in the transformation of the security forces in Kosovo. In: Montanari, L., Toniatti, R. and Woelk, J., eds. Il pluralismo nella transizione costituzionale dei Balcani: diritti e garanzie. Trento: Università di Trento, 145-169.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2009. ‘Jungfrauen' und 'Elefanten im Porzellanladen': Zur internationalen Herausforderung der albanischen Ethnologie im Postsozialismus ['Virgins’ and 'Bulls in a China Shop’: the international challenges to Albanian Ethnology during Postsocialism] (German). In: Schmitt, O.J., ed. Albanische Geschichte: Stand und Perspektiven der Forschung [Albanian History: state and perspectives of research] (German). Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag, 187-214.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2009. Emotions and Transitional Justice: on the restorative potentials of symbolic communication in Kosovo. In: Kostovicova, D., ed. The European Union and Transitional Justice: From Retributive to Restorative Justice in the Western Balkans. Belgrade: Humanitarian Law Centre.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2009. Securing Safe Spaces: Field Diplomacy in Albania and Kosovo. In: Huggins, M.K. and Glebbeek, M.-L., eds. Women Fielding Danger: Negotiating Ethnographic Identities in Field Research. Boulder, New York and Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 173-198.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2007. Stolz und Schmerz: Albanische Sinnstiftungen durch Erinnerung an Krieg und Sozialismus im Kosovo vor dem endgültigen Status’ [Pride and Pain: Giving Albanian Meanings through Memory of War and Socialism in Kosovo before the Final Status] (German). In: Brunnbauer, U., Helmedach, A. and Troebst, S., eds. Schnittstellen: Gesellschaft, Nation, Konflikt und Erinnerung in Südosteuropa [Interfaces: Society, Nation, Conflict and Memory in Southeastern Europe] (Festschrift für Holm Sundhaussen zum 65. Geburtstag). Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag, 561-572.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Ströhle, I., 2007. Der Nachhall des Sozialismus in der albanischen Erinnerung des Nachkriegskosovos [repercussions of Socialism in Albania memory of post-war Kosovo] (German). In: Brunnbauer, U. and Troebst, S., eds. Zwischen Amnesie und Nostalgie: Die Erinnerung an den Kommunismus in Südosteuropa [Between Amnesia and Nostalgia: Memory of Communism in Southeastern Europe]. Köln Weimar: Böhlau Verlag, 216-235.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2005. ‘Culture' in Court: Albanian Migrants and the Anthropologist as Expert Witness. In: Pink, S., ed. Applications of Anthropology: Professional Anthropology in the Twenty-first Century. Oxford - New York: Berghahn Books, 209-228.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2005. 'Gun Culture' in Kosovo: Questioning the Origins of Conflict. Small Arms Survey 2005: weapons at war. Oxford University Press, USA, 205-227.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2004. Times Past: References for the Construction of Local Order in Present-Day Albania. In: Todorova, M.N., ed. Balkan Identities: Nation and Memory. London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 103-128.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2004. Albanians, Albanianism and the Strategic Subversion of Stereotypes. In: Hammond, A., ed. The Balkans and the West: Constructing the European Other, 1945 – 2003. Aldershot: Ashgate Pub Limited, 110-126.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2003. Gaps of Concern – An Inconclusive Conclusion. In: Siani-Davies, P., ed. International Intervention in the Balkans since 1995. London: Routledge, 194-217.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2002. Dawn for a 'Sleeping Beauty Nation' – Aromanian Identity Politics and Conflicts in Post-Communist Albania. In: Kressing, F. and Kaser, K., eds. Albania--a country in transition: aspects of changing identities in a South-East European country. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 147-162.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2002. Albanians. In: Ember, M., Ember, C.R. and Skoggard, I.A., eds. Encyclopedia of World Cultures (supplement). Macmillan Reference USA, 5-9.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2002. Narratives of Power: Capacities of Myth in Albania (introduction). In: Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Fischer, B.J., eds. Albanian Identities: Myth and History. London: C. HURST & CO. PUBLISHERS, 3-25.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2001. The Enactment of 'Tradition': Albanian Constructions of Identity, Violence and Power in Times of Crisis. In: Schmidt, B. and Schroeder, I., eds. Anthropology of Violence and Conflict. London: Routledge, 97-120.
  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2000. Gruppensolidaritaet und Gewaltlegitimation im heutigen Albanien [group solidarity and the legitimation of violence in contemporary Albania] (German). In: Lienau, C. and Steindorff, L., eds. Ethnizität, Identität und Nationalität in Südosteuropa: Beiträge Zu Einem Präsentationstag Der Südosteuropa-Forschung an Der Universität Münster Am 27.11.1998. Munich: Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft, 133-150.

Reports

Internet Publications

Theses

  • Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2012. Invoking a Culture – Deploying a Past: Albanian Identifications and Translocal Encounters. PhD Thesis. University of Roehampton, Dept of Social Sciences.

Invited Lectures

  • With A. Biran, M. Klinkner and F. Tian, ‘Rethinking post-war reconciliation, memory and heritage via ‘gaming’ technology’, BFX Academic Conference, University of Bournemouth, 26 September, 2015.
  • 'The Amanet – from cultural reproduction to national obligation?', Memory Mapping Kosovo, international conference, Alter Habitus, Forum Civil Peace Service / Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst e.V. (forumZFD), University of Prishtina Program for Gender Studies and Research (PUSHG), Prishtina, Kosovo, 15 – 16 September, 2015.
  • ‘The Anthropology of Birth and Death’, Departmental Seminar, University of Prishtina, Prishtina, Kosovo, 27 May, 2015.
  • ‘Memory and the Anthropology of Nationalism’, Departmental Seminar, University of Prishtina, Prishtina, Kosovo, 25 May, 2015.
  • ‘Anthropology of Human Rights’, Departmental Seminar, University of Prishtina, Prishtina, Kosovo, 25 Nov, 2014
  • ‘Critical Thinking – Anthropological Approaches’, Departmental Seminar, University of Prishtina, Prishtina, Kosovo, 24 Nov, 2014
  • ‘Anthropological approaches in the Political Sciences’, public lecture, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, 22 May, 2015.
  • With A. Biran, M. Klinkner and F. Tian, ‘Transforming conflict after war: memory, heritage and digital media’, Interdisciplinary Research Week, University of Bournemouth, 12 May, 2015
  • ‘Cultures of Informality and “corruption” in Albania’, contribution to panel on ‘Public Oversight, Accountability, the Role of Civil Society and the Media’, International Workshop Shaping the Future in Albania - civil society’s questions and answers to current issues, Stability Pact Southeastern Europe promoted by Germany (Auswärtiges Amt)/ Südosteuropa-Gesellschaft, Munich, 4-5 December, 2014.
  • ‘Statues and statutes - nationalist versus multi-ethnic enshrinements in Kosovo after the 1999 war’, international conference, Narrative, Power and Commemoration in Conflicted Societies, Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, Belfast, 27 April, 2015
  • ‘Kinship, Family and the Death of a Child: A Social-Anthropological Murder Mystery’, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, University of Prishtina, Kosovo, 25 May 2014.
  • 'Anthropology and Ethnography: multi-sited immersions in Albania, Kosovo and in Albanian trans-local spaces', Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bologna, Forli, Italy, 26 Nov 2013.
  • ‘Martyrs, Militants and Emotions: Albanian radicalisations in Kosovo before 1999’, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University, Oxford, 17 October, 2014.
  • ‘The Culture of Ilegalja: Albanian Militant Self-Organisations in Late Socialist Yugoslavia’, LSEE (Research on Southeastern Europe), London School of Economics, London, 10 December 2013.
  • ‘Kinship, Family and the Death of a Child: A Social-Anthropological Murder Mystery’, School of Applied Sciences, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, 1 April 2014.
  • ‘L’Ilegalja et les manifestations estudiantines au Kosovo’, Printemps ’81. Révoltes etudiantines à Prishtina, conference invited by the Department of Political Sciences and organised by the Association des étudiants albanais, Université de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 5 May 2014.
  • ‘Guns, Pride and Agency – Albanian Ideals of Militancy Before and After the 1999 War in Kosovo’ – Comparing Civil Gun Cultures: Do Emotions Make the Difference?, international conference, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany 26 – 28 August, 2014.

Grants

  • Migration, political mobilization, and kinship: the case of the Kosovo-Albanian population (since 2009: 'Ilegalja: the social and translocal organisation of militancy in Kosovo before the war') (Fritz Thyssen Foundation/ Free University Berlin (Osteuropa Institute), 01 Jan 2009). Completed

External Responsibilities

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • (expert in country guidance case) Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, MK (Lesbians) Albania CG [2009] UKAIT 00036, decision available at https://tribunalsdecisions.service.gov.uk/utiac/2009-ukait-36.
  • (expert in country guidance case) Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) AM and BM (Trafficked women) Albania CG [2010] UKUT 80 (IAC), decision available at https://tribunalsdecisions.service.gov.uk/utiac/37676.
  • (expert in country guidance case) Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) EH (blood feuds) Albania CG [2012] UKUT 00348 (IAC), decision available at http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/IAC/2012/00348_ukut_iac_2012_eh_albania_cg.html.
  • (Cited in:) UK Home Office, Country Information and Guidance: Albania: Trafficking (last updated 17 July, 2014), p. 17, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/332653/CIG_Albania_Trafficking_2014_07_17.pdf
  • (Interview) LSE blog, Research on South Eastern Europe, available at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsee/2014/04/03/ilegalja-terrorists-or-freedom-fighters-an-albanian-tale-from-yugoslav-times/

Qualifications

  • PhD in Social Anthropology (Roehampton University, London, 2012)

Honours

  • International Fellow (Prishtina University, Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology) (Open Society Foundation, International Higher Education Support Program, Academic Fellowship Program, 2013)
  • International Fellow (Prishtina University, Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology) (Open Society Foundations, International Higher Education Support Program, Academic Fellowship Programme, 2014)

Memberships

The data on this page was last updated at 04:07 on March 22, 2017.