Universiteit Leiden

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Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

Diversity Research Cluster

In the CADS Research Cluster People, Power and Diversity, we examine how systems, institutions and public discourses shape individual and collective lives, install and reproduce social inequalities, and inform subjectivities and senses of self. The cluster also explores how people imagine and shape their lives within, against and beyond such systems and discourses, thereby creating alternative social and political horizons. The politics of difference and diversity are among the cluster’s key issues.

Our research approach is based in cultural anthropology and global sociology, but  we also foster interdisciplinary collaborations. We organize small-scale cluster meetings once a month in which we intermittently peer-review our work and discuss recent literature and debates. Topics to be discussed include: care, temporalities and futures, subjectivity and personhood, thinking with and beyond Foucault, comparative politics of difference, bodies and embodiment, affect and pleasure.  

Research Cluster members

Research cluster members collaborate not only in research, but also in teaching and outreach. Cluster members build on their research in CADS courses, such as Culture and Comparison, Culture and Globalization, Diversity and Power, States and Citizens, and the BSc Thesis Project Diversity. And we actively engage with issues of diversity, equity and decolonization in and outside of the university. 

Most cluster members are located within the institute of CADS, or anthropologists working at other institutes of Leiden University. If you are interested in joining the Research Cluster Diversity, send an e-mail to a.de.koning@fsw.leidenuniv.nl or n.lemos.dekker@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Cluster Activities

We regularly organize public and collaborative meetings to cultivate extended networks and engage a broader audience. Previous public and collaborative meetings include a master class with Dr. Evropi Chatzipanagiotidou (Queen’s University Belfast) on How “giving voice” may lead to silence” in December 2022, a workshop on Thinking through (Dis)Ability on 29 September 2021, a roundtable On the Use of Categories in Diversity Research and Policies on 16 November 2020, the inaugural meeting of the EASA AnthroState network in October 2019 and a collaborative network event on Decolonizing European Anthropology in June 2019.

Selected Key Publications

  • de Koning, A., Johansen, M.-L., & Marchesi, M. (2022). Introduction Special Issue “Paradoxical orders: Parenting encounters, the welfare state, and difference in Europe.” Ethnography 23(3), 319–334.

  • Fogarty-Valenzuela, B. (2022). Pedagogies of Prohibition: Time, Education, and the War on Drugs in Rio de Janeiro’s Zona Norte. Cultural Anthropology 37(2), 286-316.

  • Gupta, R. (2023). Freedom in Captivity. Cambridge University Press.

  • Lemos Dekker, N. (2021). Anticipating an unwanted future: Euthanasia and dementia in the Netherlands. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 27(4), 815-831.

  • Pels, P. (2022). Classification revisited: On time, methodology and position in decolonizing anthropology. Anthropological Theory 22(1), 78-101.

  • Pels, P. (2022). ‘Not an Airy European Fantasy’ or How (De) Colonization Embeds the Anthropological Imagination. In Re-Creating Anthropology (pp. 19-33). Routledge.

  • Rana, J. (2022). Secular‐religious self‐improvement: Muslim women's kickboxing in the Netherlands. American Ethnologist 49(2), 191-203.

  • Rana, J. (2022). Punching Back: Gender, Religion and Belonging in Women-Only Kickboxing. Berghahn Books.

  • Samuels, A. (2019). After the Tsunami. University of Hawaii Press.

  • Vollebergh, A., de Koning, A., & Marchesi, M. (2021). Intimate states: Techniques and entanglements of governing through community in Europe. Current Anthropology 62(6), 741-770.

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