Dispersed and Connected:
Mobilities, materialities and belonging(s) in Mongolia and beyond

January 23-24, 2020 / Weltmuseum Wien, Vienna


The INTERNATIONAL MONGOLIAN STUDIES SYMPOSIUM VIENNA will take place at the Weltmuseum Wien from 23 to 24 January 2020. The symposium focuses on social and cultural anthropology and interdisciplinary approaches including Mongolia-related research on archaeology, history, arts and natural sciences. Contributions will be on topics such as: mobilities, infrastructures, transit zones and environment; materialities, art and artefacts; Mongolian people and belonging(s). Some of the questions related to (but not limited to) these topics are: What affects do global politics and related infrastructure projects have on the environment and society? How are or were infrastructures related to the movement of materialities, goods and artefacts? And how do they connect or disperse people, animals, spirits and belongings?

The symposium aims to be a forum for international Mongolian Studies scholars to present and discuss theoretical and empirical research approaches, exchange knowledge and enhance communication on current research issues. We intend to bring researchers, scholars and artists together biennially with the aim of discussing current and recent investigations, ongoing research projects and experiences.

Contributions by:

Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko (University of Erfurt) | Tsetsentsolmon Baatarnaran (Austrian Academy of Sciences) | Bumochir Dulam (National University of Mongolia) | Zoljargal Enkh-Amgalan (MPI-SHH Jena) | Christina Franken (German Archaeological Institute) | Claudia Heu (Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna) | Lars Højer (University of Copenhagen) | Byambabaatar Ichinkhorloo (University of Zürich / University of Oxford) | Katharina Kohler (University of Applied Arts Vienna) | Erdenebold Lhagvasuren (Mongolian University of Science and Technology) | Gabriela Krist (University of Applied Arts Vienna) | Charlotte Marchina (INALCO, Paris) | Maria Katharina Lang (Austrian Academy of Sciences) | Björn Reichhardt (Humboldt University Berlin, MPI-SHH Jena) | Hendrik Rohland (German Archaeological Institute) | Egshig Shagdarsuren (National University of Mongolia) | Alevtina Solovyeva (University of Tartu) | Batbayar Tumurochir (Mongolian Academy of Sciences) | Erdenebat Ulambayar (National University of Mongolia) et al.


Thursday 23rd

Opening & Introduction

10.00 – 10.30 a.m

Axel Steinmann (Weltmuseum Wien)
Wolf-Dieter Rausch (Eurasia Pacific UNINET)
Gankhuurai Battungalag (Mongolian Ambassador in Vienna)
Maria-Katharina Lang (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Cultural Envoy of Mongolia)
Tsetsentsolmon Baatarnaran (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Panel Mobilities

10.30 – 11.00 a.m

Bumochir Dulam (National University of Mongolia)
Rethinking ‘animal autonomy’ in Mongolia and China

11.00 – 11.30 a.m

Charlotte Marchina (INALCO, Paris)
Mapping human and animal mobility: Perspectives from Arkhangai

11.30 – 12.00 a.m

Petra Kaczensky (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research Trondheim, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna)
The Gobi khulan – a flagship species for mobility and landscape connectivity

12.00 – 12.15 p.m


12.15 p.m

Lunch Break

14.00 – 14.30 p.m

Tsetsentsolmon Baatarnaran & Maria Katharina Lang
(Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Dispersed & Connected – Stalin´s gift

02.30 – 03.00 p.m

Egshig Shagdarsuren (National University of Mongolia)“The Silk Road as a model of Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI)

03.00 – 03.15 p.m


03.15 – 03.30 p.m


Panel (Im)Materialities

03.30 – 04.00 p.m

Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko (University of Erfurt)
Obscure purity: Smoke, smog and the quasi-material in urban ritual

04.00 – 04.30 p.m

Björn Reichhardt & Zoljargal Enkh-Amgalan
(Humboldt University Berlin/MPI-SHH Jena)
Dairy cultures – The many worlds of milk and microbes across time and space

04.30 – 05.00 p.m

Alevtina Solovyeva (University of Tartu)
Nature spirits as emergent authorities in post socialist Mongolia

05.00 – 05.15 p.m


08.00 p.m

Dinner for Speakers

Friday 24th

Panel Mining

10.00 – 10.30 a.m

Lars Højer (University of Copenhagen)
A mine in the making: Scales and infrastructures, disjunctures and frictions

10.30 – 11.00 a.m

Byambabaatar Ichinkhorloo (University of Oxford/ University Zürich)
Conflict, conditionality and collaboration: Host herders and temporary miners 

11.00 – 11.15 a.m


11.15 – 11.45 a.m

Bumochir Dulam (National University of Mongolia)
Agency and volatility in gold mining conflict in Mongolia 

11.45 – 12.15 p.m

István Sántha (Research Center for the Humanities, Budapest) & Tatiana Safonova (CEU, Budapest/Vienna)
The infrastructure of white jade in east Siberia 

12.15 – 12.30 p.m


12.30 p.m

Lunch Break

Panel Materialities: Art & Artefacts

02.00 – 02.30 p.m

Erdenebold Lhagvasuren (Mongolian University of Science and Technology)
Paradise lost – Paintings and objects from the underworld 

02.30 – 02.00 p.m

Erdenebat Ulambayar (National University of Mongolia) & Batbayar Tumurochir (Mongolian Academy of Sciences)
Christina Franken & Hendrik Rohland (German Archaeological Institute)
Qara Balgasun and Qara Qorum: Nomad cities as means of communication between nomad elites and their multicultural subjects

03.00 – 03.30 p.m

Martina Haselberger, Katharina Kohler & Gabriela Krist (University of Applied Arts Vienna)
Conservation projects in Mongolia: Model-like study and conservation of stone cultural heritage in Mongolia & The Green Palace of the Bogd Khaan in Ulaanbaatar: Identification of the original paint system of the wooden architecture 

03.30 – 03.45 p.m


03.45 – 04.15 p.m

Claudia Heu (Music and Arts Private University of Vienna/MUK) 
Alga Bolokh III – On dissappearance 

04.15 – 04.30 p.m

Discussion & Closing Remarks