By Mari Hanssen Korsbrekke

The”Egalitarianism: Forms, Processes, Comparisons” project has kicked off with an exciting and productive initial week of workshops. During the course of the first week, each participant had the opportunity to present their preliminary project ideas, followed by discussions pertaining to the framework of each project. General discussions were held in regards to how to approach the exploration of “egalitarianism”, and several of the semester’s upcoming events were planned. During the first days, members of the supervisory board were present, as well as other visitors, including members of the Department of Social Anthropology in Bergen. From UiB, attending were Thorvald Sirnes, Annelinn Eriksen, Ruy Jesus Llera Blanes, and Michelle McCarthy, as well as visiting Doctoral Student William Dawley (UCSD) who sat in on a few sessions.

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Professor Bruce Kapferer heading a seminar.

A significant part of the week was learning more about everyone’s academic backgrounds, and establishing a good group dynamic in order to generate productive future discussions. We were also fortunate to have the brilliant, Anna Szolucha visiting with for the entire first week.

Anna has been exploring the Occupy movement throughout her PhD project in terms of addressing undertakings of direct democracy, and is particularly interested in continuing this research through exploring issues of anti-fracking activism.

All in all, the first week has proved to be inspiring for each and every member of the project, indicating a promising start of a solid and truly exciting project. The upcoming months will be filled with debates and visitors while we form our own individual endeavors within the project.