I’m an anthropologist.
I am currently Research and Teaching Associate at the Anthropology Institute of the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where I received my Ph.D. in social and cultural anthropology in 2010.
After having spent two years as a visiting research academic at the Center for Ethnography of the University of California at Irvine with a fellowship granted by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and under the invitation of George Marcus, I have worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, on the SNSF project “Kinesic Knowledge in Anthropology and Literature” directed by Guillemette Bolens.
My earliest work centered on hardcore punk, a music-based youth subculture. Departing from a classic, Cultural-Studies-à-la-CCCS-informed approach aiming at understanding to what extent subcultures whether consolidate the symbolic order or have the potential to transform it, I ended up adopting a network-centered approach. I focused on the channels and routes through which hardcore diffuses and circulates through people, things, and ideas. Based on this, my first book explores how hardcore, which is entangled in a complex agencement of networks, stabilizes as a singular, discrete network for and in itself that displays quasi-globally.
My postdoctoral research – and my second book project — kept exploring those aspects, this time through the example of street workout, both an urban sport and a social movement that has been diffusing through new media, Youtube videos in particular. In the second stage of this research, I focused more precisely on the embodied learning and the practices of the skills and the bodily techniques that characterize street workout.
Within the frame of my research on street workout, I have created a blog called Typewriterz.org. It was designed as a platform for collaborative ethnography and displayed short clips of interviews I have conducted to engage in a conversation among the worldwide calisthenics and street workout community.
These questions on embodied cognition led me to more broadly questioning the formation of new forms of knowledge on and from the body and its health, along with the uses and effects of new media in these processes. To explore them, I now do research on what is called ‘correctional exercises and mobility techniques.’
On the more personal level, I’m a movement and strength enthusiast. I lift weights every other day and practice dynamic stretching the next. I am fascinated by the squatting position, as much from a historical, anthropological, and embodied perspective.
I grew up as a straight edge hardcore kid (and still am), which means that I used to listen to a lot of hardcore punk music (and still occasionally do) and go to many shows, and that I’ve been abstaining from alcohol, cigarettes or any other drugs for my entire life.
I love healthy food, or better say food I consider healthy (well I’m not the only one as I’m backed up by a horde of scientists, nutritionists, holistic medicine practitioners, hipsters, but as an anthropologist, I’m trained to render assumptions and facts “relative” and “constructed”).
I practice meditation and try to apply a beginner’s mind in my approach to ethnography, and to life in general.