EP#81 Lifeworlds & Studying Aotearoa: Susanna Trnka on Traversing Multiple Lifeworlds & Publics

We’re back this week with Joe’s first interview!

For this episode, Joe sits down with Susanna Trnka from the Anthropology department at the University of Auckland. Susanna is an associate professor in the anthropology department at the University of Auckland.  Susanna received her PhD from Princeton before moving to Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2003. Her research has been undertaken in Fiji, the Czech Republic, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. Susanna is the author of three books: ‘State of Suffering: Political Violence and Community Survival in Fiji’, ‘One Blue Child: Asthma, Responsibility and the Politics of Global Health,’ and her 2020 book ‘Traversing: Embodied Lifeworlds in the Czech Republic.’ She is the co-author of ‘Young Women of Prague’ with Alena Heltlinger and has edited five other books. Her many articles and chapters cover topics such as embodiment, state-citizen relations, subjectivity, responsibility, states of emergencies, Covid-19 responses, and the politics of medicine.

Joe begins by discussing Susanna’s upcoming role as editor-in-chief of American Ethnologist and her plans for the journal. They then talk about Susanna’s book ‘Traversing’ and how anthropologists might think about the idea of lifeworlds and conclude with a discussion regarding Susanna’s work on the current pandemic in Aotearoa/New Zealand. 


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This anthropology podcast is supported by the Australian Anthropological Society, the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific and College of Arts and Social Sciences, and the Australian Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, and is produced in collaboration with the American Anthropological Association.

Links and Citations

Check out a list of Susanna’s research here:

Her book ‘Traversing: Embodied Lifeworlds in the Czech Republic’ can be found here:

The colloquy in ‘Cultural Anthropology’ can be found here:

And the article from ‘Anthropology Today’ here:

Music by Pete Dabro: dabro1.bandcamp.com
Shownotes by Matthew Phung
Podcast edited by Joe Clifford and Matthew Phung

Feature image “Image of Teddy Bear in Window” by unknown (2021)
from NZ Bear Hunt 

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