Dr. Tobias Schwörer
Senior lecturer and researcher
T +41 41 229 55 73
Frohburgstrasse 3, Room 3.A20
Tobias Schwoerer studied history and social anthropology at the University of Zurich, and received a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Lucerne in 2016. He has held positions as research assistant and lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Zurich from 2002-2008 and 2014-2015 and at the University of Lucerne from 2007-2013. He is currently student advisor and lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Lucerne. He has more than three years of fieldwork experience in Papua New Guinea and was a visiting research fellow at the Australian National University. In research and teaching he specialized on political, economic and environmental anthropology, and has held seminars on colonialism, the anthropology of violence, resource extraction, and adaptations to climate change. Since 2008, he is a member of the editorial board of "Tsantsa," the journal of the Swiss Ethnological Association, and responsible for the section "Current Research."
His current research project focuses on strategies of livelihood and decision–making processes in a dynamic and rapidly changing economic environment in the Markham Valley of Papua New Guinea. He investigates how households and kin groups engage with large-scale capitalist projects in the form of mining and industrial tree plantations, and how they continuously change and adapt their already quite diversified economic activities in dynamic interactions with local and global markets.
In his PhD thesis, he previously investigated colonial processes of pacification in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, using a comparative ethno-historical approach to analyze the temporal variations and different outcomes of these processes towards an overarching theory of pacification. He conducted field research in four different villages of the Fore, Auyana and Tairora ethnic groups for sixteen months between 2004 and 2007, and also interviewed former colonial officers to arrive at a polyphonic history of the colonial encounter. At the same time, he collected data on contemporary forms of conflict, sorcery and warfare.
· Political anthropology
· Economic anthropology
· Historical anthropology
· Resource extraction and resource conflicts
· Household Decision-making
· Anthropology of the state
· Anthropology of violence and warfare
· Processes of pacification
· Sorcery and witchcraft
· Oceania (Papua New Guinea)
- „Constellations and Processes of Pacification in Comparative Perspective“ (together with Prof. J. Helbling)
- „Livelihood Strategies and Decision-Making Processes about Engagements with Markets and Large-scale Capitalist Projects among the Wampar in Papua New Guinea“ (Post-Doc Project)
- Schwörer, T. (2021). A Continuation of Warfare by Sportive Means: Settling Conflicts through Football in the Eastern Highlands of Colonial New Guinea. Soccer and Society, 22 (7), 757–768. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4432070
- Schwörer, T. (2018). Mipela Makim Gavman: Unofficial Village Courts and Local Perceptions of Order in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Anthropological Forum, 28 (4), 342–358. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2551109
- Schwörer, T. (2017). Sorcery and Warfare in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Oceania, 87 (3), 317–336. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2551425
- Schwoerer, T. (2014). The Red Flag of Peace: Colonial Pacification, Cargo Cults and the End of War among the South Fore. Anthropologica, 56 (2), 341–352. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4118368
- Bacalzo, D., Beer, B., & Schwoerer, T. (2014). Mining narratives, the revival of «clans» and other changes in Wampar social imaginaries: A case study from Papua New Guinea. Le Journal de la Société des Océanistes, 138, 63–76. https://doi.org/https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7065-8359
- Helbling, J. (2021). Conclusion: Comparing configurations and processes of pacification. In Helbling, Jürg, Schwörer & Tobias (Eds.), The Ending of Tribal Wars: Configurations and Processes of Pacification (pp. 233–262). London: Routledge.
- Helbling, J. (2021). Introduction. In Helbling, Jürg, Schwörer & Tobias (Eds.), The Ending of Tribal Wars: Configurations and Processes of Pacification. London: Routledge.
- Schwörer, T. (2021). Krieg und Frieden: Studien- und Assistentenjahr mit Jürg Helbling in Zürich. In Derks, Annuska, Isler, Andreas, de Jong, Willemijn & Käufeler, Heinz (Eds.), Gewundene Wege einer Undisziplinierten Disziplin: 50 Jahre Ethnologie in Zürich (pp. 113–116). Zürich: ISEK - Ethnologie, Universität Zürich.
- Schwörer, T. (2021). The Eastern Highlands of New Guinea (1930-1965). In Helbling, Jürg & Schwoerer, Tobias (Eds.), The Ending of Tribal Wars: Configurations and Processes of Pacification (pp. 81–108). London: Routledge.
- Schwörer, T. (2021). The Karimojong in Uganda (1898-2010). In Helbling, Jürg & Schwörer, Tobias (Eds.), The Ending of Tribal Wars: Configurations and Processes of Pacification (pp. 180–203). London: Routledge.