Dr. Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko


Junior Fellow (Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien)


Max-Weber-Kolleg (Steinplatz 2) / Raum 407b (3. OG)

+49 361 737-2809


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Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Steinplatz 2
99085 Erfurt


Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt

Dr. Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko

Zur Person

Cirriculum Vitae

Dr. Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko is an anthropologist with interests in religion, postsocialism, global warming and pollution, materiality, and psychological anthropology. She has carried out postdoctoral research at New York University Shanghai and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. She is currently a visiting Fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg within the ‘Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Transformations’ research group and a Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Dr Abrahms-Kavunenko is dedicated to the role of anthropologist as co-communicator and collaborative agent. Her recent work includes an ethnographic manuscript entitled ‘Enlightenment and the Gasping City’ (Cornell University Press) that seeks to understand how, as a physical constant throughout the winter months, the murky and obscuring nature of air pollution has become an active part of Mongolian religious and ritual life.


Her research project at the Max-Weber-Kolleg is entitled ‘Intangible Causes, Ambiguous Materials: Constellated Cosmologies of Urban Inequalities’. It will investigate the material and immaterial dimensions of economic inequality in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar. It will look at how, in the context of an unstable economy, objects believed to influence a household’s wealth can become ambiguous and immaterial cosmological causalities can become immanent. This research will follow the social life of things and processes that are thought to influence economic inequality, and how these things, elements or causalities, whether initially material, quasi-material or immaterial, instantiate themselves in the lives of Ulaanbaatar’s residents.

Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • 2019 Enlightenment and the Gasping City: Mongolian Buddhism at a Time of Environmental Disarray. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • 2019: ‘Tenuous Blessings: The Materiality of Doubt in a Mongolian Buddhist Wealth Calling Ceremony.’ Journal of Material Culture.
  • 2019: ‘Mongolian Buddhism in the Democratic Period’. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion.
  • 2018: ‘Mustering Fortune: Attraction and Multiplication in the Echoes of the Boom. Ethnos.
  • 2016: ‘Spiritually Enmeshed, Socially Enmeshed: Shamanism and Belonging in Ulaanbaatar.’ Social Analysis. 60, 3: 1-16.
  • 2015: ‘The Blossoming of Ignorance: Uncertainty, Power and Syncretism amongst Mongolian Buddhists.’ Ethnos. 80, 3: 346-363.
  • 2015: ‘Paying for Prayers: Perspectives on Giving in Postsocialist Ulaanbaatar.’ Religion, State and Society. 43, 4: 327-341.
  • 2012:Religious “Revival” after Socialism? Eclecticism and Globalisation amongst Lay Buddhists in Ulaanbaatar.’ Inner Asia. 14, 2: 279-297.