Dr. Eva-Maria Walther

Eva-Maria Walther studied Social Anthropology at the universities of Tübingen, Pécs and Stockholm. She attained her doctoral degree at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies at the University of Regensburg for her dissertation titled "Helping refugees in Slovakia: Messy encounters, moral dilemmas, and mixed emotions". She is currently a Seed Money Fellow at the Research Platform for the Study of Transformations and Eastern Europe.

Research interests

Anthropology of East and Central Europe, activism, mobility studies, urban studies, visual anthropology, morality and emotions

Current research project

An urban ethnography of ugliness: Relating past and present in Czech and Slovak cities through ‘visual smog’. 

This project explores how urban publics in Czech Republic and Slovakia dispute the political and cultural meanings of urban spaces and their appearance. It does so by studying through ethnographic fieldwork the controversy surrounding ‘visual smog’ (cz: vizuální smog / sk: vizuálny smog), a term used to describe the accumulation of attention-seeking, dazzling, and eclectic visual stimuli in the public space, especially advertisement. In turning visual smog into a political problem, the (re)design of public space becomes a platform for negotiating interpretations of the past as well as the future of urban spaces.


  • Kai-Olaf Lang and Eva-Maria Walther, "Slowakei: Neuanfang mit Unbekannten: Nach der Abwahl der Sozialdemokraten ist eine brüchige Regierungskoalition zu erwarten." SWP-Aktuell 2020 A20, Berlin: Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Politik, 8p. Published online April 2020.
  • Eva-Maria Walther, "Brokers in Straightjackets: The Moral Quandaries of Refugee Support Organizations in Slovakia.” Cultural Dynamics Special Issue on the Anthropology of Brokerage, 33 (3-4), 15p. Published online April 2021.
  • Ger Duijzings, Frederik Lange, and Eva-Maria Walther, “Reenactments and Live Art Performances as Strategies Of Experiential Learning: Reenacting the Historical, Enacting the Everyday, Acting out Rupture.” In Nena Mocnik, Ger Duijzings & Bonface Njeresa Beti (eds): Engaging with Historical Traumas: Experiential Learning and Pedagogies of Resilience. London: Routledge, p. 217-232.
  • Eva-Maria Walther, "Soziale Teilhabe und Ungleichheit: Einwanderung in der Slowakei". 2021. Religion und Gesellschaft in Ost und West 11 (6), p. 17-19.