Dr Gisa Weszkalnys


London School of Economics


Research Interests

My research has combined innovative work on issues that, to date, have received little focused treatment in anthropology, with a strong commitment to ethnographic fieldwork. I have worked at anthropology’s intersection with the rest of the social sciences, in particular, human geography, political ecology, and science and technology studies. Specifically, my research has explored notions of planning and temporal practices and the ways that expert knowledge articulates with existing historical, politico-economic, and socio-cultural contexts in Europe, the U.S. and lusophone Africa.

The three major projects that I have conducted include a study of the politics of place and planning in contemporary Berlin, which resulted in a book entitled Berlin, Alexanderplatz: Transforming Place in a Unified Germany (Berghahn, 2010) []. I subsequently collaborated with Andrew Barry, Georgina Born, and Marilyn Strathern on an ESRC-funded project Interdisciplinarity and Society: A Critical Comparative Study (Science and Society, 2004-2006) []. Most recently, with funding from the British Academy (SG 43569) and the John Fell Research Fund (Oxford University), I have carried out extended fieldwork in São Tomé and Príncipe, a nascent oil state in the Gulf of Guinea, where I explored the temporalities of resource governance.

I am now expanding my critique of conventional analyses of resources in economics and the political sciences in a book with the working title Hope and Oil: An Ehnography of Speculation and Absence. I am also developing a new major research project,  ‘A Time of Materials’, which aims to design an integrated approach to natural resources linking the benefits of the ethnographic perspective with cutting-edge insights from posthumanist theory regarding the distributed nature of objects.


Recent Publications

Weszkalnys, G. (2011) “Cursed Resources, or articulations of economic theory in the Gulf of Guinea”, in Economy and Society 40(3): 345-372.

Abram, S. and G. Weszkalnys (2011) “Anthropologies of planning: temporality, imagination, and ethnography”, Focaal 61: 3-18.

Abram S. and G. Weszkalnys (eds) (2011) “Elusive Promises: planning in the contemporary world” (Theme Issue), Focaal 61.

Weszkalnys, G. (2010) Berlin, Alexanderplatz: transforming place in a unified Germany, Berghahn Books.

Weszkalnys, G. (2010) “Re-conceiving the resource curse and the role of anthropology”, in Suomen Antropologi (Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Association) 35(1): 87-90.

Weszkalnys, G. (2009) “Príncipe Eclipsed: Commemorating the confirmation of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity”, Anthropology Today 25(5): 8-12.

Weszkalnys, G. (2009) “The Curse of Oil in the Gulf of Guinea: A view from São Tomé and Príncipe”, African Affairs 108(433): 679-689.

Weszkalnys, G. (2008) “A Robust Square: youth work, planning and the making of public space in contemporary Berlin”, City and Society, 20(2): 251-274.

Weszkalnys, G. (2008) “Hope and Oil: expectations in São Tomé e Príncipe”, Review of African Political Economy, 35(3): 473-482.

Barry, A., G. Born and G. Weszkalnys (2008) “Logics of Interdisciplinarity”, Economy and Society 37(1): 20-49.