Mag. Dr. Franz Graf


IWM, Fellows Program Coordinator (Institute for Human Sciences)

Contact Details

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna
NIG, 4th floor
Room: A0404


Office Hours

On appointment via email:


Current Courses: u:find

Past Courses: u:find

Research Focus Areas

  • Environmental anthropology (human-environment relations, political ecology, perception)
  • Anthropology of religion (movements, neo-paganism, meaning making)
  • Medical anthropology (shamanism/neo-shamanism, embodiment, affect)
  • Research methods (ethnography, participant observation, visual methods)

  • Regional: Mexico, New Zealand, England, Austria

Short Biography

Franz Graf teaches at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna and is Fellows Program Coordinator at the Institute for the Human Sciences (IWM). After his first professional socialization as a construction manager in building and civil engineering projects, he studied social and cultural anthropology in Vienna as well as medical anthropology at Brunel University London and conducted extensive fieldwork on the revitalisation of Mexican healing practices in the context of transnational appropriation and as well as on the entanglement of values, meanings and the environment among modern Pagans and other “earth lovers” in South West England. He has published his research in German-language and international anthologies, including Emerging Socialities and Subjectivities in Twenty-First-Century Healthcare (2017, Amsterdam University Press) and Heilung in den Religionen (2012, LIT Verlag). He is also editor of the anthology Ritualisierung—Mediatisierung—Performance (with Martin Luger and Philipp Budka, 2019, Vienna University Press).

Between 2010 and 2017, Franz Graf worked with the Department of Cultural Education at the Weltmuseum Wien to develop and implement visitor programs for the ethnographic collection. He finished his PhD studies with an analysis of affective encounters in human and non-human environments as strivings for a "good life" against the background of recent ecological diagnoses. Going beyond the analytical distinction between "nature" and "culture," his dissertation contributed to the anthropological exploration of human-environment relations in general (2017, with distinction).



Selected Publications

  • 2022. Ecological Subjectivity: A Case of Chemical and other More-than-Human Sensitivities. In Lina Masana & Angel Martínez Hernáez (Eds.), Subjectivities and Afflictions: Approaches in Medical Anthropology. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 153-173.
  • 2019. Ritualisierung - Mediatisierung - Performance. Vienna: Vienna University Press (with Martin Luger und Philipp Budka).
  • 2019. „Ein Leben scannen“: Fragmentarische Retrospektive von und auf Manfred Kremser. In M. Luger, P. Budka, & F. Graf (Eds.), Ritualisierung - Mediatisierung - Performance. Vienna: Vienna University Press (with Manfred Kremser and Gertraud Seiser).
  • 2018. Stereotype und Perturbationen: Ansätze systemisch-ökologischer Kritik in der späten Moderne. Systemische Notizen, 18(2), 14-18. (with Martin Luger).
  • 2017. Emerging animistic socialities? An example of transnational appropriation of curanderismo. In A. Hardon & B. Hadolt (Eds.), New Socialities in 21st Century Health Care. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 25-41.
  • 2013. „Ich bin keine Mexikanerin, aber ich bin Mexica“: Über die Aneignung einer mexikanischen Heilpraxis im Umfeld von Revitalisierung und internationaler Verbreitung. In V. Futterknecht, M. Noseck-Licul & M. Kremser (Eds.), Heilung in den Religionen: Religiöse, spirituelle und leibliche Dimensionen. Vienna: Lit-Verlag, 467-483.

Lebenslauf und Publikationsliste als PDF


 815 kB

Conference papers (selection)

  • „‘What we know of aliveness‘: Modern Paganism, Environmental Illness and More-than-Human Subjectivity“. Medical Anthropology at Home (MAAH) conference „Subjectivities and afflictions: Agency, health systems and the politics of/for life“, organized by Àngel Martínez-Hernáez, Lina Masana and Josep M. Comelles, Universita Rovirai Virgili (URV), Tarragona, Spain, 20.10.2018.
  • „Ecological Subjectivity and the Search for Truth in a More-than-Human World“. Conference of The International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture (ISRLC) „The place of truth“, Panel „Ecotheologies: Culture, Nature and Religion“, organized by Anna Fisk, Uppsala University, Sweden, 29.09.2018.
  • „‘Loving the Earth‘: Britische Pagans und die Schaffung von Zugehörigkeit in einer mehr-als-menschlichen Welt“. Conference of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde (DGV) „Zugehörigkeiten: Affektive, moralische und politische Praxen in einer vernetzen Welt“, Panel „Mensch-Umwelt Beziehungen in einer heterodox-vernetzten Welt“, organized by Carsten Wergin and Rebecca Hoffmann, FU Berlin, Germany, 7.10.2017.
  • „Earth based spiritualities as a resource for sustainable human-environment relations? An example of neo-Pagans in and around Bristol/UK“. Summer School Workshop „Religion as Resource: Local and Global Discourses“, Panel „Sacred landscape reconsidered“, organized by Jonathan Miles-Watson and Pamela Klassen, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, 20.07.2014.
  • „‘It is an illusion that you are separated from everything that is around you‘: Animistic rhetoric or dwelling in a living environment?“ Conference of Sociology of Religion Study Group (SocRel) „Material Religion“, Panel „Nature and Landscape“, organized by Marion Bowman, Durham University, UK, 9.04.2013.
  • „Engaging with a More-than-Human World: Contemporary Animic Practices as Critique of Modernity?“ Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) „Uncertainty and disquiet“, Panel „Challenging religiosity in an uncertain Europe: the role of ‚New Spirituality‘“, organized by Eugenia Roussou and Katerina Ferkov, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France, 11.07.2012.
  • „Engaging with a More-than-Human World: Curandersimo and ,New‘ Animism“. Medical Anthropology at Home (MAAH) Conference „New Socialities and Subjectivities in Health Care in the 21st Century“, organized by Bernhard Hadolt and Anita Hardon, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, 23.06.2012.
  • „Tradition ist Medizin: Lernen und Weitergabe von therapeutischen Praktiken in der mexikanischen Heilkunde“. Conference of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde (DGV) „Kulturelle Aneignungen: Anpassung – Anverwandlung – Camouflage”, Panel „Rituale als kulturelle Ressource“, organized by Karin Polit, Goethe-Univeristy Frankfurt, Germany, 2.10.2009.