Institute of Historical and Cultural Anthropology

Anna Szepesi: Child Carrier Sling from 20th Century Danube Swabians Dowries in Baranya (Title in Progress)

First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Reinhard Johler/Tübingen
Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Gerhard Seewann/Pécs

The research employs the method of object biography for revealing the agency of the examined carrier sling (Kindstuch). This textile item is part of the representative, handwoven, woolen textile culture in the multiethnic South-East Transdanubian region. This apotropaic textile item, woven by the local weavers, belonged to the dowry of Danube Swabians, and had the purpose for everyday and the festive carrying of their offspring, thus assuring continuity for individuals as well as for the society.
Central issues of the research examine how objects as actors participate and transform themselves in the flow of social changes and intercultural relations in the investigated space-time segment. What ideas of order, gender configurations are encoded in this child carrier sling, which is a piece of the bride's dowry, but which the son, who leaves home, gets in his dowry as well? What kind of role does the child carrier sling play in the field of identity-building and body perception of the individual, or society?
The source material of the qualitative object analysis is represented by the memories and experiences of older informants, their long possessed child carrier slings, family photographs and archival sources.

Short CV

Anna Szepesi, born in 1961, has a Master's degree in Language- and Art History Studies from the Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest. She is active in the field of visual arts and culture, as a researcher and curator. Since 2012, she has undertaken Ph.D. studies at the Ludwig-Uhland Institute of Empirical Cultural Studies.