The Laboratoire d’anthropologie des mondes contemporains is a research centre of the Université Libre de Bruxelles and is part of the Institute of Sociology. Officially founded in 2007 from a research group which gathered together most of our current members, it is made up of a young and motivated team (under the direction of Pierre Petit). It now includes 8 professors-researchers, all faculty members in the Department of Social Sciences, 18 PhD students, 1 post-doctoral student and 9 other scientific collaborators. Since its foundation, the LAMC has gained strongly in coherence, and the researchers now form a close-knit group.
The LAMC federates the research interests of ULB professors and researchers in anthropology. It is particularly focused on issues related to the anthropology of religion; the anthropology of migrations and transnationalism; the anthropology of art, aesthetics and cultural heritage; the anthropology of development; the anthropology of civil society and social movements; and the anthropology of gender and sexuality. The current strong regional areas appear to be African (Congo, Burkina Faso, Benin), Asian (Laos, China, Tibet, Mongolia), Latin American (Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina) and European studies (Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Romania, France, Italy). Although the issues tackled by the members appear to be quite divergent, the group shares a rather homogeneous theoretical scope around issues of cultural change and globalization, but also around questions of cognition, perception, dispositions and praxis which have been for long paradigmatic in Francophone anthropology. The LAMC edits an international peer-reviewed journal of anthropology, Civilisations. Revue internationale d’anthropologie et de sciences humaines (http://is.ulb.ac.be/index.php?page=...), which publishes articles in French and English from various fields of anthropology.
Involved in several training activities, the LAMC organizes monthly research seminars to discuss ongoing individual research. This gives senior researchers and PhD students the opportunity to discuss papers before publication or presentation at international conferences. A monthly conference program fosters the exchange of ideas with foreign researchers and establishes intellectual exchanges and international cooperation between the LAMC and other academic institutions.
A good environment for doctoral students, the LAMC is also an internationally active unit. It has already developed a strong experience in worldwide collaboration. This is proved by the organization of several international conferences, but also by ongoing global cooperation projects. The LAMC is a member of a European network in anthropology of social dynamics and development (associating Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden), hosting a European doctoral School and including an international certificate which brings potential postgraduate students to Brussels. It also hosts a European Doctoral School in Anthropology (AEDE) associating Belgium, France, Italy and Romania, as well as an international research group « Anthropologie et Histoire des Arts » which relates a network of institutions (University of East Anglia, University of Rio de Janeiro UCLA, the Musée du Quai Branly, CNRS, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, the Université de Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, among others).