The Junck Report

An anthropologist's everyday musings

The ones left behind

There are a number of issues that stand out to me in public discourses of technology. Most pertinently, they tend to conceal more than they reveal, especially when it comes to questions of power and agency. This piece tries to cover some ground regarding the encompassing, timely topic of tech developments.

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Finding the asset behind a stammer

This post serves as an outlet to share my thoughts on the strange experience of interviewing for a job in German via Zoom after having lived abroad for more than 10 years. Anyone who has felt suddenly severed from their element before might find something relatable in this report.

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On unsolicited nostalgia and Tinder frustrations

In recent years, I have found myself sharing a lot of the photos that pop up at the very top of my phone archive titled ‘one year ago’, ‘two years ago’ and ‘five years ago’. How do ubiquitous cell-phone reminders of the past resonate with one's sense of self?

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Rethinking the ‘H’ in DH

This is an appetizer for a scholarship of the digital that embraces science as a collective source of knowledge instead of being defensively guarded. Drawing on my journey as an ethnographer studying dating apps and recent member of the Digital Humanities (DH) community, I invite fellow scholars to pause and rethink what and how we know within the interdisciplinary DH field.

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To every epoch its plague? On red pills and yellow stars

Mass demonstrations and revolts against Corona regulations are prompting a long line of questions. Not least of all, what is the role of scholars in a context in which the explanatory power of scientificity is rendered anecdotal?

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Phantoms of a pandemic: embodying and disembodying normalcy

Covid19, not as a mere health but as a social phenomenon, abruptly penetrated our sense of normalcy. The extent started revealing itself for on me on a brisk Friday morning in Cape Town when out for my first walk after the strictest part of the lock-down.

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  • Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
This website does not only address anthropology lovers. I have spent some years in the academic ivory tower by now, where I feel somewhat at home - at least most of the time. But the journalist in me still seeks alternative channels through which to share my thoughts with everyone who is as curious as me about all the odd little things we do on a daily basis and that we consider to be banal. I find that they offer fascinating insights into what connects us as humans and, equally, how we produce disconnects. The idea behind this blog is to convey them by drawing inspiration from everyday experiences and different thinkers - but without theoretical heft. That said, I would like to invite digital visitors to browse through my blog content on a variety of topics around 'ordinary phenomena', which reveal so much about how we see and navigate the various spaces we find ourselves in. You can find out a little more about myself by taking a scroll through my publications and CV. Also check out my blog contributions for South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), a platform for sharing personal records of early career academics.
About
PublicationsPublications
Junck, L.D., 2019. Cultivating Suspicion: An Ethnography. Langaa RPCIG.

Junck, L., 2018. Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water: An Ethnography on Strategies of Bodily Navigation of Male Refugees in Cape Town. Langaa RPCIG.

Junck, L., 2017. Fenced off: Distrust and the city as an exclusive space in a post-Apartheid context. Codesria Bulletin, 3/4, p.13.


Curriculum Vitae
EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY
2021
Thesis title: Down the Rabbit Hole: An Ethnography on Loving, Desiring and Tindering in Cape Town
Thesis supervisor: Prof Francis B. Nyamnjoh

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
MASTER OF SOCIAL SCIENCE, SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY
2016
Thesis title: Thesis title: Cultivating suspicion: an ethnography of corporeal strategies deployed against vulnerability to crime in Observatory, Cape Town
Thesis supervisor: Dr Divine Fuh

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
BACHELOR OF SOCIAL SCIENCE HONOURS, SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY
2014
Thesis title: Like A Bridge Over Troubled Water
An Ethnography on Strategies of Bodily Navigation of Male Refugees in Cape Town
Thesis supervisor: Dr Divine Fuh

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
BACHELOR OF SOCIAL SCIENCE, SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, AFRICAN LANGUAGE STUDIES AND LITERATURES
2013
First year of study at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz, Germany

AWARDS
  • Distinctions Master’s degree and Honours degree dissertation
  • Winner of the South African Young Academy of Science blogging competition
  • Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellowship
RESEARCH INTERESTS
  • The ethics of artificial intelligence
  • Digital application usage
  • Intimacy
  • Migration and identity
  • Gender and minority rights

INTERNSHIPS & WORK EXPERIENCE
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOW, INSTITUTE FOR HUMANITIES IN AFRICA (HUMA)
AUGUST 2021-DECEMBER 2022
Carnegie-funded fellowship pursuing research on the artificial intelligence in healthcare in Mozambique

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL AND ETHNOLOGICAL SCIENCES (IUAES)
JANUARY 2021-AUGUST 2021
Creating social media content that provides the audience with evidence of international anthropological collaboration possible through IUAES

RESEARCH ASSISTANT, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
SEPTEMBER 2019-AUGUST 2021
Assisting Dr Renee Smit with her longitudinal study on professional identity formation among first-generation engineering students; recruiting participants, conducting (follow-up) interviews, thematic analysis of content (using NVivo); co-authoring paper on the topic

CONSULTANCY, WORLD WIDE WEB FOUNDATION, WASHINGTON D.C., USA
JULY 2019

Contributing the impact story component of the affordability report of the non-profit organisation based on interviews in South Africa

JUNIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, HEALTH ECONOMICS AND HIV AND AIDS RESEARCH DIVISION (HEARD), UNIVERSITY OF KWA-ZULU NATAL, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
Conducting a variety of research related to health and sexuality (policy, desktop and interviews); working on manuscripts, policy documents; liaising with different stakeholders; grant writing

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
GUEST LECTURER
OCT 2010
Course: Anthropology in Contemporary Theory
Convener: Prof Francis Nyamnjoh
Lecture title: Theorising Tinder: Insights from an Ethnography of Tindering in Cape Town

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
ANTHROPOLOGY DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR
APRIL 2019
Seminar title: Tindering into a methodological cul-de-sac: On the exploration of an app as a research tool

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
ANTHROPOLOGY TUTOR
2016
Weekly classes with 25 students; discussing the week’s lecture; evaluating presentations and weekly assignments

FREELANCE GERMAN TEACHER AND TRANSLATOR
NOV 2012-PRESENT
Offering classes for learners at the German International School in Cape Town, other individuals, groups; translation work (English to German)

JOURNALISM EXPERIENCE
OFFENBACH POST NEWSPAPER, GERMANY
FREELANCE JOURNALIST
Gathering information from a variety of sources; setting up and conducting interviews; attending local events; writing articles

JOURNALISM INTERNSHIPS
Familiarisation with newsroom environment; independent research; writing articles

OFFENBACH POST, GERMANY
May-September 2010
Frankfurter Neue Presse. Frankfurt, Germany
March-May 2010
Obslife. Cape Town, South Africa
Jan-March 2010
Collaborative writing project. Edinburgh, Scotland
Nov-Dec 2010

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
ANTHROPOLOGY SOUTHERN AFRICA
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL AND ETHNOLOGICAL SCIENCES (IUAES)
DIGITAL HUMANITIES ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA


PUBLICATIONS
BOOKS
Junck, L.D., 2019. Cultivating Suspicion: An Ethnography. Langaa RPCIG.
Junck, L.D., 2018. Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water: An Ethnography on Strategies of Bodily Navigation of Male Refugees in Cape Town. Langaa RPCIG.

ARTICLES
Junck, L.D. Tindering into a methodological cul-de-sac: My voyage of exploring interconnapptions. Currently under review by the Qualitative Research Journal
George, G. and Junck, L.D., 2021. Giving Condoms to School Children: Educator views on making condoms available in South African schools. Currently under review by Africa Education Review
Junck, L.D., 2017. Fenced off: Distrust and the city as an exclusive space in a post-Apartheid context. Codesria Bulletin, 3/4, p.13

ACADEMIC BLOG POSTS
https://dhafrica.blog/2020/07/15/rethinking-the-h-in-dh/
https://allegralaboratory.net/on-unsolicited-nostalgia-and-tinder-frustrations/
https://sayasblog.com/
https://www.leahjunck.com/

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/SYMPOSIA
Digital + humanities e-symposium, October 2020. Hosted by the DH in the Indian Rim project
Presentation calling for a scholarship of the digital that embraces science as contemplation in Hegel’s sense.

Teaching and Learning Conference, September 2020. University of Cape Town, South Africa
Presentation on the experiences of remote learning for first-in-family students.

DH2020 Conference, July 2020. University of Ottawa, Canada
Presentation on the various dimensions of my fieldwork on Tinder dating in a lightening round presentation. Chair and presenter at the Africa Forum of the virtual conference.

Global Digital Humanities Symposium, March 2020. Michigan State University, USA
Presentation on aspects of gender, race and class in digitally facilitated relationships contributed to the social justice theme of the digitally facilitated conference.

Anthropology Southern Africa (ASnA) annual conference, September 2019. Nelson Mandela University, Port Elisabeth, South Africa
Presentation on the ethical challenges of using app technologies as research tools under the conference theme ‘Narratives of Society in Transition, Crisis and Change’.

DH2019 Conference, July 2019. University of Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Poster presentation with colleagues from the workshop on the use of social media in election campaigns in southern Africa. Conference at the University in Utrecht, Netherlands was themed ‘complexities’ and aimed to highlight the humanist ways of DH in building complex models of complex realities.

Workshop: DH – the perspective of Africa, July 2019. Lorentz Center, Leiden, Netherlands
Participation in the satellite workshop at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, Netherlands, aimed at the articulation of the specific developments in the field of DH that are taking shape in Africa and their potential to enhance the global DH agenda. The event birthed the founding of the Network for Digital Humanities in Africa.