Research Team

The HUMANcITY research team comprises six researchers; their work is facilitated by three interpreters and one graphic designer. Also, the team is supported by an Advisory Committee, in which academic experts from Greece and abroad participate.

Evthymios Papataxiarchis
Principal Investigator
Marica Rombou-Levidi
Main Researcher and Project Coordinator
Pafsanias Karathanasis
Researcher
Evthymios Papataxiarchis is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology in the Department of Social Anthropology and History of the University of the Aegean, where he has been teaching as well as holding positions of research and administrative responsibility since 1987. HUMANcITY is inspired by his recent work on migration and the management of cultural difference in the context of ‘humanitarian governance’ and his long-term fieldwork in a border village community on the island of Lesbos.
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ResearchGate
Marica Rombou-Levidi is a social anthropologist (PhD, University of Sussex) and postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Aegean. Her research interests concern borders, the management of national and ethnic difference, the relation of culture to politics, censorship, gendered violence, and migration. In the context of HUMANcITY she is studying mediation in relation to official forms of asylum seekers’ settlement in Athens. She is carrying out ethnographic research on the Facility of Eleonas and apartments of the ESTIA program. In cooperation with the PI, she is responsible for the administrative coordination of the research project.
Academia
Pafsanias Karathanasis holds a PhD from the department of Social Anthropology and History at the University of the Aegean. His main research interests include anthropology of space and place, visual culture, political anthropology, and migration. During 2017-2018 he was the coordinator of the Observatory of the Refugee and Migration Crisis in the Aegean. Currently he is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Aegean and participates in the HUMANcITY research project, by conducting a mapping of the humanitarian landscape of Lesvos.
Academia
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Alexandra Zavos
Researcher
Ervin Shehu
Researcher
Kalliopi Avanidou
Researcher
Alexandra Zavos is assistant professor of sociology of gender at the Department of Sociology, University of Crete. She received her PhD in Gender and Migration Studies from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2010 on “The Politics of Gender and Migration in an Anti-Racist Group in Athens”. She holds a BA in Sociology from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. She has worked as a researcher in the EU funded projects GEMIC, MIG@NET and ADMIGOV, focusing on gender and migration in Greece and South-East Europe, the educational integration of migrants and the humanitarian governance of refugees. For the HumanCity project she is collaborating on the mapping of humanitarian governance on the island of Lesvos. Her research interests include gender and migration, feminist research and methodology, intersectionality.
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Ervin Shehu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Social Anthropology and History at the University of the Aegean. His research interests are related to migration, social networks and migrants’ cultural identity. He participates in HUMANcITY by conducting ethnographic research on unofficial models of asylum seekers’ settlement in Athens, while exploring the factors of social mediation between asylum seekers and local community.
Kalliopi Avanidou is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at the Univesity of the Aegean and holds a master’s degree in Geoinformatics. Her research interests include analysis and presentation of geographic data as well as the development of Web-GIS systems for geographical visualization. Her contribution to HUMANcITY focuses on the construction of the Interactive Atlas.
ResearchGate

Elisavet Kelidou
Graphic Design

Nasruddin Nizami
Interpreter

Mohamed Lahrach
Interpreter

Elisavet Kelidou is a graphic designer and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication of the University of the Aegean where she teaches Graphic Design courses in the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Studies. Her research interests include the visualization of ideas and messages in exhibition environments and museums as well as the application of graphic design to the operation of modern technologies. As a member of HUMANcITY, she designed the visual identity and the website of the project.
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Nasruddin Nizami comes from Afghanistan. He arrived in Greece in 2010. He attended educational courses at Deree college. He was a volunteer for the initiative “Refugees Welcome”. He has worked as an interpreter, cultural mediator, and case worker at the International Organization of Migration and at the Greek Council for Refugees, where he is currently a member of the board and coordinator in the Reception and Interpretation Unit. He is also a board member and Community Relations Officer of the non-profit organization “Solomon”. In the context of HUMANcITY he works as an interpreter and cultural mediator. He speaks Pashto Dari/Farsi, Urdu, English, and Greek.
Mohamed Lahrach comes from Morocco. He arrived in Greece in 2008. Before leaving his country he completed secondary education. In Greece he attended a workshop for cultural mediators and an educational seminar for interpreters. He has worked as a volunteer for the support of refugees. Since 2016 he has been working as an interpreter and cultural mediator at ARSIS NGO, where he has also been the coordinator of the team of interpreters. Currently he is studying at a private higher education college. In HUMANcITY, he works as an interpreter and cultural mediator. He speaks Arabic, Greek, French, and elementary English.

Karimeh Ganji
Interpreter

Karime Ganji comes from Iran. She arrived in Greece in 2016. In Greece she has worked with the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) as cultural mediator and health promoter. Since 2019, she has been working with Melissa Network, which provides legal, social, and psychological support to migrant women. Currently, she is studying psychology at the American College in Athens. In the context of HUMANcITY she works as an interpreter and cultural mediator. She speaks Farsi/Dari and English.

Advisory Committee

Dimitris Ballas

Heath Cabot

Maria Kastrinou

Dimitris Ballas is professor of economic geography at the University of Groningen. He has published extensively in the field of social and economic geography. He has significant experience in applied Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and spatial micro-simulation for the assessment of socio-economic and spatial effects of national social policies. His contribution to HUMANcITY focuses on the construction of the Interactive Atlas.
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Heath Cabot is associate professor of social anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. She has long term research experience on issues of political asylum in Greece and on humanitarian aid for refugees and asylum seekers. She has done extensive research on social clinics in Greece and on the relation between the refugee issue and the economic crisis and austerity. Overall, she has expertise on current forms of humanitarian governance in the context of post 2000 refugee movements.
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Maria Kastrinou is a lecturer of social anthropology at Brunel University. Her research interests are connected to political anthropology and focus on religion, the state, and conflict in relation to energy in the Middle East and Southeastern Mediterranean. She has conducted ethnographic research in Syria (2008-2011). Her recent research focuses on issues of political economy and history, which are related to the conflict between Syria and Lebanon as well as on the issue of Syrian refugees in Greece and the Golan Heights.
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Efi Plexousaki

Katerina Rozakou

Pinelopi Topali

 Efi Plexousaki is assistant professor (tenured) of social anthropology at the University of the Aegean. She has done research on the representations of illness and health practices in rural areas in Greece as well as on policies and practices of HIV-AIDS in relation to issues of alterity and religion. Her current research interests focus on issues of minorities and education as well as on processes of cultural differentiation in Greek society. She has edited the volume Transformations of nationalism: performances of collective identity in Greece, Alexandria Press, 2014 (in Greek).
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Katerina Rozakou is assistant professor of social anthropology at the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. She has conducted research in Greece in the fields of humanitarian action, solidarity, migration, and bureaucracy. She has published her work in academic journals and collected volumes while co-editing a collective volume and writing the monograph From “love” and “solidarity”: Volunteer work with refugees in Athens of early 21st century. Alexandria Press, 2018 (in Greek).
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Pinelopi Topali is assistant professor (tenured) of social anthropology at the University of the Aegean. Her research and published work focus on issues of economic migrant women, refugees, minorities, labor, and religion. She is the author of the monograph Silent Relations, Intercultural contacts: The case of Filipino domestic workers in Athens, Alexandria Press, 2008, (in Greek) and of the book Worlds of domestic work: Gender, migration, and cultural transformations in Athens of the early 21st century, Alexandria Press, 2008, (in Greek), which she wrote together with E. Papataxiarchis & A. Athanasopoulou.
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The research project was supported by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I.) under the  “First Call for H.F.R.I. Research Projects to support Faculty members and Researchers and the procurement of high-cost research equipment grant” (Project Number: HFRI-FM17-67)