Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland) 


Michał Buchowski

Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology

Michał Buchowski is professor at the Depart-ment of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and holds the Chair for Comparative Central European Studies at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). He also lectured as a Visiting Professor at Rutgers University and Columbia University. His scientific interest lies in anthro-pological theories, rationality and relativism as well as in Central European postsocialist cultural and social transformations.

Michał has published over a hundred articles in reviewed journals and edited volumes as well as books, among which English Reluctant Capitalists, The Rational Other, Rethinking Transformation, and To Understand the Other (in Polish). He is also the co-editor of Poland Beyond Communism and The Making of the Other in Central Europe. Michał has served as President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, is currently the chair of the World Council of Anthropological Associations, as well as a chair or a member of a board of several Polish and European journals and research institutions (including the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle).

Michał’s contribution to the FREE project is essential for the definition and application of appropriate anthropological research methods, mainly focusing on his collaboration on research on ‘The Anthropology of football: fusions and fissions.’


« I have always been interested in football, both as an amateur player and as a supporter. Anthropology is my vocation. The FREE project is a unique opportunity to combine both in my (professional) life. »

Gosia Kowalska
PhD Researcher
Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology


Malgorzata Kowalska is a PhD Researcher at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the Adam Mickiewicz University, where she works on the project FREE, funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission. She conducts ethnographic fieldwork in Poznań and writes her thesis at the European University Viadrina in Franfurt (Oder). Her PhD thesis revolves around the topic of mega-events as promotional vehicles for competing cities and as triggers of social change.

She conducted her M.A. research in a Slovakian students’ community in Prague, Czech Republic, and graduated in Ethnology and Anthropology from AMU. Before starting her PhD research, she worked for several years in public relations and marketing in companies in Ireland and Poland, where she developed her interest in scientific research on hegemonic business discourses and strategies, and in the anthropology of political economies in general.

« Sport is more than just an opiate for the masses - it is a great tool to study society. I use it in my research as a starting point to analyse the negotiations of power and knowledge in the local settings." »

Paweł Bąkowski
Research Assistant
Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology


Paweł Bąkowski holds bachelor degree in ethnology and cultural anthropology defended at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. His interest was a diasporic identity mechanisms of early rastafari movement. Now he is working on his master thesis on locality and nationalism among football supporters. Apart from University he is working in a community centre in his hometown Gniezno and is a member of a board in cultural-orientated NGO association.

« When I was a kid, football was simply an unpaved street in my neighborhood which I imagined as a playing field. Then it has become an interesting part of pop culture (especially after "Trainspotting”). Now football is my academic interest - treated as a social phenomenon. »

Kamila Grześkowiak
Research Assistant
Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology


Kamila Grześkowiak has a BA degree on Hebrew Philology, and now is finishing her MA thesis on female football (“The role of gender presumption in behavior and activity of female football players. The case study: Polonia Środa and Polonia Poznań”) at the department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the Adam Mickiewicz University. During her field research she joined a female footbal team, which helped her to better understand the problem of the gender prejudice and the mechanisms used by female football players to deal with them. She is interested in sport in general not only in football.

« FREE is a great chance to prove that football is not just running with the ball, but above all - a social phenomenon. The strongest aspect of the project is the opportunity to work with great scholars with very different academic experience who both love and dislike football. »

Bartosz Wiśniewski
Research Assistant
Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology


Bartosz Wiśniewski studied Hebrew Philology and Cultural Anthropology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. He is currently working as a project assistant in FREE and. For his MA degree Bartosz conducted a Critical Discourse Analysis on the topic of hooligan representations in Polish written media (“Fans and anti-fans. Media coverage during Euro 2012”). The main goal of his thesis was to reveal the reciprocal influence of fandom self-identification on different levels of commitment and media coverage of football-related acts of hooliganism. Thanks to an in-depth critical inspection of the topic he managed to describe the foundations structure of fear, imagination, politics and national ambitions dominating in polish press coverage during the Euro 2012. In this way football and hooliganism became a keyhole, through which the whole society (European and Polish) could be seen. Bartosz is interested much more in phenomena surrounding the game, then in the sport itself. He is currently planning to start his PhD project.

« Even not being interested in football itself, one can not ignore millions of people whose lives revolve around it. As a cultural anthropologist I am both delighted and dazzled by the complexity of everything connected to football and especially to football fandom. »


Adam Mickiewicz University

Poznan, Poland


The Adam Mickiewicz University, one of the largest academic centres in Poland, was founded in 1919. The University currently employs nearly 3 000 teaching staff, including 335 tenured professors, who coordinate or are partners in 18 research projects funded by the European Union Framework Programmes 6 and 7. AMU researchers are also implementing 451 projects funded by the Polish Ministry of Science. There are 51 500 students (67% women) enrolled in the University, including 31 234 full time undergraduate and graduate students and 1 342 PhD students. AMU is a member of: EUA - European University Association; EUCEN - European University Continuing Education Network; The Compostela Group of Universities; The Santander Group - European University Network; European Chemistry Thematic Network; and other European Research Networks. Current aims of the University focus on building new networks of cooperation within and outside Europe and promoting innovation.