Dr Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko is an anthropologist and the author of Enlightenment and the Gasping City. She has published on the topics of Buddhism, shamanism, postsocialism, economic anthropology, global warming and pollution, doubt, and materiality in Mongolia and India. She has carried out extensive research on Buddhism and other religious traditions in Australia, India, and Mongolia. She is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Buddhist Studies at the University of Copenhagen and the co-founder of Cenote (seh-notay) a travelling multi-disciplinary residency program committed to bridging the communicative gap that yawns ever wider between human cultures and the living systems and intelligences which support and co-constitute our existence. Dr Abrahms-Kavunenko is dedicated to the role of anthropologist as co-communicator and collaborative agent. Her work is situated at intersections between environmental changes and cultural praxis, in multi-scalar and trans-species contexts, and intends to render itself at the service of life. She has held research positions at the Max Planck Institute for Anthropology, New York University Shanghai, the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies in Erfurt, and the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Saskia’s work has included studies of kinship, cosmological understandings, nationalism, globalization, temporality, transnational alliances and their historical contingencies, and more recently, air pollution, Buddhism in the Anthropocene, plastics, materiality, doubt, and inequality.

The University of Copenhagen

Saskia’s current project titled: ‘Impermanent – Imperishable: Plastics and Praxis among Buddhists in Oceania’ looks at how Buddhists in Oceania relate to radical permeability and toxicity amidst the changing ecosystems on the planet. In 2020 she was awarded the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship in Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme, European Commission. She is currently based at the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for Contemporary Buddhist Studies.


Saskia has been involved in a number of academic/artist residency programs. She is the co-founder of Cenote (seh-notay) an interdisciplinary roving residency program.