Kasper Tang Vangkilde

Kasper Tang Vangkilde

Associate Professor

My primary research interests are within business, organizational, and design anthropology. In particular, I am driven by two closely related ambitions: on the one hand, to create new theoretical understandings of social and cultural aspects of human life in corporations and organizations and, on the other, to enhance the value of anthropological practice in society and business.

In addition, I am Head of the Graduate School of Social Sciences (also known as the PhD School), which offers PhD educations in Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, and Sociology. See more here: Graduate School of Social Sciences

Current research

Currently, I am particularly engaged in the following:

  1. I am Principal Investigator of the research project "RE-ANIMATE: Designs for Life-Enhancing Economies in Anthropological Perspective", funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. In this project, we aim to trace and analyze how new design visions for more life-enhancing economies are enacted, challenged, reworked, or obfuscated in the effort to reform or replace dominant capitalist understandings and activities.
  2. As part of RE-ANIMATE, I am conducting ethnographic fieldwork in a global network of leaders and leadership thinkers who strive to generate more life-enhancing and sustainable economic practices, not least by way of regenerative leadership and circular design.
  3. In 2022, good colleagues and I took over the editorship of the international Journal of Business Anthropology. See more here: Journal of Business Anthropology
  4. Finally, I am member of the steering committee and initiator of the project "Diversity and Inclusion in a Corporate Organization", conducted by Post Doc Thomas Scott Hughes in close collaboration with the biotech company Genmab. Read more here: Biotech company funds research project on diversity

Primary fields of research

Broadly speaking, my newest research interest concerns different forms of what may be called "life-enhancing design"; that is, attempts to design new practices and modes of living that are conducive to human and non-human life. This relates not least to the issue of how sustainability and responsibility become integrated – or not – into private and public organizations and business activities.

Previously, I have conducted research on creativity, branding, design, fashion, social innovation, future-making, organization, and anthropological work in private companies. Among other things, I have been Head of AnthroAnalysis (2020-2022) (anthropology.ku.dk/collaborativeprojects), co-editor of the anthology Design Anthropological Futures (2016), coordinator of the track in "Innovation, Organization, and Work" on the MSc in Anthropology at Aarhus University, and carried out long-term fieldwork in an international fashion company.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    The Hygienic Problem of Social Innovation Work: Reversibility and Oscillations Between “the Social” and “the Economic”

    Mikkelsen, N. S. & Vangkilde, Kasper Tang, 2021, In: Anthropology of Work Review. 42, 1, p. 47-56

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    The Business of Inspiration: A Magical Technology of Prefiguration

    Vangkilde, Kasper Tang, 2018, Magical Capitalism. Enchantment, Spells, and Occult Practices in Contemporary Economies. Moeran, B. & Malefyt, T. D. W. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 191-213

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    Creativity versus branding: totemism, animism and the pursuit of uniqueness in fashion

    Vangkilde, Kasper Tang, 2017, In: Journal of Cultural Economy. 10, 2, p. 178-190

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    Design Anthropological Futures

    Smith, R. C., Vangkilde, Kasper Tang, Kjærsgaard, M. G., Otto, T., Halse, J. & Binder, T., 2016, Bloomsbury Academic.

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    Possessed by the Zeitgeist: Inspiration and Prophecy in the Business of Fashion

    Vangkilde, Kasper Tang, 2015, In: Journal of Business Anthropology. 4, 2, p. 178-200

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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