Yoram Carmeli is a Professor em. at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Haifa, Israel. He has written seminal empirical studies on the circus. Since his dissertation which was based on an ethnographic field study which he carried out as a participant observer and professional clown in a British family circus, Carmeli has contributed comprehensively to the central issues in the field of circus research. Until today this field is characterized by research perspectives and concepts from art and theatre studies constructing their object as an artistic dream world, untouched by larger political and social developments. Carmeli takes the circus seriously as a lifeworld, a workplace and a social space, and has contributed a lot by the means of his ethnographic work to provide us with insiders’ perspectives of the people who live and work in the circus.
In addition to his scholarly work, Carmeli remains connected to the circus on a practical level, e.g. as an expert to the European Colloquium on Circus Culture taking place every other year in Wiesbaden, or as the founder of the BA Programme Medical Clowning at the Institute for Theater Studies at the University of Haifa where he is training clinical clowns for the work with long term patients.
Professor Carmeli was nominated for the Senior Fellowship of the Zukunftskolleg by Anna Lipphardt. With his studies on and in the circus he will allow the members of the Zukunftskolleg unconventional insights into the field of cultural and social anthropology.