Dr. Mariann Vaczi is an associate professor in anthropology at the College of Dunaújváros, Hungary. Dr. Vaczi was born in Hungry to a physical education teacher father and an English teacher mother. Dr. Vaczi grew up in a small town of Dunaújváros, 70 km south of Budapest. Dunaújváros was a socialist model town in terms of architecture, community ideology, and everyday life. During her childhood she experienced the democratic transformations in her home town and the fall of the Hungarian Iron Curtain Communist regime in 1989.
Dr. Vaczi has been acquainted with sports since her early childhood. Two of her brothers were elite track and field athlete champions in the Hungarian decathlon and pole vaulting. Dr. Vaczi herself was a professional basketball player. Dr. Vaczi had great opportunities to study abroad with scholarships, while she was working as a professional basketball player and coach.
The inspiration of a college professor during her undergraduate studies at the Saint Vincent College, as well as her multicultural experiences, made her choose a very apt career as an anthropologist. Dr. Vaczi earned her PhD in Basque Studies and Anthropology from the University of Nevada, Reno. Under the guidance of Dr. Joseba Zulaika, she was a very successful student who was able to demonstrate her ability to write and publish high-quality work in anthropology.
Dr. Vaczi’s familiarity with sport is reflected in her research interests in the areas of the anthropology and sociology of sport, games, and folk performances. Her latest publication is a book titled Soccer, Culture and Society in Spain: An Ethnography of Basque Fandom, published by Routledge.
Dr. Vaczi also edited the CBS publication, Playing Fields: Power, Practice, and Passion in Sports, a collection of conference papers exploring multiple dimensions of popular sports in both the Basque Country and beyond.