Workshops und Roundtables

1. The Politics of (Post-)Truth: Knowledge-Making in Fragmented Worlds of Mis/Trust (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m. and 4p.m.
C 005

Heike Drotbohm, Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Olaf Zenker, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Working Group “Political and Legal Anthropology”

Keynote: Rosana Pinheiro-Machado, University College Dublin (UK)

A spectre is haunting modernity at large – the spectre of “post-truth” and “alternative facts”. Knowledge formations have always been politically challenged and enriched by dissenting voices pointing towards unfitting facts and divergent interpretations, occasionally leading to paradigmatic revolutions. In recent decades, modern science as the sole provider of certain knowledge has also been profoundly offended from within by post-positivist and post-modern provocations, assembling projects within philosophy, cultural studies, feminism, science and technology studies (STS) and anthropology. What makes our contemporary moment different is, arguably, that such forms of profound scepticisms have now entered the political mainstream of many societies. As many observers have noted, the material and infrastructural standards of evidence-making and expertise-building seem to have profoundly changed within many sectors of society. In this process, the very possibility of knowledge as sufficiently reliable and integrative despite all contestations has been severely challenged. Against this backdrop, this workshop invites contributors to empirically engage and theoretically reflect upon the politics of (post-)truth regarding three interrelated questions: first, which political processes do underpin the making, and safe-guarding, of concrete knowledge formations under conditions of increasingly fragmented and mutually mistrusting epistemic communities? Second, which political modalities are enabled, and undermined, by such epistemic mis/trust? And, third, what political role(s) can anthropological knowledge-making play under such conditions? We welcome contributions especially from epistemic communities in which the mutual constituency between knowledge and (mis)trust is most prevalent, such as law and justice, science, public services as well as the governance of health, migration or aid.


Rosana Pinheiro-Machado, University College Dublin (UK):
Anthropology and the ambivalence of epistemic comfort: the politics of misinformation in authoritarian Brazil

Thomas G. Kirsch, University of Konstanz:
Plausible Security

Yusuf Serunkuma, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg:
Bad Facts, Good Facts: Knowledge, Power, and the Winnerless Truth Olympics

Ingo Rohrer, Freiburg University:
Mistrust, Ignorance, and Imagination – Contested Knowledge Production in the Argentine Justice System

Anna Löbbert, University of Oxford:
Studying pseudolaw communities as an anthropologist

Judith Bovensiepen (University of Kent) and Mathijs Pelkmans (LSE):
On the politics and poetics of scientific models

Ehler Voss, Universität Bremen:
The Truth of Politics. On the Epistemicization of the Protests against the German Corona Policy

Sara Bellezza, Freie Universität Berlin:
To winnow truth from falsehood: fraudulent asylum claims or illegal expulsions at the border? -The case of the Migrant Protection Protocols




2. Towards Decolonizing Contemporary Decolonization Studies (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m. and 4p.m.
C 016

Diego Ballestero, University of Bonn
Jacqueline Knörr, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/S.

Contemporary anthropological thinking and practices are often articulated around postcolonial/decolonial perspectives that, within the academic institutions of the West, have been presented as a theoretical turn providing a more critical view of one’s own discipline’s (role in colonial) history and research practices. Notwithstanding these perspectives’ merits, they also include aspects that reproduce the same colonial worldviews that gave rise to them and that they set out to overcome. Being developed in a top-down framework, they exclude conceptualizations and practices of decolonization of those at the grassroots levels of colonial and postcolonial societies, thereby preventing a more radical questioning of the colonial epistemological and ontological implications that underlie much of western anthropological knowledge (production) and practice.

An anthropological perspective from below that includes the views and voices of those who suffered from colonization shows that decolonization as an intellectual and political endeavor has been intertwined with colonization and coloniality throughout its existence and involved people of all walks of life and backgrounds. These realizations promise to contribute to a widening epistemological and ontological horizon of how we look at and deal with colonial legacies and decolonization and to generate a broader and more contextualized understanding of both in the production of anthropological knowledge.

This workshop therefore explores the silences, omissions and gaps in the construction of (Western) postcolonial/decolonial theories. It shares novel theoretical perspectives on historical and contemporary practices of decolonization and aims to overcome the elitist bias of decolonization studies by engaging in intersectional dialogues concerning experiences, memories, subjectivities and agencies of decolonization that go beyond Western-centrism and conventional Global North/Global dichotomies and hierarchies.


Diego Ballestero, University of Bonn:
The (im)possibilities of decolonization

Helena Zohdi Goethe University Frankfurt:
Marxists from below

Mariana Kriel, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha:
Decolonial resistance to epistemological colonialism: what we ought to celebrate in 2023 on the bicentenary of the first standardisation of isiXhosa

Cristina Sá Valentim, ICS, University of Lisbon, and Gonçalo Santos, University of Coimbra:
Power relations, Cokwe songs and forced labor in 1950’s colonial Lundas, Angola

Wilson Trajano Filho, University of Brasilia:
The richness of modern traditions: looking at decolonization through the lenses of popular culture

Jacqueline Knörr, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/S.:
Dynamics of creolization as important dimensions of decolonization in colonial and postcolonial societies




3. The Public Art of Anthropology in Germany and Beyond: How Do We Translate Contested Stories into an Accessible Medium? (Roundtable)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m.
M 203

Nasima Selim, Bayreuth University
Götz Bachmann, Bremen University

Working Group “Public Anthropology”

Chair: Judith Albrecht

What could the public art of anthropology look like in Germany and beyond? Anthropologists and their collaborating publics embody multiple identities, as activists, artists, educators, filmmakers, mediators, performers, researchers, speakers, and writers, among others; in more than one language, navigating contested discourses and conflicted territories. How can we translate anthropological concepts into an everyday discourse with/out our specialist jargon? How can we use aesthetically and critically aware language, multimodal media, and performance arts to translate contested stories into public storytelling forms? Who are the publics with whom we should and are entitled to share accessible yet contested knowledge? Which models of encountering and engaging the multiple publics work well in the collective gathering and sharing of knowledge? What are the chances/challenges of such interdisciplinary projects? Being mindful of the representational and intersectional politics of anthropological knowledge-making and sharing, the proposed workshop invites textual and multimodal media contributions in response to any or more of these questions with illustrative examples.

Thiago P. Barbosa, University of Bayreuth, and Urmilla Deshpande:
Human remains and the colonial remains of Anthropology

Victoria K. Sakti, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity; Álvaro Martinez; Nele Wolter, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity; Dora Sampaio, Utrecht University:
Illustrating Ageing in a Time of Mobility: Mapping Out the Process

Franz Krause, University of Cologne:
From coffee-table book to comic: experiments with anthropological illustration

Katharina Schramm and Sabine Netz, University of Bayreuth:
“No one can be born twice”: From a collective research project to a website publication

Viola Castellano, University of Bayreuth:
“Policy subjects” as knowledge producers. Potentialities, pitfalls, and ambiguities of a first experiment of collaborative institutional ethnography

Lisa Hölscher & Sarah Fichtner, MoCom Project:
MoCom: Motion Comics as multi-layered Memory Work

Wanda Spahl, University of Vienna:
Geography of Ghosts: Mapping multiple media/meanings of healthcare for refugees






4. Fences and Walls: Materializing and Contesting Everyday Borders (Roundtable)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
A 020

Joachim Otto Habeck and Julia Pauli, Hamburg University

Building fences, constructing walls – these are common practices of asserting and defending material and social status. Only scarcely have they been discussed in anthropological scholarship thus far. This workshop will focus on enclosures of private and public buildings/terrains in rural and urban spaces. Fences and walls can be understood as interfaces regulating sight and accessibility, facilitating enclosure and simultaneously shaping the space “outside” visually and materially. Walls and fences are border objects in a very immediate sense; by the same token, they are important elements of place-making. They materialize feelings of uncertainty, visibly fix knowledge about differences and – despite their purpose of securitizing space – are liable to transgression. Fences and walls correspond with class-related tastes and ideas of “having” and “belonging”. Therefore, their absence, presence and functions are highly contested at all levels of social interaction. In this workshop, we seek to explore notions of demarcation, property, control over access, privacy and protection. Concomitantly, we want to discuss social practices of constructing, maintaining, trespassing and contesting barriers.

Erdmute Alber, Bayreuth University:
Living in one´s own walls: housing and the making a living in northern Benin

Rupali Bansode, University of Pennsylvania:
Meanings of caste relations in and around walls of Dalit Slum

Jeannine Madeleine Fischer, Konstanz University:
Walls for change – activist engagements with urban forms in Durban, South Africa

Franziska Reiffen, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz:
Flexible walls: Openings and closures in one of Buenos Aires’ popular malls

Lisa Francesca Rail, University Vienna:
Fences for subsidies: On unfencable pasture commons and seeing like the AMA (AgrarMarkt Austria)

Luděk Brož, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, and Annika Pohl Harrisson, Aarhus University:
Fence in Time: Decay and material ecologies of governance and knowledge

Maike Melles, Frobenius-Institut Frankfurt/Main:
Revindicating the substantive landscape: Emplacement and custom as forms of contestation in the Spanish dehesa


5: Solidarities in Anthropology­: Navigating between Relativism and Political Engagement (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m. and 4p.m.
C 022

Pascale Schild, University of Bern
Anna-Maria Walter, University of Oulu

Discussants: Alexander Horstmann, Jaume I University, Spain, Judith Beyer, University of Konstanz

​Solidarity with marginalized people and the struggles for social justice in the world is an important ethical imperative in anthropology. At the same time, this commitment is contested and widely debated among anthropologists, either for “not going far enough” or for “going too far” and replacing science and objectivity with politics and activism. In this workshop, we want to critically examine the contested solidarities in anthropology from the point of view of researchers’ lived experiences and practices in relation to the everyday social and political struggles of the people with whom they work and interact. Our aim is to move beyond both the normative and objectivist debates about solidarity as an un/desirable political project and to trace the diverse practices of solidarity, support, care and empathy, which we believe are fundamental to ethnographic research. We especially focus on the ways anthropologists navigate theoretical contradictions in practice, i.e. between “insider” and “outsider,” engagement and distance, politics and cultural relativism. How do solidarities with interlocutors manifest in their work? How do ethnographers negotiate forms of intimacy, exchange, and responsibility? How distanced can one stay, and when do researchers see the need to act and speak truth to power? While political engagement is often the result of processes in the field and roles assigned to anthropologists by interlocutors and events, it may also be an ethical decision to transgress and transform anthropology’s legacy of cultural relativism. In both cases, researchers need to reflect on a wide range of methodological and epistemological questions. We therefore invite contributions that illuminate how solidarities are achieved in and through ethnographic fieldwork and writing, what these relationships “do” in the work of anthropologists, how they change the ways researchers relate to ethnographic “data,” and produce new forms of (contested) knowledge.


Michaela Meurer, Philipps-University of Marburg:
“Mozambican Smallholders Cause Global Climate Change.” An Unpleasant Ethnographic Finding and the Search for Solidary Modes of Interpretation

Luisa Piart, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg:
Fieldwork Solidarities in an Atomized World: Seafarers’ Alienation in the Shipping Industry

Marco Motta, University of Neuchâtel:
A Taste for the Future: Aspirations and Disappointments in Haiti

Teresa Jopson, Humboldt University of Berlin:
Insurgent Research: Necessities and privileges

Edda Willamowski, Freie Universität Berlin:
An Engaged Approach to Silence, Care, and Solidarity

Franca Marquardt, University of Leipzig:
Political Solidarities: Creating alliances with the Zapatistas

Sascha Cornejo Puschner, Humboldt University of Berlin:
Shall we or shall we not? How conflict situations urge for situated anthropology and practices of collaboration


6. Repräsentationen Politischer Gewalt in Musealen Räumen: Dekoloniale Strategien, Umstrittene Erinnerung und Transformatives Potential (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m. and 2p.m.
DZ 003

Sabine Mannitz and Larissa-Diana Fuhrmann, Leibniz Peace Research Institute Frankfurt

Museen haben eine wichtige Rolle bei der Verbreitung von normativen Bildern und Narrativen politischer Gewalt. Sie heben bestimmte Formen, Momente und Motive gewaltförmigen Handelns hervor und lassen andere unsichtbar. Sie schaffen Angebote für kollektive Deutungen und nehmen so teil an der höchst politischen Praxis der Abgrenzung von legitimer versus illegitimer Gewalt: Was gilt als „Terrorismus“, was als „Befreiungskampf“, „Verteidigung“ oder „Aufstand“? Welche Akteure waren und sind wann berechtigt, Gewalt zur Durchsetzung ihrer Ziele anzuwenden? Wessen Geschichte soll erzählt werden, was unerwähnt bleiben?

Postkoloniale Perspektiven haben die Legitimations- und Macht erhaltenden Funktionen vieler etablierter Erzählungen und Bilder in musealen Räumen aufgedeckt und ihre Umstrittenheit gezeigt. Es werden Debatten geführt und Verfahren entwickelt zur Repatriierung von Artefakten, die mittels Zwang und Gewalt in Museen v.a. von ehemaligen Kolonialstaaten gelangt sind. Die mit solchen Sammlungen verbundenen Rechtfertigungen und Konzepte sind ebenso unter Druck geraten wie beschönigende Darstellungen von Eroberung und Unterwerfung. Zugleich entstehen neue Repräsentationen historischer wie zeitgeschichtlicher politischer Gewalt; im Zuge der Dekolonisierung von Sammlungen und Ausstellungen, bei der musealen Aufarbeitung von Bürgerkriegen, Herrschaftsgeschichte und Menschenrechtsverbrechen, aber auch durch gezielte Inszenierungen heutiger Gewaltakteure.

Der Workshop untersucht, mit welchen Formen und Wissensbeständen in musealen Kontexten an politische Gewalt erinnert wird und fragt nach ihrem transformativen Potenzial für die soziale Verarbeitung von Gewalterfahrungen: Welche Deutungen der Gewalt werden dem Publikum nahegelegt? Wer bestimmt sie, und mit welcher Intention? Werden dekoloniale Strategien und Formen von Koproduktion genutzt? Welche Erkenntnisse zu Wirkungen haben wir? Wir laden empirisch, theoretisch oder kuratorisch orientierte Beiträge zur Diskussion ein.


Zoë De Luca, McGill University:
Writing theft at the scale of a continent

Birgit Bräuchler, University of Copenhagen, and Alexander Supartono, Edinburgh Napier University:
Between recolonisation and decolonisation: Documenta 15 and the political decontextualisation of art

Anika Oettler, Philipps University Marburg:
Beyond linearity? Looking at objects in Colombian museums and exhibitions

Sabine Mannitz, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, and Rita Theresa Kopp, Universität Jena:
The city before the city’: attempts at unravelling colonial violence in Canadian museums

Kaya de Wolff, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt:
Erinnerungen an politische Gewalt im Memorial da Resistência in São Paulo

Sebastian Köthe, Zurich University of the Arts:
Kunst aus Guantánamo ausstellen (2010–2022)

Larissa-Diana Fuhrmann, Leibniz Peace Research Institute Frankfurt :
“Deconstructed Bodies: In Search of Home” – Amna Elhassans (temporäres) Denkmal an die Getöteten des Khartum Massakers an der Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt




7. Das Anthropozän erden – Geoanthropologie verleiht unsicherem Wissen Bodenhaftung (Roundtalble)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
C 009

Christoph Antweiler, Universität Bonn
Werner Krauß, Universität Bremen

Das Anthropozän hat sich in Natur-, Umwelt- und Geisteswissenschaften als ein bedeutungsvoller Oberbegriff durchgesetzt, unter verschiedenen Voraussetzungen. Für die Geologie stellt sich die Frage nach der empirischen Evidenz anthropogener Spuren in der Erdkruste, während in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften das Anthropozän eine Hinwendung zu einer neuen Raum- Zeit Konfiguration (planetar – terrestrisch) markiert, innerhalb derer Klima- und Umweltereignisse untersucht werden. Gemeinsam ist den unterschiedlichen Disziplinen eine Ausrichtung auf den Boden, die terra, die Erde in einem planetaren, einem geologischen und zugleich in einem ortsbezogenen Sinn als der Boden, der das Leben ermöglicht. Diese Hinwendung zur deep time, zu terrestrischen und geologischen Fragen hat eine Vielzahl neuer Ansätze und Fragestellungen hervorgebracht, die wir in diesem Panel umreißen und zu Wort kommen lassen wollen.

Es geht dabei genauso um den Nachweis anthropogener Spuren im Boden wie um Fragen der Ressourcennutzung, des Zugangs zu Land- und Bodennutzung, der Umweltgerechtigkeit und ortsbezogener Ansätze, die das Wachstumscredo der Moderne ablösen. Unter Bodenhaftung verstehen wir somit eine neue interdisziplinäre Ausrichtung, die Elemente aus den verschiedenen Formen der Landschaftsforschung, der Bodenkunde, der Geologie und der politischen Ökologie aufgreifen.

Die Diskussion globalen anthropogenen Umweltwandels unter dem Begriff „Anthropozän“ findet bislang fast nur in westlichen Ländern statt. In Asien und Lateinamerika wird das Phänomen oft unter  einfacheren Begriffen wie „globaler anthropogener Umweltwandel“ oder „Geosystemwandel“ verhandelt. Wir wollen in diesem Roundtable diskutieren, wie globaler menschengemachter Wandel in außerethnologischen Forschungskontexten und in nichteuropäischen Räumen gedacht, erforscht und gesellschaftlich diskutiert wird. Es geht darum, unter dem Oberbegriff des Anthropozän dem unsicheren Wissen über den planetaren Zustand der Erde, der Terra, Bodenhaftung zu verleihen und interdisziplinär fruchtbar werden zu lassen. Wir wollen fragen, wie eine Geoanthropologie zu konturieren wäre.



Hannes BERGTHALLER, Taipeh
The Anthropocene at Ground Level: Remarks on the Literature of the Great Acceleration, with Special Attention to Huang Chun-Ming’s “The Drowning of an Old Cat”

Cordula KROPP, Stuttgart:
(Bau-)Materialitäten im Anthropozän: Stößt die Architektur eine Materialwende an?

Ursula MÜNSTER, Oslo:
Grounded Learning: Radical Transdisciplinary and Place-based Teaching in the Anthropocene

Fabienne WILL, LMU München:
Die konzeptionelle Herausforderung des Anthropozäns


8. Troubled Knowledge: Health, Harm and the Environment in Late Industrialism (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m. and 11.30a.m.
C 005

Giorgio Brocco and Janina Kehr, University of Vienna

Over the last decades, a growing number of scholars in the natural and social sciences have shown the devastating health effects of environmental pollution on humans and other living beings. Hydrocarbon extraction, chemical pollutants within extensive plantation regimes as well as the environmental effects of global supply-chains are only some examples of contemporary economic, industrial, agricultural and medical activities, which are deeply gendered and racialized. All this has contributed to environmental degradation, the breakdown of biological and social systems as well as the increase of chronic health problems, hitting particularly the most precarious, in both the Global South and North. While numerous public actors corroborate the validity of such knowledge, other actors, however, contest not only the intertwinements between environmental pollution and health issues but also its anthropogenesis.

We wish to discuss in how far anthropological methods provide the necessary time and depth to further knowledge on experiences and relations through which growing levels of toxicity, pollution, and atmospheric warming manifest as health issues, as well as to understand the controversial and informal forms of knowledge production that surround this. Therefore, we ask:

  • Through which knowledge practices do economic and political actors try to obfuscate the connections between pollution, toxicities and human and more-than-human dis-ease?
  • Which role does anthropological knowledge play in ongoing debates about the health effects of late industrialism?
  • How do people and activists on the ground produce and spread decolonial, anti-ableist, participatory and collaborative knowledge about the relations between health and environments?
  • In which ways do daily living experiences, that anthropological knowledge is based on, challenge and complicate existing causative models about the dis/juncture between environmental pollution and health effects in human afterlives?



Daniel Münster, University of Oslo:
Agronomical pluralism and more-than-human health: The troubled knowledges of post-Green revolution agriculture in South India

Claudia Lang, Leipzig University:
Mental health and toxic urban environments: Contested knowledge, minor repair in Delhi, India

Md Asaduzzaman, Arizona State University:
Climate change, health outcomes and intervention strategies of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Rishabh Raghavan, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology:
Freedom and Trepidation: Fishing in Toxic Waters in South India

Nikolaos Olma, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO):
Silent Suffering: Unknowing Contamination and Bodily Harm in a Former Uranium Mining Town in Kyrgyzstan

Manuel Harms, Technische Universität Dresden:
Rethinking antimicrobial use in India: jugaad medicine and the limits of ‘master knowledge’

Aminata C. Mbaye, Queens University/University of Bayreuth, Giorgio Brocco, University of Vienna:
Toxic Islands: Ecologies of Care and Altered Lives in the French Antilles









9. Knowledge and Affect: Developing the Concepts of ‘Stimmung’ and ‘Atmosphere’ for Sociocultural Analysis (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m.
A 020

Michael Schnegg, Universität Hamburg
Jonas Bens, Freie Universität Berlin

Knowledge has long been theorized either as primarily cognitive or primarily practical. In this telling, knowledge has regularly been contrasted with affects and emotions. Recently, however, those approaches in the social sciences and humanities which question this dichotomic separation of knowledge and affect are on the rise.

We believe that such scholarship can be mobilized to understand urgent political developments. In current social movements, for instance, the question what is ‘knowledge’ and what is ‘affect’ becomes more and more a matter of contention in itself. This can be observed, among others, in struggles around issues such as the climate catastrophe, the corona pandemic, decolonization, structural racism, women’s reproduction, or the rights of trans*persons. Terms such as ‘cancel culture’, ‘wokeness’, ‘Willkommenskultur’, or ‘Nachkriegsstimmung’ are discursive crystallizations of such contentions of what is ‘known’ and what is ‘felt’.

Anthropologists are well equipped to theorize and analyze the spaces in which knowledge and affect interact. One way to do this is by developing concepts such as ‘atmosphere’ and ‘Stimmung’. While atmospheres describe the ‚in-between-ness’ of a situation that the subject grasps as soon as it becomes part of the situation, the concept of Stimmung is broader and less localized. The aim of this workshop is to explore the interconnectedness of knowledge and affect by asking: How do knowledge and affect merge in Stimmungen and atmospheres and how does this change our understanding of what and how we know things?

We assemble papers from a variety of approaches and topics that help to understand better the relationship between moods, atmospheres, affects, and knowledge.


Tatjana Thelen, Universität Wien:
The Atmosphere of (Il)Liberalism?

Julia Vorhölter, MPI für ethnologische Forschung, Halle/Saale:
What Counts as Diagnostic Knowledge? Negotiating Evidence, Experience, and Affects in German Sleep Medicine

Nur-Yasemin Ural, Universität Leipzig:
Decolonialism, Laïcité and Affective Knowledge Production in French Academia

Jonas Bens, Freie Universität Berlin:
Affective Framing


10. The Knowledge we live by: Authenticity and its Contestations as Epistemic Process (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
C 016

Maike Melles, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Jeanine Dağyeli, Universität Wien

Historical authenticity is subject to different and often contradicting claims made by diverse social actors, alluding to identities of various scales, from the individual or regional to the national. Authenticity is known as the hard currency value in the tourist and self-branding business of cultural heritage. Speaking from particular interests, it also figures prominently in translocal contestations in the realm of food and material culture, and the interpretation of historical figures. More generally, authenticity may also refer to knowledge inventories and their authentication in terms of different epistemic sources and practices, relating to embodiment, verbal or pictorial representations, and objects. In this way, authenticity lies at the heart of cultural practices around knowledges of value and meaning, yet it is not always explicitly voiced. What counts as affirmed knowledge is historically contingent and contested. Collectives but also individuals may hold different, even contradictory knowledges at the same time.

Taking up the conference theme of contested knowledge, we ask: How come that some groups of social actors refrain from intervening in official narratives of the past despite knowing better? Why do they choose not to bring past experiences of exploitation, poverty or social inequality into the collective making of the past? How do certain epistemic practices advance or obstruct the view of alternative visions and thus create “the knowledge we live by”? When do we call a tradition invented and when does inventiveness attest to originality? Which role is played by discursive regimes and the “heritage of heritage” for the evaluation of past events? And how do we deal with the knowledge nobody wants to know about?


Anne Ebert, Freie Universität Berlin:
Die Macht der Steine: Zur Bedeutung archäologischer Stätten in der Aushandlung indigener Authentizität im plurinationalen Bolivien

Cassis Kilian, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz:
Aesthetics of the Raw. The Tricky Relationship between Humour and Authenticity

Diego Muñoz, Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität München:
Rapanui memorial practice of Indigenous and National sovereignties. (Easter Island and Chile)

Pascalle Sebus, University of Antwerp:
Seeing the sight before doing the sightseeing: the role of digital mediation in tourists’ authenticating practices



11. Sensing Urban Environments (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m.
M 203

Sandra Calkins, Freie Universität Berlin
Jon Schubert, Unversity of Basel

Cities have become climate change hotspots and key sites of environmental risk mitigation. Knowledge about urban environmental risks—floods, storms or air pollution—is largely mediated by scientific data, devices and technologies. Often such top-down knowledge is hegemonic in crafting policy responses, regardless of the particular origins of such knowledge. In response, anthropological scholarship has foregrounded embodied experience and sensory practices as an alternative source of place-based environmental knowledge that evades official recognition. This panel seeks to move the conversation beyond this opposition between everyday, lay modes of perceiving the environment and top-down scientific ways of appraising them — especially when the dichotomy does not hold up in the flow and eddies of urban life.

Urban dwellers have always been quick to integrate new forms of sensing their environments, adapting technologies, infrastructures and knowledge practices in ways that cut across facile oppositions between scientific and lay knowledge, ‘local’ and ‘global’ or the formal and the unofficial. Making the middle ground analytically productive can help de-exoticize lay knowledge, while at the same time parochializing official expertise on urban environments. We seek ethnographic contributions that explore the rich middle ground between these poles and illustrate patchworked ways of knowing, advancing conversations on the knowledge politics in urban environmental anthropology. Through which means and technologies are urban environments—and particularly exposures to threats and harm—sensed, felt, known and confronted?



Raúl Acosta, Goethe Universität Frankfurt a.M.:
Cycloactivists’ bodies as sensory tools: environmental advocacy and engagement in Mexico City

Elisabeth Luggauer, Humboldt Universität Berlin:
Sensing and conditioning heat as a multispecies endeavour. Reflections on doing ethnography with humans and dogs in hot cities

Indrawan Prabaharyaka and Labtek Apung, Humboldt University of Berlin:
Spectral Storytelling: Muds, Mudskippers and an Estuary in the Anthropocene

Madlen Kobi, University of Fribourg:
Urban Climate Risks and Thermal Sensing in and around Buildings in Chongqing








12. Just Transition? Post Carbon Democracy in the Making (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m. and 4p.m.
DZ 007

Andrea Behrends, Bayreuth University
Asta Vonderau, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

Facing climate urgency, many countries in Europe and around the world are reconsidering the role of fossil energy sources for their future, while others continue to build national economies on such resources. With a focus on energy transition processes we aim to look at the urgency and the promise of inclusiveness surrounding political projects to phase out coal, oil and gas extraction. However, the transition to a post fossil society is shaped by conflicting conceptions of “future,” of “urgency” and “justice.” Political instruments developed to foster a ‘just transition’ are, thus, being contested and challenged.

Following T. Mitchell’s analysis of “carbon democracies”, this panel suggests that the exit from carbon resources leads to reshaping democracy. We investigate how contested knowledges inform post-carbon democracy, participation and struggle. These inherently conflictual, open-ended, and entangled processes of emergency and emergence comprise a diversity of collaborations and experimentations. We invite papers that problematize imaginaries of uni-linear transition to a clearly defined post-fossil society, and which analyse de-resourcification as a multi-directional transformation.

Relevant questions could be:

  • What visions of post-fossil futures are communicated through transnational, national and regional policies?
  • How are ‘Just Transition’ instruments translated between political scales and adapted in local contexts?
  • How does de-resoursification affect local communities?
  • How do communities relate to and contest political plans of an inclusive and just transition – with which forms of political struggle?
  • What alternative visions of a future society and justice are being negotiated?
  • How can anthropological knowledge contribute to opening spaces for post-carbon democracies to emerge? How do these processes play out in countries in which resourcification is still ongoing?



William Otchere-Darko, Newcastle Universit, and Gisa Weszkalnys, LSE:
Between ‘Park’ and ‘Energy Transition Zone’: Contesting Just Transition in Aberdeen

Boitumelo (Tumi) Malope, Stellenbosch University:
Just Struggles: How a Just Transition Could Look Like in a Small Karoo Town, South Africa

Magdalena Dąbkowska, Humboldt University, Berlin:
Navigating Between Coal and Post-Fossil Futures in Times of Energy Crisis in North-East Poland

Samuli Schielke, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin:
Desirable Futures and What they Hide in Late-Carbon Non-Democracies

Felix Lussem, University of Cologne:
The Stickiness of Carbon – Re-Resourcification Policies and Contestations of Industrial Relations in Germany’s Energy Transition

Maria Lidola, University Konstanz:
Affective Transitions: Female Perspectives on Coal Mining, Strukturwandel and Future-Making in Lusatia

Jakob Busse von Colbe, Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association, Hannover:
Implementing the New European Bauhaus: Just Transitioning with a Project-oriented Planning Approach?

Julia Kühl, MLU Halle-Wittenberg, and Ingo W. Schröder, University Marburg:
Achieving Verkehrswende in Central Germany: Transition to a Post-Carbon Democracy or Passive Revolution?













13. What is South Asia(n)? Contested Knowledge and the (Re-)Making of the Regional within the Global (Workshop)

Tuesday 25.7.23, 3p.m.
D Z001
Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
A 020

Philipp Zehmisch, Heidelberg University
Markus Schleiter, Tübingen University

Regional Group “South Asia“

The concept of the region becomes a productive tool to think with when it is broken. This panel explores how South Asia has been established as a region across time and space. Knowledge production, based on colonial ethnography, has contributed to shaping notions of sub-regions and creating a cultural morphology of South Asia, based on essentialized regional diversities and demarcations. As a result, politicians, community leaders, and common people employ the regional as a vernacular category to negotiate political and cultural boundaries.

Regionality also connects the local to the South Asian diaspora and transcultural global processes. Concurrent with recent reconfigurations of the globalization paradigm, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war, a revival of parochial regionalisms and populist nationalisms can be observed in South Asia.

The panel challenges the idea of South Asia as a region with clear-cut borders by exploring how different actors have defined, fostered, established and enlarged the notion of South Asia – both as a world region/area and as a site of manifold, contested sub-regions. Further, it inquires into the social life of South Asia as a regional category and of South Asian regional categories in motion and circulation. We invite contributions based on empirical, theoretical or historical grounding that reflect on the (re-)making of regions within and beyond the geographical area defined as South Asia.

We seek to explore a set of related questions: What actors produce knowledge about various regions’ cartographic, physical, ecological, religious, economic or socio-cultural boundaries and in what ways do they employ notions of regional pasts and futures? How is the relationship between the regional, the trans-local and trans-national articulated in our interlocutors’ lives? How does regionally situated ethnographic knowledge continue to matter, and how can we critically reflect on the role that post/colonial anthropology played in producing different forms of regionality?


Presenting in RG meeting on Tuesday, 25.7., 3p.m.

Iliyana Angelova, University of Bremen:
At the crossroads between South and Southeast Asia: some reflections on the politics of (self-)representation in Northeast India

Uday Chandra, Georgetown University, Qatar:
Sojourners in a Circulating Society: Migrant Labor in/of South Asia

Debangana Baruah, Göttingen University:
From trans-local to trans-national: Religious and economic practices of Bengali-speaking Muslims in India

Presenting on Wednesday, 26.7., 11a.m.:

Zezhou Yang, SOAS:
Remaking Nepal in everyday encounters

Gabriele Alex, Tübingen University:
“Let there be light in our lives too…”

Andrea Ries, Freie Universität Berlin:
Being Indian – A necessary essentialism in long-distance activist spaces in Berlin?

Nasima Selim, University of Bayreuth, and Uddipto Roy:
Queer*ing Breath in/across South Asia and Western Europe












14. Exclusive Knowledge: Challenges, Contestations, Contradictions (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m. and 4p.m.
A 020

Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka and Éva Rozália Hölzle, University Bielefeld

Despite recent efforts, such as promoting the free flow of scientific knowledge through open access, most knowledge forms remain exclusive. That is, certain knowledge forms circulate selectively within constellations of distinct communities while specific kinds of knowledge are valued and considered differently within a society. Thus, ‘exclusive knowledge’ indicates a threefold process. First, it can refer to knowledge deemed valuable or fashionable within a certain historical moment and social context. Second, it can denote the way some individuals or groups restrict others from accessing distinct forms of knowledge, while claiming special rights to this knowledge based on their collective membership. Third, it can designate contradictory types of knowledge that are considered incompatible. Considering all three aspects of exclusive knowledge while emphasising that inequality and its reproduction within specific constellations of belonging are key in understanding all three processes, we propose to explore some of the following questions in this panel: How and which knowledge forms are valued while others are ignored or silenced within a particular social context? How are these evaluative claims challenged and contested by those whose knowledge is disregarded or devalued? How do social actors reproduce and reinforce the parameters of belonging by restricting ‘outsiders’ from accessing certain types of knowledge? How does a claim on the exclusive right to knowledge foster entitlement among members of the same community? What role does ignorance play in stimulating this entitlement? How do those restricted from accessing knowledge challenge and contest their exclusion? How does exclusivity foster our understanding of polarisation processes within a given society? We invite those interested in the panel to reflect on one or two aspects of ‘exclusive knowledge’ through the presentation of original ethnographic case studies.


Elspeth Davies, University of Cambridge:
Beyond ‘the patient perspective’: Non-professional contributions to biomedical knowledge production in the UK

Carolin Albers, University of Hamburg:
Vaccine entanglements: negotiating knowledge on mental health and pandemic protection

Emmanuelle Roth, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich:
‘Viruses hidden in plain sight’: Concealing and revealing viruses in post-Ebola Guinea

Karoline Buchner, Freie Universität Berlin:
Chinese medicine’s double diplomacy: Knowledge politics of exclusion and belonging in Taiwan’s quest for soft power

Nasreen Chowdhory, Delhi University:
Competing sites of knowledge: a tale from a settlement camp in India

Anne-Sophie Reichert, University of Chicago:
The value and impact of arts-based knowledge: Learning from a laboratory on the dance floor

Hussein El-Mouallem, American University of Beirut:
Environmental Activists Knowledge in Lebanon

Jose Hasemann, Konstanz Universität:
The monopoly on reason as a manifestation of exclusive knowledge: Speculation, libertarian enclaves, and the reproduction of difference through narratives on the future









15. Doing Psychological Anthropology in Times of “Contested Knowledge” (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
D Z003

Leberecht Funk, Freie Universität Berlin
Julia Vorhölter, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Working Group “Psychological Anthropology“

Chair: Edda Willamowski, Freie Universität Berlin

Keynote: Birgitt Röttger-Rössler, Freie Universität Berlin

Over the last 15 years or so, psychological anthropology has experienced an unprecedented growth – or revival – in German and European anthropology. Even though its beginnings can be traced back to German Völkerpsychologie, and the subfield of ethno-psychoanalysis attracted some attention especially in German- and French-speaking anthropology in the 1970s, contemporary German psychological anthropology only took off in 2008, when Birgitt Röttger-Rössler started her professorship at the FU Berlin. Since then, a new generation of psychological anthropologists has emerged, and their various research interests have considerably shaped what has become psychological anthropology in 21st-century Germany.

Drawing on the DGSKA 2023 conference theme – ‘contested knowledge’ – we want to reflect on the history of German psychological anthropology, (re)define its foci, determine its position in society, and discuss its methodological approaches. We invite papers that are grounded in empirical and historical research and problematize the processes of knowledge generation from a theoretical, methodological, engaged, and/or ethical perspective. In a self-reflexive way, we want to examine how we as psychological anthropologists deal with postcolonial critique, with inequality and power imbalances, and the problem of concepts. More precisely we ask: How do we organize the process of knowledge generation and how do we define knowledge? What are respectful and ethically sound ways of collaboration? How do we share “our” knowledge with others, for example with practitioners and people from outside the academia? How do we communicate across disciplines? What are the limits of postcolonial critique? Are there situations in which it is necessary to speak “about” and even “for” others? How do we deal with the fact that we ourselves are embedded in academic power structures?


Birgitt Röttger-Rössler, Freie Universität Berlin:
Unengaged Psychological Anthropology? Some Critical Remarks

Kathrin Bauer, Freie Universität Berlin:
Quests for knowledge: Negotiations between anthropologies, psy sciences and local communities

Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi, Rutgers University of New Jersey:
Psychoanalysis, Experience, and the Production of Charisma

Franziska Seise, Freie Universität Berlin:
Epistemological affects, emotion work and white fragility in researching mentoring relationships









16. Objekte der Evidenz versus Objekte der Identität: Zum Sta-tuswechsel ethnografischer Objekte (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
C 005

Hans Peter Hahn, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Gerhard Böck

AG “Materielle Kultur“

Der Status des Materiellen in der Gesellschaft ist notorisch unsicher. Nachlässigkeit, geistiges Überlegenheitsgefühl und die westlichen Traditionen des Denkens haben „Dinge“ oftmals zu „Indizien“ degradiert, die für soziale Strukturen stehen oder irgendwelche Eigenschaften des Trägers belegen. Auch wenn solche Attribuierungen nicht falsch sein müssen, so sind die doch regelmäßig eine Verkürzung im Hinblick auf die Existenzweise (Latour 2014) des Objektes. Wissenschaftliche Vereinnahmungen haben materielle Objekte so ihrer vielfältigen lebensweltlichen Bezüge beraubt, und ethnografische Kategorien haben lebendige Dinge in stumme Zeugen verwandelt.

Während die Bemühungen um die Heilung („remediation“) illegitimer, oftmals gewaltvoller Alienationen und Aneignungen heute weithin als dringliche Priorität betrachtet werden, ist der mögliche ontologische Status betroffener Dinge in der Zukunft noch vielfach unklar. Es stellt sich die Frage, ob alle ethnografischen Objekte durch Zugehörigkeit markiert sind und mithin für Identität stehen. Aufgrund dieser offenen Frage sind aus den scheinbaren „Schatzkammern“ der Kulturen der Welt umstrittene Assemblagen von Dingen mit verschlungenen, oftmals transkontinentalen Objektgeschichten geworden. Wie verlaufen Aushandlungen darüber, welche der daraus resultierenden möglichen Kontextualisierungen vorrangig betrachtet werden sollte?

Um nicht in einen falschen Primordialismus zu verfallen, ist jedenfalls darauf zu achten, dass jedes Objekt im Sinne von Latour ein politischer Gegenstand ist: Sammlungen und Museen sind stets Orte von Dingpolitiken. Wie könnte die Idee des „Wissensobjekts“ mit dem Aufenthaltsort „Museum“ verbunden werden? Der Workshop lädt ein zu Fallbeispielen bezüglich der Transformation von Museumsobjekten, zu Berichten von Restitutionen und zu Überlegungen zum zukünftigen Status der Dinge, die heute noch als Bestandteile der Sammlungen in den Magazinen der Museen lagern.


Aziz Sandja, REM, Mannheim:
Objekte im Statuswandel: zu Wandelaspekten kolonialer Kulturgüter am Beispiel der Mannheimer Sammlungen

Gerhard Böck:
Evidenz, Provenienz, Referenz – mit Beispielen

Andy Reymann, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Wiesbaden:
Materialität und Rezeption – zur vermeintlich „richtigen“ und „falschen“ Dinglichkeit musealer Objekte

Richard Hölzl, Museum Fünf Kontinente, München:
Der Einbruch des Historischen – wie der ‚New Historicism‘ im Museum Objekte transformiert


17. Possibilities and Limits of Telling One’s (Own) Story: Contested Knowledge in the Field. Contested Knowledge in the Museum (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
D Z001

Markus Lindner, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main
Michelle Thompson, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Regional Group “Indigenous North America“

To research in and about (Indigenous) North America is to be confronted with ‘Contested Knowledge’ in the field and in representing that knowledge in museal spaces. This workshop approaches the conference’s theme through the practice of storytelling in the creation and challenge of knowledge. Stories can be ethnographic material, powerful resources in sharing knowledge, ways of expression, linked to identity, and pathways to (understanding) other truths. They emerge from a complex entanglement of people, cultures, places, economies and bureaucracies and therefore are a means by which knowledge can be expressed, accredited, and contested.

Many elements influence interactions with storytellers and tellers of stories in (Indigenous) North America: institutional structures; a growing awareness and self-confidence concerning Indigenous self-representation; legal frameworks; or the (ongoing) settler colonial context more generally. The resulting stories can be contradictory, overlapping, incomplete, or controversial. Whether in the field or in museums, such factors can determine the possibilities and limitations of how (or if!) stories can be (re-)told, recorded, interpreted, shared, and represented.

As inspiration for paper proposals, we ask: Who has the right to tell which stories in which contexts? Who is speaking for whom and whose voices are being privileged? What kind of knowledge is embedded in a particular story? Which roles do anthropologists have in telling their own and others’ stories? How do we address contradictions, in the field or scientific research? How are stories shared for different audiences? Which roles do oral histories and the written word play?​



Sonja Ross:
Simply a term without definition? Storytelling in the area of tension between orality and writing

Renate Bartl:
Theories of European–Indigenous contact and interaction in North America revised

Saskia Brill, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München:
„We want people to understand who we are and what we have overcome”: Stories for selling carbon offsets from the Great Bear Rainforest


18. Contested Cultural Heritage: Cultural Praxis, Knowledge Infrastructures, and Persistent Inequalities (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
C 016

Barbara Göbel, Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, Berlin
Stefanie Schütze, Freie Universität Berlin

In a world characterized by deepening inequalities and an ongoing homogenization of lifestyles, we are witnessing important losses of cultural diversity, including plural knowledge forms and practices. At the same time, intensified spatial mobility and growing interculturality reinforce desires for belonging, identity and representation. Moreover, digital transformation is profoundly modifying our lives, presenting new opportunities, but also new challenges for cultural diversity. Therefore, the question of how to preserve cultural diversity and make its multifaceted expressions more visible and accessible has gained broader societal relevance. All these developments reveal the heuristic limitations of traditional notions of cultural heritage, established within the context of nation-states, legitimized by certain types of knowledge, and organized by the logic of central infrastructures of knowledge. Cultural objects and descriptions of cultural practices have been disconnected from their places of origin and relocated in museums, libraries and archives. They were transformed into cultural heritage and are managed by classificatory and legal frameworks, developed in “central” countries. Local communities are generally excluded from these processes and their cultural practices and knowledges are invisibilized.

The workshop seeks to contribute to a broader, more differentiated and inclusive conceptualization of cultural heritage and knowledge infrastructures, which includes local knowledge practices and knowledge infrastructures. We will explore three interrelated thematic axes: (a) cultural heritage and inequalities (long-term asymmetries and more recent digital inequalities); (b) cultural heritage as cultural praxis; and (c) cultural heritage and digital transformation. Hereby, we want to focus on social phenomena such as transnational migration, indigenous languages, music recordings or food practices which challenge traditional notions of cultural heritage.​



Margarita Valdovinos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México:
The teaching of Maya language as a revitalization process. From local practices in Mérida to institutionalized practices in France

Máximo Farro, Universidad Nacional de La Plata:
Infrastructures of knowledge and indigenous communities’ archives. The reconnection of Fuegopatagonia and Pampa collections through co-produced strategies in the context of digital transformation

Gisela Cánepa, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú:
Digital mediation and inequality in the making of cultural heritage. The case of the Danza de los Diablicos (Lambayeque, Peru)

Barbara Göbel, Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, and Stephanie Schütze, Freie Universität Berlin:
Latin American Migrant Food Practices as Cultural Heritage? Decolonizing Knowledge Infrastructures in the Context of  Digital Transformation



19: Anthropologists rareley walk alone. Accompanied fieldwork and the contestation of ethnographic knowledge (Roundtable)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m.
C 016

Michaela Haug, Universität Freiburg
Rosalie Stolz, Freie Universität Berlin

The idea of the “lonely anthropologist” (Gottlieb 1995) continues to lie at the heart of the “default mode” of ethnographic fieldwork and knowledge production. However, anthropologists are rarely lonely nor alone but are often accompanied by colleagues, research assistants, translators, friends and family members (cf. Cupples and Kindon 2003). It is the latter, the fieldwork accompanied by an anthropologist parent’s child(ren) and their partner or other family members, that is the least reflected in terms of its impact on the fieldwork process and, even less so, regarding its imprints on the production and presentation of ethnographic knowledge (Cassell 1987; Cornet and Blumenfield 2016; Korpela, Hirvi and Tawau 2016; Pauli 2020).

In this roundtable, we wish to delineate the striking lack of consideration of the epistemic impact of accompanied fieldwork in anthropology which is apparent even in the debates on immersion, (gendered) positionality, and the role of affects in ethnographic knowledge production (Carsten 2012, Okely 2012; Spencer and Davies 2010; Stodulka, Dinkelaker and Thajib 2019).

This roundtable will discuss the ways in which knowledge generated from accompanied fieldwork is relevant for our discipline. Which methodical and epistemological impulses can be gained? Which challenges do we have to consider?


Tabea Häberlein, Universität Bayreuth

Julia Pauli, Universität Hamburg

Birgitt Röttger-Rössler, Freie Universität Berlin

Thomas Stodulka, Freie Universität Berlin

Sophia Thubauville, Frobenius Institut

Anna Madeleine Ayeh, Universität Bayreuth

20. Depopulated Epistemologies: Creative Action, Demographic Change and Social Reproduction (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m. and 2p.m.
DZ 005

Jacob Bessen, University of Toronto
Tim Burger, University of Cambridge

Reproduction always seems to carry the implication that it is the uncreative, unoriginal counterpart to the more generative, more foundational category of production. By definition, it copies, sustains, or tries to reiterate an initial imaginative act. This common sense distinction frequently serves to justify patriarchal and capitalist exploitation, by invisibilizing the novelty and value of reproductive action. Yet, in spaces of depopulation, the creativity of reproduction becomes acutely visible. Demographic changes challenge the continuity of modes of life and ways of doing things. As a result, reproducing those modes of life demands epistemological creativity and social inventiveness. The threat of depopulation draws attention away from originating action toward the originality of the reproductive action.

Anthropologists have increasingly turned their attention to the social and cultural effects of depopulation with good reason. Globally, societies contend with shifting geographies of economic life, fertility declines, environmental devastation, structural abandonment, and increased mobility. In response, anthropologists have studied these dynamics through optics like the feeling of emptiness (Dzenovska 2020), shifting systems of value (Weiss 2022), or reconfigurations of spacetime (Ringel 2018). This workshop will discuss “depopulated epistemologies” to make more visible the contested creativity of reproductive action. We thus invite contributions that respond to the following questions: How do persons living in depopulating areas creatively address notions of time, space, and history as they contend with these changes? How do they contest regimes of knowledge or systems of values that relegate them to abandonment? How do “depopulated epistemologies” contest notions of identity, possibility, and continuity? What role do the state, kinship and gender, nature, or shifting labour and property regimes assume in depopulating places?


Hadas Weiss, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin:
Social Reproduction in a Depopulated Spanish Villagge

Tyler Zoanni, Universität Bremen:
That Obscure Object of Population: Notes from an Aging, Shrinking Island

Friederike Pank, University of Oxford:
Subjectivities of Depopulation: Navigating the Pressures of an Eroded Social Order

Alaa Attiah Mitwaly, University of Toronto:
Sinai Paths: Archives for Survival

Tim Burger, University of Cambridge:
Production as Reproduction: Historical Consciousness and Agricultural Labour on a Depopulated Island, Azores

Jacob Bessen, University of Toronto:
Making Ricotta with Baby Jesus: Emplaced Epistemology and the Reproduction of Peasant Personages

André Thiemann, Institute of Ethnology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague (BOAR):
Fledgling Farms and Failing Trust: Transformations of More-than-Human Care in the Serbian Countryside




21. Content Warning? Kritische und sensible Wissensvermittlung in der ethnologischen Lehre (Lab)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
C 005

Lamine Doumbia, Universität Bayreuth
Katrin Sowa, Universität Köln

Discussants: Hauke Peter Vehrs und Quyên Vo, Universität Köln

Seit langem wird im Ethnologie-Studiums kritisches Wissen an Studierende vermittelt. Vor allem der „Reflexive Turn“ und der methodische Perspektivwechsel bieten Potential für die Ausbildung diskriminierungs-sensibler Kompetenzen. Doch auch wenn vielerorts Konsens herrscht, dass Exotisierung und “Othering“ unhaltbare, veraltete Elemente unseres Fachs seien, tauchen diese nach wie vor in Seminarkontexten auf. Daher stehen neben Sammlungen heute auch ethnologische Wissensbestände und deren Vermittlung auf dem Prüfstand.

Radikale Dekolonialisierung der Anthropologie erfordert die Herausbildung von hybrider Epistemologie (Woldegiorgis et. al. 2020), etwa durch die Emanzipation von Forschung aus dem Globalen Süden und indigenem Wissen (Harrison 1991; Smith 2021). Gleichzeitig beruht sie auf Sensibilisierung für akademische Reproduktion von Machtpositionen. Der Weg zu einer dekolonialen ethnologischen Lehre beinhaltet, dass z.B. in afrikanischen Unikontexten kolonial-geprägtes Wissen überprüft wird (Nyamnjoh 2012); aber auch die emotionale Auseinandersetzung mit Positionalität und Rassismen im europäischen Seminarraum (Barnett-Naghshineh & Pattathu 2021).

Dieses Lab lädt zu einer partizipativen Diskussion von Lehrformaten und Inhalten ein, und vereint Personen mit Lehrerfahrung, Studierende und Aktivist*Innen zum generationsübergreifenden, diversen Ideenaustausch. Nach kurzen Impulsvorträgen wechseln wir daher ins offene Gesprächsformat, und stellen uns gemeinsam folgenden Fragen: Wie vermitteln wir als Ethnologie im deutschsprachigen Raum die koloniale Geschichte unseres Faches und seiner Wissensbestände? Wie gestalten wir einen verantwortungsbewussten Umgang mit diskriminierender Repräsentation? Braucht es Trigger Warnungen an unseren Bibliotheken? Sollten wir Quoten für eine größere Repräsentation von BIPOC Autor*Innen einführen? Gern würden wir in Betracht ziehen, welche Strategien in Seminarräumen bereits entwickelt wurden, und welche Wünsche und Bedürfnisse dort geäußert werden.


Katharina Farys, Universität Göttingen

Monika Unterreiner & Jan Wagner, Universität Würzburg

Thomas Hüsken, Universität Bayreuth

Lucia Mair, Universität Wien

Anna Meinaß, Chiara Zoe Eder, Gereon Maria Machnik, Julia Kötter, Laurens Rosier, Lara Willuweit & Nadine Erkelen, Universität Köln


22. From "Lonely Hero" to Accompanied Research: Professional Expertise and Family Interconnections in Ethnological Fieldwork Settings (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 11.30a.m.
C 016

Sophia Thubauville, Frobenius Institute
Judit Tavakoli, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

AG “Familie im Feld”

The GAA conference will focus on the question of the constructions and legitimations of ethnological knowledge, which is primarily generated by means of field research in participant observation.

The 2023 conference calls for an analysis of the discipline’s own contested forms of knowledge generation, so that the consequences arising from privileges and limitations could be assessed. While the lonely-hero pattern (Bundgaard and Rubow 2014) of field research had passed its zenith after 100 years and collaborative research among peers or in training situations has arrived more strongly in the field, the reverse question of the familial entanglements of individual research personalities has still not been addressed much in the field. Not only but especially in the so-called post-doctoral phase, fewer and fewer researchers are “alone” in the field. Although there are isolated reflected reports on the dynamics of family situations in the field (Cassell 1987; Braukmann et al. 2020), a comparative reappraisal of the connection between family and field-specific embedding is still lacking. The silence about the roles of the various ‘accompanying persons’ (researching or non-researching partners, children,…) in the process of ethnological knowledge generation presents itself as a wasted opportunity for the reflexive generation of empirical knowledge in view of the local differences of normative ideas about family life. The “relational self” of the researchers ultimately formulates the ‘contested knowledge’ of anthropology.​


Julia Koch, Göttingen University, and Philipp Zehmisch, Heidelberg University:
Conducting Fieldwork with Care Responsibilities: Navigating Epistemological and Practical Challenges

Magdalena Suerbaum and Inka Stock, Bielefeld University:
Tracing the Genealogy of Accompanied Fieldwork: Reflections on the Role of Embodied Research Experiences in Anthropological Knowledge Production

Claudia Howald, CES-UC Portugal:
Starting a Conversation about Motherhood in and around the Field

Grete Schönebeck, Goethe University Frankfurt, and Gerda Kuiper, University of Cologne:
Company in the Field: The Implications of Having a Local Partner for Ethnographic Fieldwork







23. Experimenting with the Infrastructural Go-Along (Lab)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
C 009

Carsten Wergin, Heidelberg University
Uli Beisel, Freie Universität Berlin

In The Mushroom at the End of the World Anna Tsing (2015) invites us to develop “arts of noticing” in order to access the indeterminacies of multispecies encounters in a warming world. Inspired by this, our lab is to challenge the “speak about” of ethnographic discourse in a methodological experiment with lived infrastructures, questions of practice and livelihood, regulation and control. We focus on the sociocultural situatedness of knowledge and its conditioning by inequality and power imbalances, confronting linear narratives of multispecies mobilities and scalable global spatialities. Rather, to us production of knowledge needs to accommodate -and reckon with- multiple epistemologies and ontologies. We feel that ethnographic engagement with related social and organizational factors is important to show how more-than-human infrastructures are a result of lived experience and complexly related (multispecies) usages. For this, we propose the method of ‘Infrastructural Go-Along’ as an experimental “art of noticing” that addresses the co-production of knowledge and its representation through participatory, activist and collaborative means. Infrastructural go-alongs extend the ethnographic method of the “go-along” (Kusenbach 2003), accompanying people by accompanying lived infrastructures.

By means of introduction, we will first (for 30 minutes) reflect on our own use of infrastructural go-alongs in a project on how mobility infrastructures are experienced and navigated in relation to mosquito presence (Beisel and Wergin 2021). Secondly, as a lab exercise conducted in small groups (for 90 minutes), we will deploy the method of infrastructural go-along in central Munich. Finally (for 60 minutes), we will bring our experiences together in the lab and reflect on the method and its possibilities as well as limitations as an “art of noticing”.


24. Practicing decoloniality in the study of indigenous knowledge: experiences and perspectives from Latin America (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
C 022

Ingo Rohrer, University of Freiburg
Antje Gunsenheimer, University of Bonn

RG Südamerika
RG Mesoamerika

A growing interest in indigenous knowledge (i.e. on education, environment, climate adaptation and further fields) has developed in the academy and the public over the last decades. Anthropologists aiming to study indigenous knowledge face the demand of research associations and those who are studied to apply decolonial and participatory research practices in project design, realization, and dissemination of research results. The workshop invites to discuss the challenges and problems but also the possibilities and new perspectives that arise from this demand. We want to discuss past experiences and/or present new research designs that propose innovative models of decolonial, participatory, activist, or collaborative research and new approaches to the co-production of knowledge. We seek to discuss practical, methodological, epistemological, theoretical, and ethical aspects of practicing decoloniality in the study of indigenous knowledge in the Americas and invoke contributors to consider and discuss, for instance, how to integrate positions of indigenous communities in the process of application for funding; how to escape the Western logic of funding, that incites to ‘collect indigenous knowledge as a form of ‘precious asset’ but is not fostering source communities; what capacity building in research projects means; what the study of different epistemologies and ontologies entails for the position of the anthropologists as translators or activists; how local and regional conflicts, which inevitably will take influence on the research project, can be handled; and how participatory research can be reconciled with the logics of the academic culture of publication?


Walther Maradiegue, Freie Universität Berlin:
Indigenous Editors and Sound Archivists: Quechua knowledges and the decolonization of archives

Jonathan Alderman, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München:
Native epistemologies in a popular educational project in Andean Bolivia

Miriam Friz Trzeciak, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg:
‘Tell us something about yourself, too’ – Reflections on Collaborative Research as a Reflexive Tool for Social Research

Antje Gunsenheimer, University of Bonn:
On the challenge of practicing decoloniality, while being a ‘one-woman-show’


25: Knowledge Production in South American Urban Indigenous and Popular Economies (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m. and 11.30a.m.
C 009

Carmen Ibáñez, Freie Universität Berlin
Juliane Müller, University of Barcelona

Economic knowledge production has been a highly controversial issue in economic anthropology, not only during the years of the substantivism-formalism debate. Today, and prominently in South American anthropology, the discussion is being continued – under new circumstances, with novel terms and less openly controversial – as a political and theoretical quarrel between universalist and comparative approaches (Marxism, political economy, institutional analysis) and particularistic and cultural perspectives (decolonialism, ontology).

In this workshop, we aim at discussing economic knowledge production in South American urban indigenous and popular economies. We are especially interested in the epistemological and methodological grounds for understanding everyday socio-economic practices of globally connected actors and communities. How do we theorize the distinctive character of ‘other’ economic logics in the context of transnational trade connections? How does the temporality and materiality of popular economies question abstract universalist theories that continue to be dominant in scientific and public debates despite sustained criticism?

In sum, the workshop will generate a discussion on the historical tension where the agency of actors (of how business is done, how goods are distributed, how prices are set, how they are valued and how material goods are intertwined with non-material ones) endures, is remade, adapts, shrinks or expands under parameters that form centers of gravity and dispersion of ‘their way of doing business’.


Luminiţa-Anda Mandache, University of Salzburg:
From Brasilia to favela: eclectic morality and neoliberal subjectivities in the solidarity economy movement in Brazil

Karlotta Jule Bahnsen, Freie Universität Berlin:
Siempre quise blanquear” – Experiences of Bolivian Fashion Cooperativistas in Buenos Aires from an intersectional perspective

Ruben Dario Chambi Mayta, LMU Munich:
Qamiris. Aymara economic practices in the city of El Alto, Bolivia

Chryslen Mayra Barbosa Gonçalves, State University of Campinas, Brazil:
“Clarito tienes que soñar, cuando se sueña hay que tomar en cuenta”: Elementos no-materiales en la economía de las caseras alteñas

Eva Sophia Kirmes, Freie Universität Berlin:
In between and all at once: Perspectives on economic transformation of rural women near Cusco

Tania Jiménez, University Arturo Prat, Chile:
„De las mulas a los chutos” Estructuras comerciales y sociales de origen rural en la articulación de circuitos comerciales globales

Carlos Piñones Rivera, Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile, Wilson Muñoz Henríquez, EHESS, France, and Alan Rodríguez Valdivia, FLACSO, Ecuador:
Between markets, healers and remedies. The traditional Andean healthcare network in northern Chile’s cross-border area

Vinicius de Souza Mendes, University of São Paulo, Brazil:
Fraternidades folklóricas bolivianas entre lo móvil y lo inmóvil










26. Being in/at Work: Repositioning Knowledge about Work, Disability and Chronicity (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
M 209

Stefanie Mauksch, Leipzig University

Disability and chronicity are terms that seek to capture biosocial experiences that intersect with, and affect, how people engage in work, labor or employment. This panel is focused on how people navigate disabling, debilitating and/or are enabling experiences in and through work, and how these experiences are shaped by the social localities from which they emerge. We place emphasis on how work becomes significant for people whose bodily conditions or appearances are produced as ‘other’ in respective societies, or who experience pain or chronic illness that delimit (but maybe also reshape or expand) their possibilities to contribute to communities and other social arrangements. Departing from the focus on work-related exclusion put forward in previous inquiries in anthropology and related disciplines, we attend to positive relations between occupational identities and work embodiments on the one hand, and experiences of disability and chronicity on the other. Exploring new angles on the interplay between ‘being disabled’ and ‘being in/at work’, we ask whether and how work ‘works’ as a form to abandon or to problematize constructions of disability. The workshop will bring together scholars who address one or more of the following concerns:

Co-Constitution: How are forms of disability and/or chronicity defined in connection to notions and ideas of work? And vice versa, how do disability and chronicity shape extant forms of labor?

Meaning-Making: How do people with disability and/or chronic conditions in different localities around the globe perform and talk about their work?

Critique: How can embedded understandings of disability, chronicity and work be brought to estrange the workings of administrative procedures, ideologies and political arrangements?

Reflection and Auto-Ethnography: To what degree is the labor of anthropologists shaped by ableist conceptions? Which potential does disability hold to explore exclusionary dimensions of anthropological work?


Esca van Blarikom, Queen Mary University of London:
Navigating (un)employment in the context of multimorbidity: an ethnographic study into the experiences of working-age adults in a London borough

Lauren Cubellis, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin:
Deserved work: The role of peer professionals in the implementation of the 2018 federal participation law (Bundesteilhabegesetz)

Anika König, Freie Universität Berlin, and Caroline Meier zu Biesen, Universität Leipzig:
Chronic illness and the power of activism: the case of endometriosis

Shagufta Kaur Bhangu, King’s College London:
Masculinities in Crisis: Chronic Pain & Industrial Labour in Eastern India







27. Historische und aktuelle Wissensproduktion und -vermittlung in der Ethnologie (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m. and 11.30a.m.
C 022

Katja Geisenhainer, Frobenius-Institut, Frankfurt/Main und Universität Wien
Peter Rohrbacher, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Oliver Lueb, Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum Köln
Karoline Noack, Universität Bonn

AG “Museum” und AG “Fachgeschichte”

Die überwiegende Billigung der Kolonisierung außereuropäischer Territorien durch frühe Ethnologen in der Zeit der Konstituierung des Fachs als eigenständige Disziplin bewegte sich zwischen Kooperation und Kritik. Einwände wurden etwa an konkreten Vorgehensweisen der kolonialen Verwaltung, Missionierungsbestrebungen und Umgangsweisen mit den Menschen in den unterworfenen Gebieten erhoben. Ethnolog*innen boten dennoch ihr Wissen um die Verhältnisse in den entsprechenden Ländern an, beteiligten sich in verschiedenen Gremien, spekulierten im Gegenzug auf Aufwertung ihrer Disziplin und profitierten von den kolonialen Strukturen. Ihre Feldstudien unternahmen sie in einem System markanter Machtasymmetrien, in dem jedoch Gewährsleute und weitere Akteur*innen vor Ort oftmals eine zentrale Rolle bei der Wissensgenerierung einnahmen.

Im ersten Teil unseres Workshops soll es um frühe Feldstudien und die (Un-)Sichtbarkeit von Informant*innen sowie deren Bedeutung gehen. Wie präsentierten Ethnolog*innen die Ergebnisse ihrer Forschungen und Sammlungen an Museen und Universitäten, welche Spuren hinterließen sie in Sammlungen und Archiven? Inwieweit lassen sich auch schon lange vor der Writing Culture Debatte Ansätze einer dialogischen oder polyphonen Wissensproduktion und -vermittlung ausmachen? Im zweiten Teil sollen vor allem Beispiele aus der jüngeren Praxis diskutiert werden, die erfolgreiche oder auch gescheiterte Versuche zeigen, einem Ungleichgewicht der Wissensproduktion und -vermittlung in Museen und Universitäten entgegenzuwirken und in gleichberechtigter Art und Weise zu kooperieren. Diskussionen darüber, wer mit, für oder über weitere Akteur*innen spricht, welche Legitimationen genutzt und Rechte beansprucht werden, sind oftmals zentrale Fragen bei der Rekonstruktion von Wissen und Zugängen dazu – und Anlass für kontroverse (Fach)Debatten.



Erik Petschelies, Universidade de São Paulo:
Antônio Bakairi: vom Informanten zum „Beherrscher“ des Xingus

Soonim Shin, Psychologische Beratung, Wien:
Die ungerechtfertigte postkoloniale Kritik an Durkheim, einem entschiedenen Gegner des Kolonialismus

Thomas Bierschenk, Universität Mainz:
Ethnologie und Entwicklung in Deutschland. Eine Geschichte der Gegenwart

Guido Sprenger, Universität Heidelberg:
Schamane, Totem, Mana, Potlatsch: Koloniale Exotisierung oder dekoloniale Theorie?

Julia Binter, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin:
Kooperative Wissensproduktion im Museum: Zuhören, Einfühlen, Übersetzen, Schweigen?

Beatrix Hoffmann-Ihde, Universität Bonn, Stefanie Schien, Museum Natur und Mensch, Freiburg, und Tina Brüderlin, Ethnologisches Museum Berlin:
(Un)Eindeutigkeit erwünscht? Besucher_innenreaktionen auf dekonstruierende Vermittlungsansätze zweier Ausstellungen der Städtischen Museen Freiburg


28. Wissensformen, Wissensansprüche und Schutz von kulturellem Wissen (Lab)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
D Z005

Svenja Völkel, University of Mainz

Keynote: Anthony K. Webster, University of Texas

Working Group “Cognitive and Linguistic Anthropology”

Knowledge is shaped by culturally specific perspectives and is often discussed heterogeneously even within a society. Interdisciplinary research at the intersection of cultural anthropology, cognitive science, and linguistics examines knowledge in terms of cultural ideas which are expressed linguistically and which underlie social practices.

The protection of cultural knowledge, or as UNESCO puts it “Protecting Languages and Preserving Cultures“, raises many questions for research, some of them controversial:

–   What forms of knowledge exist? How is knowledge generated and how is it transmitted? To what extent is knowledge linked to language?

–   Who owns knowledge or who has a right to knowledge? Who is granted access to knowledge? And how are rights regarding knowledge negotiated?

–   Who declares which knowledge worthy of protection and with which goal? And which knowledge is instrumentalized politically?

The current socio-political focus on the protection of linguistic and cultural diversity and the debate about knowledge claims resulting from indigenous data also has consequences for scientific work. For example, may and can an anthropologist analyze a narrative text without including indigenous authors in the analysis? Or may a researcher go beyond documentary and descriptive work and become active in efforts to preserve languages and cultural practices (or under what conditions)? These are the questions and debates we want to address in this lab, and we will use a variety of studies to explore what innovative research formats this might yield for interdisciplinary research.


Svenja Völkel, University of Mainz:
Forms of knowledge, knowledge claims, and protection of cultural knowledge: An anthropological-linguistic and cognitive-linguistic perspective

Anthony K. Webster, University of Texas:
Ethnography as speaking: Dialogical ethnopoetics and epistemological foundations of ethnography

Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften:
Language archives: Jack of all trades or an archive is an archive?

Adam Głaz, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin:
Knowledge and wisdom in folk varieties of Polish: Insights from an ethnolinguistic team

James W. Underhill, University of Rouen:
Jokes as a reminder of cultural values and minority perspectives


29. The politics and practices of meme culture: ethnographic perspectives on post-digital modes of knowledge production (Roundtable)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
C 022

Anja Dreschke
Simone Pfeifer, Universität zu Köln

Working Group “Media(anthropology)”

Keynote: Idil Gallip, University of Amsterdam

Discussant: Anna Lisa Ramella, Universität zu Köln

The workshop explores ethnographic approaches memes as a digital phenomenon characterized by practices of appropriating, commenting on, manipulating, editing, remixing, and disseminating found digital artefacts. By combining text and image or short audio-visual formats and their embeddedness in post-digital environments, contested forms of knowledge are produced and circulated. Practices surrounding memes often bring forth subcultural communities, and different meme cultures operate at the intersection of utopias of user empowerment and the media industry. Their potential for mass or even global circulation and “virality” is often counteracted by community-specific and localized addressing and legibility. Meme cultures are playful, often political, humorous or satirical thereby negotiating intersections of race, class, and gender. With their potential to subvert, memes intervene political debates, and while they sometimes might seem trivial or nonsensical, they are easily politicized through their entanglements in political, economic, and social systems of domination.

In this workshop we particularly invite anthropological and media ethnographic perspectives that critically reflect on meme practices and their post-digital cultures from the different angles of production, consumption, and circulation in subversive, political, and popular culture. Case studies could range from political meme cultures, like the alt-right, interventions in election campaigns, or other social movements, to art, digital folklore and the use of memes in popular culture and everyday life.

During the workshop we want to explore the following questions: What is the state of memes in anthropology? How are memes situated as part of ethnographic research? What kind of knowledge is produced through the combination of text and image, or the short audio-visual formats? How are these modes of knowledge intervening in post-digital and decolonial practices or digital sovereignty?


Idil Gallip, University of Amsterdam:
Locating meme subcultures on digital platforms: An Ethnographic Inquiry into Instagram

Karen Silva Torres, Universität Leipzig:
Meme culture, journalistic practices and news-making in Ecuador

Konstanze N’Guessan, Goethe-Universität Mainz:
Ethnographic Perspectives on Metapolitics – Memetic Communication and the Mainstreaming of Far-Right Discours

Sarah Bittel, Graduate Institute Geneva:
Images of Protest: Afghan memes and the struggle to be seen

Eriko Yamasaki, Philipps-Universität Marburg:
Memes in Yucatec Maya: Indigenous language activism between virality and rootedness

John Postill, RMIT University, Melbourne:
The causal life of memes: a global perspective on political memes and their messy effects


30. Contested Sounds: Post-Colonial Encounters, Representation and Appropriation in Music (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
D Z007

Lisa Johnson, Saarland University
Hauke Dorsch, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

In the discussion of the musical encounter of the global North and South, issues of representation, decolonization, and appropriation are becoming increasingly important. The concept of appropriation, which is used as a means of criticizing the exploitation of less powerful musical communities by more powerful musicians or representatives of the music industry, is strongly influenced by ideas of representation and the understanding of music as a marketable commodity. Often, however, the critique is directed only at the musicians and not at the broader structures that sustain the relations of exploitation. Identity and culture –though posited as in flux (Hannerz)– become a site of protection based on notions of pure cultural heritage and ownership. This new ethnic absolutism (Gilroy) implies an understanding of culture as authentic, static, encapsulated and has left many anthropologists and ethnomusicologists baffled after years of deconstructing ethnic essentialism. We would still argue, that sound and music are sites of cultural transformation, constantly borrowing, remixing, versioning, and reinventing. This is acknowledged by research that turns to the small scale, the micro-aural, the specific moments of engagement (Meintjes). Does a close description of human interaction with sound, as in the analysis of soundscapes (Murray Schafer) and acoustic ecology, or an acoustically extended epistemology, as in acoustemology (Feld), lead to more nuanced understandings of musical sound, representation, and appropriation?

In this workshop, we invite contributions that reconsider how we listen to the field and how we as anthropologists are able to represent where and to whom we are listening and from what positionality. In addition, we seek entries that discuss the methodological and epistemological repertoire for exploring the contested terrain of sound and music by taking seriously the diverse perspectives of the actors involved and the responses of researchers to them.


Rashid Abdul-Bakar Jeduah, Universitá degli Studi di Milano Statale, and Tom Simmert, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz:
Debating the Ethics of Ownership and Appropriation in Global Digital Afrobeats Culture

Till Trojer, London Business School:
Reflexive Encounters, Collaboration, and the Use of Music in Ethnographic Filmmaking: Examples from Ethiopia and Liberia

Wolfgang Kempf, University of Göttingen:
“Tell me Tolly”: Indigenous Appropriation, Ethnographic Knowledge Production, and Sound Heritage in Kiribati

Ingrid Kummels, Freie Universität Berlin:
Reactivation of Asháninka-Nomatsiguenga Music: Bridging the Rifts of Archived Historical Soundscapes









31. When Knowledges meet – Umweltwissen zwischen Naturwissenschaften und Alltag (Lab)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m.
M 209

Arno Pascht, LMU München
Laura McAdam-Otto, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Wetterextreme, Ozeanerwärmung, Meeresspiegelanstieg, Artensterben und andere (Umwelt )Veränderungen gefährden global Überleben und Sicherheit. Entsprechend setzen sich Menschen weltweit mit diesen Themen und den Konsequenzen auseinander. Auf welche Wissensbestände berufen sich die Betroffenen dabei, auf welche verlassen sie sich (nicht)? Maßnahmen, die als lokale Antworten auf globale Umweltherausforderungen intendiert sind, eint, dass in ihrer Konzeptualisierung und Durchführung Wissen unterschiedlicher Herkunft aufeinandertrifft. Dabei spielen verschiedene Interessen sowie epistemologische und ontologische Differenzen eine Rolle, wie z. B.  Klimawandel-Anpassungsprojekte oder Naturschutzprojekte zeigen, bei denen unter Rückgriff auf naturwissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse das Überleben und Wohlergehen im Kontext anthropogenen Klimawandels sichergestellt werden soll. Der Rückgriff auf verschiedene Wissensformen und -bestände kann zu Konflikten zwischen den beteiligten Akteur:innen und Institutionen führen, aber auch konstruktive Prozesse der Wissensgenerierung stimulieren.

Fächerübergreifend wird die globale Verbreitung von Wissen, das lokal angeeignet wird, als travelling ideas oder als Rezeption diskutiert. Diese Prozesse sind weder uniform noch linear und ‚wissenschaftliches Wissen‘ lässt sich – auch im Kontext von Umwelt – nicht von ‚Alltagswissen‘ trennen. Um Forderungen von Wissenschaftler:innen und lokalen Akteur:innen gerecht zu werden, die agency der Beteiligten stärker in den Mittelpunkt der Untersuchungen zu stellen, fragt dieser Workshop: Was passiert, wenn verschiedene Wissensformen und ontologische Differenzen aufeinandertreffen? Wie generieren Akteur:innen im Kontext der lokalen Prozesse von Austausch, Übersetzung und Aushandlung Wissen und Praktiken? Ziel ist, zu diskutieren, wie neuere posthumanistische Ansätze – wie die multispecies anthropology, ontological anthropology und STS – helfen können, über ‚Umweltwissen‘ zu forschen und zu diskutieren.


Alina Becker und Christiane Schwab, LMU München:
Urbane Konflikte um Mobilität und Raumnutzung im Kontext der „Verkehrswende“ als gesellschaftlicher Transformationsprozess

Norbert Pötzsch, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen :
Neue Wissensbestände in alten Konflikten: Die Herausforderungen von Klimawandel und Umweltveränderungen im Königreich Tonga

Laura Matt, Universität Bayreuth:
Wildschweinwissen im Kontext des Ausbruchs der Afrikanischen Schweinepest in Brandenburg

Dženeta Hodžić, ISOE & Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main:
Grundwasserwissen: Zwischen Imagination und Unsicherheit

Christopher Klapperich, LMU München:
Umstrittene Arten: Wie kontroverse Debatten um „heimische“ und „exotische“ Baumarten die zukünftigen Wälder der Philippinen formen

Sarah Rose Bieszczad & Sarah de Rijcke, Universität Leiden, und Maximilian Fochler, Universität Wien :
(Un)doing societally relevant research of the deep sea: The case of deep-sea mining

Ramona Hägele, IDOS & Universität Bonn:
Follow the scientists: Eine materiell-diskursive Analyse von Prozessen der Wissensproduktion auf einem Forschungsschiff


32. Adjacency (Roundtable)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 4p.m.
D Z003

Omar Kasmani, Freie Universität
Tyler Zoanni, Universität Bremen

Taking up recent invocations of “adjacency” as a mode of engagement across anthropology, queer theory, and affect studies, we reckon with the possibilities and limitations of this figure. We approach adjacency as an analytic concern, object, and method. Put differently, we consider adjacency across multiple registers: in particular lives and worlds, in anthropological inquiry, and on the busy crossroads that bring thought and life together. So much anthropological knowledge is premised on ideas of encounter, interlocution and sharing of time and space—the so-called condition of “being there”. With an eye on the contested dimensions of this once-taken-for-granted mode of knowing, we discuss the ways in which “being with” might diverge from canonical norms and colonial forms of “being there”, and ask whether or not figures of adjacency afford alternative epistemic, ethical, and political possibilities. What kinds of openings are created within or through conditions of adjacency? What do we gain by attending to the beside, the nearby, the alongside, as well as predicaments like adjacency, proximity, and tangibility? What dialogical possibilities as well as intersubjective zones of knowing emerge through relations of intimacy, co-presence, companionship, and solidarity? And what are the limits of such affinal modes of knowing, acting, and living?

We propose to take up these questions in the lab format because we take them to be very real questions, which call for a robust dialogue among participants as well as with the audience. Thus, participants will give short inputs rather than traditional papers.


Sandra Calkins, Freie Universität

Serawit Bekele Debele, Universität Bayreuth

Robert Desjarlais, Sarah Lawrence College (USA)

Jia Hui Lee, Universität Bayreuth

Max Schnepf, Freie Universität​ Berlin



33. Feeling through Knowing, Trusting through Feeling. Binaries and their Dissolution in the Americas (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 11.30a.m.
A 020

Friederike Hesselmann and Catherine Whittaker, Goethe University Frankfurt

Feelings are often seen as diametrically opposed to objective knowledge. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that trusted community members provided clarity amid general uncertainty by advocating for the use of vaccines (Silberner 2021). Still, there has been little analysis of their emotional expertise in creating community trust. What is knowledge without people who embody and feel it by vouching for, or trusting, it? For Dian Million (2009), felt knowledge is as scientifically relevant as seemingly objective knowledge. This includes powerful emotions such as trust and anger, which leave bodily traces. Similar to Gloria Anzaldúa, Kim TallBear, and other decolonial theorists, Million criticizes that emotions are often understood as a subjective pollution of objective purity, which is why there continues to be little research on the affective facets of knowledge production. This workshop aims to fill this theoretical and felt gap by discussing the connection between feelings and knowledge in the Americas. Through this we aim to elaborate on how knowledge is produced and received outside of our normative epistemological system, thus expanding our notion of what scientific knowledge means for anthropology.

Contributors to this workshop are invited to consider questions such as:

  • What role do emotions play in seemingly objective truth?
  • What is the relationship between emotional and scientific framings in political claims?
  • What strategies can scholars develop to research knowledge through emotion?
  • What may happen to knowledge production when the binary distinction between knowledge and feeling is erased?


Valerie Edwards, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg:
Refer to me by name: A Medical-Anthropological Study on Black Birth Givers’ Experiences in German Public Obstetric Wards

Amanda Jousset, University of Neuchâtel:
The use of emotions as an analytical tool: Reflections from a cocoa plantation in San Martin, Peru

Coral Iris O’Brian, University Hamburg:
Igniting Emotions: Wildfires and Forest Management in Flagstaff, Arizona

Friederike Hesselmann, Goethe University Frankfurt:
Felt expertise: Analysing the entanglement of emotion and knowledge in Spain’s domestic care work


34. Taking Stock of China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ - Empirical, Theoretical and Methodological Contributions from Current Anthro- pological Research (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
C 016

Philipp Schröder, Nazarbayev University
Manja Stephan-Emmrich, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Regional Group “Central Asia and Caucasus“

Chair: Peter Finke, Universität Zürich

In 2013, China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) set off with grand investment ambitions that should improve infrastructure networks, facilitate trade in goods and energy, and further intercultural exchange. In the meantime, however, critical voices have emerged that do not only question the BRI’s economic and soft power impact, but point to its adverse consequences: from human rights violations to environmental degradation, from a ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ to neo-imperialist dependencies.

Macroeconomic and geopolitical takes on the BRI often emphasize the interplay between ‘global’ infrastructure and ‘local’ context, and thus indulge a determinism that is based on a rather diffuse, Eurocentric notion of ‘the local’. To address this, our workshop wants to take stock – empirically, theoretically and methodologically – of the diverse anthropological research and knowledge production on the BRI that is currently well underway. Accordingly, we invite ethnographic contributions that attend to any economic, political, cultural, digital or other aspect associated with the BRI along its Eurasian land corridors. We ask in which ways the BRI is actually received and responded to ‘on the ground’? Which actors and places are taken to represent ‘the local’? Who is understood to govern the BRI, and which roles are assigned to national elites when- and wherever BRI projects are implemented and assessed ‘locally’? Where exactly along the BRI does anyone or anything ‘Chinese’ come into what is perceived to be ‘local’?

In answering these questions, we aspire to track the contested entanglement of narratives, exchanges, forms of knowledge and positionings in order to reach a more nuanced, multi-scalar reading of ‘local dynamics’. More broadly speaking, we want to engage in a conversation about how anthropology can approach a large-scale phenomenon such as the BRI through lenses inspired by (new) materialism, translocality, political economy, social activism or decolonial approaches


Susanne Fehlings, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main:
A tale of two bazaars

Irna Hofman, University of Oxford:
Overperforming law and looking to the state: Chinese agribusinesses, Tajik bureaucrats and labourers in rural Tajikistan

Verena La Mela, Université de Fribourg:
Women ́s empowerment: The BRI as a game-changer in south-eastern Kazakhstan?

Beril Ocaklı and Valentin Krüsmann, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin:
Whom the Roads Bypass. East-West Connections in a Disconnected Georgia


35. Embodied knowledge as epistemic labor: Knowledge in and in between bodies (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 11.30a.m.
D Z007

Anne Kukuczka, Freie Universität Berlin
Stefan Binder, University of Zurich

This panel focuses on contestations around embodied, sensory, or socially enacted knowledge. Bodily knowledge, habituated skills, or relational ways of knowing are often misrecognized, (made) invisible, or devalued, leading to situations of “epistemic injustice” (Fricker 2009) at the intersections of gendered, racialized, and classed labor in the global economy. Rather than presupposing fixed epistemic hierarchies, this panel foregrounds questions of labor or exchange in order to examine complex configurations of knowledge and power. When, how, and by whom is embodied knowledge (de)valued? When and how can it turn into a resource for political mobilization, solidarity, claims to belonging, or forms of refusal?

For this panel, we invite contributions that attend to the generative, ethical, or political potentials attached to marginalized forms of embodied and bodily knowledge. We also seek to explore social spaces and interactions as well as corporeal and material practices that transcend cognitive or intellectualist conceptions of ‘the epistemic’ by centering the role of bodies, the senses, aesthetic sensibilities, or intersubjective experience. For example, what kind of knowledge is produced in and in between bodies through everyday interactions in the body-centered service industry? How do non-normative intimacies or queer practices of kinship generate not only sociality but also knowledge and skills? Drawing on traditions in queer, feminist, and critical race studies, the panel thinks such questions in relation to our embodied presence as ethnographers as well as asymmetrical power relations in and beyond academia: How do gendered and racialized conditions of labor affect the attribution and circulation of epistemic value? How can we better attune ourselves to the sensuous and embodied dimensions of the relational epistemic labor that is ethnographic theorizing and writing?


Maja Sisnowski, University of Amsterdam:
(De-)escalating Bodies: Knowing difference in de-escalation trainings and practices

Tilmann Heil, University of Cologne:
Multi-sensorial repertoires of hierarchy, inequality, and desire in Rio de Janeiro

Stefan Binder, University of Zurich:
Bodies in Time: On the temporality of ethnographic knowledge (about femininity, for example)

Tirthankar Chakraborty, Freie Universität Berlin:
“Are you a ‘dalal’?”: Locating the racialised fieldworker in a decolonised setting






36. Co-Creation of Knowledges and Collaborative Research: Decolonial Methodologies in the Arctic and beyond (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m. and 4p.m.
DZ 001

Roza Laptander, Universität Hamburg
Gertrude Saxinger, University Vienna, Bern University, Austrian Polar Research Institute

Regional Group “Circumpolar Regions and Siberia” in collaboration with the CO-CREATE initiative

Keynote: Britt Kramvig, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Research in the Arctic and sub-Arctic is called to change the attitude of scientists towards Indigenous knowledge holders and thus make the relationship with the Indigenous rightsholders equitable. From the beginning of the last century until today, Indigenous peoples of the North have faced growing interest from social/natural scientists conducting research in their homelands. Simultaneously, such interaction carries a bleak legacy of knowledge exploitation in a colonial manner. In the past, research has rarely been brought back to communities and Indigenous rightsholders in a form that could be meaningfully used for facilitating sustainable social change or endorsing local cultural heritage.

Indigenous rights holders expect current research to be about not only climate change, but ongoing contemporary colonialism, resource extraction, and more. Indigenous communities and organizations as well as international scientific organizations have published a number of policy declarations, codes of conduct, and protocols for ethical and collaborative research. Indigenous scholars and researchers applying decolonial methodologies are increasingly carrying these principles in academia to achieve equitable co-production of knowledge. These debates are linked to discussions that have taken place elsewhere, especially in the Pacific, Oceania, Australia, and the Americas.

The goal of this workshop is to enable an in-depth conversation about decolonial research methodologies, knowledge co-creation, ethics, and collaborative research practices as well as about the current state of decolonial debates in anthropology. We invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and rightsholders to share their experience and we explicitly invite papers from across the globe for mutual learning. The session is open to hands-on examples from research practice, epistemological reasoning and theory driven methodology discussions.


Britt Kramvig, UiT The Arctic University of Norway:
Facilitating for postcolonial moments in indigenous research

Catherine Dussault, University of Laval:
Enlightening knowledge: towards a definition of ”Inuit knowledge’’ in Nunavik-led research

Lena Gross, UiT The Arctic University of Norway and NIKU Norgga kulturmuitodutkama instituhttas/The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research:
Ethnographic refusal as a decolonial research methodology

Elspeth Ready, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and Peter Collings, University of Florida:
Ethnographic methods and research co-development in the Canadian Arctic

Laura Del Duca, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI):
Impacts of Mining in Swedish Sápmi: a Decolonial Feminist Perspective

Nina Smedseng, UiT The Arctic University of Norway:
Co-creating knowledge: Relational accountability in Walking-with practices in Sámi (Indigenous) tourism research

Tarja Tuula Salmela, UiT The Arctic University of Norway:
The road was never open: crafting decolonial research practices to envision alternative stories of self-drive and route tourism

Gertrude Saxinger, Universität Wien:
EU-PolarNet. Co-ordinating and Co-designing the European Polar Research Area











37. Debating the Gender “Backlash”: Sexual Politics, Anthropological Contestations (Roundtable)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
DZ 001

Claudia Liebelt and Henrike Kraul, Freie Universität Berlin

Working Group “Gender and Sexualities │ Queer Anthropology”

The recent past has seen a global conservative turn that is intricately linked to what some have called a far reaching “backlash” (Sosa 2022) in the field of gender politics and sexual rights. “Anti-Gender” campaigns have emerged across Europe, often carried by the far-right, to target queer-feminist researchers and activists, campaign against Gender Studies departments, against sex education at schools or for the curtailing of sexual rights and reproductive justice. While their manifestations vary according to particular contexts, these campaigns share political and ideological ground, in terms of who should or shouldn’t represent or reproduce the nation, be heard or silenced, be framed as a good or a bad sexual citizen.

On the background of these political constellations, knowledge on sex and gender has become highly contested and is at the centre of public debates, including in social media. Movements such as #MeTooAnthro made it obvious that our discipline is deeply implicated in constellations of power that consistently fail to address sexism, homophobia or trans hostility.

We seek to address these debates and discuss the challenges that they entail:

What are the challenges faced by scholars investigating these movements and debates from an anthropological standpoint? What are the challenges encountered within academia?

How can we investigate the recent gender backlash ethnographically and from different angles without becoming complicit? What are anthropological takes on concepts such as “free speech” or “cancel culture”? How can we, as anthropologists, confront these attacks while at the same time providing more nuanced readings that complicate (cis-, hetero-)normative orders and categorizations? How can we grasp conceptually what is happening across and beyond Europe (e.g. in Brazil, the Philippines, or the US)?


Paula-Irene Villa Braslavsky, LMU Munich:
Contested Liminality – sex, gender, and the embodied naturculture nuisance

Dana Mahr, University of Geneva:
Reactionary Biologism. How Transphobic Pseudofeminism Promotes Xenophobic and Anti-Semitic Narratives

Ramil Zamanov, Charles University Prague:
Challenges of Gender Studies in Azerbaijan

Luay Ranko, University of Cologne:
Muslim Gay Syrian Coming Out Journeys in Berlin: Notions of Mobility and Moral Change

Ursula Probst, Freie Universität Berlin:
»You should not even be allowed to publish«: The trouble with providing nuance to polarized debates around sex work

38. Pacific Knowledge(s) as Model to ‘Educate the World’? Re-gional Potentials in Times of Crises (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 4p.m.
D Z005

Janne von Seggern and Anita von Poser, MLU Halle-Wittenberg

Regional Group „Oceania“

Discussant: Dominik Schieder, Universität Siegen

Contemporary Oceania is entangled in numerous political as well as environmental crises. In this context, many Pacific island societies claim that concerted efforts against local threats caused, for example, by climate change, should be central to international political interests. At the same time, Pacific Islanders actively oppose the instrumentalization of Oceania as a venue for disputes over global spheres of influence and an area of imposed expertise. Consequently, there are ongoing discussions on what kind of ‘legitimate’ knowledge should be at the core of educational practices and measures to counter challenges such as environmental hazards, resource exploitation, or processes of political destabilization in the islands. As part of such discussions, Indigenous communities potentially define ‘valuable’ knowledge and expertise in different ways than local, and foreign politicians, academics, and other (inter)national professionals.

This workshop focuses on ethnographic encounters of Pacific Islander epistemologies and their practical implications, for example, in the process of seeking solutions to urgent crises. We invite contributions by scholars whose ethnographic work sheds light on local knowledge-making practices and reflects and assesses its educational potential. In this light, we are also interested in contributions that ponder the role of the researcher’s capacity to be actively engaged in various forms of, and dialogues between, knowledge-making processes in the field. In its broadest sense, the workshop aims to reflect on how to put Pacific knowledge on the global map and if and how it can function as a model to ‘educate the world’.


Alphonse Aime, Divine Word University Madang
Contesting and Reclaiming Knowledge of Garamut/Slit-drum

James Leach, Centre for Research and Documentation in Oceania, Aix-Marseille University
Songs, and Other Offspring. Creation, Valuation, and the Circulation of Knowledge in Melanesia

Juliane Neuhaus, Universität Zürich
Anthropological Knowledge Production in Oceania. Regional Potentials for a Decolonisation of Western Academic Anthropology

Desirée Hetzel, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Arno Pascht, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Matthias Kowasch, Pädagogische Hochschule Steiermark:
Researching family farming, lifestyle and health: small scale practices for global challenges







39. Der Umgang mit dem Kolonialen: Herausforderungen für die Wissensinfrastrukturen (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
DZ 007

Matthias Harbeck, FID Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie

Ethnologische Museen, Universitäre Sammlungen, Bibliotheken und Archive stellen sich verstärkt die Frage nach dem Umgang mit Materialien aus kolonialen Kontexten. Provenienzforschung in Museen und Sammlungen sowie Restitutionsfragen  dominieren dabei die Debatte, machen sie auch für die (europäische) Öffentlichkeit sichtbar. Hinter den Kulissen mangelt es an übergreifenden Datenbanken und zeitgemäßen Thesauri, sodass schon die angemessene Beschreibung eine Herausforderung darstellt: Mit welchen Begrifflichkeiten und in welchen Oberflächen sollen Materialien aus kolonialen Kontexten erfasst und/oder such- und auffindbar gemacht werden? An wessen Bedürfnissen orientieren sich diese zum großen Teil neu zu entwickelnden Wissensstrukturen? Wie werden die unterschiedlichen Akteur*innen – Wissenschaft, Herkunftsgesellschaften, Politik, lokale Nutzende/Ausstellungsbesucher*innen – adressiert, beteiligt, mitgenommen? Dabei zeigt sich sehr schnell: Die Einbeziehung der sogenannten Herkunftsgesellschaften in die Auseinandersetzungen um Objekte, Bilder, Texte, ihre Zugehörigkeit, ihre Zugänglichkeit sowie ihre Bedeutung ist nicht trivial. Ohne Einbeziehung von Forschung und Herkunftsgesellschaften aber auch ohne bessere Vermittlung in die breite (europäische) Gesellschaft lassen sich die Prozesse um das umstrittene “Wissen” aus kolonialen Kontexten nicht adäquat voranbringen.

Das Netzwerk Koloniale Kontexte möchte in diesem Workshop Practice-Beispiele aus der Zusammenarbeit mit Herkunftsgesellschaften, erste Ansätze übergreifender Datenbanken zu kolonialen Objekten und Texten, Fragen zu Normdaten und Thesauri, sowie Lösungen für den Umgang mit ethisch fragwürdigem Material und die Vermittlung dieser Diskussion in die europäisch-westliche Gesellschaft vorstellen und die Diskussion mit den ethnologischen Fächern über fachliche Anforderungen, weitere einzubeziehende Partner*innen und alternative Lösungswege voranbringen.


Eeva-Kristiina Nylander, Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Berlin:
Provenance research of the Sámi collection challenges and possibilities

Katja Hofmann, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden:
Ansätze zu einer Dekolonisierung der Daphne-Datenbank der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden und ihrer Ausgabeformate

Lisa Quade, Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek:
Provenienzausweisung im Subportal Sammlungsgut aus kolonialen Kontexten in der Deutschen Digitalen Bibliothek

Isabelle Reimann, HU Berlin und Mareike Späth, Landesmuseum Hannover:
Kollaborative Digitalisierungsprojekte – Lernen aus der Praxis



40. Contested Knowledge for the Public: An Anthropology of Journalism (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
C 022

Julia Koch, Universität Göttingen
Sabine Klocke-Daffa, Universität Tübingen

The relationship between ethnology and journalism is characterized by mutual aversion, whereby the respective self-image as a profession is often formulated by the participants precisely in demarcation from one another. The ethnological study of journalism as an institution is still in its infancy, although, or perhaps precisely because, communication and media studies are increasingly discovering participant observation (in editorial offices) and ethnography as methods for themselves because journalism appears as a possible field of work for ethnology graduates. Conversely, while there is a wide variety of ethnological work that focuses on – predominantly ‘new’ – media practices or on the activism/public relations interface, it could be argued that this passing on of the ethnological studying down bias involves a missed opportunity. The profession of institutionalized journalism thus remains unnecessarily in the shadows relative to its opinion-forming and issue-generating power. This gap represents an urgent research desideratum in view of the dispute that can be observed worldwide about the ‘knowledge’ or the truth content of news from (public/state) broadcasting, which cannot be satisfied with markers such as populism and populism research alone.

Building on the seminal edited volume by Elizabeth Bird (2010) and the work of Georgina Born on the BBC (2004) and Thomsen on public broadcast journalism in Denmark and the UK (2018), the workshop will present and comparatively discuss recent ethnological research projects on broadcasting and journalism.


Miriam Grabenheinrich, Internationale Hochschule Berlin:
Journalismus, Diversity und Ethnologie

K. Zeynep Sarıaslan, Universität Bern:
Journalism for post-war dialogue: Independent news media in Armenia and Turkey

Johanna Montanari, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin:
Curated public. Investigating journalistic practices at an English-language newspaper in Jordan




41. Decolonial Storytelling: Dismantling Hierarchies of Knowing-Being (Lab)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m. and 11.30a.m.
D Z001

Rosa Cordillera A. Castillo, Freie Universität Berlin
Paulina Trejo Méndez

Stories are important epistemically, particularly as a source of other ways of knowing and being. They can open spaces for corporealities and experiences constantly and structurally marginalized and become a place of encounter to see each other beyond the dominant gaze. We thus consider storytelling as a critical methodology of working alongside and with those whose knowledges have been silenced and excluded. As a decolonial praxis, it counters harmful and dominant narratives and epistemic injustice and violence that erase the pluralities of knowing-being. It is grounded on an ethics and epistemology of relationality and accountability and praxes of rehumanization and healing.

This two-part laboratory expands this understanding and approach by engaging with participants who work at the intersections of academia, arts, and activism. We will experiment with dynamic and creative methods of inquiry, theorizing, knowledge communication, and collaboration that center storytelling through the participants’ sharing of their storytelling praxes in multiple forms (e.g. scholarly and literary texts/sound/images/ videos/dance and other performances) and experiences. Throughout the laboratory, we will reflect and engage with the following questions:

  1. What is decolonial storytelling and what can it do?
  2. Whose bodies, voices, and what forms of stories are valid and whose are invalidated? Legitimate and illegitimate? Legible and illegible?
  3. What enables people to tell their stories? How are these stories received? What strategies of silencing and exclusion are in place that prevent marginalized voices and bodies from telling their stories and from being heard?
  4. What praxes of working alongside with instead of speaking of/about/ for can we enact to dismantle inequalities and hierarchies of knowledge production that mark certain knowledges as invalid/ illegible/illegitimate and certain people as incapable of knowing?
  5. What are the ethics, accountabilities, and responsibilities of telling stories?


Damani Partridge, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor:
Intervening in Narrative Through Collaborative Filmmaking: The Future of the Future of the City from Berlin, Detroit, and Philadelphia

Jorge Vega, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin:
The March

Tamara Soukotta, Erasmus University Rotterdam:
Stories in Academic Research: An Invitation to Travel to Each Other’s Worlds

Huiying Ng, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München:
Storytelling That Hints at What Cannot Be Said: Navigating Interdisciplinary Sites of Knowledge Production”

Umbreen Salim, Erasmus University Rotterdam:
Kitchen, politics of time and knowledge:Pakistani migrant women negotiating epistemic disregard in the cities of The Hague and Amsterdam

Vita Zelenska, University of Regensburg:
Pitfalls of anthropological writing

42. Social and Cultural Anthropology as 'Citizen Science'? Potential and limits (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 11.30a.m.
M 201

Anna Meiser

Discussant: Gunther Dietz, Universidad Veracruzana (Mexico)

The construction of anthropological knowledge is always fed by ‘other’ knowledge – the knowledge of those who are not professional anthropologists. The term ‘research partner’ suggests a participatory, dialogic relationship between professional anthropologists and nonprofessional actors in the field through which knowledge is jointly constructed. Collaborations in science in which nonprofessional academics voluntarily participate in the construction of data and insert self-acquired knowledge into research have been referred to by the term ‘Citizen Science’ (CS).

The concept refers to science in everyday contexts that is characterized by practical relevance. Such knowledge is local, often originating from a ‘critical engagement with existing circumstances’ (Finke 2014: 40). Citizen Science is considered an approach that makes science more democratic, more application-oriented, and strengthens the interconnection between university and society; thus, it can facilitate the transfer of knowledge and counteract science skepticism.

The workshop seeks to explore the extent to which the Citizen Science approach is useful for understanding the construction of knowledge between anthropologists and their research partners. To what extent can ethnographic research methodologically contribute to the conceptual sharpening of CS? The following questions will be in focus: To what extent and why is one’s own research to be understood as CS? Why is it relevant to society? Who are the ‘citizens’ in this context, and what are the theoretical limits of the term? What specific forms of representation and communication of anthropological knowledge does CS require?


Upul Kumara Wickramasinghe, University of Durham, UK:
Citizen Science as a Tool of Enacting the Ontological turn

Sophia Elixhauser, Universität Wien:
The Snow2School project in Greenland & Austria: Reflections about interdisciplinary “Citizen Science”

Sarah Sommer, LMU München:
Ist institutionalisiertes Wissen auch immer wissenswertes Wissen? Perspektiven aus Chile

Friederike Alexander, LMU München:
Das diverse Wissen über die Diversität: Citizen Science in / mit / für die plurale Stadtgesellschaft


43. How to Practically Co-Laborate? Opportunities and Obstacles of Collaborative Research within academia (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 11.30a.m.
D Z005

Michaela Meurer, Universität Marburg
Kathrin Eitel, Universität Zürich

Since the Writing Culture debate, anthropologists have been questioning their role in ethnographic knowledge production. In the wake of postcolonial theory, global power relations and possibilities of decolonial research practice have been discussed. In response, forms of collaborative and participatory research have been developed. In thjs context, Jörg Niewöhner (2016), for instance, proposes the notion of co-laboration as the co-constitution of knowledge through and for different formats. Such co-produced knowledge enables critical, collaborative engagement and thus validation of findings. As “situated knowledge” (Haraway 1988), the outcome of co-laborative practice counters the often one-dimensional, epistemic mode of academic knowledge production.

Despite extensive theoretical engagement and an overall sensitivity to the need for collaborative knowledge production, anthropologists nevertheless often seem unable to do justice to their claims in practice. Attempts to work collaboratively often fail due to structural constraints or concrete local conditions. It becomes clear that collaborative/participatory research – understood as research ‘together with’ – is not necessarily able to eliminate the reproduction of knowledge along hegemonic, postcolonial structures.

Based on practical experiences of collaborative research, we would like to explore opportunities and obstacles for collaborative knowledge production within academia ­­– be it interdisciplinary or within international scientific projects. To what extent can such research bring about societal transformation, and what structural obstacles (e.g., funding logic, academic bureaucracy, social norms) do they encounter? How can potentially contradictory forms of knowledge be made compatible within the collaboration as well as politically productive to ‘the outside’? Moreover, what can we learn from these experiences in relation to a decolonial research practice?


Michaela Pelican, Jonathan Ngeh and Tu Huynh University of Cologne:
Confronting Power Asymmetry in Knowledge Production: Lessons from Intercultural Collaborative Research

Kristina Großmann, University of Bonn:
Collaborative research in the Global South: De-colonizing expectations and disciplines

Luisa Hochrein, Isabella Kölz & Lena Schweizer, University of Würzburg:
Learning by doing it together: Insights from a design-anthropological para-site

Rebecca Carlson, Toyo University:
What is anthropological analysis good for? Additive-ity in studies of/with bioscience 


44. Anthropological Approaches to Religious Change – A Re-Assessment (Roundtable)

Friday 28.7.23, 11.30a.m.
M 203

Lena Rose, Universität Konstanz
Tobias Köllner, Private Universität Witten/Herdecke

Working Group „Religion“

The understanding of the actual and ideal place of religion in the public sphere has been highly contested over the past decades: classical authors like Weber and Durkheim noted a decreasing importance of religion in modern society following its emancipation from ecclesiastical control. Others sought to nuance this understanding of “secularization” by distinguishing between secularization as religious decline, as differentiation and as privatization (Casanova 2001: 7), or by highlighting that religion had simply withdrawn to the private sphere (Luckmann 2000).

The discrepancy between a persistence of religious beliefs and declining rates of institutional attachment has been interpreted as ‘believing without belonging’ (Davie 2003), leading to two contradictory reactions: 1) a tendency where consumerism extends into the sacred sphere and people “shop around for […] spiritual needs” and 2) a pattern where the sacred is perceived as an alternative and different way (Davie 2003: 39–40).

More recently, religious transformations received increased attention in diverse contexts: scholars are making sense of these developments through new concepts such as ‘secular’ and alternative ‘spiritualities’ (Fuller 2017, Huss 2014), post-secularism (Parmaksız 2018, Rosati & Stoeckl 2012), re-enchantment (Partridge 2005, Isnart & Testa 2020), invented religion (Cusack 2010), cultural religion (Demerath III 2000), civil religion (Margry 2012), vicarious religion (Davie 2007), humanist rituality (Rejowska 2020), or de-sacralised religions (Visca 2011), among others.

What can we as anthropologists offer to nuance and precisely describe and analyze these developments? What do they mean for religious belief and practice, religious identities and the role of religion in other spheres of society? How can we interpret the place of religion in the public sphere today? In this panel, we would like to discuss these trends and look for opportunities for joint publications and projects.


Dhammika Herath, Heidelberg University:
The emergence of the Asapu tradition versus the forest-dwelling tradition in Sri Lanka

Anna-Lena Wolf, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg:
Changing the Immutable: Anthropological Approaches to Divine Agency and Legal Change in Catholic Canon Law

Patrick Keilbart, Goethe University Frankfurt & Gilang Maulana Majid, University of Surrey:
Pencak Silat, religious conservatism, (New) Animism and new subjectivities in Indonesia

Tobias Reu, Universität Bielefeld:
The Anthropology of Religious Change – Lessons from Latin America

Mascha Schulz, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology:
‘Why should I run around and tell everyone?’ Non-Identification of Atheists in Bangladesh

Francesco Della Costa, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München:
The Great Pumpkin and Anthropology as Secularism’s Doubt

Müge Akpinar, Freie Universität Berlin:
Religion, Health, and Secularism: An Ethnographic Reflection on Islamic Medicine in Turkey


45. Re/conceptualizing the Economic Subject: An Invitation for Contestation (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
A 020

Mechthild von Vacano, Universität Freiburg

Working Group „Economic Anthropology“

Discussant: Andreas Streinzer, Universität St. Gallen/Institut für Sozialforschung Frankfurt a. M.

In economic anthropology and beyond, the universalist myth of the self-interested, utility-maximizing homo oeconomicus has long been debunked. Yet, it remained an ever-present hyper figure in the subdiscipline’s conceptions of the economic subject that is reproduced even in its strongest rejection. By extension, economic subjects have been characterized along the lines of egoistic and altruistic orientation and conceived in immaterial terms of “interests” and “rationalities”. These themes reoccur in the framework of “neoliberal subjectivation”, as a specific mode of (economic) subject constitution by which the neoliberal brand of capitalism is deemed to proliferate. Though, outside of that context, the question of economic subject constitution has received curiously little attention.

This workshop seeks to expand the discussion on economic subjects and subjectivities through the perspective of a “human economy” (Hart, Laville and Cattani, 2010) – as it is practiced and experienced by real people with a plurality of needs. It focuses on economic subjectivity as a site of political and practical contestation about the means and ends of the economy. To promote such a wider debate, the workshop invites empirical and theoretical contributions that draw out new perspectives on the economic subject, as an abstract formation and an embodied being. These perspectives may derive from original ethnographic material or from rereading other economic anthropologic materials and reframing them; or they may be developed from bringing (non-economic) subject-theories in conversation with (economic) anthropological knowledge. In that, the workshop welcomes engagements with non-canonical approaches and diverse forms of knowledge. It further encourages contributors to reflect on the potential contribution of a distinct economic perspective on subjectivity to current contestations of power and (subject) recognition – in and beyond the academic discipline of anthropology.


Juliane Müller, Universidad de Barcelona:
Social personhood among transnational traders in Bolivia

Srividya Balasubramanian, Universität Leipzig/MPI Social Anthropology Halle:
Between desires and duties: „lived“ entrepreneurship in India’s rural digitization project

Gil Hizi, Universität zu Köln:
Human capital and virtuousness in person-centered expertise: The case of positive psychology in urban China

Katharina Bodirsky, Universität Konstanz:
On economic subjectivities in commoning and the hope for post-capitalist futures






46. (Counter)public Contestations: Feminist Theorizing for Anthropological Ethics (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
M 201

Franziska Fay, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Mario Schmidt, Max Planck Institut für ethnologische Forschung

In this workshop we are interested in thinking with the fact that feminist theories – and particularly contributions from beyond the Global North – continue to be marginalized in anthropology. Yet, feminist initiatives, narratives, and discourses are increasingly articulated across the globe and met with reactions ranging from enthusiasm, to critique, and sometimes rejection in public, (semi)public, and private spaces. Covering, for example, digital activist realmswhere some men meet and question feminist visions and the purpose of “women’s empowerment” in Kenya, or Swahili-speaking diasporia-led feminist mobilizing across borders – we are interested in how men and women negotiate gender justice by way of engaging with a diverse range of feminist sources of knowledge.

Following recent claims that  feminist anthropology can be considered a ‘traveling theory capable of addressing critical social problems beyond gender’ and that it holds the ‘potential to transform anthropology into an antiracist, decolonial, and abolitionist project’ (Mahmud 2021), we ask: how can we make use of empirical studies of feminist theorizing and its emplaced oppositions to contest anthropological knowledge production and theory making more generally in order to make it more robust? If we think of theorizing as ‘to make an argument, to make sense of the world, to name and create’ (McGranahan 2022), how then can feminist forms of knowledge production and their (counter)public contestations potentially help to find more timely ways of anthropological sense-making and ethics?

We invite contributors to present empirically saturated case studies that a) analyze the diverse ways in which women and men engage with, apply, or contest both existing patriarchal gender relations as well as (feminist) attempts to overhaul them, and b) ask and seek answers to what these insights can do for anthropological knowledge production today.


Mario Schmidt, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle:
Anti-feminism or male-to-male guidance? Reflections on fieldwork among Kenyan masculinity consultants

Livnat Konopny Decleve, Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem:
“This is what my fear told me”: Feminist Anthropology and Research Ethics

Andreas Streinzer, University St. Gallen:
One, too, many? Feminist diversity as a productive challenge for ethnographic positioning






47: Claiming Agency: Thinking critical with and about (Audio-)Visual Sovereignty - Counter Visuality - Collaborative Visuality (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
C 005

Cathrine Bublatzky, Universität Tübingen
Thomas John, Freie Universiät Berlin

AG Visual Anthropology

Ongoing discourses about (Audio-)Visual Anthropology (Nichols 1991; Minh-ha 1992) and its research including filmmaking, participatory/shared cinema, photography or (audio-)visual representations demonstrate a challenging diversity of knowledge production and its contestation. Of central interest is therefore discussing the potential of new approaches and research models that address and question non-transparent knowledge production, asymmetrical forms of representation or one-dimensional cultural mediation. With a critical reflection on agency and autonomy, this panel invites contributions on experimental, collaborative and co-productive research projects that situate (Audio-)Visual Anthropology at the intersection of contesting knowledge and its production. “How can decolonial, participatory, activist or collaborative research look like?”; “How fruitful can the co-production of knowledge and its representation be, to whom, when, why?”

While recognizing the interdisciplinary potential (in Anthropology and beyond), we understand ‘the (audio-)visual’ to be significant in discourses concerned with analysing asymmetrical power relations and global inequalities associated with ‘the crisis of representation’ and contested knowledge production. Thus, conceptual approaches such as visual sovereignty, counter visuality, epistemic disobedience, collaborative visuality as practices deserve critical reflection, especially when new situations of political contestation and charged cultural concepts (e.g. identity, gender, “race”) develop in (audio-)visual and media cultures.

Possible themes:

  • indigenous or activist (audio-)visual knowledge production
  • visual documentation-, co-creation, collaboration (film, photography, websites, installations, performances, labs,..)
  • class, gender, race, religion and the dilemma of non/hegemonic visual representation
  • (de)coloniality and the crisis of representation
  • (audio-)visual ethnography in times of crisis (war, revolution, climate change,..)


Suzana Jovicic, Universität Wien:
Drifting vs. Co-Creating: Participatory Films with Youths

Melina Kalfelis, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main:
(Non-)Visualizing Harm. Ethics and Epistemic Inequality in Media Spaces of Violent Conflict

Shahar Shoham, Humboldt University of Berlin:
The “Migrant Heroes” of Isaan and the “Translocal Vernacular Migration Archive” of Thai Farmworkers in Israel

Sebastian Eschenbach and Carla Tiefenbacher, Universität Köln:
re / despair. Painful encounters in German museums. A video installation


48. Families Managing Health and Wellbeing in Times of Crisis (Roundtable)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
M 203

Astrid Bochow, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Dominik Mattes, Freie Universität Berlin

AG Medical Anthropology

Discussant: Sjaak Van der Geest, University of Amsterdam

 Postcolonial theory criticizes that knowledge about the body, health, and wellbeing is deeply connected to varying forms of governmentality and submission. Postcolonial ethnography, for instance, documents contests over health epistemologies and authority in contexts of medical pluralism and shows that families are crucial in the sense of “therapy managing groups” that help mediate different health epistemologies reconciling, for instance, social-spiritual with physical aspects of healing. Families also partake in the negotiations around diverging conceptualizations of health and well-being between individual patients and biomedical institutions. Finally, families may mediate particular forms of subjectivation pursued by state institutions, while themselves subduing individuals to local forms of gender and age-related hierarchies.

Meanwhile, recent social phenomena such as long-term lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, dramatically rising daily living expenses, growing numbers of people being forced to leave their home countries, as well as environmental catastrophes reinforce public and scholarly interests in families as resources of social and material care and support for vulnerable people including children and elderly people. We invite papers that reflect on how families shape health management in these (and other) contexts of crisis where multiple forms of knowledge and institutional expectations collide. Among others, they may address the following questions:

How do family members mediate (competing) institutional knowledge, e.g. related to nutrition, sports, medication but also loss and trauma?

Which sources and bodies of knowledge are deemed legitimate for what reasons, and how are they negotiated?

Do daily health-related decisions reflect gender and age-related hierarchies?

How do family members deal with governmental and other institutional expectations concerning their role as central sites of caregiving?


Grace Akello, Gulu University:
Questioning Gendered Knowledge through Analysing the Disproportionate Presence of Female Clients in Public Hospitals in Northern Uganda

Giulia Scolli, University of Cambridge:
‘It’s Never Enough’: Ethics of Care and Kinship in Eating Disorder Treatment in Italy

Maria Trifon, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest:
(Un)Orthodox Medicine for Orthodox People

Astrid Bochow, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen:
Children’s Health. Mobile Families Managing Health

Dilys Amoabeng  and Amisah Bakuri, University of Amsterdam:
Biomedicine, Class and the Issue of Medical Pluralism in Tema, Accra





PD Dr.











49. Wissen und Ambivalenz im kulinarethnologischen Diskurs über Entomophagie (Workshop)

Freitag 28.7.23, 9.30Uhr
M 201

Benedikt Jahnke, Universität Kassel
Daniel Kofahl, APEK Consult

AG “Kulinarische Ethnologie”

Zwischen Wissen und Handeln klaffen oft gravierende Lücken. Dies trifft auch auf die Ernährung zu, die durch habitualisiertes Handeln, Traditionen und soziale Normen beeinflusst ist. „Was darf und soll der Mensch essen?“ wird zur Herkulesaufgabe beim Versuch, gustatorische Präferenzen mit moralischen Ansprüchen und gesellschaftlichen Anforderungen in Einklang zu bringen. Vor dieser Herausforderung stehend, erweitern neuartige Lebensmittel das Angebot mit dem Potential, etablierte Verhaltensheuristik ins Wanken zu bringen. Dies trifft u.a. auf die kulinarethnologisch spannenden Entwicklungen bei insektenbasierten Lebensmitteln zu.

Trotz zahlreicher Studien, in denen die Vorteilhaftigkeit für die menschliche Ernährung betont werden, gehören Insekten in den Ländern des globalen Nordens nicht zum täglichen Ernährungsrepertoire. Ernährungskulturell wird ein Gefühl von auf Ekel basierender Ablehnung konserviert, das sich mit alimentärer Neophobie verbindet. Statt als potentiell wertvolles Lebensmittel zu gelten, werden Insekten mit Schmutz, Krankheiten und Kontamination in Verbindung gebracht und als primitive Ernährungsweise abgetan. Dass diese gesellschaftlichen Barrieren bislang nicht überwunden wurden, ist mit dafür verantwortlich, dass trotz offizieller Zulassung in der EU, insektenbasierte Lebensmittel sich nicht auf dem Markt durchsetzen konnten.

Richtet man den Blick auf Ernährungskulturen des globalen Südens sowie auf andere Phasen der Kulturgeschichte so haben Insekten ihren festen Platz in der menschlichen Ernährung. Wie kam es dazu, dass sich Insekten für die menschliche Ernährung räumlich so unterschiedlich etabliert haben? Welche soziokulturellen Faktoren haben eine Rolle gespielt? Wie lassen sich partielle kulturelle Widerstände überwinden? Diesen Fragen möchten wir in einem Workshop zu Kulturpraktiken rund um die Herstellung und Verzehr von Insekten und insektenbasierten Lebensmitteln aus sozial- und kulturanthropologischer Perspektive erörtern und diskutieren.



Andrew Müller:
Insekten als Nahrung: westlicher Ekel vs. asiatische Normalität?

Jennifer Widmer, Universität Luzern:
Ethnomophagie und die Rolle der organisationalen Bewertungsprozesse in zwei kreislauforientierten Start-ups

Birgit A. Rumpold, Mariam Nikravech und Nina Langen, TU Berlin:
Narrative für Nicht-Wähler oder wie werden essbare Insekten Teil unseres Essalltags






50. Trading Safety for Knowledge? Perspectives on Risks and Well-being in Fieldwork (Roundtable)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
M 209

Tamara Gupper, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

Enduring hardship and taking risks related to one’s personal safety have long been considered an integral part of anthropological fieldwork. Often, they have been portrayed as heroic stories which ignored the far-reaching consequences for researchers’ physical and mental wellbeing. In the past decade, an increasing number of researchers started writing, speaking and publishing about their own experiences of unsafety and violence during fieldwork. Such accounts as well as recent scholarship on fieldwork safety show that challenging or even traumatic fieldwork experiences cannot be treated as isolated incidents.

In 2021, we, Kira Kreft, Laura Thurmann and Tamara Gupper, established the initiative “The Safer Fieldwork Project” to raise awareness for possible risks during fieldwork. In a year of collaborative work, we conceptualized and held multiple workshops for students on how the researchers’ positionality, the research context, and the chosen methodology can impact safety in the field. What became visible in our exchange with students and academics, is that what is considered an acceptable amount of risk, a safe research context or an act of violence is often unclear and contested.

With this roundtable, we aim at bringing together different perspectives on safety in ethnographic fieldwork in order to critically engage with current practices of generating knowledge. What are the limits of ethnographic research if we prioritize the physical and mental health of anthropologists over research results? How do risks differ in relation to anthropologists’ diverse positionalities and identities, and what implications does this have for  the inclusivity and accessibility of our discipline? And finally, how can we help future researchers conduct fieldwork safely?


Christina Bosbach, University of Aberdeen:
Knowing well

Saskia Jaschek, Bayreuth University:
‘Safety? Nothing here is safe!’ Researching street protests during a military coup d’état

Artemis Saleh, Johann Gutenberg University Mainz:
On trading safety for trust – Research between risks, trust and a body read as female

Laura Thurmann, University of Manchester:
What is our trust based on? Relationships and violence in ethnographic fieldwork



51. The Mediterranean as a (De)Colonial Border Zone: Socio-Economic Disparities in the Context of Historical and Political Responsibilities (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m. and 4p.m.
M 209

Lene Faust, Universität Bern
Christoph Lange, Univeristät Köln

Regional Group “Mediterranean”

Chair: Gerhild Perl

Discussants: Gerhild Perl and Christoph Lange

The Mediterranean can be seen as a prime example of global, historically conditioned asymmetries, inequalities and contradictions. In this transcontinental space, poverty and prosperity, tradition and modernity, equality and inequality coexist in a small area. Colonisation, de-colonisation and neo-colonialism in this geographical narrow space create fields of tension that continuously challenge the search for answers to historical and political causes and contemporary responsibilities. Although migration and mobility as well as economic and political interdependencies have shaped the Mediterranean region since antiquity, the effects of colonial pasts culminate in the current border regimes and reinforce asymmetries of southern and northern Mediterranean shores. Border fences and refugee boats become indicators of the need for a discussion on global wealth distribution, economic dependencies and global justice. While some see migration to Europe as an opportunity for a better life, others point out that the socio-economic and political causes can only be overcome south of the Mediterranean.

The RG Mediterranean would like to discuss how social anthropology should position itself in the study of this border zone. How does it produce knowledge in a space where different normative as well as socio-economic foundations of human togetherness, (historical) responsibility for existing inequalities and different strategies of dealing with these problems collide so closely and conflictive? How does it deal with the political dimension of its research? What consequences do demands for the decolonisation of knowledge have for socio anthropological knowledge practices? Which models of decolonial, activist and participatory research do critically engage with this?


Fadma Ait Mous, University Hassan II Casablanca, and Claire Bullen, University of Tübingen:
The Mediterranean as Analytical Borderlands of Contemporary Urban Transformations

Jasmine Iozzelli, University of Turin:
The Humanitarianization of the Political and the Radicalization of the Humanitarian

Xenia Valeth, Universidad de Sevilla, and Carmina Cera Márquez:
Ethnography For and About the Persistence of Self-Managed Movement Initiatives: Reflections Between Greece and Spain

Zayer Baazaoui, St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire:
A Decolonial Reading of immigration Across the Mediterranean

Ahmed Jemaa, Central European University, Austria:
The Securitization of Mobilities and the Criminalization of Migration











52. Digitalisierung, Repositorien und Open Access - Sichtbarkeit als zweischneidiges Schwert (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
C 009

Anne Dippel, Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Gabriele Alex, Tübingen University

AG Europa

Das wissenschaftliche Publikationswesen als auch die Wissenschaftskommunikation basiert heutzutage weitgehend auf digitalen Formaten. Zunehmend entwickeln sich Datenbanken und digitale Repositorien zur Speicherung und Veröffentlichung von Forschungsdaten. Open Access wird als erstrebenswerte und zeitgemäße Publikationsstrategie gesehen.

Die Verteilung und Zugänglichkeit von Wissen erreicht neue Dimensionen, jedoch bleiben die Herausforderungen dieser Entwicklungen oft unterbelichtet. Diesen wollen wir uns über die Diskussion komplexer ethischer Fragen annähern. Neben der Formulierung von Forscher*innen als Intermediäre, die Marginalisierten eine Stimme verleihen, sie sichtbar machen, oder Repräsentation zuteilwerden lassen, benötigt es eine kritische Auseinandersetzung mit eben dieser Rolle und der Ausleuchtung marginalisierter Lebenswelten. Dem affirmativen Transparenzbegriff stellen wir daher eine Perspektive auf Verwundbarkeit entgegen. Der erste Strang des Workshops fragt nach den Folgen möglicher frei zugänglicher Veröffentlichungen. Weltweit finden sich zahlreiche Felder, in denen ethnographische Daten oder digitalisierte Inhalte möglicherweise Schaden verursachen können. Die Inhaftierung von Kolleg*innen wie dem Studenten der Central European University Ahmed Samir Santawy, der in Ägypten zu drei Jahren Haft verurteilt wurde, zeigt zudem die Gefahr, der auch Forschende ausgesetzt sein können, wenn ihr Wissen sichtbar und als gefährlich eingeschätzt wird. Der zweite Strang, mit dem wir uns beschäftigen wollen, fragt ob Digitalisierung zudem zu einer Homogenisierung des Chronos als auch zu der nahezu unauflösbaren Anwesenheit in der sozialen Welt ‚vor der Feldforschung’ führt. Was bewirkt diese ‚Gleichzeitigkeit’. Ist das verbunden mit veränderten ethnographischen Epistemen?


Sabine Imeri, FID Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie:
CARE-Principles for Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Matthias Harbeck, FID Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie:
Retrodigitalisierung und Open Access in der Praxis – Konsequenzen und Herausforderungen für die ethnologischen Fächer

Maria Six-Hohenbalken, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften:
ZOZA– Untersuchungen zu Mobilität durch multimediale Dokumentationen, Kunstinterventionen, kunstbasierte Forschung und (Re-)Präsentationen





53. Anthropological Knowledge as More-Than-Human Co-Production (Roundtable)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
D Z003

Felix Lussem and Cornelia Ertl

Working Group “Environmental Anthropology”

Chair: Kathrin Eitel

In times of pressing geo-ecological crises, underexplored dimensions of human and non- human entanglement hauntingly come to our ethnographic as well as everyday attention. To make sense of the current condition and how it affects our ethnographic field-sites it seems important to understand knowledge as always more-than-human, that is, as something that has always been created in co-production between different actors.
In this context, the creative empirical capture of field experiences and the creation of diverse as well as multimedial and speculative-driven knowledge formats is crucial to grasping multi-species responses to social-ecological change and to securing wider impact of this knowledge also beyond academia.
Based on our workshop of the GAA working group “Environmental Anthropology” in May 2022, which examined “unruly sites of more-than-human entanglements”, we would like to discuss first findings at a roundtable and controversially debate the (dis-)advantages of creative ethnographic methods. The roundtable format is best suited for such a debate because it gives room to the potentially critical evaluation of these methods as well as exploring their manifold possible areas of application from different perspectives.
What possibilities, for example, are opened up by “interviewing a plant”, writing ethno- graphic novels, or speculative fiction? And what are their limitations? While many anthropologists agree on the importance of non-human entities for human affairs, (how) can we think of a less asymmetrical anthropology not centered around human logos? And how does this debate relate to earlier and ongoing debates on decolonial epistemologies and methodologies? In this context, we would like to invite anthropologists who have experience with graphic novels and other speculative formats or have worked with or an interest in multi-species methods.​

To discuss these questions and more, the AG Umweltethnologie has assembled five researchers that work with experimental methods in the realm of multispecies studies and production of knowledge on and with the more-than-human.


Hilal Alkan, Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient

Martin Gruber, University of Bremen

Susanne Schmit, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam

Sandro Simon, University of Cologne


54. ‘Good life’ in the Anthropocene? Ethics in Times of Crisis (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m.
D Z003

Annette Hornbacher, Universität Heidelberg
Arne Harms, Max-Planck-Institut für ethnologische Forschung, Halle/Saale

Working Group “Ethics”

Planetary environmental changes are affecting and threatening more-than-human lifeworlds and knowledge traditions in many regions all over the world. They are associated with experiences of crisis ranging from water depletion, mass extinction, pollution, and extreme weather phenomena to the socio-political conflicts generated by them. Such challenges require not merely practical and epistemic adjustments but also moral decisions and reflections on the ethical questions of human responsibility and the realization of a “good life” under new conditions. This workshop investigates how people in different societies respond as ethical subjects to such global experiences of crisis, and it explores situated ideas of ‘good life’ and human responsibility associated with them: Which new forms of ethics and politics are emerging in or related to this situation? To what extent are responses to planetary challenges based on local or global ideas of ethics (attribution of person status and rights to rivers in New Zealand versus claims to transnational climate justice)? How do existential threats affect local ontologies, knowledge traditions and moral practices? How might the extinction of entire species relate to their perception as persons in various ontologies?

We invite anthropologists working at the intersection of the anthropology of ethics, multispecies anthropology, and the anthropology of the Anthropocene to participate in this workshop.​


Laura Affolter, Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung:
Rights of nature in Ecuador: An instrument for political change?

Florian Helfer, Universität Hamburg:
Should we all get vaccinated? Emerging regimes of living in a viral world

Therese Kelly, Universität Heidelberg:
Ethical projects in animal rights: transforming the self or social relations?

Anu Karippal, University of Virginia:
Human-Elephant Relations in South India; Relational Ethics and Attunement


55. “Barrio”, “Kiez”, “Mahalla”: Chances, Challenges and Changes in Neighbourhood Relations (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 2p.m.
M 203

Susanne Fehlings and Bärbel Högner

Working Group “Urban Anthropology”

The existence of various local terms that summarize the spatial and functional unit of neighbourhood across the globe, indicates that this specific form of social entity is of vital importance. Living near to each other in a certain area with distinctive characteristics often creates identification with the place, and leads to social networks and feelings of belonging. Common interests towards a sustainable management of the lived environment may–and must–be shared to safeguard the future of the community.

In this panel we want to explore the concept of neighbourhood and its lived experience. What are the chances and challenges of social relations among neighbours in the day-to-day? Who is interested in what kind of interaction, how are differences tackled, how is conviviality brought forward (Heil 2020; Hermer, Frykman, Ristilammi 2020)? How do neighbours imagine their community, how do they cooperate? What do neighbour-relations mean to the residents as compared to kinship- or friendship-relations? How are power structures among neighbours themselves or between the area and its government debated?

We welcome papers that look at the negotiation of neighbourhood–be it in the private sphere, be it on administrative level–from a critical and self-reflexive anthropological perspective. Examples of neighbourhood activism towards a sharing economy, climate issues or future mobility are as much welcome as papers on the historical growth of neighbourhoods or the urban planning of vicinity. We appreciate interdisciplinary approaches and submissions, which take into account collaborative, artistic, sensual or digital methods and experiments. Lastly, we look forward to contributions that shed light on the changes evoked by the pandemic situation: What impact did lock-downs and social distancing regulations have on the social unit of neighbourhood? In which ways did we all experience “the nearby” (Xiang 2021), manage separation and support each other when bound to our homes?


Swetlana Torno, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity:
Settling in Dushanbe: Mobility of the elderly and conviviality practices in high-rise apartment blocks in Tajikistan’s capital city

Irit Ittner, Bonn University:
Involuntary neighbourhoods. Overburdening, self-assertation and leadership competition in an urban village and slum of Abidjan

Mechthild von Vacano, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg:
Doing neighbourhood. A praxeological take on neighbourhood relations

Severin Penger, Freie Universität Berlin:
Tattooing (in-between) neighbourhood relations in Naples, Italy: About the limits and chances of being a rattooist in/of the Quartiere while creating ‘urban skins’


56. Contested Knowledge, Contested Objects: Positioning of Mesoamerican Studies regarding the History of the Discipline and Collections (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m. and 4p.m.
M 201

Katharina Farys, Universität Göttingen
Eriko Yamasaki, Universität Marburg

Regional group “Mesoamerica”

Keynote: Donna Yates, Maastricht University

Discussants: Daniel Graña-Behrens, Universität Bonn, und Ute Schüren, Ethnologisches Museum, SMB, SPK

The history of the collections from Mesoamerica in museums and research institutions closely relates to the history of Mesoamerican studies as discipline. Current public debates tend to generalize ethnographic and archaeological collections as consisting only of looted artifacts appropriated under relationships of coloniality. The opening of the Humboldt Forum has further stimulated this discourse regarding the collections from Mesoamerica. The practice of collecting artefacts and doing research in Mesoamerican studies has increasingly been called into question. To what degree do some topics and outcomes represent contested knowledge? Has the knowledge been shared sufficiently? More research on the history of the discipline and the collections is needed to provide a differentiated perspective that counters the simplified discourse of “looted artefacts”. Against this background, we aim to deal with the following questions:

  • To what degree are the criteria for ethnographic collections discussed by specialists and in the media applicable to the collections from Mesoamerica?
  • What do we know about the genesis of the collections and the provenance of the artefacts?
  • Which specific and typical contexts for illicit acquisition of artefacts can be identified?
  • What do we know regarding how the artefacts of unknown origin are treated in museums, art trade and private collections?
  • How was the practice of collecting artefacts legitimized in respective time periods?
  • How can we improve knowledge transfer in Mesoamerican studies to promote the provenance research?
  • How can the original owner respective the society of origin be involved in the production of knowledge and studies of the collections in a more intensive manner?

Identifying contested knowledge concerning the collections, this panel aims to develop common strategies to open up Mesoamerican studies for new questions and networks and stimulate a differentiated debate about the histories of the collections.


First theme: Looting and commercialization

Donna Yates, Maastricht University:
Unlocking hidden knowledge in Mesoamerican provenance stories: a method, a case, and a call

Martin E. Berger, Leiden University:
Reinscribing commercial actors into the disciplinary history of Mesoamerican archaeology

Yannick Dreessen, Universität Bonn:
Contrasting interests and diverse practices in dealing with prehispanic material: About looting, collecting, and selling, and the desire for restitution in Hopelchen, Mexico

Second theme: Debates on repatriation and practice of decolonization

Viola König, Freie Universität Berlin:
Collections from Mesoamerica in European Museums and the Restitution Debate. Political claims and activism versus academic knowledge and indigenous expectations

Ilja Labischinski, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin:
Human remains from Mesoamerica in the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin

Romy Köhler, Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek:
Looking back into the future – A possible location of Mesoamerican collection objects in digital decolonisation practice


57. Transversion der Wissensvermittlung (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
D Z001

Anita Galuschek,
Verena Schneeweiß

AG Ethnologie & Bildung

Bildung gilt per se als Wissensvermittlung. Doch „Wissensvermittlung“ erlebt in der Postmoderne eine Partikularisierung. Fachwissen wird immer präsenter und damit auch die Frage, wer Wissen vermitteln kann und woher Wissen und Erfahrung bezogen werden – aus Lebenserfahrung, bspw. Alter oder gesellschaftlicher Positionierung, oder fachlicher („akademisch gelernter“) Expertise. Inwiefern überschneiden sich diese Erfahrungswelten in der Position des:der Wissensvermittler:in?

Wissen entsteht in divergierenden Kontexten und die eindeutige Hoheit westlich geprägter Rationalität wird kritisch hinterfragt. Der postkoloniale Diskurs weist darauf hin, dass es differenzierte, situierte Formen von Wissen gibt, die bisher wenig beachtet wurden. Diese bedürfen der Vermittlung untereinander durch Vergleich und Übersetzung. Die Fähigkeit, sich zwischen verschiedenen Formen der Rationalität zu bewegen und zu vermitteln, hat Wolfgang Welsch transversale Vernunft genannt (2002). Mit dem Begriff der Transversion soll auf diese Vermittlungs- und Übersetzungsleistungen insbesondere im Bildungssektor referiert werden.

Zudem gelangt die Deutungshoheit über sogenannte „Andere“ in den Fokus. Wer spricht (bzw. Wissen vermittelt), setzt damit die Deutungshoheit; über sich selbst, aber auch über Andere. Die Rückeroberung der individuellen Selbstbestimmung spiegelt sich in Lehr- und Lernmedien wieder, in der Art, wie gesprochen wird, in künstlerischen Darstellungen, in Präsentationen und in der Toleranz der Bildungsstätten und -vermittler:innen.

In unserem Workshop möchten wir die Transversion der Wissensvermittlung an den Schnittstellen zwischen Ethnologie und Bildung beleuchten und kritisch diskutieren. Wir freuen uns deshalb über Beiträge, die sich in dieses Themengebiet einfügen und bspw. die folgenden Fragestellungen behandeln:

  • Empfänger und Sender: Wer lernt von wem?
  • Wie wird Wissen vermittelt und generiert in einem partizipatorischen und prozesshaften Lehr- und Lernumfeld, welches sich gemeinsamem Lernen verschreibt (vgl. Ingold 2018)?
  • Wie kann Bildung Haltung (gelebtes Wissen) vermitteln?
  • Welche Rolle spielt die Sprache und deren Umgang mit Begriffen, Bedeutungen und Metaphern (vgl. Welsch 2002)?
  • Wie werden verschiedene Zielgruppen mit welchen Bildungsformaten erreicht? Wie gelangt Wissen nicht nur an Einzelpersonen, sondern an Multiplikator:innen und in Institutionen?
  • Angesichts der Vielfalt von Wissenssystemen, welches Wissen wird vermittelt?
  • Wie können wir von anderen Wissenssystemen lernen? Und gilt es nicht vielmehr, im Sinne von postkolonialen Ansätzen, Wissen zu verlernen?
  • Was sind theoretische und praktisch erprobte Ansätze Transformativer Bildungsarbeit, die auf einen sozial-ökologischen Wandel hinwirken?



Anita Galuschek & Verena Schneeweiß:
Überlegungen zur Dynamik von Wissensvermittlung und zu den praktischen Implikationen von Deutungshoheit*en

Martina Sturm, Pädagogische Hochschule Wien:
Transversion der Wissensvermittlung an den Schnittstellen zwischen Ethnologie und Bildung – ein Perspektivenwechsel

Alexander Horstmann, Universitat Jaume, Castellón:
Teaching Peace Education in Sinjar, Northern Iraq

Johanna Cluse:
Epistemische (Ohn)Macht, spürbar in einer Schule im Andenhochland Ecuadors






58. Affect, Contestation, and Power: Collaboration as a Form of Decolonial Knowledge Production? (Workshop)

Friday 28.7.23, 9.30a.m.
D Z005

Kristina Mashimi and Hansjörg Dilger, Freie Universität Berlin

In face of the wide-spread call for the decolonization of knowledge production, and a heightened awareness of the power imbalances built into anthropological research and teaching, there has been a growing emphasis on ‘collaboration’ within and beyond academia. Together with communities and activists, anthropologists aim to align their work with the agendas of their collaborators in order to address the structural inequalities and vulnerabilities built into these kinds of projects. At the same time, collaborations in post- and decolonial settings are shaped by the potentially conflictive dynamics unfolding in these engagements, especially when it comes to dealing with unequally distributed privileges and including the knowledges of all participants in a collaboration.

In this panel we aim to explore the power dynamics unfolding in collaboration as well as the ways interpersonal dynamics shape knowledge practices in decolonial settings. We invite papers that draw nuanced pictures of the affective and structural constellations that let collaboration thrive – or that in turn lead to contestations, conflict and rupture. We also aim to discuss the implications of all these dynamics with regard to the epistemological foundations of knowledge production: How do the entanglements of knowledge and power materialize in and affect collaborative work with activists and members of diverse (marginalised) communities? How do these dynamics shape and reshape perceptions and ideals of collaborative anthropological engagements as a whole? And finally, are ethnographic practices like co-writing, co-researching, and co-presenting adequate means for the decolonization of knowledge production – or what other resources and methodologies do anthropologists and their collaborators require for this kind of work? Case studies may come from a wide range of decolonial anthropological engagements, including within and across universities, museums and archives, non-governmental and activist collectives, artistic and film production etc.


Lise Woensdregt, Tara Fiorito and Lorraine Nencel, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam:
The many Faces of Power: On the Micro-politics of Engaged Scholarship

Elisabeth Seyerl-Langkamp, Stiftung Humboldt Forum:
“We don’t want another white guy to tell our story!”

arjunraj, Oyoun Kultur NeuDenken:
Collaborative Storytelling Practices as a Decolonial Filmmaking Endeavour

Nina ter Laan, University of Cologne:
The Pitfalls of Collaborative Knowledge Production: Theatre in the High Atlas, Morocco




59. Umstrittenes Wissen jenseits des Menschen: Ethnologie als multispecies knowledge making (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
D Z007

Tanja Kubes, Freie Universität Berlin

Während Wissenskritik auf epistemologischer Ebene vor allem die Berechtigung von Ethnolog*innen in Frage stellt, gültige Aussagen über den Gegenstand ihrer Forschung zu treffen, setzt die ontologische Kritik eine Ebene tiefer an und bezweifelt die unabhängige Existenz des ethnologischen Gegenstands selbst ebenso wie die Idee kontextunabhängigen Wissens darüber. „Wissen“ oder „Bewusstsein“ wird in dieser Sicht nicht mehr allein dem Menschen zugesprochen, sondern als kontingentes Produkt von Multi-Spezies-Assemblagen gedacht. Handlungsmacht sei dabei – so jedenfalls die Theorie eines transversalen Posthumanismus – symmetrisch verteilt und erzeugt über eine unabschließbare Folge von Intra-Aktionen transformative „ethico onto-epistemologische“ (K. Barad) Gefüge, die Subjekt und Objekt als Qualitäten des Seins in der Welt zuallererst hervorbringen.

Es fragt sich allerdings, wie eine derart radikale Aufgabe modernistischer Dualismen in der Praxis aussehen kann. Welche Formen des Wissens sind jenseits anthropozentrischer Setzungen möglich? Welche Übersetzungsleistung ist nötig, um Wälder, Quallen, Biber, Pilze, Fledermäuse, künstliche Intelligenz oder Roboter als gleichberechtigte Akteure der Wissensgenerierung anzuerkennen? Und welche Übersetzungsleistung ist legitim? Stößt der Entwurf einer relationalen Multi-Spezies-Ethnologie womöglich auf ähnliche Dilemmata, wie zuvor die Diskussion um kollaborative Forschung und geteilte Autor*innenschaft?

Das Panel will das Feld ethnologischer Wissensproduktion für Akteure jenseits des Menschen öffnen und die Möglichkeiten einer nicht-dualistischen, nicht-hierarchischen, nicht-menschenzentrierten Forschung ausloten. Willkommen sind Beiträge, die über den anthropozentrischen Tellerrand hinausblicken und die Debatte um die Produktion ethnologischen Wissens um neue (multi-spezies) Sinnhorizonte erweitern.


Oliwia Murawska, Universität Innsbruck:
Empirischer Posthumanismus. Ethnografien posthumaner Welten

Jannis Steinke, TU Braunschweig:
Re-Writing bodies: Episte(m)ethodologien als Antwort auf mehr-als-menschliche Welten

Stefanie Mallon, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen & Manuel Bolz, Universität Hamburg:
A system of knowledges for ethnographic multi-species research

Eleanor Schaumann, Universität Bayreuth:
Lamb description – a multispecies knowledge practice


60. Contesting Knowledges: When Anthropology meets Psychology (Roundtable)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
M 209

Erdmute Alber, Universität Bayreuth
Thomas Stodulka, Freie Universität Berlin

Anthropology and Psychology share a history of multiple entanglements in the production of knowledge. Common questions and parallel conceptual and empirical work contributed to the respective disciplinary developments, and challenged disciplinary boundaries. Key concepts such as culture, personality or the self, are shared. Similar fields of inquiry have shaped both disciplines in parallel ways. At the same time, astonishing rare has collaboration between both been. Albeit, some sub-disciplinary projects mirror the entanglements.

From the side of Anthropology, Psychological Anthropology opens pathways for a more narrow perception of psychological approaches. It has broadly rejected the universalising tendencies of psychological discourse, preferring to illuminate historically and socio-culturally situated concepts.

From the side of psychology, cultural psychology with its clearly anti-universalising approach included anthropological knowledge production in search of a less western-centric perspective on the human right from the onset.

Beside such projects, collaborations between psychology and anthropology that acknowledge, contest or transgress disciplinary boundaries sometimes take also place in very concrete research projects. It is time to bring such experiences together and to discuss the respective contributions to a further development of the entanglements of both disciplines. The round table asks: what can anthropology learn from psychology, and vice-versa? Which fields of inquiry do we share and what happens if these are researched with an inter- or transdisciplinary approach? How can the encounter of both disciplines change the production of knowledge? And in which concrete fields does this make sense?

Panelists from both disciplines answer these questions with the background of their longstanding research experience.


Carlos Kölbl, Universität Bayreuth

Megha Amrith, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

Gabriel Scheidecker, Freie Universität Berlin

Pradeep Chakkarath, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

61. Forschungsdaten und Materialien aus der Feldforschung archivieren und teilen. Wie geht das und hat das schon jemand gemacht? (Lab)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 11a.m.
M 201

Sabine Imeri, FID Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie, HU Berlin
Michaela Rizzolli, Forschungsdatenzentrum Qualiservice, Universität Bremen

Forschungsdaten und Materialien, die im Rahmen von Feldforschung entstehen, sind vielfältig und meist Ergebnis relationaler Prozesse der Aushandlung und Kommunikation im Feld. Wie können ethnografische Daten und Materialien – und das Wissen der Forschenden über die Kontexte ihrer Entstehung – unter Berücksichtigung rechtlicher wie ethischer Aspekte dauerhaft archiviert und für weitere Forschungen zugänglich gemacht werden? Und wie können umgekehrt Forschungsdaten und Materialien aus der ethnografischen Feldforschung gesucht, gefunden und nachgenutzt werden?

Das Lab richtet sich an Forschende, die ethnografisch arbeiten und die sich dafür interessieren, wie die Debatten zum Forschungsdatenmanagement der letzten Jahre in konkrete Verfahren der Datenarchivierung übersetzt werden können. Forschende, die bereits planen, Forschungsmaterialien zu archivieren und für Nachnutzungen zur Verfügung zu stellen, können hier zudem konkrete Informationen zu ausgewählten Aspekten des Data Sharings (Informed consent, Anonymisierung, Pseudonymisierung, Metadaten) erhalten.

Im ersten Teil der Veranstaltung liegt der Fokus auf der Vorbereitung ethnografischer Forschungsmaterialien zur Archivierung und Nachnutzung beim Forschungsdatenzentrum Qualiservice. Die Dokumentation der Materialerstellung spielt dabei insbesondere für mögliche Nachnutzungen eine wesentliche Rolle. Im zweiten Teil zeigen wir anhand von konkreten Beispielen auf, wie interessierte Forschende ethnografische Daten suchen und finden können und wie sie das Material potenziell für eigene Sekundärforschungen nutzen können.


62. Contested Knowledge and Unsolved Questions of Representation in Authoritarian Southeast Asian Contexts (Workshop)

Thursday 27.7.23, 11a.m.
D Z005

Oliver Tappe

Regional Group “Southeast Asia“

Discussant: Rosalie Stolz

Authoritarianism comes in different guises in Southeast Asian societies. Having concrete effects on academic projects and biographies, authoritarianism has certainly left its imprint in Southeast Asian anthropology in recent years. This panel explores processes of concealing and contesting knowledge against the backdrop of authoritarian interventions – explicit or implicit – into academic life and research. What are the perceptions and strategies of local and foreign anthropologists within the tightening limits of scientific freedom in Southeast Asia? At the same time, unsolved questions of representing Southeast Asia in (anthropological) research persist. This panels seeks to address these and other themes with the aim in mind of bringing attention to ongoing, less discussed panacea of knowledge generation and dissemination in anthropological research in and on Southeast Asia while also hinting at specificities of Southeast Asia contexts and potential pathways of addressing and, first of all, conceiving, these challenges. Moreover, we try to discuss current anthropological research in the context of academic decolonization and investigate processes of decolonizing knowledge from below and above.

We invite contributions that address, among possible others, the following themes:

–        How to address politically sensitive issues with regard to the security of Southeast Asian anthropologists and research partners, and other questions of research ethics

–        Instances of self-censorship in research and wording

–        Contested knowledge of the past in Southeast Asia and conundrums of historical anthropology

–        Local notions of knowledge, the drawbacks of knowing and the politics of ignorance

–        Persistent issues of representation and decolonialization of knowledge generation on Southeast Asia.


Oliver Tappe, Universität Heidelberg:
Anthropology and Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia

Floramante S.J. Ponce, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology:
Being Like a Pseudo-Insider: How a Filipino Ethnographer Deals with the Lao State and its Representatives

Simon Rowedder, University of Passau:
Doing ethnography amidst China’s rising academic influence in Northern Thailand: Methodological challenges, ethical dilemmas, knowledge opportunities


63. From Metaphor to Proxy: Military Knowledge, Battlefields and Waring Epistemologies (Workshop)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 4p.m.
C 009

Sana Chavoshian, Leibnitz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
Younes Saramifar, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Regional Group “Middle East and North Africa“

Keynote: Nomi Stone, University of Texas Dallas

“Understanding and empathy will be important weapons of war” wrote in the Armed Forces Journal Major General R. Scale (2006). As an author of counterinsurgency doctrine, his words substantiate E. Scary (1987) who had argued the enterprise of cruelty and waring are served in a landscape of feelings. This landscape has been saturated by an emerging mode of ‘military knowledge’ that unsettles the borders of what we classically knew as battlefields. The new war machine has moved out of battlefields of military operation and decision rooms, while being embedded and contested in microcosms of everyday life, its language, materiality, affects and ecologies. From ‘dog fights’, in Carl Schmitt’s word, to ‘military role playing’ and ‘mock villages’ for training soldiers, military knowledge has ensconced our lives in a diorama of war. This panel discusses how military knowledge configures societies around notions of adversaries and allies, losses and winnings, sanctions and agreements. These military tropes are simulated and fabricated in cultural translations to resemble new wars, from cold war idioms to war on terror and proxy.

We ask what constitutes Scary’s landscape of feeling at the intersection of military knowledge and biopolitics in a waring world. How far does the history of entanglements between militarism, culture and human sciences underline critique in anthropology? This is to help understanding how emotionality binds to orientalism and surrealism. We are interested in papers that engage (a) with extended environments of war, (b) with socio-political actors who fall on the shadows of waring; such as scientists, engineers and operators of drones, who act without ever stepping into the heat of action, animals who become waring components, non-operational combatants and finally the very anthropologist who studies waring epistemologies.


Nomi Stone, University of Texas Dallas:
Contesting Knowledge in Mock Middle Eastern Villages

Georg Stauth, Johannes Gutenberg University – Mainz:
Surrealism and Orientalism

Younes Saramifar, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam:
Dogs of War: Hysteric piety and expressions of militancy among Shia volunteer militias





64. Contested knowledge: Re-theorizing migration through the lens of material culture? (Roundtable)

Wednesday 26.7.23, 2p.m.
C 009

Souleymane Diallo, University of Münster
Karim Zafer, Universität Köln

Working Group “Migration”

Discussant: Friedemann Yi-Neumann, Universität Göttingen

In recent years, migration scholars have contested many dichotomies created by policy makers when categorizing people on the move (e.g. legal vs. illegal, voluntary vs. forced, smuggling vs. trafficking). In this regard, the concept of ‘mixed migration” by Van Hear is probably the most known and it has been even adapted by the UNHCR for a short period in their reports. Contributors have warned from (uncritically) using and reproducing legal categories. They are instead in favour of using our own analytical categories that reflect the lived experiences of migrants. This criticism has enlarged the schism between migration scholars and the public debate, and increased contestations on the usefulness of knowledge we are producing.

Recently, Sandra H. Dudley and Yi-Neumann et al, have adopted a material culture lens to demonstrate that one’s relationship to things, so often taken for granted, is challenged by the conditions of flight and migration. Either due to the need for adapting to new ways of living and/or when an entitlement to things is contested. Also, questions of entitlement to things reveal indeed many aspects ranging from emotions, identity and belonging to aspects of inequalities and racism. For instance, possessing a strong passport can turn over crossing borders from a humiliating experience to a pleasant one and manifestation of superiority.

Building on these works, this panel aims to stimulate a scholarly dialogue that seeks to retheorize migration in the light of these complex dynamics that inform people’s relationships to material objects.  We want to discuss: In what ways does the material culture turn contribute to debates on contestations of knowledge in the field of migration? Does material culture turn help in re-theorizing migration?


Hans Peter Hahn, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main:
Subversive Things. The materiality of the “in-between” and migrants’ agency

Timm Sureau, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg:
Past materiality and current databases

Charlot Schneider, Universität Hamburg:
The Fabric of Home: Contesting the dichotomy of home and away through clothing

Tirthankar Chakraborty, Freie Universität Berlin:
Lost in Transition: Studying the Statelessness, Loss and Survival of Rohingyas in India

Samantha Strohmenger, Universität Tübingen:
On the move: From refugee housing to private apartments. A struggle for agency

Saleh Seid Adem, Universität zu Köln:
Transnational migration and social media: a material culture shaping transnational experience