Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Richard Rottenburg


Richard Rottenburg

phone: 0049 345 55-24 200
phone: 0049 345 55-24 201
fax: 0049 345 55-27 603

room 206
Reichardtstraße 11
06113 Halle

office hours:
Thu 14-16
Appointments with Laura Mahl (

postal address:
Richard Rottenburg
06099 Halle (Saale)

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Richard Rottenburg



Social anthropology, sociology, Arab studies (1973-1978), and doctorate (1987) at the Free University Berlin; habilitation (1999) at Viadrina University, Frankfurt/Oder (habilitation is the German qualification for full professorship)

Main completed research fields:

The intermediate space between Africa and Europe

Between 1991 and 1997 I examined how criteria of objectivity and rationality are negotiated in trans-local arenas in the context of development cooperation. I carried out my research in The Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania and Europe. Main Publication:


Between 1987 and 1999 I studied aspects of formal organisation in companies and bureaucracies, in urban management, and in the context of the post-socialist transformation of East Germany, Poland and Russia. Main Publications:

Rottenburg, Richard. 1994. From Socialist Realism to Postmodern Ambiguity. East German Companies in Transition. Industrial & Environmental Crisis Quarterly 8: 71-91.

Rottenburg, Richard, Herbert Kalthoff, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener. 2000. In search of a new bed. Economic representations and practices. In Facts and figures. Economic practices and representations. Jahrbuch Ökonomie und Gesellschaft 16. Edited by Kalthoff, Herbert, Richard Rottenburg, and Hans-Jürgen Wagener. Marburg: Metropolis, 9-34.


Between 1979 and 1983 I spent over three years living and carrying out research at Mount Lebu (Sudan, South Kordofan, Nuba Mountains). My interest  focused on the integration of money into the local subsistence economy; the emergence of hybrid cultural forms; the link between the living and the dead; and the relation between nature and culture. Main Publication:

Rottenburg, Richard. 1991. Ndemwareng. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft in den Morobergen. München: Trickster.

From 1984 to 1987, I lived in South Africa, where I lectured in social anthropology at the University of Transkei. Under the influence of students, my attention  shifted to the relation between cultural relativismand ghettoisation, and the unavoidability of modernisation.