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Newsarchiv: Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology

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Jahr 2023

A warm welcome to our new Professor Anita von Poser!

On 1st October 2022 Prof. Dr. Anita von Poser was appointed as Full Professor at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, where she holds the chair for ‘Mobility Studies’ focusing on human-human and human-environmental relations. After her master’s and doctoral studies at Heidelberg University, where she received her DPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology in 2009, she became MaxNetAging Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institutes for Demographic Research in Rostock and for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale. At Freie Universität Berlin, starting in 2011, she was first Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, before becoming Principal Investigator in the Collaborative Research Center Affective Societies in 2015 and Professor of Psychological Anthropology with a focus on ‘Migration, Psyche, Aging’ in 2021. She combines her regional foci on Oceanic and diasporic-Vietnamese lifeworlds with her theoretical interests, especially in the fields of the Anthropology of Social Relationships as well as Psychological and Phenomenological Anthropology. In the coming years, her research and teaching will focus on phenomena of social, spatial, and material im-/mobility in view of fragmented contexts of care, altering life-courses, and ecological transformations. We are excited about her appointment and look forward to our collaboration!

Keebet von Benda-Beckmann 1946–2022

Das Seminar für Ethnologie der MLU trauert um seine Honorarprofessorin: Prof. Dr. Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, die im Oktober 2022 verstarb, war über viele Jahre prägend auf dem Gebiet der Rechtsethnologie in Halle. Das Seminar verliert mit ihr eine international renommierte ebenso wie persönlich äußerst geschätzte Kollegin.

[ more ... ]   

Jahr 2022

ETROD - Extractivism and Transition Research Online Dialogues

New session of ETROD - Extractivism and Transition Research Online Dialogues. On Thursday, 17th November 2022 from 4-5.30 pm (CET) ETROD welcomes Prof. Laura Watts who holds the Chair of Energy and Society at the University of Edinburgh. Laura will share insights from her long-term ethnographic engagement with the making of local energy futures, from marine energy to hydrogen fuel, on the islands of Orkney, off the northern coast of Scotland.

To prepare the session and ensure a fruitful discussion we suggest participants read a couple of texts made available by Laura via Dropbox   .
To join the session, please use the following link   .
If you have any troubles accessing the texts or further questions regarding the session or the ETROD series, please contact Janine Hauer ().

Conference - Postfossil futures: Shaping Structural Change together

The Institute for Structural Change and Sustainability (HALIS) invites you to a conference on October 6 and 7 in Halle. From an interdisciplinary perspective, the HALIS-Conference will discuss  ways to shape the current structural change efforts and thus provide a  forum for negotiating postfossil futures in the region and beyond. More information about the programme and about how to register for the conference can be found here.

Questioning African Studies in Germany

The project "African Studies in Germany through the lens of Critical Race Theory" has prevailed in the new funding initiative "Aufbruch - Neue Forschungsräume für die Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften" of the Volkswagen Foundation as one of only nine out of a 196 applications: within the research group Political and Legal Anthropology at our Institute, Dr. Yusuf Serunkuma, together with Dr. Serawit B. Debele from the University of Bayreuth and Dr. Stephanie Lämmert from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, will examine African Studies in Germany from the perspective of Critical Race Theory.

For further information see here   .

Workshop “Justice in the Anthropocene” of the DGSKA-AG “Political and Legal Anthropology” organized by Olaf Zenker and Anna-Lena Wolf (5-7 October 2022)

From 5 to 7 October 2022, Olaf Zenker and Anna-Lena Wolf will organize a workshop of the German Anthropological Association’s working group “Political and Legal Anthropology” entitled “Justice in the Anthropocene.” The workshop will take place in an ancient pasta factory in Zeitz and brings into conversation current debates about the Anthropocene and the emerging new anthropology of justice. Focusing on how conceptions of justice change in the Anthropocene and what moral, social, political, and environmental consequences different theories of justice have for variously implicated actors in the Anthropocene, the workshop engages broader ontological, epistemological, and ethical debates concerning the public ramifications of anthropocentrism and post-humanism.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop online, please contact Thomas Götzelmann at:

New round of ETROD - Extractivism and Transition Research Online Dialogues

We hereby  invite you to the first session of a new round of ETROD - Extractivism and  Transition Research Online Dialogues.
On Thursday,  29th September 2022 from 4 to 5.45 pm ETROD welcomes Dr. Beril Ocaklı from the Centre for East European and International Studies, Berlin. Beril will talk about "Situating extractivism in post-Soviet geographies. The un/making of Kyrgyzstan’s gold rush".

If you are interested in joining the session and did not yet register to ETROD, please sent a mail to to receive the Zoom link and readings.

Buna Werke Schkopau: A Toxic Tour

The research work of our Master's students Philipp Max Baum, Anastasia Klaar, Fritz Kühlein, Lea Danninger and Johanna Degering has now been published on the Disaster-STS Network platform. Buna Werke Schkopau: A Toxic Tour    describes the toxic afterlife around the chemical site in Schkopau near Halle. The project was part of an MA seminar on toxicity with Prof. Asta Vonderau.

On Sharing Ethnographic Data. Or: How Much Privacy Does Ethnographic Research Need? A Conversation

What does the growing demand for "open science“ increasing the pressure to make research data publicly available mean for ethnographic research? What challenges, problems and opportunities arise from the preparation and archiving of anthropological research data in repositories, especially for possible subsequent use? Which shifts in the relationship between the public and private spheres occur when making ethnographic data available and which materials are suitable for this purpose? How much effort does the preparation of research materials entail and which publics should be addressed at all? These and other aspects were discussed in December 2021 by a total of nine social and cultural anthropologists working at different universities and research institutions in an online discussion group. The minimally language-edited, but otherwise unchanged version of this exchange of ideas, which was approved by the interlocutors, is now published in the series "SFB Affective Societies - Working Papers“ in order to stimulate further reflection on this increasingly important topic.

The Working Paper can be found here   .

The Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Long Night of the Sciences

Staff and students from the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology invite you to three events as part of the Long Night of the Sciences on 1 July. First, Anna-Lena Wolf invites you to an ordinary working day on an Indian tea plantation   . Second, Felix Schiedlowski and Amy Walker (Human Geography) will present findings from their research on the end of lignite mining in Eastern Germany   . Finally, our MA students Philipp Baum and Anastasia Klaar will deliver results from seminar research on toxicity in Saxony-Anhalt   . The lectures will be held in German.

War in Ukraine

The Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology condemns Wladimir Putin’s war against the Ukrainian people and territory. We watch the dramatic events unfolding in Ukraine with dismay. The institute supports the “EASA Statement on the Russian war against Ukraine”   . We try to offer support as best as possible for those affected by war. Information for refugees and those who want to provide support in the city of Halle can be found here   . The university has supplied information here and here. The German Anthropological Association has issued information for Ukrainian scientists here   . Inquiries to the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology can be addressed to

ETROD: Artisanal gold mining in Tanzania - Filmic and ethnographic explorations of hope and uncertainty

Join for another event of the Extractivism and Transition Research Online Dialogues: Anna Frohn Pedersen will provide insights into her  research on artisanal gold mining in Tanzania. In her PhD project Anna  conducted ethnographic research in a mining village in the northern part  of Tanzania. In an attempt to find adequate forms of representing the  miners’ (self)understanding of their work and lives, Anna engaged in  participatory film-making in addition to her research papers. In this  session we are going to discuss two different outputs from her research:  a film and a research paper that both deal with the risks, challenges  and uncertainty that are embedded in mining but also the hopes and  dreams it invokes. Please find the film here   , password: Nyarugusu2019.

To sign up for the event, please sent a mail to

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