Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Olaf Zenker


Olaf Zenker

phone: +49 345 55-24 200
fax: +49 345 55-27 603

room 206
Reichardtstraße 11
06114 Halle

postal address:
Olaf Zenker
06099 Halle (Saale)

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Olaf Zenker


After earning Master’s degrees in Social Anthropology (LSE) and Linguistics & Literature (University of Hamburg), Olaf Zenker did his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the Martin Luther University in Halle in 2008, and subsequently became a Postdoc in the Max Planck Fellow Group Law, Organisation, Science and Technology (LOST). In 2009, he joined the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Bern (Switzerland) as Assistant Professor, where he also held an Ambizione Research Fellowship (SNSF) and received his Habilitation in 2015. Apart from Visiting Fellowships at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), the University of Cambridge (UK), Harvard University (USA) and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study / STIAS (South Africa), he held Professorships at the University of Cologne, the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), before joining the Martin Luther University in 2019. Focusing on Southern Africa, Northern Ireland and Germany, his research has dealt with political and legal issues such as statehood, bureaucracy, the rule of law, normative pluralities, modernity, inequality, justice, conflict and identity formations, as well as sociolinguistics, anthropological theorising, ethico-onto-epistemologies and philosophical anthropology.