We conduct research in South East Asia, Oceania and Africa. From its start, anthropology in Göttingen has focused on studying human lifeworlds in these regions. Today our institute holds four professorships and a specialised library of ca. 40.000 items. Our cultural archive contains documents, books, visual material and our Ethnographic Collection. Our research interests are e.g. migration and identity, transcultural processes, gender relations, the Anthropology of Religion, Political Ecology, Political and Legal Anthropology, development policy, media culture and technology.


Muslim societies have been impacted since the 19th century by far-reaching processes of social and economic change as well as the development of an array of both Islamist and counter-Islamist movements. The present research project proposes to focus on Muslims whose ideas of piety are characterized by their private and individualistic character: they maintain that their piety is not subject to scrutiny by Islamist movements which value public religion as a means of societal control. Insistence on privacy (and individuality) may appear as rather a-political stance, yet, forms an eminently political position as it challenges claims to hegemony of... (more...)

This project is studying how the projected consequences of climate change influence the cultural constituting of belonging and the decision to migrate. First, it is being clarified how the inhabitants of islands and coastal areas experience changes occurring in nature, environment, and climate. Second, I ask how belonging is culturally constituted – vis-à-vis different local groups, the home island (or country or nation), and (in the event) transnational communities. Third, I clarify how Pacific Islanders relate to the option of migration. Also, in this nexus of concerns, I focus on the role of emotions in fostering a sense of belonging and in the decision .... (more...)

The project is designed as a follow-up to the project "Significations of oil and social change in Niger and Chad" (2011-13). It carries the same title and aims at completing, supplementing, and further developing in empirical and theoretical scope the work and results of the first project phase. The project team has proposed to develop a distinctly anthropological perspective on the social transformations that can currently be observed in the newly emerging oil states of Africa. This distinctly anthropological perspective… (more...)

The BMBF-funded joint project between Göttingen University’s Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Museum Friedland, and the exhibition agency "Die Exponauten" contributes to a better understanding of the phenomena of flight and migration by exploring the material dimension of human existence. At the center of enquiry is the thesis that the value of protecting life and human dignity is inextricably linked to things. Things are connected to ascriptions … (more...)

Ethnographic Collection

Forschen und Ausstellen in der Ethnologie. Teilprojekt im Graduiertenkolleg Wissen/Ausstellen (Hauptantragsteller: Prof. Dr. Margarete Vöhringer, Förderung: VolkswagenStiftung).
Lisa Ludwig, MA; Betreuung: Prof. Dr. Andrea Lauser, Dr. Michael Kraus, Prof. Dr. Mareile Flitsch

Der Kolonialismus in der Lehre - Lehren aus dem Kolonialismus (Arbeitstitel; Forschungsprojekt zu Objekten aus kolonialen Kontexten in der Ethnologischen Sammlung und ihrer Verwendung im universitären Kontext). Teilprojekt im niedersächsischen Provenienzforschungs-Verbundprojekt PAESE (Hauptantragsteller: Landesmuseum Hannover, Förderung: VolkswagenStiftung).
Hannah Feder, MA; Betreuung: Prof. Dr. Elfriede Hermann, Dr. Michael Kraus

Sammeln erforschen, gefördert durch die Volkswagenstiftung (Hauptantragsteller: Dr. Marie Luisa Allemeyer (Universität Göttingen), Prof. Dr. Susan Kamel (HTW Berlin), in Kooperation mit Dr. Michael Kraus)

Completed Research Projects

    A list of former research projects (more...)