Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology and The Ethnographic Collection

Areas of interest

  • historical anthropology (main focus on Africa esp. islamic societies; Regional focus: Maghreb countries, Sahara, West Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Horn, East Africa, Indian Ocean).
  • Anthropology of religion (Anthropology of Islam, Christian churches in the Nile valley and Ethiopia, religion as a space for the negotiation of conflicts, dynamics of religious transformation, secularization and modernization processes, pentecostal churches).
  • Anthropology of seafaring/maritime anthropology (Focus: Indian Ocean; Techniques of seafaring and trade, historical and present complexities: Hadramis, Indians, Swahili and their Diasporas).
  • Anthropology of catastrophes (History, meaning and consequences of natural desasters and epidemics such as the Black Death epidemic in North Africa since the 14th century or in Ethiopia in the 16th century, cholera in the Indian Ocean region, Influenza, Trypanosomiasis, Malaria, HIV, Sahel droughts, cyclones, or tsunamis).
  • Conflict in postcolonial Africa (Senegal/Casamance, Liberia/Sierra Leone, Chad, Sudan/Darfur/South Sudan, Somalia, Zaire, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Moçambique, Zimbabwe: historical and anthropological backgrounds and basics).
  • Conceptions of time and space in african societies (different natural and personal times, negotiation of time, forms of spatial arrangement, usage of space and time, "free time", gendered space).