Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Schareika

Nikolaus Schareika has extensively worked in pastoral societies, particularly in groups of Wodaabe and Fulani people in West Africa’s Sahel. The particular social and cultural configuration of mobile pastoralists have become a point of entry – theoretically, methodologically and thematically – to his engagement with anthropology in general. From the ethnographic perspective of Fulani pastoralists, he explored local (environmental) knowledge, the sociology of knowledge, human-environmental and -animal relations, biodiversity and the politics of conservation, negotiation, disputing and processes of dispute management, local political institutions and dynamics, and the use of talk in social practice. Further research projects covered societal transformations caused by oil production and urban agriculture in rural Africa. While this work is grounded in detailed, long-term ethnographic study and a strong focus on language use in social practice, many research activities have been set up in the framework of collaborative and interdisciplinary (particularly ecological and agricultural sciences) research projects with partners from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, France, Germany, Niger, and Ohio.