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Encounters and interactions in the context of a globalized and globalizing world make up the focus of my research. I am interested in how contemporary societies and their heterogenous actors deal with dynamics of globalization and transculturalization in their respective everyday lives. The associated processes of governance and the negotiations of responsibilities are topics which I address in various research projects. My research is situated at the intersection of European ethnology, cultural anthropology and practice theory.

Junior professorship “Anthropology of the Rural” and AquaNaturesCultures

I develop the “Anthropology of the Rural” in Würzburg against the background of my research focus on climate change, human-nature relationships, multispecies studies, the commodification of nature and regulatory practices of water bodies. Particular attention is paid to not only the ‘waters of the many’, such as lakes and ponds, but also aquaponics systems. The research project “AquaNaturesCultures” explores how rurality is produced in and with still waters in times of anthropogenic climate change. By focusing on still waters and practices of production with and in them, the project not only brings them to the attention of European ethnology/empirical cultural analysis, but also expands the research field of the ‘Blue Humanities’: after all, it is precisely the often underestimated still waters that, along with oceans and rivers, play an important role in the everyday lives of humans and other species. The junior professorship “Anthropology of the Rural” is dedicated to the study of rurality from a cultural and social science perspective, both in the past and present. The professorship, which is unique in the German research landscape, combines questions about rural living and working conditions. It asks how rural spaces are experienced, lived and (re)formed. It examines agricultural practices and human-environment relationships. The aim of the junior professorship is not to define ‘the rural’ geographically, but to show how and where ‘rurality’ is produced, for example, through labour migration, food production and chains. This approach makes it possible to explore the heterogeneous and ever-changing expectations of rurality, as well as conflicts and transformations in rural areas. With its open view of rurality, the junior professorship is broadly applicable to interdisciplinary dialogues with neighbouring disciplines, such as geography, literature and history or sociology. By integrating multispecies approaches, the professorship offers numerous opportunities for collaboration with agricultural, forestry and other natural sciences as well as applied sciences.

Making Algae (In-)Visible: Tourism, Responsibility and Governance along the Caribbean Coast of Mexico

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Climate change creates new relations between the local and global, new practices of governance emerge, and questions of responsibility are raised. Ethnographic research can show how actors on the ground deal with these key questions on a daily basis. In this project I examine questions of responsibility-making and governance in the context of anthropogenic environmental change ethnographically by studying the Mexican Caribbean coast. Sargasso algae, as can bee seen on the photo above, has been washed up in vast amounts for several years along the country's touristified coastal zones. The algae leads to beach degradation, decreased tourism, and a pronounced health risk to humans. The question I address with my research is: How is anthropogenic environmental change governed and negotiated along the Caribbean coast with and through anthropogenic environmental change in actors’ everyday lives? 

Young Refugees in the EU: Age Negotiations and Adult Minors


More and more young people are fleeing to Europe. After their arrival, local authorities in the country of arrival usually carry out an age assessment to determine one's chronological age, such as through an x-ray of the wrist bone. This is conducted as  reception conditions and refugees' legal rights are linked to the status of being viewed as an 'unaccompanied minor' or as an adult. Along the migration movements of young people who fled from Somalia, my research demonstrates how the category of the 'unaccompanied minor' is created and used in Malta. The central focus here is the negotiation of age between the young refugees and institutional actors. My book Junge Geflüchtete an der Grenze. Eine Ethnografie zu Altersaushandlungen is in press with Campus (Frankfurt am Main) and is available from mid-December 2020. I illustrate the diverse ways in which young refugees experience and navigate their classification as minors in the European border regime. For more details on further publications  based on this research project, please see my CV.


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