Medical and psychological anthropology, global mental health, socio-cultural change in Sub-Saharan Africa, youth and generation, gender and sexuality, development interventions, Foucauldian and neo-Marxist theories
Uganda, East Africa, Kampala, Gulu
I started my anthropology training at Hamburg University, where I studied social anthropology and political science from 2003 to 2008. From 2009 to 2020, I worked as a ‘Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin’ (lecturer and researcher) at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology of Göttingen University. I completed my PhD there in 2014. Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, I spent the academic year 2016/17 at the Anthropology Department of Washington University in St. Louis, USA. In October 2020, I joined the new Department of Politics and Governance at the MPI of Anthropology in Halle.
My academic work is situated at the interface between socio-cultural anthropology and African studies. It seeks to explore contemporary dynamics on the African continent which are shaped by local histories and political struggles as well as external interventions and global forms of structural violence. Since the beginning of my academic career, I have explored a range of different topics and themes based on fieldwork in Africa. My most recent work – which looks at emerging discourses on mental health and new forms of psychotherapy in Uganda – is primarily situated in the field of health and medicine. It seeks to analyze and theorize the interrelation between therapeutic regimes and larger social, economic and moral orders. Furthermore, it is concerned with broader politics of care and (class-based) inequalities inherent in the Ugandan health care regime and society more generally.
Politics, inequality and violence were also key issues I addressed in my PhD project which studied the dynamics, conflicts and negotiations in and of post-conflict Acholi society in previously war-torn Northern Uganda. Changes in generational, gender and also sexual relations and ideologies were particularly contested issues and thus comprised further key analytical themes – both in the thesis and in subsequent articles I published.
My MA thesis sought to make its prime contribution to the critical anthropology of development by studying a faith-based organization involved in social work in Pretoria. Among other things, race, gender and class disparities in South African society were important foci in the analysis.