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Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius

Head of Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Transcultural Studies, Member of the Institute of Anthropology

My current research includes the anthropology of ritual, media and emotions; the field of contemporary art production and issues of gender and protest in urban public space. All projects are set in Delhi and in Kathmandu.

'Beaming Love across the Globe' traces the controversial role of Valentine’s Day in urban South Asia. The ethnography or ritualised emotions, about to be completed, explores Valentine's Day greeting cards and other paraphernalia, locating them in a highly mediatised and conflict-loaded space of personal aspirations, spatial contestation and moral censorhip as well as physical violence. Another interest of mine is mirrored in 'The Tunes of Love', a study of the performance and visuality of wedding bands, videos and photography in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.

In the project 'Rethinking art and anthropology', the fields of art production and circulation in Delhi and Kathmandu are considered, and here I study how art events such as fairs and festivals, artist networks and art education can be seen as a soundboard for the shaping of discourses on globality, contemporaneity and locality. 

The last arena of research is best mirrored in a newly approved project conducted with partners in the UK and the Netherlands, entitled 'Creating the 'New' Asian Woman. Entanglements of Urban Space, Cultural Encounters and Gendered Identities in Shanghai and Delhi", funded by HERA - Humanities in the European Research Area (2013-16). Here, I will particularly explore the role of middle class women in urban public space. The project is also based on collaborations with the Goethe Institut (New Delhi and Shanghai) and the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam.

Postgraduate researchers/ faculty

Poster-Collage of title page of catalogue 'Indian Highway', respective exhibits and title page of German art and lifestyle magazine 'Monopol'. Poster by Cathrine Bublatzky 2009
Selfportrait with ‘Line of Control’ (2008), installation by Subodh Gupta (Delhi 2012)

Dr. Cathrine Bublatzky

Faculty and coordination at the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology  

Contemporary photography as a cultural practice by diasporic Iranians in Europe

 The project explores the visual culture of contemporary photography as central medium of socio-political expression in the light of ongoing political restriction and repression. With a focus on professional artistic and documentary photographers from Iran who have migrated to Europe, the aim of the project is an anthropological investigation of photography as cultural production in times of political crises, change and transnational migration. Protests against totalitarian politics in Iran have been going on since the revolution in 1979, whereas in 2009 the “Green Revolution” protests responding to the presidential elections reached another peak. The remarkable political oppression that followed the protest, forced numerous Iranians to leave the country. Among them were many professional photographers who established a transnational visual culture of critique. This project will investigate photography by migrant Iranians as an emancipatory tool for a culture of critique across geo-political borders and as an important source for alternate narratives in contrast to a national and international state-controlled media presentation. With its focus on transnational migration and artistic intervention of photographic practice, the study will challenge and push the theoretical and methodological boundaries of anthropology. Following ethnographic methodologies of multi-sited fieldwork in both the migration contexts as well as in Iran, the project seeks to investigate the cultural practice of photography outside the mainstream media discourse and with particular consideration of biographic studies.


Affiliated Researchers

Institut für Ethnologie:

Prof Dr Annette Hornbacher
Prof Dr Guido Sprenger

South Asian Institute:
Anthropology at the SAI

Cluster Film Portraits

Cluster Research Portraits

The Cluster Film Portraits supervised by Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius give a broader audience an insight view of the multi-faceted work of Heidelberg University's Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context".