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Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius

 I am professor of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS). My academic training in Cultural and Social Anthropology, Art History and Art Education (Frankfurt/Oder, Oxford and SOAS/London) is strongly related to Media and Visual Cultures in South Asia (India & Nepal), to the study of urban transformation, art production and cultural heritage. My first monograph was based on cultural historian Aby Warburg and his interest in the relationship between art and education. For my second monograph, Empowering Visions, A Study on Videos and the Politics of Cultural Nationalism in India (London: Anthem Press 2005), I explored the iconography, rhetoric and production context of video propaganda of north Indian Hindu Right organisations between the 1980s and the 1990s. Right after completing the PhD, I became a research fellow in the field of Theatre Studies and worked on silent films made by missionaries, adventurers or travellers in the South Pacific. My third monograph is India's Middle Class. New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity (2010 Routledge New Delhi, second paperback edition, with additional introduction: 2014). It examines how economic liberalisation impacted Delhi's transformation and includes case studies on real estate advertising, religious leisure parks, themed weddings, lifestyle specialists and magazines. From 2014-2017, I headed a multinational EU-research project 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 with Melissa Butcher (London) and Jeroen de Kloet (Amsterdam). In 1996, Sumathi Ramaswamy, Yousuf Saeed and I founded Tasveer Ghar/House of Pictures: A Digital Network of South Asian Popular Visual Culture ( which is partly hosted at Heidelberg (Priya Paul Collection, Visual Pilgrim We started to 'reboot' Tasveerghar with a set of new visual essays on "Manly Matters" in South Asia, made possible through the Humboldt Foundation's Annelies Maier Research Award to Sumathi Ramaswamy (2017). In completion for 2018 is a fourth monograph on Romantic love, media and urban youth cultures in India. We have set up the Forum Urban Spaces in 2014 to avail a local platform for studies related to transcultural approaches towards urbanisms in the Global South and Global North (see also 'Mobile Spaces. Urban everyday practices in transcultural perspective' . I have been Marsilius-Fellow in 2016-17 and am PI in the DAAD-funded teaching initiative on "Active Ageing", with JNU Delhi, since 2017. With Sanjeev Maharjan, I published the book "Breaking Views. Engaging Art in post-earthquake Nepal" (Kathmandu Himal Books/Social Science Baha, 2017).[read more]

Phone: +49 (0) 6221-54 4343
Fax: +49 (0) 6221-54 4490
Office: KJC, room 107

For office hours please contact Mrs Ina Buchholz-Chebbi:

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Ina Buchholz, M.A.

Ina Buchholz-Chebbi received her Magister's degree in Islamic Studies. Presently she is administrative assistant to the Cluster Professorships Buddhist Studies and Visual and Media Anthropology.


Phone: +49 (0) 6221 54 4363

Office: KJC, room 111
Office Hours: Mon-Thur 9 am-1 pm

Dr. Cathrine Bublatzky

As a trained photographer Cathrine Bublatzky received her Magister's degree in Anthropology with focus on South- Asian and Visual Anthropology Studies at the South-Asia Institute, Heidelberg University in 2008. Since then she has been a member of the Cluster ‘Asia and Europe in a global Context. The Dynamics of Transculturality’ (University of Heidelberg) and is currently working as the assistant to the chair of 'Visual and Media Anthropology' at the Cluster. In her doctoral thesis entitled "Along the 'Indian Highway’: An Ethnography of an International Travelling Exhibition", she investigated contemporary art from India with regard to politics of representation in a globalised art world (finalized in 2014).

In 2016 Cathrine was awarded with a felloship in the ELITE Postdoctoral Program by the Baden Württemberg Stiftung for her project 'Contemporary photography as a cultural practice by diasporic Iranians in Europe' (2017 - 2020).

With Christiane Brosius, and funded by the university initiative 'Welcome to Science' (2013 - 2015), Cathrine develops syllabi for research-based teaching on art, photography and anthropology, with a particular focus on the interstices to visual ethnography and Digital Humanities (e.g., visual essays on atomic wikis, Hyperimage).


Phone: +49 (0) 6221-54 4330
Office: KJC, room 120
Office Hours: Wednesday 2 – 4 pm, registration via email

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Dr. Roos Gerritsen

Roos Gerritsen joined the Institute of Anthropology of Heidelberg University in 2012.
Her courses primarily address topics on media, visual and urban anthropology
and anthropology of South Asia. Her PhD research dealt with Tamil fan clubs 
and the production, dissemination, and consumption of cinematic imagery of 
movie stars. This research looked into the role of such fan imagery in the 
formation of cinematic publics as well as individual fan careers by 
empirically investigating the ways in which visual technologies have been
 deployed at the level of grassroots or vernacular politics. Roos 
particularly investigated the interplay between cinema and the street level
 appropriation of celebrities into more direct and intimate networks of 
patronage, praise and social mobility via street imagery. Other important 
foci of her research situate these vernacular fan images into neoliberalism
 and neoliberal publics that seemed to have indicated a shift in the use of
public space.

 Roos is extending her research focus on visual culture by looking at 
‘margins’ or ‘fringes’ of success. She is interested in the persons who work
in the ‘margins’ of the movie industry as dancers and stand-ins, with the 
hope that one day they will succeed in the film industry. In addition, she
 is interested in the conceptualization of the popular or the vernacular in 
relation to the large field of art production or imagery that is produced in 
public spaces of Indian cities and town.

Phone: +49 (0)6221 54-3945
Office: Institute of Anthropology, room 0018
Office hours during lecture time: Tuesday, 2 to 3 pm

Nina Nessel, M.A., M.A.

Nina Nessel holds an MA in South Asian Studies and graduated with a thesis on Peacebuilding in Nepal. Her main research interests are international and transcultural education. She also holds an MA in Education and Sociology. 


Phone:  +49 (0) 6221 54 4323 Office: KJC, Room 222

Mhairi Montgomery

Mhairi Montgomery is a current MATS student and is the student research assistant for the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology. Her interests include gender studies, mobility, Indigeneity (in particular the Ainu), and urban spaces. She is currently writing her thesis on Ainu place-making in Tokyo.



Office: KJC, room 111

In Office: Tue-Thu 10am-3pm

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Associated members

Prof. Dr. Nadja-Christina Schneider

Nadja-Christina Schneider has a background in South Asian Studies, Islamic Studies and Modern History. Since October 2009, she is responsible for the newly established Cross-Sectional Department Media and Society at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University Berlin. Her areas of interest include Area Media Studies, Gender and Mobility Studies and Urban Movement Studies. She has worked and published on the role of the Indian press in the context of the Shah Bano case and subsequent debate on Muslim Personal Law; on the development of the Indian media system and changing media environments in post-liberalization India; documentary filmmakers working on Gender and Islam and on the emergence of Delhi as a cinematic city. She is currently preparing a book on the visualization of new reproductive technologies and changing family constellations in fictional and documentary films. Her most recent publications include a co-edited volume titled “Studying Youth, Media and Gender in Post-Liberalisation India. Focus on and beyond the ‘Delhi Gang Rape’” (2015, with Fritzi-Marie Titzmann) and a co-edited volume titled “New Media Configurations and Socio-Cultural Dynamics in Asia and the Arab World (2015, with Carola Richter).

Nadja-Christina Schneider was appointed Professor in the field of Gender and Media Studies for the South Asian Region at Humboldt University Berlin, Institute for Asian and African Studies. From September 2016 - February 2017, she replaced Prof. Christiane Brosius at the Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context

Her full profile and the list of publications can be found here.


PD Dr. Sophie Roche

Sophie Roche is currently leading the junior research group “The Demographic Turn in the Junction of Cultures” at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at the University of Heidelberg. She worked at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany and received her PhD from the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2010. In this period, she studied youth as a socio-demographic factor (youth bulge) in Tajikistan and published the monograph ‘Domesticating youth: Youth Bulges and their Socio-Political Implications in Tajikistan’ with Berghahn Books 2014 (paperback 2016). She then joined the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin in 2010 with a project on jihad in text and context, an ethnographic approach. She completed her habilitation in 2016 on the topic ‘The Faceless Terrorist: Jihad and Mujahid in the Cultural Context of Central Asia´. She has been awarded visiting scholarships by the Institute d’études de l’islam et des sociétés du monde musulman (IISMM) and the Fondation Maison Science de l’Homme (FMSH) both in Paris.

The Faceless Terrorist: Jihād and Mujāhid in the Cultural Context of Central Asia

How can the cousin of one be the terrorist of another? The book starts with these banal and yet crucial questions wishing to give a face to ‘the terrorists’ and to ‘jihād’, both of which haunt the discourses on Islam and have been used often uncritically for Central Asia since the end of the Soviet Union. While religious morality shapes political claims and daily practices, the terms jihād and shahīd are employed primarily as political terms. The way in which these terms are used in written sources (jihād teaching material or internet reports), however, does not necessarily explain how people use these concepts, what audiences they produce, and to what degree they are a blueprint for action. Using texts produced during the Afghan-Soviet war (1980s), the Tajik civil war (1990s) and the military intervention of 2010/2011, the author looks at the concepts’ impact on groups, activities and politics. In order to engage with the different levels of society and the plural understandings of jihād and terrorism, the book likewise looks at textual sources (a Mujāhid’s Handbook and an in-depth analysis of internet sources), cultural institutions (teahouses, mosques, kinship) and locally important political events (1990s, 2010). Whereas there is no concluding answer to the initial question, we can identify a great variety of reconnecting the region to the larger Muslim world since the 1990s which goes along with inscribing the region into global categories, religious discourses and political regions whereas local population participate and become victims in these processes.

Dr. Karl Beelen

Karl Beelen is a researcher and urban designer by training, who's worked in Amsterdam and Chennai, India. He completed a PhD in urbanism at Eindhoven University of Technology (Of sand, fill and water. Urbanisms of erasure and fabricated ground), which examines the implicit, erasive urbanisms emerging in the margin of infrastructural logistics and urban planning in Holland. His current research engages with the Indian city of Chennai and carries a particular interest in grassroots urbanisms and everyday notions of 'design'. He is currently a part-time educator at Karlsruhe University of Technology

Lina Pranaitytė-Wergin

Lina Pranaitytė-Wergin has her background in anthropology and sociology. Her PhD dissertation draws on one year of ethnographic fieldwork in rural Lithuania and examines exchange practices among Roman Catholics. By focusing on exchanges of material and immaterial items between the parishioners, the church, the priest, and the dead, it is the first ethnography to demonstrate how Catholicism maintains itself in a society through the relationships that exchange and Catholic ideology produce. Apart from empirical studies of death perceptions and imageries of the afterlife (Ashgate 2012), in her most recent work Pranaitytė-Wergin investigates media representations in and of postsocialist countries since the end of the Cold War.

Her general research interests include exchange theory, anthropology of religion, death and dying, economic anthropology, and postsocialism. In the Karl-Jaspers-Centre she teaches the anthropology of gift exchange and of postsocialism.


Dr. Carsten Wergin

Dr. Carsten Wergin leads the Research Group “The Transcultural Heritage of Northwest Australia: Dynamics and Resistances” within the Transcultural Studies Research Area of Heidelberg University. His academic background is in sociocultural anthropology, media and cultural studies (University Bremen, Goldsmiths College/London) with a wider thematic interest in Digital and Environmental Humanities research, and a regional expertise in the Indian Ocean region, drawing on long-term fieldwork phases in the Mascarene Archipelago and Northwest Australia. His first monograph Kréol Blouz: Musikalische Inszenierungen von Identität und Kultur (2010) is an ethnography of the transcultural music scene of La Réunion (DOM-TOM). Further publications include the volume Musical Performance and the Changing City (2013, co-edited with Fabian Holt), as well as a special issue of Tourist Studies on Materialities of Tourism (2014, co-edited with Stephen Muecke).



Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg
Transcultural Studies

Marstallstraße 6D
69117 Heidelberg

Tel: +49 6221 547854
Fax: +49 6221 547862

Former colleagues

Laila Abu-Er-Rub

Laila Abu-Er-Rub studied Cultural Anthropology, Religious Studies and Media Studies at Mannheim and Heidelberg University. Her Ph.D. thesis entitled "Goldene Zeiten: Mode und Körper im neoliberalen Indien” (Golden Times: Fashion and Body in neoliberal India) investigated fashion and media producers as well as changing dress and body practices in Delhi and Mumbai (for further information see here).  Her main research interests are fashion, women's magazines, anthropology and advertising, Gender, and Colourism.


Daniela Verztman Bagdadi, M.A.

Daniela Verztman Bagdadi has a BA in Communications (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), a postgraduate degree in Filmmaking (Darcy Ribeiro Film School) and a Master degree in Transcultural Studies with focus on Visual, Media and Material Culture (Ruprecht Karls Universität Heidelberg). In 2016, she worked as research assistant at the EU-funded HERA SINGLE project ( Since November 2017 she worked as graduate assistant at the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology.


Phone:+49 (0) 6221 54 4363
Office: KJC, room 111

Brigitte Berger-Göken, Dipl. Pol.

Brigitte Berger-Göken studied Political Science at the Otto-Suhr-Institut (Freie Universität Berlin). After studying and teaching in Milan (Scuola Superiore per Interpreti e Traduttori) for several years she worked as an officially appointed and sworn interpreter and translator for the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, as administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin and later to the President of the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut) in Greifswald-Insel Riems. Presently she is administrative assistant to the Cluster Professorship "Global Art History". 

Phone: + 49 (0) 6221-54 4097
Fax: + 49-(0)6221-54 4490    
Office: KJC, room 110

Dr. Marie Sander

Marie Sander was coordinator of the Forum 'Urban Spaces' and member of the research project 'Mobile Spaces' from September 2013 to December 2014. She first joined the cluster "Asia and Europe" in 2009 as a stipend in the graduate programme for transcultural studies and completed her dissertation "Passing Shanghai: Ethnographic Insights into Expatriate Youths' Mobile Lives" in 2013. Her general research interests include questions of identity, migration, urban culture and youth. While Shanghai is Marie's main regional focus, she is generally deeply interested in migrants' experiences of cities and the role urban spaces play in processes of arrival and 'emplacement' but also in feelings of difference and alienation.
Currently, she works as a scientific adviser at the University of Bremen in the department for research services. As a spokesperson for all matters regarding young researchers, she is in charge of the university's postdoctoral funding lines and its graduate center's PhD counseling and coursework.

PD Dr. Beatrix Hauser

During the winter term 2012/13 Professor Christiane Brosius will be substituted by PD Dr. Beatrix Hauser. She studied Social Anthropology in Hamburg (MA 1989), Heidelberg and London. In 1997 she received her PhD from the University of Hamburg on the basis of her research on a contemporary Bengali tradition of story telling that is performed with the help of scroll paintings (Mit irdischem Schaudern und göttlicher Fügung: bengalische Erzähler und ihre Bildvorführungen, Berlin 1998). She taught at several universities and was, apart from other activities, research associate at the collaborative research centre 626: „Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits“ at the Free University of Berlin. In January 2009 she passed her habilitation at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg and received the venia legendi (postdoctoral lecture qualification) for Social Anthropology. Her habilitation thesis is about Hindu women in Orissa and their religious practices (Promising Rituals: Doing Gender in Southern Orissa, India, Delhi, forthcoming). Beatrix Hauser’s research interests are the anthropology of religion (ritual practice and cultural change, subaltern religiosity, spirit possession, ritual theory), visual anthropology (visuality, aesthetics and transculturality, visual methods), the anthropology of the body (cultural concepts of body and self, im/purity, emotions and senses, embodiment theory), the anthropology of performance (ritual, theatre, play, festival, oral tradition, arts, political performances, performance theories) and gender (notions of femininity, masculinity and gender play, self-images and social identities, goddess worship, menstruation). Beatrix Hauser’s current research focuses on Ramlila performances as an example of ritual theatre. She compares its mode(s) of performance and reception in different regions of India, last but not least in the megacity of Delhi where Ramlila has turned into a multimedia event. Two new projects aim to explore (1) the impact of modern transcultural yoga on concepts of the healthy body, and (2) the mediatization of conflicts and violence, with special reference to the burning of effigies as a form of protest. 

Phone: +49 (0) 6221-54 4343
Fax: + 49-(0)6221-54 4490
Office: KJC, room 107
Office hours: Wednesdays, time to be announced

Please sign up for an appointment via e-mail to Brigitte Berger-Göken ( ).

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Tina Schilbach, PhD

Tina Schilbach joined the research group of “New Urban Imaginaries” (B11) as project coordinator in June 2010. Her research explores themes of social change, aspirational modernity and everyday life in urban China, and in particular in Shanghai, which she studies as a place where ideas and images of the world are reworked into the local imagination of the global city itself. She finalized a PhD at the University of Sydney, where she examined the politics of class and cosmopolitanism in Shanghai. For her post-doc project she investigates changing forms and formats of white-collar work and the emergence of new career patterns among young people in Shanghai. She asks how modern middle-class work lives and work regimes are negotiated around a complex nexus of class entitlement, individualised life plans, and social responsibility in an increasingly cosmopolitan urban context. In this, she is particularly interested in the growing "normalisation" and localisation of middle class and its global reference points; the project enquires in what ways this process intersects with shifting discourses on the meaning of success in China and relates to new expectations about biographical paths, gender relations and individual attainment among young urban Chinese.

Office: KJC, c/o Institut für Ethnologie, Sandgasse 7, room 020 

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Nina Petrovic, Student Assistant

Nina Petrovic studied Hispanic Literature and Spanish Language at the University of Belgrade (Serbia) and University of Granada (Spain). She is enrolled as a student of MA Program in Transcultural Studies and is writing her master thesis under supervision of Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius. From September 2016 until November 2017 she worked as a student assistant at the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology.

Laura Klöpping, Student Assistant

Laura Klöpping started working for the Collaborative Research Centre „Ritual Dynamics“ in March 2011 and joined the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology in August 2012 as a student assistant. She finished her B.A. in Social Anthropology and History and is currently enrolled in the Masters Programme at the Institute for Anthropology.
She supports the teaching team in preparations for e-learning seminars and the maintenance of the visual data bank.


Phone: +49 (0) 6221-54 4330

Office: KJC, Room 120

Tim Schmidt, Student Assistant

Tim Schmidt is a student assistant at the chair of Visual and Media Anthropology of Professor Christiane Brosius since June 2012. He began studying Philosophy and Anthropology at Heidelberg University in the summer term of 2007 and is currently in his last year. His main tasks are the preparation of course literature, literature research and working with Zotero.


Office: KJC, Room 120

Office hours: Mondays or Fridays

Teresa Tanner, Student Assistant

Teresa Tanner  was a student assistant at the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology from September 2010. She left the Chair in February 2013 to prepare her Magister examination in Ethnology. In urgent cases Teresa can still be contacted until June 30.


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