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Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius

I teach Visual and Media Anthropology at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) where I am professor since 2009. 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 and 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. 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 (1900-1925). My third monograph is India's Middle Class. New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity (2010 Routledge New Delhi, 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). On 2019-2020, we co-edited a set of new visual essays: "Manly Matters" in South Asia was enabled through the Humboldt Foundation's Annelies Maier Research Award to Sumathi Ramaswamy. In completion for 2020 is a fourth monograph on Romantic love, media and urban youth cultures in India. 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 (-2020). With Prof. Dr. Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka, I founded and am co-speaker of the Shaping Asia Network Initiative. Since 2018, and with Axel Michaels, I am directing the Nepal Heritage Documentation Project (NHDP), which documents endangered cultural heritage in the Kathmandu Valley.[read more]

Phone: +49 (0) 6221-54 4343
Fax: +49 (0) 6221-54 4490
Office: KJC, room 400.01.17

For office hours please contact Mrs Ina Buchholz-Chebbi:

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Petra Kourschil

Petra Kourschil is the Head of Finance Department at HCTS and administrative assistant to the Cluster Professorship Visual and Media Anthropology.


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 monograph (published by Routledge) "Along the 'Indian Highway’: An Ethnography of an International Travelling Exhibition", she provides an ethnographic study of the travelling art exhibition Indian Highway that presented Indian contemporary art in Europe and China between 2008 and 2012. It analyses art exhibition as a mobile ‘object’ and promotes the idea of art as a transcultural product by using participant observation, in-depth interviews and multi-media studies as research method. The book encompasses voices of curators, artists, audiences, and art critics spread over different cities, sites and art institutions to focus on power relations, the contested politics of representation, and dissonances and processes of negotiation in the field of global art.

In 2018 she successfully applied for a Scientific Network "Entangled Histories of Art and Migration: Forms, Visibilities, Agents/Verflochtene Geschichten von Kunst und Migration: Formen, Sichtbarkeiten, Akteure" funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2018-2021.

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).

In her teaching (BA and MA level in Transcultural Studies, Anthropology and South Asian Studies), Cathrine focuses on theories and methods in Visual and Media Anthropology, art and art activism, Photography, Popular Culture, Civic Societies, Urban and (Post)Migration Studies with a regional focus on Europe, South Asia and the Middle East.

Her seminars are often research based to support students to gain experiences and insights in applied anthropology. (click for further information this link)

In summer term 2019 Cathrine Bublatzky conductsed a seminar entitled "Postmigration Urbanity and the city of Heidelberg" that takes place in cooperation with the local network-activist group Migration Hub and the Roadto_ Initiative.


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

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Associated members

Arunava Dasgupta

Prof. Arunava Dasgupta is an architect and urban designer currently engaged as head of the Department of Urban Design at the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi. As a founding member and former secretary of the Institute of Urban Designers – India (IUDI), he has been actively promoting the idea of holistic urban design, while creating alternative development frameworks using community participation as a central tool for local area design. He has also been involved in multiple projects at urban scale for a range of Indian cities as adviser and consultant to various state and municipal government agencies. He is being hosted by the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology within the ERASMUS+ programme, and will teach a class and organize a workshop for the seminar Collecting, Mapping, Archiving and Exhibiting, in which he will share his knowledge and critiques of mapping the city. He will also teach a class on the “brittle Indian city” for the course Urban Matters.

Atul Bhalla

Atul Bhalla was born in 1964 in New Delhi. He frequently combines photography, installation, sculpture, video and performance to question the human relationship with the natural and constructed environment. Bhalla’s prolific and diverse activity is not limited to the creation of artwork. Bhalla’s work often invites audiences to engage directly with otherwise overlooked elements of urban and metropolitan spaces, in particular water courses, in his home town, New Delhi, and those he visits during the course of international exhibitions and residencies. He is being hosted by the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology and will convene a workshop for students of the class Collecting, Mapping, Archiving and Exhibiting in which students will be encouraged to engage with the river Neckar and ‘immerse’ themselves into sites of history, memory and knowledge. He will also run a class on public art and urban space for the seminar Urban Matters, in which he will use myths as a lens through which to push and transform understandings of rivers and cities.

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.

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.