The MA Anthropology is a two year program with a strong research orientation. During their first two semesters students learn advanced theory and method, train their academic skills (writing of research proposal, advanced essay writing in the style of a journal article, etc.) and deepen their regional expertise (students can chose from African Studies, Oriental Studies, India/Tibet/Mongolian Studies, China Studies of Japan Studies). During the third semester, students conduct research for their master thesis or an internship. The last term is devoted to writing the MA thesis (apprix. 30,000 words). Classes are taught in English and German. Core courses are offered in English. Electives might be taught in English or German. Please consult about language requirements before enrolling.

Application deadline for enrollment in October 2018 is 1 May 2018.

Entry exams are held in the beginning of June 2018.

Please find more detailed information here.

Collaborative Research Centre "Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition"

The Institute of Anthropology is participating in the Collaborative Research Centre "Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition", which will be funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) with more than € 1.4 million a year from January 2016 onwards for a duration of four years. With an overall of almost 20 projects, this undertaking links the expertise of the fields of area studies, history and human geography as well as the systematic approach of the social and cultural sciences to create an interdisciplinary research context. The Institute of Anthropology contributes research into "The spatial impact of microfinance projects in India" as well as "Land imaginations: the repositioning of farming, productivity, and sovereignty in Australia".

Read more: Collaborative Research Centre "Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition"

Exhibition "fremd," at GRASSI museum


The distinction between "our culture" and "foreign cultures" was institutionally established in Europe when the first ethnological museum opened in the second half of the 19th century. This distinction continues to live on inside and outside the museum, unfolding its socio-political relevance especially at a time when as many people are searching refuge as rarely before. The exhibition "fremd" raises the question of modes of display in ethnological museums and their effects. Which image of the "foreign/er" is constructed? What does it mean to present "foreign cultures" as having no history? Which position and stance do "we" , as spectators, take in the face of the museum's display? Taking this questioning as a starting point, the exhibition will provide the opportunity not only to discuss the function and future of the ethnological museum but also of the notion of "the foreign" as such.

The exhibition was featured in the German television news service Tagesschau and can be viewed online here.

Read more: Exhibition "fremd," at GRASSI museum

MUSEUM ON THE COUCH: Reflexive and creative explorations in anthropology

Student works kopf1

12 January to 17 January 2016
Opening: Tuesday 12 January 2016 at 5 PM

An exploratory tour in the permanent exhibition in 6 steps,
an itinerary conceived by the ethnology students of the Institut für Ethnologie, Leipzig.
6 installations / 6 theoretic questions / 6 important insights

The student proposals are identifiable with this red spot.

All are welcome!

Read more: MUSEUM ON THE COUCH: Reflexive and creative explorations in anthropology

Lecture Series "Dimensions of Agency: Entrepreneurship in Business, Culture and Governance"

Poster Dimensions of AgencyDuring summer term 2015, the Institute of Anthropology and the Institute for African Studies will co-host a lecture series titled "Dimensons of Agency: Entrepreneurship in Business, Culture and Governance".
In recent years, the figure of the entrepreneur has become ubiquitous in many discourses. Entrepreneurship is no longer limited to economic activities, but encompasses competences and practices in many fields. There are cultural entrepreneurs, identity entrepreneurs, norm entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and violence entrepreneurs, to name but a few. In this lecture series, we aim at critically exploring the surge in "entrepreneurship" and its relevance for the study of social processes in the Global South. Are these new modes of entrepreneurship really new or are they new labels for agency and actors that have long been observed by anthropologists, such as for instance Big Men, development brokers or identity managers? Is the popularity of the label "entrepreneur" a consequence of neoliberal ideologies of self-management? Is "entrepreneurship" useful as a heuristic device for studying particular forms of agency? What distinguishes entrepreneurship from other forms of agency?
We will welcome renowned German scholars as well as eminent scholars from abroad such as Richard Wolf (Harvard University), Jutta Bakonyi (Durham University) and Richard Pfeilstetter (University of Seville). Lectures will take place weekly from the 13th of April until the 13th of June 2015, on Mondays from 5 until 7pm in Lecture Hall 6 of the University of Leipzig, Universitätsstr. 3 (except on public holidays).

Download Lecture Series Programme

Photos by Students

The pictures which form the banner of the Homepage are contributions made by our students and Doctoral candidates who have agreed to share their ethnographic experiences with us. By clicking on the respective images, you can access brief descriptions that characterize the pictures in their social and cultural context and sketch the context of their creation. We thank the conscientious contributors!


Annette Veit
 Tel + 49 341 97 37 220
Fax + 49 341 97 37 229
Office Hours:
10 am - 11 am
1 pm - 2 pm


Ursula Rao
 +49 341 97 37 221
Institut für Ethnologie
Schillerstraße 6
04109 Leipzig