100 Years Anthropology in Leipzig

The Institute of Anthropology at the University of Leipzig celebrated its centenary on the 6th and 7th of November 2014.

     symposium frau rao     objekt alumni

During two days students, alumni, teachers, museum staff and friends celebrated the centenary of the Institute of Anthropology in Leipzig. There were lectures on the history of the Institute and a symposium on the future of Anthropology. Also, the exhibition "Objects of Knowledge. Reflections on Anthropological Ways of Seeing" was inaugurated at the GRASSI Museum of Ethnography.

History The Institute of Anthropology is historically deeply interwoven with the social and political history of Germany. In the opening lecture, Dr. Katja Geisenhainer critically discussed the interconnections between political processes, ideological movements and anthropological research and assessed the ways they played out in Leipzig. She has a long record of working with the Institute's archive and has written several books on anthropological race theories and its entanglement with the Nazi ideology.

Alumni With a multi-media film presentation and a publication, students communicated about a one-year project during which they interviewed alumni of Anthropology in Leipzig from the past 40 years. How has the culture of the institute changed? How did people become interested in anthropology? How did they experience the institute? And how has anthropology impacted on their lives? Visitors heard the voices of historical witnesses (Zeitzeugen) who saw the institute grow and change.

Exhibition Based on a cooperation between the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (State Art Collections Dresden), the GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig (GRASSI Museum of Ethnography) and the Institute of Anthropology of the University of Leipzig a new exhibition was inaugurated. Through a new and experimental way of displaying ethnographic artifacts, the exhibition invites for a sensuous observation of material cultures and thus encourages to reflect on the anthropological history of ideas.


Future Why study anthropology today? What are the new questions, problems and concerns? During a symposium about the future of anthropology, three established researchers and university teachers gave short presentations on key issues that drive the discipline in Germany today and which might serve as blueprints for tomorrow.


Our sincere thanks to:

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig

Vereinigung von Förderern und Freunden der Universität Leipzig

Rektorat der Universität Leipzig


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