Prof. Dr. Ursula Rao

Director of the Institute of Anthropology

+49 341 97 37 221    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Office Hours: Monday to Thursday afternoon. Please make an appointment  In charge of individual study counselling


Ursula Rao is an urban anthropologist researching in India. The central focus of her  work is changing power relations in rapidly globalising cities, with regards to three  different topics: (1) the interaction between urban poor and state agencies in a landscape of  shifting ideologies of urbanity and social security; (2) the changing role of news media for shaping urban  politics; (3) The role of religious institutions and ritual performances for  renegotiating social relations. Her current work focusses on e-goverance and biometric technology. Ursula Rao is a member of the research network Law, Organization, Science and Technology (LOST).

Before joining the University of Leipzig Ursula Rao held academic positions at the University of Heidelberg (1999-2002), the University of Halle (2002-2006) and the University of New South Wales, Sydney (2007-2012).

Read more: Prof. Dr. Ursula Rao

Prof. Dr. Claudia Lang

Associate Professor (Heisenberg)

+49 341 97 37 227    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Office Hours: by appointment


claudia langClaudia Lang is a medical anthropologist and her research focusses on depression, the reconfiguration of suffering into a medical condition and the way globalized mental health categories comes to be fabricated, translated and experienced. Her work is located in India and she publishes in the field of traditional medicine, religion and ritual, subjectivities, gender identities and intersexuality. She considers how local social worlds respond to new challenges. For example, she examines the expansion of Kerala's comprehensive system of health governance and care, to target inner feelings, emotional suffering and existential despair. In another project, she shows how Ayurvedic practitioners incorporate the modern problem of depression and (re)invent Ayurvedic psychiatry. In her new research she focuses on new opportunities created for citizens in India to reduce work stress and establish a well-balanced life.

Before joining the University of Leipzig, Claudia Lang held academic positions at the Centre de Recherche, Médecine, Sciences, Santé, Santé Mentale, Société (cermes3), Paris (2016-2018), the Westfälische Wilhelms University, Münster (2015-2016) and the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich (2006-2016, 2002-2004).


Read more: Claudia Lang

Dr Arne Harms


+49 341 97 37 222   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Office hours: by appointment (during term break by appointment only)

In charge of coordination of the Erasmus exchange program, introduction for associate lecturers and internationalization and university partnerships in India

Liaison Lecturer (Vertrauensdozent) of the 'Hans-Böckler Stiftung'

 a. harmsArne Harms' research focusses on environmental relations and mobility in the Global South. He earned his doctorate from Freie Universität Berlin in 2014. His doctoral thesis is based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork among environmentally displaced islanders in coastal East India. He explores localized ways of knowing, navigating and coping with dramatically transforming coastal landscapes, and of living with profound uncertainties amidst global environmental changes. Prior to that, Harms completed a research project on ritual possession and masculinities among Hindus in the Caribbean state of Guyana.

His current research project looks at the financialization of nature against the background of global climate and finance crises. How do novel financial products and associated governance patterns emerge between offices, field staff and 'target populations'? How are financial mechanisms integrating forests and pastures into global circuits of money reshaping environmental relations at the margins? What spaces of agency emerge in dealing with entangled temporal and spatial scales engendered by carbon or biodiversity offsetting?

Before joining Leipzig University, he has held positions as assistant professor at Nalanda University (India), as part-time lecturer at Universität zu Köln and Freie Universität Berlin, and as visiting fellow at LMU Munich; and was recipient of grants by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung and DAAD.

Read more: Arne Harms

Dr. Markus Höhne


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Office Hours: During winter term 2019/20: Tuesday 16-18h

 Markus Hoehne wrote his dissertation on identity and state formation and conflict dynamics in northern Somalia (Somaliland and Puntland). His current project is on transitional justice in protracted conflict in the Somali territories in the Horn of Africa. It looks at local and diaspora conceptions of retributive and restorative justice between shari’a, customary and human rights law. Main questions are how different normative orders and living conditions influence people’s perceptions of (transitional) justice and how, in a context characterized by fragile political structures, social fragmentation and massive transnational and external political and military interventions, people envision (and practically approach) issues of ‘dealing with the past’.

Read more: Dr. Markus Höhne

Dr Stefanie Mauksch


+49 341 97 37 227 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Room 421  Office Hours: Thursday 13-14h

foto neu2 kleinStefanie Mauksch's research focuses on new development activities under the umbrella of social entrepreneurship. While her doctoral thesis engaged with the ways in which promoters develop, advertise and embellish the concept in Euro-America, her current project examines how the concept is realized, made manifest and contested in the Global South. What happens when the heroic vision of social entrepreneurship meets the everyday struggles of very poor people? How do activists "teach" business skills and motivate clients to alter their economic behavior? What do participants learn and to what extent do their learnings meet previously held expectations or shape future action? Stefanie Mauksch explores these questions through an investigation of social enterprise projects in Kathmandu (Nepal) and Khartoum (Sudan).

Read more: Stefanie Mauksch

Dr. Sarah Ruth Sippel

Lecturer and Principal Investigator (SFB 1199)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    Office hours: Winter term 2019/20: Please make an appointment by email. 

In charge of: credit transfer for BA students

Bildschirmfoto 2016-10-06 um 10.47.36My research interests concern the complex nature of the global agri-food system, particularly the questions in relation to food security, the financialization of agriculture and food, and the alternatives that are being developed to the current agri-food system. I consider that all these issues raise key questions in relation to politics, ethics, and social justice, which motivate my research. As a human geographer with a background in Middle Eastern Studies and Philosophy, I investigate social and anthropological phenomena from an interdisciplinary and transregional perspective. Over the last years, I have intensively worked on the interlinkages between export agriculture, rural livelihood security, and labour migration in North Africa and the Western Mediterranean. My current research project addresses the diverse imaginations of land through the lens of Australia's increasing agricultural ties to the Gulf States and China. Whether considered as the 'last frontier' in the rush for finite resources, a financial asset class, or a cornerstone of identity – each imagination of land carries with it particular ideas and visions about the future of agriculture and food as well as concepts of justice and the 'good life'. The project focuses on these imaginations in their concrete meanings and implications.

Read more: Sarah Ruth Sippel

Timothy Weldon


+49 341 97 37 227   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   room 421   Office Hours: Wednesday 15-16 pm or by appointment

In Charge of: Coordination MA Anthropology and credit transfer for MA students


Tim WeldonI am an Activist Anthropologist with a background in Sociology and History. My current work centers on protest, activism, and political and economic alternatives in a squatted social center in Prague, CZ.

More broadly, my work focuses not only personal critiques of capitalism(s), and their various accompanying political forms, but more pointedly on actually existing(ed) daily lived non-capitalist societal alternatives.

To do this, I examine the different ways people in anarchist communities build economies of sharing within their rejection of private property. I look at people's experiences with horizontal and consensus based politics, and what these actually look like in lived practice. How people can build non-monetized and sustainable communities in rural West Africa, and how autonomous communities in the Jamaican highlands maintain and structure their independence. And of course, I scour the anthropological record to learn how other communities – from the Iroquois and Inuits, to Romans and various Chinese dynasties – have historically structured their social interaction, decision making practices, distribution and exchange, dynamics of power, inclusivity, gender, difference, etc. In short, I want to know what we the people of our current global society can learn from our past and this present towards building a better more inclusive future for each of us.

Read more: Timothy Weldon

Friederike Eichner

Research Assistant

Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Office Hours: by appointment, Room 402


Rike 2My research focus is on the relationship between migration, asylum, health/illness and bureaucracy/statehood. The aim of my PhD-project is to explore trauma as a main concept for the classification of psychological suffering of young refugees in Germany. A guiding research question is how a medical and moral framework that renders the diverse and complex consequences of flight and asylum procedure intelligible emerges through widely used concepts of psychological consequences of trauma. Another focus is on how trauma as a category of knowledge becomes powerful in different settings (medical, bureaucratic and civil societal), how it is negotiated between these settings, and which subject positions arise for young refugees. Another research interest are neocharismatic (evangelical) religious practices and global arenas under postmodern, liberal and secular conditions.


Read more: Friederike Eichner


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