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Gerda Kuiper, M.A.

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no longer officially affiliated to the institute

Short Biography

After finishing an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology in Leiden in 2011, I started as a PhD-student in Cologne in October 2013. Currently, I am finishing my dissertation with the provisional title '"The flowers are carrying us": Agroindustrial labour and informal workers' settlements around Lake Naivasha, Kenya.'

Since the 1980s, the shores of Lake Naivasha have become scattered with greenhouses, indicating the proliferation of farms for cut-flower production. The majority of the labourers on these farms are migrants from other parts of Kenya, and since only a few farms have provided housing, most of these workers came to live in one of the informal settlements around the lake. My research project investigates labour relations within the farms. It also looks into the historically constituted relations between the flower industry and the heterogeneous communities ? containing both farm workers and others ? living in the informal settlements. Since 2016, I am furthermore working on the topic of translocal relations of the migrant workers in Naivasha.

Thematic Interests and Regional Focus

Economic anthropology, globalization, gender, mobility, qualitative methods, historical methods, anthropology of emotions, interdisciplinary and/or applied research.

East Africa.

Research Project

"Resilience, Collapse and Reorganization in Social Ecological Systems of Africa's Savannahs" (DFG-Forschergruppe 1501).

Subproject B3: "Global Economic Influences and Local Labor Relations in the Reorganization of an Agro-Industrial Center" (Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Michael Bollig and Prof. Dr. Detlef Müller-Mahn).

Subproject B4: "Trans-local relations and the reorganization of socio-ecological systems in Kenya and South Africa" (Principal Investigators: Dr. Clemens Greiner and Prof. Dr. Patrick Sakdapolrak).

Courses and Seminars

2016-2017: "Zeit-Geschlecht-Kultur-Macht" (an undergraduate course on gender)


Book Chapters

2018: "On malice. Unintentional learning through emotional involvement". In: Thomas Stodulka, Samia Dinkelaker and Ferdiansyah Thajib (eds.) Affective Dimensions of Fieldwork N.n. (accepted).


2016: "The contested future of Lake Naivasha: doom or bloom?", joined presentation with Andreas Gemählich, MSc, at the international conference "Political Ecologies of Conflict, Capitalism and Contestation", organized by Wageningen UR, the Netherlands, 9 July 2016.

2015b: "News from an established industry: the materialization of the global cut flower   business at Lake Naivasha, Kenya", joined presentation with Andreas Gemählich MSc, at the international workshop "Transforming Africa - Africa Transforming", organized by the University of Cologne in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 26 November 2015.  

2015a: "The flower industry and two workers' settlements around Lake Naivasha: the   manifold reorganization of a social-ecological system," presentation at the postgraduate conference "Changing land use, resource conflicts and environmental implications on African landscapes," History Department of the University of Dar es Salaam, 10 August 2015.