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Prof. Thomas Widlok as your PhD Supervisor

Being a 'specialist for non-specialism' my work is directed towards a better understanding of human practice based on social relationships and across diverse situations.

On the basis of my institutional affiliations (since 2013 as Professor for the Cultural Anthropology of Africa in the Africanistics department) and on the basis of my field research experience in Africa and Australia there are a number of focal areas in my research and teaching. However, I also supervise anthropological work that is cross-regional and cross-thematic because I take a special interest in the connections between specific fields such as ritual, social and spatial organization, environment and cognitive cognition, property rights, basic needs, moral values, sharing and inheritance, personhood and corporateness, mobility, language pragmatics. In terms of methods I am particularly interested in alternatives to interview-based research in order to enhance research on social practice.

The backdrop of my research interests is my fascination with ways of life based on hunting and gathering, my long-term familiarity with living conditions in southern Africa and my passion for a better understanding of cultural achievements that show in the shared dealing with typical life situations and in the dialogue between humans. Since 2008 I am a mentor in the network 'arbeiterkind.de' and since 1988 Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Ongoing Disserations

Braukmann, Fabienne
Documentation of Bayso (Cushitic) and Haro (Omotic): two Afroasiatic endangered languages of the Abbaya Lake in the Ethiopian Rift Valley 


Eghbal-Azar, Kira
Affordances, Appropriation and Experience at Museum Exhibitions: From (Eye) Movement Patterns to Exhibition Visit Scripts


Smit, Willem Jacobus
The Violent Revival of Ukuthwala: Understanding the Re-Emergence and Transformation of a Marriage Custom in post-1996 South Africa

Solich, Martin
Multi-Agent Simulation of Hunter-Gatherer Mobility