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Prof. Dr. Susanne Brandtstädter

Short Biography

I am a China anthropologist and graduated in 1993 at Free University Berlin with a Magister Artium in social anthropology as major subject and sociology and Chinese studies as minor subjects. In 2000, I obtained a doctorate (Dr. Phil) in social anthropology from the same institution. After spending two years as postdoctoral fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale), I started to work as Lecturer in Chinese Anthropology at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, UK. In 2006, I moved to the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo, Norway, where I first held a position as associate professor (2006-2009) and later as full professor (2009-2012). Since February 2015 I am Chair in the Anthropology of Globalization at the University of Cologne.

Thematic Interests and Regional Focus

Most generally, I am interested in questions of globalization, and in value and social change. My research and teaching focusses on changing China, the anthropology of justice, value and values, as well as on ethics, kinship and social life. I have also written on work, property and moral economies, modernity and new publics, moral reasoning and justice, as well as on kinship and gender.

My regional expertise is the Chinese World. I have done fieldwork in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China, and have research interests in a new global China.

Field Research

Taiwan in 1991-1992, 1997, 2014, 2015

Fujian/south-east China in 1994-1995, 200, 2001, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Shandong/north-east China in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012

Editorial Board Membership (ongoing)

Executive editor of China in Comparative Perspective (forthcoming)

Editorial board member of HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory

Editorial board member of Critique of Anthropology.

Selected Publications

2017: Popular Politics and the Quest for Justice in Contemporary China (ed. with Hans Steinmüller). Routledge.

2016: Irony, Cynicism and the Chinese State. (ed. with Hans Steinmüller). Routledge.

2015: Falsificaciones, Derechos y Protestas. Approximaciones a la China Contemporánea. Fondo de Cultura Économica (Umbrales).

2013: 'Counterpolitics of Liberation: Corruption, Law and Popular Religion in China.' Ethnos.

2012: Rights, Cultures, Subjects and Citizens. (ed. with Peter Wade and Kath Woodward). Routledge

2009: 'Fakes: Fraud, Value Anxiety and the Politics of Sincerity.' In Karen Sykes (ed), Ethnographies of Moral Reasoning. Living Paradoxes of a Global Age. Palgrave: New York.

2009: Chinese Kinship: New Anthropological Approaches (ed. with Gonçalo D. Santos). Routledge.

2009: ‘The Gender of Work and the Production of Kinship Value in Taiwan and China.’ In Susanne Brandtstädter and Gonçalo D. Santos (eds.), Chinese Kinship.

2003: ‘With Elias in China. “Civilizing Process”, Local Restorations and Power in Contemporary Rural China.’ Anthropological Theory 3(1).

2000: Hierarchy or Alliance -- The Moral Economy of Gender and Kinship in Taiwan and China.  Freie Universität Berlin (doctoral dissertation, michrofiched).