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Dr. Anna Lisa Ramella

Short Biography

I am a visual and media anthropologist and currently research associate at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Before this position, I was a postdoc in the CRC Future Rural Africa in a project on "Testing Future", for which I did research on future-making, migration, lateral work practices, materialities and ruinations in Kenya. I received my PhD from the University of Siegen, "Locating Media", with a project on the mobility and media practices of touring musicians.

I have taught in Berlin, Bremen, Amsterdam and Cologne on topics such as visual, digital and media Anthropology, postcolonial theory, film practice, ethnographic methods, textual analysis, transculturality and regional seminars on both B.A. and M.A. level.

At the department, I am responsible for student counseling in the M.A. Anthropology.

Academic Memberships

European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)

German Anthropological Association (GAA)
Co-convenor of AG Medien with Anja Dreschke and Simone Pfeifer

International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES)

Thematic Interests and Regional Focus

Mobility and Migration, Rhythm, Media Ethnography, Visual Anthropology, Digital Ethnography, Postcolonial Theory

Mali, Senegal, Benin, Kenya, USA

Current seminars

Summer 2023:

AM2: Multimodal methods for fieldwork and ethnography (M.A.)

BM4: Ruins and infrastructural practices of transformation in Eastern Africa (B.A.)

Publications and audiovisuals


2021 Mit Bands auf Tour. Eine Medienethnographie des Unterwegsseins (“On tour with bands. A media ethnography of being on the road“), Bielefeld: Transcript.


2023 Anthropologie der Praxis (“Anthropology of Practice”), Berlin: Metzler, eds.: Felix Girke, Christian Meyer, Anna Lisa Ramella, Martin Zillinger (in preparation).

2023 Suspending Expectations: Ruination and Infrastructuring in Contemporary Kenya, Journal of East African Studies, eds.: Uros Kovac & Anna Lisa Ramella (in peer review).

2023 Telling the Future: Future-making and speculative fiction in ethnographic film and creative practice, AnthroVision, eds.: Anna Lisa Ramella, Igor Karim, Steffen Köhn (in peer review).

2017 Mobile Digital Practices. Situating People, Things and Data, Digital Culture and Society, Vol. 3, No. 2, eds.: Anna Lisa Ramella, Asko Lehmuskallio, Tristan Thielmann, Pablo Abend.

Journal articles (peer-reviewed)

2023 „Dealing with collapse: Ordered ruination in and around a Kenyan flower farm“, in: Uros Kovac & Anna Lisa Ramella (eds.): Suspending Expectations: Ruination and Infrastructuring in Contemporary Kenya, Journal of East African Studies (in peer review; with Mario Schmidt & Megan Styles).

2020 “Material Para-Sites: Lateral Future-Making in Times of Fragility“, in: Etnofoor Futures, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 43-60.

2019 “States of play/ing: Sonic dwelling in music as arrangement and attunement”, in: Barbara Titus (ed.): Dwelling in musical movement: Making a home both in and through music, World of Music, Vol. 8, No. 1.

2018 “Deciphering movement and stasis: Touring musicians and their ambivalent imaginings of home and belonging”, in: Paula Mota Santos and Naomi Leite (eds.): Home Imaginings: Travel, Place and Belonging, International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, Vol. 6, No. 4.

2014 „Dehierarchization, translinearity and intersubjective participation in ethnographic research through interactive media representations: www.laviedurail.net”, in: Anthrovision [Online],2.2.

Chapters and other publications

2023 „Mobile Geographie“, in: Tristan Thielmann & Max Kanderske (eds.): Handbuch für Mediengeographie, Baden Baden: Nomos (in print; with Roger Norum).

2021 „Socialities of Practice: Stuckedness, accountability and mobile imaginaries among Kenyan migrant fisherpeople descendants“, in: Annette Hill, Maren Hartmann und Magnus Andersson (eds.): The Routledge Handbook of Mobile Socialities.

2020 „Future-making on Hold. Pandemic Audio Diaries from two Rift Valley Lakes in Kenya“, boasblog Witnessing Corona, https://boasblogs.org/witnessingcorona/future-making-on-hold/ (with Martin Zillinger).

2018 “The Lab is not Blah – Academic encounters, venues to re-train ourselves“, Colleex – Collaboratory for Ethnographic Experimentation, with Tomás Criado, Adolfo Estalella und Eeva Berglund, https://colleex.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/colleex-open-formats-venues-to-re-train-ourselves-complete.pdf

2018 “Finding one’s rhythm: a ’tour de force’ of fieldwork on the road with a band”, in: Adolfo Estalella and Tomás Sánchez Criado (eds.): Experimental collaborations: Ethnography through fieldwork devices. EASA Book Series. New York: Berghahn.

2016 “Medienpraktiken ‚on the road’. Social Media im Kontext von Musikmarketing”
(Media practices ‚on the road‘: Social media in the context of music marketing), in: Mark Dang-Anh, Simone Pfeifer, Clemens Reisner, Lisa Villioth (eds.): Medienpraktiken: Situieren, erforschen, reflektieren, Navigationen: Zeitschrift für Medien-und Kulturwissenschaften, Vol. 17, Nr. 1, S. 37–54.

Films and audiovisuals

2023 Kesho – Tomorrow (WT) (Ethnographic doc-fiction film, in preparation; with Ben Bernhard)

2020 Filming the future's past: Future-making amidst ruination (film essay, 12')

2017 RHYTHMS OF ATTUNEMENT (2-channel video installation, 6’)

2015 CIRCULATING OBJECTS - FOUR STORIES ABOUT BOCIOS (4-channel video installation, 8’)

2014 BRÜCKENSCHLAG (Documentary/ experimental educational film, 19’)

2012 LA VIE DU RAIL (Interactive Website and ethnographic short film, 15’)
www.laviedurail.net and www.vimeo.com/annaramella/laviedurail