Teilprojekte 2013-2016

Die individuellen Projekte 2013-2016

Bitte beachten Sie:

Diese Projekte fanden im internationalen Kontext statt und sind auf Englisch beantragt worden. Nachfolgend sind Auszüge aus den originalen Projektbeschreibungen der Fellows in englischer Sprache.

  • Dr. Wazi Apoh

    "The Archaeology of German Colonial Heritages in Ghana: Repackaging Shared Relics for Strategic Ghana-German Partnership in Development"

    In talking about the cultural diversity of Africa's past and strategic partnership for a meaningful future, the archaeological and anthropological appraisal of German colonial legacies in West Africa and the dialogue on their refurbishment for strategic productivity cannot be silenced or marginalized. The overriding questions that underlay this research include 1) why are there silences on the discourse on the archaeology of German colonial heritage in West Africa? 2) Why has the historical archaeology of German colonial sites in Ghana and Togoland not been the focus of German scholars and institutions? And 3) what value can be added to the extant colonial relics and residues for a productive outcome? This project aims to undertake detailed archival, ethnographic and archaeological research on five selected German colonial stations and five districts established in the western half of the then German Togoland or present day Volta and Northern Regions of Ghana. My project offers a perspective on history that does not only come from German history but also from the African archaeological expertise that I bring to bear on the project. In this regard, it goes far beyond and compliments what historians are able to reconstruct.

  • Dr. Thomas John Biginagwa

    “An Archaeological Investigation of the Consequences of the Nineteenth-Century Caravan Trade on Human Environment and Subsistence Strategies in Southern Tanzania”

    The project seeks to understand how contemporary landscapes in southern Tanzania were shaped by changing human-environment interactions before, during and after the incorporation of the region into the North Atlantic trade system after ca. AD 1500. The main objective is to explore the consequences of the expansion of the nineteenth-century caravan trade on subsistence strategies and land use practices of local communities lying along the main caravan trade route in southern Tanzania, as it is the expansion of this trade that has often been regarded as the primary trigger for major social, economic and environmental changes across the region. More specifically, the study aims to explore two research questions: 1) What subsistence and land use strategies prevailed in the late-eighteenth century prior to the expansion of ivory and slave trade? 2) Were these elements transformed following the expansion of this trade, and if so what were the material and environmental consequences of these changes? By providing new data concerning the southern trade routes (which are under- studied compared to the central or northern routes), the project will facilitate regional comparisons and assessments of whether the impacts of the different caravan trade networks varied geographically. Overall, the results of this study will inform cultural resources and landscape management.

  • Dr. Pastory Magayane Bushozi

    “The Eyasi Basin Archaeological Project on Human Biological and Cultural Evolution”

    The focus of my current research is to understand the patterns of subsistence, technology, and adaptations of early modern humans and to provide reliable age estimates of the early Middle Stone Age (MSA) period in southern and northern Tanzania.Mumba and other sites in the Lake Eyasi basin offer a unique opportunity to test models related to the origin and diversity of modern human populations, the development of technology, subsistence patterns and the development of cognitive thinking in human history. It is possible that the landscape of Mumba provided a refuge for people to stay during the Middle to Late Pleistocene when most of tropical Africa was affected by a series of dry and arid episodes. Deep and stratified archaeological deposits at Mumba show that people remained here for long periods. Despite its location in the drier savannah environment, Mumba and its surroundings may have never experienced the worst dry and arid conditions during the glacial and interglacial periods. If we have to demonstrate that this region remained a focus of human occupation through the MSA to present, we need to get precise dates as well as to reconstruct the past environment, which is among the priorities of this project. Therefore my research objectives are designed to prevail over uprisings from previous research interpretations. My research will involve survey and excavations along the Lake Eyasi shore and collect datable materials such as animal teeth and land-snail shells for the ESR dating. The open air sites with human remains lack reliable dates and this study intends to contribute on this shortcoming.

  • Dr. Moulay Driss El Maarouf

    “Remembering Childhood: Identity, Space, and Circulation in Childhood Playing Narratives”

    This research project examines the socio-cultural implications of past and present forms of childhood playing in Morocco from pre-colonial times to present. It offers a novel critical and conceptual framework to analyzing playing practices by positioning the term "game" and "play" in relation to notions of space, urbanism, globalization, and consumer culture. We argue that, while childhood games are forms of expression and creativity, they are sites of struggle and negotiation of fundamental cultural and social changes. From the self-made toys and collective games of the 50s to the latest 3D-video games, childhood culture could be said to have undergone huge transformations. Across this period, what happened to the culture of gaming, in which little boys and girls design, govern and celebrate a world and vision of their own? What inclusions and exclusions have infiltrated the existing playing repertoires in Morocco? More specifically, we aim to investigate how childhood playing in Morocco can be a site of struggle between innocence and experience, the local and the global, the traditional and the modern, the self and the other, or the social and the individual. As part of this study, we investigate the various meanings and connotations attached to the concept of playing between past and present, dwelling on pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial junctures. We will consult childhood playing narratives and rituals associated with Sale and Rabat from the pre-colonial times to the present. These narratives, told from the perspective of former-children, will help us consult questions of memory, place, and identity.

  • Dr. Meron Zeleke Eresso

    "The Rise of Religious Conflicts in Ethiopia”

    In the self-description of most Ethiopians as well as in Ethiopian studies, Ethiopia is represented as a model of religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence in comparison to the conflict-ridden Horn of Africa. As such, many were caught by surprise when major conflicts between Christians and Muslims broke out, especially since 2006. The proposed study addresses the rise of religious conflicts in Ethiopia with a special focus on Christian-Muslim conflicts and against the backdrop of the long standing co-existence between the two religious groups. It examines the different actors involved in these conflicts and the local and global factors accounting for the rise of these conflicts. It does that through in-depth case studies in two selected sites. It is assumed that the Ethiopian case is paradigmatic to understand the religious turn in social identification and its increasing link to violence at a global scale. This is not only because of the higher level of religious diversity, but also due to the fact that the two religions have co-existed in Ethiopia longer than any other part of Africa. In fact, Ethiopia is the first place where Islam encountered Christianity outside of Arabia.

  • Dr. Alexandra Esimaje

    “A Corpus-based Analysis of Nigerian and Cameroon English Learner Language”

    English is the official language of communication in Nigeria and two regions in Cameroon. Given the existence of hundreds of indigenous languages in both countries, English is mostly spoken as a second language, although a small number of children growing up in urban contexts and with university-educated parents learn it as their first language. Second language acquisition in such multilingual contexts is often influenced by the learners' first language. This research project sets out to compile a specialized corpus of learner language in this context, which will then be employed to analyze students' language productions at different levels of learning. More specifically, it is guided by two major research questions: Firstly, what are the specific morpho-syntactic constructions in the language production by Nigerian and Cameroon learners of English as a second language? And, secondly, what are the peculiarities in terms of learner needs in the two contexts? A quantitative and qualitative analysis of some morphological and syntactic features of these productions will enable teachers, students, textbook writers and curriculum developers to redirect their efforts to the learners' specific areas of need. Corpus-building is a new and very useful trend in language research, which is yet to take root in Nigeria and Cameroon. This project aims to fill this void in language research and raise awareness for the importance and need for a research center for corpus studies. Additionally, the identification of learner language productions and their eventual enhancement through pedagogy will serve very useful ends for both Nigeria and Cameroon and possibly position them for more productive education.

  • Dr. Remadji Hoinathy

    “Translating Alternative Modes of Governance in Africa: Local and International Civil Society Initiatives to Enforce Governance and Human Rights in Chad”

    This project aims to generate knowledge about civil society groups' (CSG) actions in relation to transparency campaigns with the example of oil production in Chad. Only recently, oil studies have started to focus on local actors and frontline oil communities affected by oil production. CSGs who inform much of the debate on oil, have, however, so far not been in focus of anthropological research. This project intends to study the effects of CSG initiatives for the population-oriented transparent management and use of oil resources. CSGs working with oil started to flourish in Chad after the World Bank introduced a wide-ranging law-based model for fair revenue distribution in 1999. This model was supposed to guarantee the use of oil gains for large-scale poverty alleviation and development. Despite some flaws, which became apparent later on, the model's inherent ideas of involving local populations in decision-making processes and claims led to a boost of CSGs in Chad, giving them a stronger voice in advocacy and training of the local population. As intermediaries between international development agencies and local people in Chad, CSGs act independent from the national government and oil companies. As translators of global initiatives, they constantly gain in importance within the Chadian social and institutional landscape, particularly as oil activities in Chad continue and new mining sites are constantly developed.Ultimately, by drawing on the Chadian CSGs' local translations of two international initiatives in the realm of extractive industries, this study aims to further develop the translation theory and the concept of travelling models to analyze how global ideas induce new social dynamics in Chad.

  • Dr. Obvious Katsaura

    "Violence and Enchanted Urbanisms: Magico-religion, Ritualism and Mediation of Violence in Johannesburg"

    This study focuses on the role of magico-religious beliefs and practices, rituals and associated institutions in the regulation of uncertainties and fears generated by urban violence. The backdrop of this project is the observation that (fear of) urban violence, crime and terrorism are some of the foremost global challenges of the 21st century; especially in contexts of (a) weak, failing, and sometimes predatory governments, and (b) challenges of urban social inequality, poverty and unemployment. Johannesburg, a city internationally known for high levels of violence and crime, provides a worthwhile laboratory for understanding the cultural and socio-political consequences and regulation of episodic and everyday (fear of) violence. To understand how urbanites survive in contexts marred by (fear of) violence and crime and related uncertainty, I suggest an examination of the role of religion, magic and ritual as (potential) coping and regulatory socio-psychological resources. Such resources, which are marginally appreciated in urban studies literature, enable resilience and flexibility of urbanites in trying to cope with these circumstances. My understanding and interpretation of magico-religious beliefs, practices and rituals in the mediation of urban violence is informed by an appreciation of interdisciplinary and triangulated theoretical approaches. As a foundational reference point, I benefit from the work of classical social theorists such as Durkheim, Weber and Marx in my endeavour to understand the place of magico-religious and ritual practices in violence-laden urbanised (or industrialised) contexts.

  • Dr. Plan Shenjere-Nyabezi

    “Past, Present, and Future: An Ethno-archaeological Study of Animal Resource Exploitation and Utilization in Eastern Zimbabwe”

    This project seeks to carry out an in-depth ethno-archaeological study and documentation of the animal resources exploitation, utilization processes and practices amongst three contemporary communities in Eastern Zimbabwe. The overall aim is to obtain a clearer understanding of prehistoric farming communities' behavioral patterns in relation to animal resource exploitation within economic, socio-cultural and political realms including herd management strategies. Information on socio-cultural aspects of animal resource exploitation by prehistoric communities cannot be easily deciphered from archaeo-zoological studies. Therefore, ethnographic studies are particularly useful in providing information on various aspects of animal exploitation and utilization such as, for example, herd management strategies. Integrating archaeological data, ethnographic inquiries, including observations and historical information, is key to unraveling the behavior of communities. In addition, this research has a particular interest in exploring gender as a cross-cutting theme in animal resource acquisition, utilization and disposal. While many communities have been known to be patriarchal, it is becoming increasingly clear that women have been influential in decision making processes. Therefore, it will be crucial to investigate gender issues related to livestock ownership, decision making in the acquisition, management and disposal of animal resources. The gender aspect does not only refer to the men-women relationships, but, as a cross-cutting theme, it also seeks to understand this aspect within the exploited and utilized animal species.

  • Dr. Halkano Abdi Wario

    “Printing Knowledge, Informing the Umma: Historical and Contextual Analysis of the Kenya's Friday Bulletin”

    Knowledge transmission has been a central tradition ever since the founding of Islam. The spread of printing technologies to the Muslim world in the 18th and 19th century and later European colonialism and post-colonial developments facilitated the spread of book usage and rise in literacy levels in the interior of Africa. Since the liberalization of the air waves and opening up of democratic space in the early 1990s, there has been unprecedented growth of private print (especially faith-based media), broadcast and news media in Africa. Among the Kenyan Muslims, the Friday Bulletin, a freely distributed English language weekly publication of Nairobi's Jamia mosque has emerged as the voice of the religious constituency in the last 10 years. Despite its prominent role in knowledge mediation, this crucial newsletter has attracted little academic attention. Aside from religious proselytism, the Bulletin serves as a forum for dissemination of national and international news with direct bearing on the faith community, an avenue for marketing of business products and a space for advertisement of educational institutions and job opportunities. This project aims at a textual and contextual analysis of the knowledge production, transmission and consumption of the Friday Bulletin between the years 2003-2013. It examines how its producers engage with, select, re-shape and appropriate knowledge in new and creative ways. The project aims at opening up new frontiers in understanding the fundamental role these forms of mediation play in sensitizing religious communities and creating and appropriating knowledge within the growing literate Muslim communities in Kenya who constitute 11-12% of the total pop

  • Dr. Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon

    “Salvaged Lives: A Study of Urban Migration, Ontological Insecurity, and Healing in Johannesburg"

    The objective of this research is to explore the forms of ontological insecurity of urban migrants and their strategies of healing and frame this within a broader urban (bio) politics of life. In particular it will focus on the relationship between disease, disability and spiritual insecurity along with the multiple strategies that migrants adopt to seek healing for these conditions. The originality of the project is that it situates healing strategies within a broader ethnography of the urban migrant experience, and focuses on multiple healing practices, viewing these as implicated diverse forms of biopolitical and moral control. This project focused on Johannesburg will include both internal (South African) and cross-border migrants (from Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, and others). It will also include refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. The study is to be conducted and completed over two years (October 2013 to September 2015) as a collaborative and comparative ethnographic project between the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin and the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS), University of the Witwatersrand.