Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research

Institut für Ethnologie und Kulturwissenschaft

Culture is the main focus of teaching and research at the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research. We´re developing a Science of Mankind in the Modern Era and pursue research-driven Ethnography of the Contemporary World. The Department’s core strengths lie in its interdisciplinary orientation. The BA in Cultural Research is a teaching-based program involving cooperation with the Department of Historic Publishing, Communication and Media Studies. The equally interdisciplinary and research-oriented MA in Transcultural Studies is focused on the question of transcultural relations.

Department Strengths

Studierende im Hörsaal

Information for Applicants

Cultural Research explores cultures as ongoing processes through which humans negotiate how to live in groups, come to a consensus on norms of society and imbue their lives with significance and meaning. If we broaden our gaze beyond the confines of our own world we soon become aware of a complex bundle of transcultural nodes that has expanded through   globalization. We observe how grassroots cultures undergo change and reconfigure as a result of increased mobility, science, the media, resource scarcity, climate change and global inequalities. The political and economic policy landscape also impacts cultural change and draws ourattentiontocultures past, present and future. 


Information about our research

Academic staff and students at the IfEK carry out research projects in a transculturally oriented and empirical Cultural Research tradition. Our work is conceptually orientedto an understanding of cultures in the plural and as “whole ways of life”. It is also closely connected to Ethnography in methods terms, to participant observation and collaborative research, and other qualitative research methods. Research is pursued in a multidisciplinary Cultural Research optic with a clear Social and Cultural Anthropology component. IfEK staff have been developing new forms of research in the framework of collaborative projects such as: Bremen Nature Cultures Lab (BNCL),theBremen Institute of Anthropology and Cultural Research (bik) and, jointly with scholars from other  humanities and social science disciplines for the research platform WoC – Worlds of Contradiction.The IfEK is currently preparing contributions to three projects planned for 2020: theGröpelingen Research Laboratory, the Network Institute for Research on Social  Cohesion RSC and (3) the Leibniz Digital Public Health Campus.



In today´s world academic life is characterized by the high degree of mobility of academics transiting between universities, countries, regions and continents. This is as true of the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research at Bremen University as it is elsewhere. Students and colleagues / associates / visiting fellows from various partner universities are able to present their current research work and debate relevant topics with us. Productive long-term partnerships are often the outcome of this lively exchange of concepts and ideas. Students on our courses (BA in Kuwi and MA in Transcultural Studies) gain valuable experience during semesters spent abroad at European and non-European partner universities, and gain exposure to current topical areas in internationally taught Anthropology programs while discovering new research fields.


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Invitation to a "last-minute" Zoom Info Call

Wednesday, 1st of February 2023 / 15:00

The Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research presents: Jens Adam (University of Bremen) and Sabine Hess (Universität Göttingen)

Colloquium (31.1. / 18:15-19:45)

Bremen Days of Ethnografic Film 2023

Tuesday 24.1. - Thursday 26.1.

The Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research presents: Minh Nguyen (University of Bielefeld)

Colloquium (17.1. / 18:15-19:45)

The Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research presents: Maka Suarez and Jorge Nuñez

Colloquium (10.1. / 18:15)

The Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research at the Universität Bremen presents Xenia Cherkaev

Gleaning for Communism: The Soviet Socialist Household in Theory and Practice

The Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research at the Universität Bremen presents Bernd Kasparek

Hotspots als Intensive Zone der Europäisierung: Genealogische und Ethnographische Beobachtungen zur Regierung der Migration

Reading Workshop

The Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research at the University of Bremen is offering a Reading-Workshop on the 7th of June, 18:15 bis 20:00 (online). All welcome!

Come join us in Bremen for a Masters in Transcultural Studies! Application deadline: June 15.2022!

The Geopolitics of Small Things

A Panel Discussion Featuring Anna Balazs, University of Sheffield / Julia Buyskykh and Tina Polek, Center for Applied Anthropology, Kyiv / Andrew Graan, University of Helsinki

Summer Semester 2022 Colloquium

The programme for the IfEK Colloquium summer semester 2022 is now online!

Continuation of the event series Diversity @ Uni Bremen in the summer semester 2022 on the focus "Social Origin & Educational (In)Equity".

The public events, to which we cordially invite you, deal with classist inequalities in the university context. They ask about mechanisms of action, effects and possible counter-strategies.

Clandestine Publics got invited to the FUSION Festival!

We got invited to the FUSION Festival. A group of up to 3 students will take the ideas of the course to the FUSION (June 29-July 3). This includes tickets and backstage access.

University of Bremen collaborates with Off-University and the New University in Exile Consortium

Course in summer semester 2022: "Decolonizing and Deconstructing the MENA/SWANA" is also open for students in BA Cultural Research and MA Transcultural Studies, General Studies


The MA programme Transculutral Studies has been evaluated successfully by the System Accreditation organized by University of Bremen and has been officially prolongued until September 2029.

Ethnography as Counter-Investigation?

Book presentation and discussion with Didier Fassin: Death of a Traveller. A Counter-Investigation. Polity 2021. |Thursday, 10 February 2022, 4-6 pm (online)


Tidal Cities: Contested Speculative Futures Of Urban Shorelines

Tuesday 07.12.2021 | 06:15pm - 7:45pm CET | online via Zoom | Talk by Johannes Herbeck and Rapti Siriwardane-de Zoysa as part of the series "The Sea Is Rising And So Are We"

Cara New Daggett

Energy: A Geo-Theology Of Work

Tuesday 14.12.2021 | 06:15pm - 07:45pm CET | online via Zoom | Talk by Cara New Daggett as part of the series "The Sea Is Rising And So Are We"

Heath Cabot

Solidarity, Contradiction, and Care in Athens

Lecture of the series „Eine Uni – Ein Buch“ | 09.12.2021 | 06:15 pm | Zoom

Frederike Oberheim

Frederike Oberheim & Amanda Harvey-Sanchez: Reports From The Frontline Of Climate Activism

Tuesday 16.11.2021 | 18:15 - 19:45 CET | online via Zoom


Planetary Healthy Publics: Who Is This 'We' And What Can They Do?

Tuesday 02.11.2021 | 18:15 - 19:45 | online via Zoom | Talk by Steve Hinchliffe as part of the series "The Sea Is Rising And So Are We"


Young International Scholars Autumn Research School

Rethinking Extractivist Capitalism


"The Sea is Rising and so are we?"

"The Sea Is Rising and So Are We" stellt die globale Umweltkrise ins Zentrum der sozial- und kulturwissenschaftlichen Debatte. Wie ist diese Krise aus sozialer, kultureller, politischer und geographischer Perpektive zu verstehen und welche Rolle können die Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften spielen…


University of Bremen collaborates with Off-University

Course in WiSe 2021/2022: "Conflicts and Struggles for Peace" is also open for students in BA Cultural Research and MA Transcultural Studies, General Studies

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