The term Public Anthropology refers to a socio-politically engaged form of Social and Cultural Anthropology aimed at tackling issues of contemporary relevance, while at the same time actively seeking two-way exchanges between academia and general public. This flow of ideas can be seen as a specialist intervention in societal debates and processes, and a quest for new forms of cooperation between academia and society. Public Anthropology is also about exploring how ethnographic methods are used in education, politics and transcultural processes. A further aspect is developing open formats of communication between different disciplines, and between academia and societyas a whole. Cf. Blog: "Wie weiter mit Humboldt’s Erbe?" (What next for Humboldt’s Legacy?)
At the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research and the Bremen Institute for Cultural Research (bik) Public Anthropology depends on specializations of teaching staff and is incorporated into theteaching syllabusaccordingly.
The first Master’s programs included a project study phase. Today we use the term research-based learning, which has been integrated into various modules. The goal is to give real-world relevance to the types of subjects and methods taught in Anthropology and Cultural Research from the very outset.
As a student you have two basic options: 1) you either develop questions on an overarching topic which you elaborate through independent research or fieldwork with the support of teaching staff. On successful completion, findings are presented before an interested public. 2) You have a clearcut task / set of tasks you need to complete, such as putting on an event, an exhibition or a marketing campaign for a specific institution. In this way, thanks to the support of staff and real-world experts you acquire practical skills which are later sought after in the various career paths open to Cultural Researchers. We work in close cooperation with the Careers Center at FB9 and in partnership with the lecture series ‘Cultural Research as a Career’ along the entire length of the research-based learning modules.
The IfEK has developed two specific types of cultural research on contemporary issues that are open to the general public: the Ethnographic Film Festival and Theme-centered Semesters. Theme-centered-Semesters are a semester-long interdisciplinary engagement with a given topic involving cooperation with a variety of actors in the city of Bremen that are presented in a manner accessible to non-specialists. They promote knowledge - practice transfers between University and Municipality thanks in particular to the wide variety of course formats / teaching styles.
To the right you can see a series of real-world projects organized by the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research which were brought to successful conclusion together with a variety of partners in the Bremen public sphere. A brief synopsis of each project as well as names of project leaders and cooperating partners / entities are also included.