Public Anthropology

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 seriesCultural 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.





2022   GREEN SCREEN – Universität trifft Gröpelingen | Gröpelingen trifft Universität.

2021   In/Visible - University of Bremen: 50 Years of the University of Bremen

2018   Screening of ‘The Second Attack’ and discussion with the Director Mala Reinhardt

2018   Critical complementary research project on the Programme ‘Borrow a Jew!’ - Collaborative project with the Menorah Jewish Congregation in Bremerhaven

2017/18  Teaching / research project on the NSU Complex open to the general public

2016   Workshop: quality criteria in professional asylum-seeker work

2015/16   How blue is the sea. Maritime cultures – teaching / researchproject with a series  of public lectures

2013-15   Cultural marketing strategies for various culture providers in the City of Bremen

2014   Thinking against Borders– Critical Perspectives on Exile and Asylum

2013/14   LauschRausch (Listening Fever) – Love.Books.Sex.Art: Multi-site event in local neighbourhoods

2013   Design of a guided tour of Jewish life in Bremen – Yesterday and Today (in the framework of a seminar on Regional Studies, Dr. Silke Betscher)

since 2013   Ethnographic Film Festival

2012/13   Uncanny: Anthropology of the unheimlich and monstrous

2012  Images of Africa: On the Depiction of Africa in the German Media

2011/12  De-viARTs (ausARTen)  – A Festival for Creatives in Bremen

since 2011  Freshers party

2010/11   Compatibility of student life and …. - Campus research on the cultural diversity of students at the University of Bremen

2008-11   BremerForum: Diversity

2008/09   Fans and Fans  – Ethnographic Research on soccer fan culture in Bremen

2006/07   Diagnoses: IMMIGRANT_ESS? [MIGRANT_IN]

2005/06   Identity High X  – Experiences of second-generation migrants

2004/05   Under Construction – Life Stories of migrants in Bremen-based firms

2003/04   Das Böse (Evil) – Teaching / research project on the Cultural Construction of Evil, including an Exhibition