Andrea Muehlebach

Andrea Mühlebach


Prof. Dr. Andrea Muehlebach

SFG 4260
0421 218-67660

In der Regel Donnerstags 9:00 11:00 Uhr oder nach Vereinbarung per E-Mail

I am a Professor of Maritime Anthropology and Cultures of Water (W2) at the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research at the University of Bremen, Germany - a position I took after almost thirteen years at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Before that, I was a William Rainey Harper Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago, where I also received my Ph.D. The University of Bremen, an institution well-known for its maritime expertise, will allow me to expand my current academic interests (the anthropologies of water, environmental and infrastructural politics, democratic citizenship, lawmaking, neoliberalism, and global extractive regimes), to include the oceanic as well.

For more information on my research projects and other doings, see my website:




My current book project (under contract, Duke UP) explores the politics of water financialization and re-municipalization in austerity-era Europe. It does so from the vantage point of the political, legal, and ethical struggles people wage as they seek to protect water as a public good or commons. Here, I am not only fascinated by the financialization of infrastructures, public-private partnerships, and the continuing reconfiguration and evacuation of “the public,” but by the new forms of political and legal imagination that are taking root as people attempt to reclaim ownership over water. These kinds of topics have a profound urgency at a moment where the interlocking crises of capitalism, democracy, and the environment have become more apparent than ever before.

I am delighted to expand my expertise in the anthropology of water to include the oceans, specifically with a project on sand mining and another on the North Sea. For more information on these and other interests (which include mountains and ice, rights of nature, and popular struggles against bottled water plants, but also questions of welfare and state benevolence, neoliberal refigurations of the public and of citizenship, and the ethics and politics of economic life) see