September 23, 2020

The kora and emancipation in secular and liturgical music

The kora, a bridge harp of the Manding peoples of West Africa is an instrument of both, backward-looking and affirmative utopias. The musicians playing the kora, called jali or griots, sing about past empires, historical rulers and contemporary leaders.
January 1, 2019

Improvising Culture

Jazz in Madagascar - The project explores the importance of jazz in shaping Malagasy society. It takes a look at bands and musicians, historical and current stylistic developments, as well as characteristic performance venues and funding practices of Malagasy jazz.
June 10, 2020

Sound of Freedom

The dissertation project aims to examine American conservatism from a culture-oriented perspective.Following Arlie Hochschild (2016), American conservatism is thereby understood as a general way of life in which a nature-oriented lifestyle and, related to this, individual freedom are central elements.
September 14, 2020

Existential aesthetics of Malagasy heavy metal

Thinking of music in Africa, the persisting images are those of either (neo-)traditional African styles or “Africanized” versions of Western sounds. It is the central aim of this project to challenge this view and rethink the nature of popular music in Africa by exploring the striking role of rock and heavy metal music in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo.
August 21, 2020


Considering musical and non-musical activities in constant interaction, the project follows various actors of the Lagos recording industry to studio sessions, concerts and promotional activities, examining the practices of contemporary artistes in particular.
June 10, 2020

Poetry as Aesthetic Practice

The aim of this project is to empirically study how poetic forms and practices may contribute to the construction of lifeworlds within the urban contexts of Tanzania and Masagascar. We start with the assumption that poetic forms of engaging with the world fundamentally and systematically, differ from other more explicit forms of communication, due to their unique combination of form and content.