Our aim is to study music and sonic phenomena in general from a wide range of anthropological perspectives. However, for our understanding, anthropologists (like many others concerned with the study of music) tend to neglect the aesthetic dimension of music and sound. Therefore, one of our main theoretical goals is to study ways in which actual sounds, musical or nun-musical, interconnect with their social and cultural surroundings through sonic experience. Methodologically, we rely on long-term ethnographic fieldwork.

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.

February 15, 2022

African Music and Politics, University of Siegen

How does popular music negotiate the legitimacy of political violence, and how do political actors refer to violence in musical practices? South Africa’s historical struggle against Apartheid and its manifold popular music scene make it a suitable case through which the project explores how musicians, politicians, activists, and other actors address and utilize political violence in and through popular music.