Katharina Schramm, born in Berlin, Germany, 1972. Ph.D. from Free University Berlin.Senior Lecturer of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
Fellow (1 September 2015 – 30 June 2016)
Race/Trouble: Classificatory Violence, Genealogies of Knowledge and the Sciences of Human Origins in Post-Apartheid South Africa
At NIAS I will work on a book manuscript that deals with scientific and public debates about race and human origins in post-Apartheid South Africa. My main ethnographic question concerns the reverberations of classificatory violence in contemporary political and scientific practices: How is meaning produced around ideas of population, race and descendant communities?
Given the history of political segregation, South Africa is a particularly relevant site for the study of race in science and beyond. I am interested in race as a slippery and troubling object. This approach transcends conventional notions of social constructivism. To study race, I focus a) on the materiality of scientific objects, such as collections of human remains or genetic samples; b) on the heritagization of human origins and what it tells us about race in South Africa; and c) on the conceptualization of research populations in relation to the political subjectivity of so-called “descendant communities”.
1) 2011. African Homecoming: Pan-African Ideology and Contested Heritage. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press
2) 2014. “Topologies of Race: Doing Territory, Population, and Identity in Europe”, Science, Technology and Human Values 39 (4): 468-487. (with Amade M’charek & David Skinner)
3) 2015. “Thinking about Race in an Age of Diversity” In: Routledge International Handbook of Diversity Studies, ed. Steven Vertovec. London / New York: Routledge, 52-59.