What are you looking for?

Schramm, Katharina

Schramm, Katharina


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

Research Question

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?

Project Description

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”.

Selected Publications

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.

Personal page