Barbara Waldis, born in Entlebuch, Switzerland, in 1960. Ph.D. from the University of Fribourg. Assistant Professor at the Institute of Ethnology at the Université de Neuchâtel.
Visiting Grant Scholar (1 September 2002 – 30 November 2002)
The main purpose of my two-month stay at NIAS was to finish my habilitation research project proposal on citizenship in postcolonial societies. The title, “Civic education and multicultural values in Mauritius and La Réunion: An anthropological approach to citizenship in two of the Indian Ocean Islands” illustrates the direction of my research project. The first research question examines the fabrication and the transmission of central social values in civic education, education for living values and environmental studies through the institutional channels of education. The second approach is to look at individual everyday strategies. From this double research perspective, the social dynamics of policy-making processes as well as the possibilities of transformation and the modalities of individual civic affiliation and participation in the public sphere can be analysed. The welcome challenge to present the crucial problems of my project within a five-minute talk obliged me to focus the central research questions very sharply. During my stay at NIAS, my initial research questions were transformed and solidified. The concepts have changed signification and their links are denser, because of the broader theoretical foundations I gained through biking, reading, writing and discussion.