Latest news

Upcoming panel at DGSKA conference in Konstanz, 29.9.-2.10.2019: Are African curricula decolonizable? Panel of the Regional Committee Africa (Regionalgruppe Afrika), co-organized with Michael Bollig and Karim Zafer.
Latest publication: Damir-Geilsdorf, Sabine and Michaela Pelican. 2019. Between regular and irregular employment: Subverting the kafala system in the GCC countries. Migration and Development 8(2): 155-175.
Contribution to radio feature on the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon (in German): Anglophone Krise in Kamerun: Ein Stück Kolonialgeschichte. Detektor FM, 26.7.2019, Redaktion: Esther Stephan.

Podcast series "Research, Action & Art"
Project of the departments of Anthropology and Islamic Studies,
University of Cologne
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Short Biography

Michaela Pelican is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Cologne and Principal Investigator of the Global South Studies Center Cologne (GSSC). Previously, she was the Director of the University of Cologne Forum 'Ethnicity as a Political Resource: Perspectives from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe' (2013-16). Before coming to Cologne, she was a lecturer at the University of Zurich, guest professor at the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies in Kyoto, and a researcher with the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale. She received her PhD from the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and her MA from the University of Bayreuth.

Michaela’s main areas of research and teaching are South-South/East migration and transnationalism; ethnicity and indigeneity; research methodology and audio-visual anthropology. Her regional specialization is in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular Cameroon, Gabon, and South Africa. In recent years, she has also conducted research in the Arab Gulf States and southern China, as she is interested in the strengthening relations and transnational mobilities between Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. In addition, she has engaged in interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues in Africa, Asia, Latin America, USA, and Europe. At the University of Cologne she has been in charge of the Department’s focus on research methodology, and has developed several research-oriented teaching programmes.

Research Interests

Regional expertise

  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Cameroon, Gabon, South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates, China
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