University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 109/2023, 28.07.2023
Three dissertation prizes for Bayreuth ethnologists
This year, the German Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology awarded three doctoral students from the University of Bayreuth. The theses impressed the independent committee with excellent research, innovative approaches and dense ethnographies.
This year, ethnological dissertations from Bayreuth convinced the German Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology (DGSKA) in an outstanding way: All three DGSKA dissertation prizes went to doctoral students from the University of Bayreuth. First place goes to Valerie Nur with her thesis "Handwerkliche Arbeit als soziale Praxis. An ethnological study of the craft practices of the endogamous artisan group of the inadan des Air in Niger". Valerie Nur completed her doctorate at the University of Bayreuth in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. The independent committee that decided on the awarding of the prize said of Valerie Nur's excellent work: "Excellently researched, very dense ethnographic description, empathetic presentation". The jury went on to say: "The chosen mixed-methods approach of participant observation, interviews, visual documentation and dialogical processing of the empirical data is excellently justified in terms of argumentation and transparent at every step.
Carsten Mildner was one of two runners-up to receive the DGSKA Dissertation Award for his work "DEAF-DEAF-DIFFERENT. ambiguities of being deaf in Benin ". Carsten Mildner also completed his doctorate at the University of Bayreuth in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. "Extraordinarily comprehensive, differentiated ethnography that is sensitive to the level of the group as well as to individuals," the expert committee decided. "An ethnography of disability in Africa is absolutely innovative and claims high originality. The approach of showing the 'normality' of life worlds leads to a very dense, vivid documentation".
The other second place was awarded to Joh Sarre for the thesis "'Some call it slum, we call it home!' - Negotiations of belonging among the Nubian inhabitants of Kibera, Kenya". Joh Sarre also completed her doctorate at the University of Bayreuth in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. "Excellent empirical work," summed up the independent committee that decided on the award. "Very detailed ethnography. Very good combination of different ethological methods."
Three Bachelor's programmes from the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology can be taken at the University of Bayreuth. There are also two Master's programmes. Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber, Chair of Social Anthropology, is pleased about the outstanding doctoral theses: "The fact that all three prizes of our professional society go to one location is very unusual and shows that teaching and research in Bayreuth are particularly good. This is reflected to us again and again. But I am even more pleased that the work of our young academics is also seen as outstanding."
As part of the conference of the German Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology on the topic of "Umstrittenes Wissen / Contested Knowledge: Ethnologische Perspektiven" (Contested Knowledge: Ethnological Perspectives), the award ceremony for the dissertation winners took place on 27 July 2023 in Munich. Since 2017, the DGSKA has awarded prizes every two years to the best dissertations in its field. The DGSKA was founded in 1929 as the "Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde" and is a professional association of social and cultural anthropologists and people and institutions interested in ethnology. It currently has 850 members.