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This project has ended: Project duration 2013 - 2016

The University of Cologne (UoC) Forum 'Ethnicity as a Political Resource: Perspectives from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe' was funded under the Institutional Strategy of the University of Cologne within the framework of the German Excellence Initiative.

We were a body of researchers from the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology, the Department of Iberian and Latin-American History (IHILA), the interdisciplinary Research Network for Latin America ‘Ethnicity, Citizenship, Belonging’, and the Department of African Studies within the University of Cologne.

The Forum was promoting scientific exchange between researchers from different institutes within the University of Cologne as well as with national and international partners. Its objective was to strengthen the interdisciplinary and international dialogue on the formation of ethnic identities and their use as a political resource in diachronic and comparative perspective. 

Our diachronic approach allowed us to investigate trajectories of emerging ethnic groups and ethnicity-based politics in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe; our comparative perspective elicited regional and historical differences and similarities.

We believe the Forum was making a substantial contribution towards getting closer to an answer by enabling exchange via regular meetings, communication on a shared electronic platform, international workshops, collaborative research, and joint publications. By bringing expertise from different world regions and different research traditions into dialogue, the project did not only pool existing resources but also pave the way for novel integrative approaches.

Find out more about the Forum's program content.

Between 2013 and 2016 we carried out several international conferences and workshops, which led to many individual and collective publications. Among them are          

the edited volume "Ethnicity as a Political Resource: Conceptualizations across Disciplines, Regions, and Periods" (Bielefeld: transcript, 2015), which is also available as free Open Access E-Book (useful for teaching) via the transcript website,

and the edited booklet "Melilla: Perspectives on a Border Town" (Cologne Working Papers in Cultural and Social Anthropology, University of Cologne 2017), which can be downloaded here for free.

If you have any queries, please contact Jun-Prof. Dr. Michaela Pelican.

UoC Forum 'Ethnicity as a Political Resource' (eds.). 2015: Ethnicity as a Political Resource - Conceptualizations across Disciplines, Regions, and Periods. Bielefeld: Transcript.

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