Sarah Lempp

Sarah Lempp

Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Research Associate and doctoral candidate (Prof. Dr. Katharina Schramm)

Address Landoltweg 9-11
Room 108
14195 Berlin
Telephone (030) 838 59945

since 01/2016

Research associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (research area “Anthropology of Global Inequalities”, Prof. Dr. Katharina Schramm)

10/2011 - 12/2015

Editor and journalist

09/2005 - 09/2011

Magister degree (M.A. equivalent) in anthropology and political science at the University of Leipzig

08/2008 - 07/2009

Study abroad at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (DAAD scholarship)

Summer Term 2017

Methods of social and cultural anthropology. BA level, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Free University of Berlin

Winter Term 2016/17
'Race' and Racism in Brazil. BA level, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Free University of Berlin

Summer Term 2016

Methods of social and cultural anthropology. BA level, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Free University of Berlin

Winter Term 2013/14

Postcolonial perspectives on society and science. BA level, Leuphana University of Lüneburg (with Ana-Cara Methmann)

Summer Term 2012

Who is representing whom? Postcolonial and feminist perspectives on social anthropology. BA level, Institute of Anthropology, University of Leipzig

Between ‘social gaze’ and bureaucratic standards. ‘Race’ in the context of affirmative action policies in Brazil

Brazil has a long history of debates on race and racism in relation to national identity – from ideologies of whitening through Gilberto Freyre’s praise of miscigenação to anti-racist critiques of the concept of racial democracy. After the end of the military dictatorship (1964-1985) – which had pursued a politics of (coercive) integration of all minorities into the ‘mestizo’ Brazilian nation –, the Brazilian state turned away from this strategy of assimilation. Instead, it started to pursue a politics of recognition that was more sensitive towards difference. One concrete outcome of this development was the introduction of university quotas for Afro-Brazilians at the beginning of the 2000s, followed by the introduction of such quotas for public procurement procedures in 2014.

By looking at these affirmative action policies, this PhD project asks how ‘race’ is being made relevant in the course of state action: How do institutional processes of knowledge production concerning racial categories take place and how is ‘race’ being performed and articulated in these practices? How is ‘race’ being established in administrative action? By addressing these questions, the project wants to shed light on processes of knowledge production in bureaucratic systems. In so doing, it contributes to a greater understanding of state action as well as to a more complex view of the seemingly coherent “seeing state”. Furthermore, the project aims at exploring parallels and fruitful complements between Science and Technology Studies and the anthropology of bureaucracy – and accordingly examines standards and standardization as central features of bureaucracies.

Supervision: Prof. Dr. Katharina Schramm


“Whitening” and Whitewashing. Postcolonial Brazil is not an Egalitarian “Rainbow Nation”. In: The Postcolonialist, 4.3.2014.


Unterwegs im Black Atlantic. Capoeira zwischen Anpassung, Aneignung und Widerstand. [Travelling through the Black Atlantic. Capoeira between adaptation, appropriation and resistance.] In: Husseini de Araújo, Shadia / Tobias Schmitt / Lisa Tschorn (Hrsg.): Widerständigkeiten im Land der Zukunft. Andere Blicke auf und aus Brasilien, Münster: Unrast-Verlag 2013.


Review of André Cicalo: Urban Encounters. Affirmative Action and Black Identities in Brazil. Palgrave MacMillan, New York 2012. In: CROLAR – Critical Reviews on Latin American Research Vol. 2, No. 2 (2013).


Über den Black Atlantic. Authentizität und Hybridität in der Capoeira Angola. [Across the Black Atlantic. Authenticity and Hybridity in Capoeira Angola.] Marburg: Tectum Verlag 2013.



"Capoeira Angola zwischen Afrika, Brasilien und Deutschland." ("Capoeira Angola between Africa, Brazil and Germany.") Paper presented at the young scientists' forum of the GAA conference (German Anthropological Association), Vienna