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Dr. Eric Heuser

Eric Heuser

presently guest professor in Hamburg; Associated with CRC Affective Socities (Prof. Dr. Röttger-Rössler)



Research Assosciate, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Free University Berlin

22.11.2016-30.03.2017 and 3.03.2016-31.03.2016
Visiting Researcher, Monash University Melbourne, School for Social Sciences, Anthropology Program

Senior Lecturer, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Free University Berlin

01.10.2015 -30.09.2016
Senior Guest Lecturer, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Free University Berlin

15.11.2013 -31.07.2014
Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Trinidad & Tobago, Visiting Researcher

01.09.2013 - 30.09.2014
Postdoc, University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Black Studies Research

Since 08.2012
Center for Black Studies Research, University of California / Santa Barbara, Research Fellow

Since 05.2012
Journal of Haitian Studies University of California / Santa Barbara, Reviewer

01.06.2011 - 30.09.2015
Lecturer, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Free University Berlin

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, PhD

2009 – 2010
Social Research Centre Berlin (WZB), Research Fellow Public Policy

Monash University Melbourne, Australien, Guest Researcher

2006 - 2007
Gadjah Mada Universitas Yogyakarta Indonesien, Guest Researcher

2006 – 2009
Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, PhD Research Training Group (German Research Foundation

Selected Conference and Workshop Papers

- German Anthropological Association Conference, Free University Berlin, "Liming Islam. Transnational Rituals and Affective Belonging in Postcolonial Trinidad".
- Field Troubles – Troubling Fields? - Workshop, Monash University Melbourne, “How to move on? Lessons to be learned from failed research strategies”.

Field Troubles – Troubling Fields? - Workshop, Monash University Melbourne, “When your field falls apart”.

The Windrush Roundtable Workshop, University of California / Santa Barbara, “Hosay, Creolization and Purity. Islam in Trinidad and Tobago”

- Center for Arabic and Religious Studies, University of California / Santa Barbara, “Male Friendships in Muslim Java”
- Center for Black Studies Research, University of California / Santa Barbara, “Caribbean Islam between Politicization and Culturalization”

- Institute for Social & Cultural Anthropology, Free University Berlin, "Research Catastrophes and Questions of Ethics”
- Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Ancient History Berlin: "Do Javanese have Friends? A short Ethnography of Friendship in Indonesia“
- EASA-Conference, Paris, Panel-Chair: Caribbean Anxieties. Religion, Sexuality, Nationalism: “Heterotopian Islands: Creolized Islams”
- Cross-roads in Cultural Studies Conference, Paris: “Transoceanic Islamic Insularisms”

- Free Universität Berlin, Latin-America-Institute, Workshop: Emotions in the Caribbean
- PhD-Network Indonesia, Berlin: " Doing a PhD. The Economisation of a great Idea?“

- University of Sussex, Department of Anthropology, Workshop: Cultures of Aid Work:“Volunteers and Small-Scale Aid Workers in Yogyakarta”
- EuroSEAS Conference, Götheborg, Sweden, Panel-Leitung: “Managing Social Relationships in Southeast Asia: Friendships, Business Contacts, and Support Network”: “Friendship, Koneksi, Korupsi. Experiences from Java”
- Free University Berlin, Workshop: "Feelings at the Margins: Emotion and Marginality in Indonesia: “Cross-cultural Friendship and Social Space in Yogyakarta“
- Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Conference "Friends, Patrons, Followers”. Beitrag: “Beyond European Concepts? Practices of Friendship in New Zealand and Indonesia” together with Agnes Brandt

- DFG-Graduierten Workshop Altglashütten, Beitrag: "Concepts of Friendship across Cultures and Time. A critical Analysis”
- Zentrum für Sozialforschung, Hamburg, Friendship and Care. A Comparison of theoretical conceptions and empirical findings in Europe
- University of Sussex, Centre for Migration Research, Workshop: Post/colonial Encounters? Colonial and Contemporary Expatriates in Comparative Perspective, Beitrag: "Friendship and Crisis. Neo-and Postcolonial Discourses after the 2006 Earthquake in Java”
- Monash University Melbourne, Australia, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Beitrag: "Ideal Types of Friendships in Cross-Cultural Discourse"


German Association for Social- & Cultural Anthropology (DGSKA)
Society for Caribbean Studies (SCS)
European Association for Social Anthropologists (EASA)
European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EUROSEAS)
German Association for Asian Studies, DGA
Caribbean Studies Research Group, University of California / Santa Barbara

Applied Anthropology and Consulting

Gründungsveranstaltung der „Wohlstandsgenossenschaft“, Volksbank Mainz, Vortrag: Warum wirtschaftliche Intelligenz auch weiblich sein muss“, 07.2017.

Kolumne Hasswort Kulturkreis, www.uebermedien.de, 11.11.16.

NDR-Interview zu Gerechtigkeitsgefühlen, Emotionen, Migration und Rolle der AFD, 02.2016.

Freiwilligenarbeit mit LGBT Flüchtlingen, seit 10.2015.

taz-Interview zu rezenten Freundschaftsvorstellungen und -praxen, 10.2014.

Direkthilfe nach Erdbeben auf Java, 2006-07, Gründung eigenes Spendennetzwerk, Einwerben von 5500 EUR.

Assoziierter Berater, “Institute for Crisis Study and Alternative Development Strategy” Jakarta, seit 01.2012

Research Interests


Southeast Asia (Indonesia), anglophone Caribbean (Trinidad & Tobago), Germany (Urbanes Berlin)


Islam in the non-Arabic World
Emotions (Affekte, Migration & Diaspora)
Relatedness (Friendship, new Kinship Forms)
Citizenship (National Narratives, Minorities, Marginalisation)
Sexuality, Gender (Deviance, Normativity)

Past Project

Transoceanic Islams (VW-Project)

This project frames two insular and culturally fragmented societies, Java and Trinidad. In the first part I seek to analyse the historical passages that brought East Indian Islam to the West Indies, based on archival research. In the second part I am concerned with the contemporary forms of contemporary creolized Islam. Both societies are characterised by dense socio-cultural and religious diversities and are homes of 'diasporic Islams', brought to Indonesia by Arab traders and to the Caribbean by West-African slaves and indentured workers from India and Indonesia. I hypothesise that the archipelagic geography is in part responsible for the socio-cultural and religious diversity formulated in the Caribbean notion of 'world asylum', and paralleled by the Indonesian national slogan 'unity in diversity'. I am interested in finding out if creolized forms of Islam render the religion more open to non-heteronormative identities and 'alternative' lifestyles as put forward by orthodox Islam. Whereas research has contributed to understanding Christian denominations and their creolization with local Afro-Caribbean religions, hardly anything is known about the role of Islam in the area.

Berlin Southern Theory Lecture