Institut für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie
Arbeitsstelle Medical Anthropology (Prof. Dilger)
Doktorand / PhD Candidate (Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Dilger)
Doctoral research: Zeruzeru and Diverse Shades of Difference: A Study of People with Albinism in Kilolo District, Tanzania
Research Expertise and Teaching Interest
Anthropology of Disability
Anthropological Theory and Methodology
Anthropology of Africa (esp. Tanzania)
Tanzania and Italy (Sicily)
Current Research Project and Doctoral Dissertation
Zeruzeru and Diverse Shades of Difference. A Study of People with Albinism in Contemporary Tanzania (Working title)
2014- Ph.D. Student, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISKA), Freie Universität Berlin.
2013 Visiting Studentship (10 months). Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISKA), Freie Universität Berlin.
2011 Master degree in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Department of Philosophy and Literature, University of Palermo. MA Dissertation: “The regeneration of the Nannu. Strategies of revival and innovation in the Carnival practices of a Sicilian Town”. Grade: 110/110 cum laude.
2008 Bachelor degree in Philosophy and Literature, University of Palermo. BA Dissertation: “The archbishopric of Monreale and the trials against three “witches” in Modern and Contemporary Sicily”. Grade: 110/110 cum laude.
2012-2017 Scientific coordinator of the project “No More Discrimination Against People with Albinism” (Tanzania). Tulime Onlus (NGO), Italy.
2012-2014 European Voluntary Service Project Coordinator in Tanzania (Pomerini, Iringa Region). Tulime Onlus (NGO), Italy.
2013/2012 October-November Teacher of Swahili Language. Level: Beginners. Number of Students: 14. Tulime Onlus (NGO), Italy.
Awards and Scholarships
2014-October 2018 German Education Exchange Service (DAAD), Scholarship for doctoral research project, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin.
2017 Travel Grant for the Conference “Transfigurationen: Medizin macht Gesellschaft macht Medizin”, February 17-18, 2017, Universität Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
2016 Wenner-Gren Travel Grant for the Conference ASA16, “Footprints and futures: the time of anthropology”, July 4-7, 2017, Durham University, Durham, UK.
2015 Swiss Ethnological Society (SEG) Travel Grant for the Annual Meeting of the Swiss Ethnological Society (SEG), November 12-14, 2017, Institute of Social Anthropology, University Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
2013 Post-Master Degree Research Grant for Specialization Course Abroad, University of Palermo, Italy.
Ignazio Buttitta Foundation Scholarship, Award-Grant for MA Dissertation and Research.
Member German Anthropological Association.
Member, Working Group Medical Anthropology, subsection of the German Anthropological Association.
Member, Working Group Medical Anthropology, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISKA), Freie Universität (FU), Berlin.
Member, Working Group Political and Legal Anthropology, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISKA), Freie Universität (FU) Berlin.
2017 Contract Lecturer. Anthropology of Disability Worlds, BA Seminar (Course number: 29682), Summer Semester, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin.
The present seminar intends to shed lights on the cultural and social understandings of diverse forms of disability in different urban and rural settings around the world. Therefore, the course aims at critically analyze the “western” and human rights notion of “disability” in order to underline the socio-cultural complexities around conditions of physical, sensory, and mental impairments. One of the goals is also to discuss related notions of normalcy, able-bodiedness, ableism, stigma as well as social in/exclusion and the multiple ways such inner social attitudes influence life experiences and subjectivity of people with mental and/or physical impairments.
"Zeruzeru and Diverse Shades of Difference. A Study of People with Albinism in Tanzania". (Working title)
Albinism is a congenital condition present within all ethnic groups that attracted lots of attention in Tanzania, since around 2008, when media debates and worldwide newspapers have brought to world prominence the outbreak of alleged “albino killings” in the country’s northwest mining frontier. Even though there was such an outcry regarding this phenomenon in Tanzania, little attention has been paid to life experiences and subjectivity of people with albinism, local explanations about the congenital condition and the ways awareness of what albinism is, within the local population, has been modified by international and national media actions and debates.
The present ethnographic research intends to analyze life situations, everyday experiences, and subjectivity of people with albinism in Tanzania. The primary goal of the study will be pursued through an investigation which will deal with the social, political and moral discourses and ideas about albinism, as they are articulated by diverse actors between local and global settings. The main objectives of the present research will be: (1) to discover the social position of people with albinism within their families and communities; (2) to understand which moral terms members of the communities use in order to conceptualize and explain the social status of people with albinism; (3) to examine what it means to be living as an individual with albinism as an everyday experience and the ways through which people with albinism construct their ‘self’ and subjectivity as a reaction to their social and political condition; (4) to understand in which way local discourses and practices concerning the inheritance of albinism have been becoming interconnected to (bio-)medical explanations for the congenital condition and, furthermore, which gender discourses are active within these explanations; (5) to analyze in which ways the Tanzanian government and international humanitarian organizations and NGOs on behalf of people with albinism try to influence local perception and practices related to albinism e.g. through media and policies debates.
Funding: Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Grant for Doctoral Students and Young Researchers (2014-2018)
First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Dilger; Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Olaf Zenker
Research Skills and Experiences
2015 Ethnographic Fieldwork on people with albinism in contemporary Tanzania, Kilolo district (Iringa Region), Iringa Region, Moshi (Kilimanjaro Region), Dar es Salaam. (11 months)
2013-14 Preliminary Fielwork Research, Kilolo district and Iringa Region. (3 months)
2007-2010 Fieldwork Research in Sicily for BA and MA Dissertations.
Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals
2018 (in preparation). Perception of Albinism in Tanzania in the Wake of Humanitarian Reasons. Minority Report. Mimesis Publisher.
2018 (under review). Even though I am an albino, I can participate in the development of my community”: Social classification and new political subjectivities of people with albinism in global Tanzania. Special issue on political subjectivity. Critical African Studies.
Magazine Article 2017. Africa Orientale. Il nuovo mercato della droga: Partite stupefacenti. Nigrizia, (Aprile), Anno 135 (4): 35-37.
Magazine Article 2017. “La deriva autoritaria del Bulldozer.”. Nigrizia, (Marzo), Anno 135 (3): 20-21.
Magazine Article 2016. A Tutto Gas. Nuovi Giacimenti nel Bacino di Ruvu, Tanzania. Nigrizia, (Giugno), Anno 134 (6): 20-21.
Magazine Article 2016. Note Generazionali. Il diversificato panorama musicale in Tanzania. Nigrizia, (Luglio – Agosto), Anno 134 (7-8): 76-77
2016. Albinism, stigma, subjectivity and global-local discourses in Tanzania. Anthropology and Medicine, 23 (3): 229-243.
Academic Blog Article 2016 Singing albinism in global Tanzania: “Demanding” inclusion through music. Medizinethnologie Körper, Gesundheit und Heilung in einer globalisierten Welt: Pp. 1-19. http://www.medizinethnologie.net/singing-albinism-in-global-tanzania/.
2015 Labelling albinism: Language and discourse surrounding people with albinism in Tanzania. Disability and Society, 30 (8): Pp. 1143-1157.
Academic Blog Article 2015 People with albinism and humanitarian NGOs: Identities between local and global worlds.” Medizinethnologie Körper, Gesundheit und Heilung in einer globalisierten Welt: Pp. 1-20. http://www.medizinethnologie.net/?p=468.
Magazine Article 2015. Messe Nere Vittime Bianche. Albinismo tra Discriminazione e Inclusione. Nigrizia, (Luglio – Agosto), Anno 133 (7-8): 14-15.
Glocal Understanding of Albinism as a Disability in Tanzania. Presentation at the conference: Transfigurationen: Medizin macht Gesellschaft macht Medizin. General Conference organized by Arbeitsgruppe Medical Anthropology der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde (DGV e.V), Medical Anthropology Switzerland (MAS) der Schweizerischen Ethnologischen Gesellschaft (SEG), Wiener Dialoge der Medizinanthropologie. Universität Basel. Switzerland.
Practices of belonging within glocal socio-scapes of disability (with Susanne Kathrin Hoff and Christopher Hohl). Workshop organization within the conference: Belonging: Affective, moral and political practices in an interconnected world. Biannual Conference of the German Anthropological Association (GAA). Freie Universität Berlin, Insitut für Sozial- und Kul-turanthropologie, Germany.
Presentation accepted but declined participation. Fighting against stigma and discrimination: Tulime Onlus and its projects on behalf of people with albinism in Tanzania (2012-2016). Conference: Advancing the Rights of Persons with Albinism in Africa: A Call to Action, University of Pretoria, Sud Africa.
Invited Presentation. “Even though I am an albino, I can participate in the development of my community”: Social classification and new political subjectivity of people with albinism in global Tanzania.Presentation at the workshop:Political Subjectivity in Times of Transformation: Classification and Belonging in South Africa and Beyond. Point Sud Conference, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (StIAS), South Africa.
Embodying differences: ideas and discourses on albinism in global Tanzania. Presentation at the conference: ASA16, Footprints and futures: the time of anthropology. Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth Annual Conference, Durham University, Great Britain.
“All of the people with albinism die young”: timing albinism in the wake of humanitarian reasons. Presentation at the conference: MAYS (Medical Anthropology Young Scholars) 7th Annual Meeting, Institute of Social Sciences (ICS), University of Lisbon, Portugal.
Accepted presentation but declined participation. Embodying vulnerability: Albinism in the Wake of Humanitarian Reasons. VI Congresso da Associacao Portuguesa de Antropologia (APA), Futuros Disputados, Università di Coimbra, Portogallo.
“I am a disabled person”: The global-local flow of ideas and discourses on albinism in Tanzania.
Presentation at the workshop: AG Medical Anthropology, Planungsworkshop 2016, Freie Universität, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Germany.
Guaritori magici in Sicilia e Iringa (Tanzania): magari, ciarmavermi e waganga wa kienyeji
Etnografie del Contemporaneo, Museo delle Marionette - Università di Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Narrating New Identities: Albinism in the Wake of Humanitarian Reasons. Presentation at the workshop: Studying Medical Globalization: Historical and Anthropological Investigations - Joint Workshop Freie Universität/Cermes3-Globhealth, Cermes3, Paris, France.
Ambiguous Lives: Albinism, Uncertainty and Morality in Tanzania. Presentation at the conference: Annual Meeting of the Swiss Ethnological Society (SEG) Institute of Social Anthropology, University Bern, Switzerland.
“We are as Normal as Other Individuals”: Life Experiences and Subjectivities of People with Albinism in Tanzania.” Arbeitskreis Medical Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, Insitut für Sozial- und Kulturanthropolo-gie, Germany.
Zeruzeru and Diverse Shades of Difference. A Study of People with Albinism in Kilolo District, Tanzania. Workshop der AG Medical Anthropology and Der Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde (DVG), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.
Fictional Narrative and Auto-Ethnography. Intertwined Methodologies for Ethnographic Fieldwork on People with Albinism in Tanzania. Presentation at the conference : (S’) Explorer une Disposition Anthropologique, Université de Paris Ouest la Defénse Nanterre, France.
Albinism in Tanzania from the Point of View of a Positioned Researcher. Presentation at the conference: 5th Annual MAYS (Medical Anthropology Young Scholars) Meeting, Freie Universität Berlin, Germa-ny.
Living with Albinism in Iringa Region: Communitarian Perceptions and Subjective Experiences. Arbeitskreis Medical Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie, Germany.
Living with Albinism in Iringa: Between Local Worlds and Transnational Universes. Arbeitskreis Medical Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie, Germany.