The boasblog “Undoing Race and Racism” presents anthropological perspectives on racism and racist formations in Germany, where a new conjuncture has increased critical engagement with the ongoing effects of institutional, everyday and violent racism. You will find an introductory text by the editorial team here. Editorial Team: Manuela Bojadžijev (Humboldt-University Berlin), Katharina Schramm (University of […]

The Museum – a play
What follows is a fictionalised play that draws on actual events, conversations, and incidents that we have witnessed or experienced working inside museums. Museums are in a bit of a mess. The most recent public debates about restitution of cultural heritage and repatriation of human remains have shaken them, requiring them to revisit their violent […]

A Caste Theory of Asylum Management?
The theoretical framework I wish to introduce here is somewhat experimental in nature. I was trained in sociology in Delhi University, where I completed my masters before heading into the doctoral program at the department of Anthropology in Princeton University. I had identified, at the time, the restrictive spatial politics of the discipline that determined […]

Racial anthropology from Germany to India
a transnational look at the scientific racialization of human diversity
“Race” has travelled the world along with many anthropologists. Racial knowledge—as the set of thinking that apprehends human diversity through essentializing relatively fixed categorizations of people, and with a lot of explanatory weight on biology and heredity—has circulated to all corners of the world, on different routes, and through different connections. Especially in the 19th […]

Doing Critical Racism Theory im deutschen Recht.
Die kritische Analyse von Recht und Rassismus deutschen Kontext nach 1945 steht erst am Anfang
Ambivalentes Recht und spezifische Rechtsräume Rassifizierte Statuspositionen (Rasse/Ethnizität) und damit verbundene Hierarchisierungen (Rassismen) werden hergestellt und aufrechterhalten, in Frage gestellt, bekämpft und rekonfiguriert – und das Recht spielt dabei eine ambivalente Rolle. Als rassistisches Recht war und ist es an der Etablierung rassischer und ethnischer Kategorien ebenso beteiligt wie an der Legitimierung rassistischer Diskriminierung und […]

What could a European Abolitionism look like?
With the global surge of the Black Lives Matter movements, a renewed interest in the history, theory, and politics of abolitionism has emerged. I understand the intellectual aspect of the abolitionist intellectual project as one of writing a new global history and new genealogies of the struggles against the subjugation of people through racism and […]

Of Cars and Riots
After 22 years, the social-democrat majority in the Berlin Senate has come to an end. At the election in February, the conservative party (CDU) received 28% of the votes, putting them ahead of the Greens and the Social Democrats (SPD), tied with only 18%, as well as the left-wing “Die Linke” (12%) and the far-right […]

The Borders of Normality
A Queer Perspective on Far-Right Racism
How can we describe the shifting ways in which racism intersects with other systems of oppression in the present? As an anthropologist who has researched the contemporary German far right from the perspective of gender and queer theory, I have frequently wondered about this question. A gender and queer theory informed ethnography can make important […]

Far-right anthropologies
One of the things that surprised me most after I began doing research on European far-right youth activists was my research participants’ statements on how much they love anthropology. Not Mussolini, not Christianity, not philosophy, but precisely anthropology. “How dare you?”, I would comment on such statements in my head, assuming that they completely misunderstood […]

Scented Entanglements
On olfactory racism and the ‘forgetting’ of odours and scents in the anthropological study of ‘race’
Shortly before the first Corona lockdown in spring 2020, I was busy preparing for fieldwork in Turkey on a much neglected topic in the scholarly literature on beauty, namely the role of odours and fragrances. Reading up on the history of smell cultures and perfumes (ultimately unable to leave for fieldwork), I began talking to […]

Calling Worlds into Being
The Sound of Black Lives Matter
BLM Banner Black Lives Matter!…Black Lives Matter!…..Say it loud…. I’m Black and I’m proud! ……I’m Black and I’m so fucking proud!” (BLMB demo 2021) It’s been years now since I heard this chant at the Black Lives Matter demo in Berlin in 2021. Since then, the whole world has once again turned on its head. […]