Contested Property

Affect and Emotion in Transcultural Normative Conflicts about Ethnographic Collections in the Humboldt Forum.

The status of ethnographic collections in Germany has become the subject of a heated debate, with the question of property at its core. The affective and emotional dimension of such conflicts about property, in which not only different stakeholders but also different concepts of property compete with each other, is at the center of this project.

Focusing on the Tanzania-collection of the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin in the Humboldt Forum, the project members explore through multi-sited fieldwork in Germany and Tanzania how property concepts are institutionally transformed in the course of such conflicts. The overall goal is to come to a fuller understanding of the role of affect and emotion in such processes of socio-legal transformation.

Subproject of the SFB 1171 Affective Societies: Dynamics of social coexistence in mobile worlds.


Institution: Ethnologisches Museum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Cooperation partners: Freie Universität Berlin, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Max-Planck-Institut für Ethnologische Forschung, Botanischer Garten & Botanisches Museum Berlin, Universität Hamburg, Nachfahr:innen der Produzent:innen, Nutzer:innen und Vorbesitzer:innen der Objekte
Project Management: PD Dr. Paola Ivanov (Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)
Project staff: Dr. Jonas Benz (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Freie Universität Berlin), Laibor Kalanga Moko (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Freie Universität Berlin), Lisa Maier (studentische Mitarbeiterin, Freie Universität Berlin) Kristin Weber-Sinn (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin, Zentralarchiv/Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, assoziiert)
Duration: Juli 2019 bis Juni 2022