Basel Anthropology Papers

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Editor: Michael Stasik
Editorial assistant: Anna Vollmer Mateus
Editorial board: Lesley Nicole Braun, Zainabu Jallo, Andrea Kaiser-Grolimund, George Paul Meiu

The Basel Anthropology Papers (BAP), published by the University of Basel Institute of Social Anthropology, seek to engage in anthropological conversations by imaginatively exploring and expanding different genres of writing, while experimenting with different formats of presentation and analysis. BAP publishes content primarily in the form of annually curated issues, which are distributed in print and published open-access online.

BAP follows in the footsteps of the Basel Papers on Political Transformations (2011-2022) and the Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie (1964-1999), see below.


2024 (1)Drawings



Editors: Till Förster, Lucy Koechlin

The Basel Papers on Political Transformations are a quarterly series seeking to contribute to theoretically informed and empirically grounded understandings of actors and processes of political transformations in Africa and beyond.

The working paper forms part of a research group on political transformations, based at the Seminar of Social Anthropology, University of Basel. The editors welcome contributions across disciplines.

2022(23/24)Förster, T.; Rüegg, P. H.; Leonte, A.-M.; Purayampillil, B.; Wälterlin, R.Autoethnographic Explorations: Privileged Access to the Social or Idiosyncratic Journalism?
2020(22)Förster, T.Existential Transformations. Life in the West African savannah since the 1970s: An outlook
2020(20/21)Kesselring, R; Hohn, J; Martin, C.; Huber, M.; Karsko, A.; Hobi, A.-S.; Kimura, M.; Oliveira D.; Everwijn, A.; Monnier, M.; Christen, AnnaEthnographic Vignettes: Social Change and Social Encounters in Solwezi, Northwestern Zambia
2019(18/19)Förster, T.; Jenni, F.; Siegenthaler, F.; Unseld, F.Aesthetics of Articulation


Oldenburg, S.; Bosbach Ch.; Wabersich, Ch.Making the City in Cartagena de Indias. Field Course 2016/17 under the Guidance of Silke Oldenburg.
2018 (15)Tra, T.From Visibility to Invisibility: Conflicts Over Agro-Pastoral Resources in Tienko (Northern Côte d’Ivoire)
2017(13/14)Badoux, M.; Förster, T.; Koechlin, L.; Sanogo, A.African Cities, by Comparision: Urban Land, Politics and Agency in East and West Africa
2017(11/12)Ammann, C.; Förster, T.; Sanogo, A.; Unseld, F.Secondary Cities - The Urban Middle Ground
2016(10)Chappatte, A.; Förster, T.; Kaiser-Grolimund, A.; Staudacher, SMobilities - In and Out of Africa
2015(9)Koechlin, L.Conceptualising Corruption, Conflict and Cities in Africa: Towards a Typology of Urban Political Articulations
2015(8)Kesselring, R.Moments of Dislocation: Why the Body Matters in Ethnographic Research
2014(7)Mulugeta, A.‘Development Facilitators’, Land Acquisition and Governance in Pastoralist Areas of Ethiopia
2013(6)Kaufmann, A. A.; Ammann, C.Talking of Differences, Propagating Unity. Politics of Ethnicity in Urban Liberia and Guinea
2013(5)Dolo, A.; Förster, T.l; Geuder, J.; Houssouba, M.; Klute, G.; Koechlin, L.; Olivier de Sardan, J.-P.; Touryffe, A.Mali - Impressions of the Current Crisis / Mali - impressions de la crise actuelle
2012(4)Förster, T.Statehood in a Stateless Society - Political Order and Societal Memory in Northern Côte d'Ivoire
2011(3)Bauer, K.; Engeler, M.; Förster, T.; Heer, B.; Heitz, K.; Kaufmann, A. A.The Emic Evaluation Approach - Epistemologies, Experience, and Ethnographic Practice
2011(2)Kaufmann, A. A."But things are coming small small, that's how we're seeing it": Agency of a Liberian Women's Organisation in a Context of Insecurity, Scarcity, and Uncertainty
2011(1)Förster, T.; Koechlin, L.The Politics of Governance: Power and Agency in the Formation of Political Order in Africa

Editors: Till Förster, Rita Kesselring

Anthropology in Basel had a tremendous intellectual impact on global anthropology long before the 100th anniversary of academic anthropology in Basel (since 1914). One of the most important anthropological mentors in Basel was Johann Jakob Bachofen-Burckhardt, a lawyer and professor of Roman law at the University of Basel. In his major work, Das Mutterrecht, published in 1861, he asked fundamental questions about the history and the relationship of the sexes. He valued the matriarchy positively - which meant a break with the dominant patriarchy and the anthropological mainstream at that time. Bachofen was rediscovered several times (Ludwig Klages, Rainer Maria Rilke and Walter Benjamin). His theories assured him an intensive reception by the women's movement in the 1970s. Today, the questions asked by Bachofen are answered differently. However, they have remained relevant. In line with this tradition, the annual Bachofen Lecture looks at fundamental questions of anthropology from today's perspective.

The annual distinguished lectures are published in the JJ Bachofen Lecture Series.

The Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie are publicly available thanks to the initiative of the Seminar of Social Anthropology, Basel, and the support of the University Library, the editors and the authors.

Digitized books

Kaufmann, Christian. (1972) Das Töpferhandwerk der Kwoma in Nord-Neuguinea : Beiträge zur Systematik primärer Töpfereiverfahren. Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 12. Basel.

Hauser-Schäublin, Brigitta. (1977) Frauen in Kararau : zur Rolle der Frau bei den Iatmul am Mittelsepik, Papua New Guinea. Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 18. Basel.

Schindlbeck, Markus. (1980) Sago bei den Sawos : (Mittelsepik, Papua New Guinea) : Untersuchungen über die Bedeutung von Sago in Wirtschaft, Sozialordnung und Medizin. Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 19. Basel.

Weiss, Florence. (1981) Kinder schildern ihren Alltag : die Stellung des Kindes im ökonomischen System einer Dorfgemeinschaft in Papua New Guinea (Palimbei, Iatmul, Mittelsepik). Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 21. Basel.

Wassmann, Jürg. (1982) Der Gesang an den Fliegenden Hund : Untersuchungen zu den totemistischen Gesängen und geheimen Namen des Dorfes Kandingei am Mittelsepik (Papua New Guinea) anhand der "kirugu"-Knotenschnüre. Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 22. Basel.

Stanek, Milan. (1983) Sozialordnung und Mythik in Palimbei : Bausteine zur ganzheitlichen Beschreibung einer Dorfgemeinschaft der Iatmul, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 23. Basel.

Huber-Greub, Barbara. (1988) Kokospalmenmenschen : Boden und Alltag und ihre Bedeutung im Selbstverständnis der Abelam von Kimbangwa (East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea). Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 27. Basel.

Wassmann, Jürg. (1988) Der Gesang an das Krokodil : die rituellen Gesänge des Dorfes Kandingei an Land und Meer, Pflanzen und Tiere (Mittelsepik, Papua New Guinea). Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 28. Basel.

Obrist van Eeuwijk, Brigit. (1992) Small but strong : cultural contexts of (mal-)nutrition among the Northern Kwanga (East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea). Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 34. Basel.

Schmid, Jürg and Kocher Schmid, Christin. (1992) Söhne des Krokodils : Männerhausrituale und Initiation in Yensan, Zentral-Iatmul, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 36. Basel.

Stephenson, Nigel A.. (2001) Kastom or komuniti : a study of social process and change among the Wam people, East Sepik province, Papua New Guinea. Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie, Bd. 40. Basel.Nigel Stephenson