University of Heidelberg

News & Upcoming Events


The Department for Anthropology welcomes
Dr. Mukesh Kumar

Dr. Mukesh Kumar

Dr Kumar is a Humboldt post-doctoral fellow at the SAI. He has B.A., M.A., and M.Phil. degrees from Delhi University, and a PhD degree (2019) from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). His research interests lie at the intersection of history and anthropology; he employs and combines methods of ethnographic fieldwork and archival work to examine the changing forms of religious culture, and the issue of Hindu-Muslim cultural encounter in north India from a longue durée perspective. Some of his works have appeared in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, London, and Economic and Political Weekly. One of his research articles was awarded the best PhD paper at the ANU Religion Conference, 2018.

From December 2019 Dr. Kumar will work on a Humboldt project at the Department of Anthropology

Recent Issues

Prof. William Sax

  • (Forthcoming) Review of Chetan Singh, Himalayan Histories (SUNY Press). European Bulletin of Himalayan Research.
  • (Forthcoming) The Movement for Global Mental Health: critical views from South and Southeast Asia (Under contract with Amsterdam University Press).
  • 2019. “The Birth of the (Exorcism) Clinic: media, modernity, and the jinn.” In Michaels, Axel and Christoph Wulf, eds., Science and Scientification of South Asia and Europe. Delhi: Routledge.
  • 2018. “We are like the river water, always flowing: some urban nomads of Delhi.” In Philipp Zehmisch, Ursula Münster, Jens Zickgraf, Claudia Lang, eds., Soziale Ästhetik, Atmosphäre, Medialität: Beiträge aus der Ethnologie. Berlin: LIT Verlag.
  • 2017. (with Axel Michaels). “Performance and Religion”. In The Oxford Handbook of Religion, ed. Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dr. Kira Schmidt Stiedenroth


Heribert Beckmann, M.A.


Dr. Davide Torri

  • October 2019. "From Geographical periphery to Conceptual Centre. The Travels of Ngagchang Shakya Zangpo and the Discovery of Hyolmo Identity." In Buddhism and the Dynamics of Transculturality, Edited by B. Kellner, De Gruyter, pages 169-200.
  • July 2019. "Of Shadows and Fears: Nepalese Ghost Stories from Classical Texts and Folklore to the Social Media." In Articulate Necrographies. Comparative perspectives on the Voices and Silences of the Dead. Edited by A. Panagiotopoulos and D. Espirito Santo. Berghahn.
  • 2019. "Religious Identities and the Struggle for Secularism. The revival of Buddhism and Religions of Marginalized Groups in Nepal." In Entangled Religions - Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Religious Contact and Transfer , Vol. 8.
  • 2019. "Lo sciamanismo in Nepal." In Il Cosmo Sciamanico. Ontologie Indigene fra Asia e Americhe. Edited by Stefano Beggiora. FrancoAngeli: Roma, pages 84-103.

Medical Anthropology Forum


Sri Lanka Working Group

The Sri Lanka Working Group was founded in summer 2014. It provides both staff members and students of the SAI a forum for the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas about Sri Lanka. The current developments in Sri Lanka and also in the Sri Lanka research will be discussed. Frequent events - mostly during the lecture period - are intended. The Working Group supports the the SAI efforts for a deepened academic exchange with Sri Lanka, which could be confirmed by the re-opening of the SAI branch office in Colombo this year. View the website of the Sri Lanka Working Group.

To view the websites of the former Sri Lanka Working Group (2004-2006) click here.

Presentation of Prof. Sax on the Himalayan Connections Workshop 2013

To see the presentation on YouTube: Click here.

Himalayan Connections: Disciplines, Geographies, Trajectories
An interdisciplinary workshop at Yale University, March 9-10, 2013.

For further information on this workshop please visit its website.

Medical Anthropology Forum

The Medical Anthropology Forum is a forum for researchers, students and all those interested in the study of health and illness in different cultural and social settings. In the forum senior students and scholars present their current research projects. The aim is to discuss and analyze new theories and themes of Medical Anthropology and to learn more about international developments in the area of culture, health and health care. Everybody who is interested is welcome!

Please find upcoming lectures here.

For announcements of upcoming lectures and other information about Medical Anthropology in Heidelberg, please subscribe to our mailing list.

Last modified 17th October, 2019

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Centre for
Asian and

Ethnology in Heidelberg

Courses Winter Term 19/20

Conferences, Publications and externl lectures

The department on events -

Recent Publications

Reviving “A forgotten Sunna:” Hijamah (cupping therapy), prophetic medicine, and the re-Islamization of Unani medicine in contemporary India

Dr. Kira Schmidt Stiedenroth

Online article.


2018. "We are like the river water, always flowing" : some urban nomads of Delhi. In: Soziale Ästhetik, Atmosphäre, Medialität

Prof. Dr. William Sax

UB Heidlebrg.

Occasional Paper Series

Heidelberg Ethnology

Richard Fox

All papers viewable here.


Becoming like money: Proximity and the social aesthetics of “moneyness”

Jens M. Zickgraf

HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 7(1), 303–326.


Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India

Roman Sieler

For further information, please see here.


Patient Agency Revisited: "Healing the Hidden" in South India.

Roman Sieler

Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 28: 323-341.

Special edition

Modern Asian Studies

Volume 48 - Issue 05 - September 2014

Click here to view the contents.

Collected edition

Asymmetrical Conversations

Contestations, Circumventions, and the Blurring of Therapeutic Boundaries

Epistemologies of Healing, Vol. 14, edited by Harish Naraindas, Johannes Quack, and William S. Sax, New York 2014.
At the UB: click here.


The anthropology of neoliberal India: An introduction.

Daniel Münster and Christian Strümpell

The politics of dispossession in an Odishan steel town

Christian Strümpell

Both in Contributions to Indian Sociology 48 (Feb. 2014).


Ritual Healing and Mental Health in India.

William Sax

Transcult Psychiatry (Feb. 2014).