Prof. Dr. Georg Pfeffer (17 January 1943 - 20 May 2020)

Pfeffer Andrea Luithle HardenbergWe remember our colleague, mentor and close friend, Georg Pfeffer, who passed away on May 20, 2020 after serious illness, and yet unexpectedly sudden.
(Photo: Andrea Luithle-Hardenberg) 

Continue Reading

Newsletter April/May 2020

NL Frhjahr 2020 Titelseite BThe completion of our newsletter has been delayed due to several changes in view of the current situation under the corona pandemic.
Now it has been finalised, and we are happy to keep you updated about our current activities at the Frobenius Institute.
(Newsletter in German language)

Film "The Final Passage" online

AfficheA1miniThe film "The Final Passage" is available online from 7 May to 7 June 2020.

The unique trip through the Chauvet Cave was shown as part of the exhibition "Frobenius. The Art of Science" (24 March to 14 July 2019, Museum Giersch of Goethe University) in May/June 2019 at the Frankfurt Film Museum.

The film by one of the world's leading rock art expert Prof. Jean-Michel Geneste brings the cave and its magnificent rock paintings to life in a breathtaking, hyper-realistic digital reproduction.
The Final Passage, 28 min, Director: Pascal Magontier, Author: Jean-Michel Geneste
Watch the film here

"BAXXE ፤ HOME" on exhibition at the Bautzen Museum

Baxxe Heimat Flyer Bautzen 1As of now, the exhibition "BAXXE ፤ HOME" is on display at the Museum Bautzen.  The exhibition's opening initially planned on March 14th, 2020 had to be cancelled at short notice due to the restrictions given the risks of COVID-19 and the museum was temporarily closed.  Since May 5th, Museum Bautzen is open to the public again, the exhibition "BAXXE ፤ HOME" can be viewed until August 16th, 2020.

The exhibition shows photos from the Frobenius Institute's archives, which document the early expeditions to the Gedeo region in Ethiopia between the 1930s and 1950s. These images are contrasted with recent photographs by the Ethiopian photographer Maheder Haileselassie and students from the Gedeo region, who present their own views of "home". Film screenings will accompany the program.

The exhibition builds on a cooperation between the Frobenius Institute for Research in Cultural Anthropology and the Goethe-Institute in Addis Ababa, wehre it was on display from November 2019 to January 2020. It can now be seen in expanded form at the Museum Bautzen.

Further information:
(German language)

Library opened with restrictions

Bcherregal korrigiertThe Leo Frobenius Library of Cultural Anthropology has resumed its opening hours with restrictions:

Tue–Thu: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Only lending and return of media is possible.

Please send us your loan requests in advance by email.  We will inform you as soon as the media are ready for collection: ausleihe[at]

The reading room with our desks and copy machine/scanner remain inaccessible.
Borrowed media have been automatically extended until 31.05.2020.
Since many libraries are restricted by COVID-19, many publishers and databases offer free access to literature, such as JSTOR or Cambridge University Press.
A list of databases where you can search ethnological literature online can be found here.

Stay healthy!
Your library team

Events in summer 2020 and COVID-19

Given the current risks of COVID-19, we are forced to cancel the following events initially planned in summer 2020:
  • Summer Symposium 2020, planned for May 29th and 30th, 2020
  • Ad.E. Jensen Memorial Lecture with Prof. Dr. Nurit Bird-David, planned for June and July 2020
  • Masterclass with Prof. Dr. Nurit Bird-David (as part of the Ad.E. Jensen Memorial Lecture), planned for July 9th and 10th, 2020
All events aim to facilitate intellectual dialogue and exchange as well as personal encounters - this is only possible to a limited extent via digital formats. We hope for your understanding.

Short film about the Frobenius Institute


The short film "Das Frobenius-Institut stellt sich vor" gives an overview of the research, collections and other activities of the scholars working at the Frobenius Institute. A film by Viola Laske and Yanti Hölzchen, based on an idea developed in the seminar "Anthropology in Public" (winter term 2017/18).

You can find the film on Youtube

Rock art copy on display in Zurich

FBA D4 01619 cFI web
  A copy of the rock painting "Big Elephants" from the Frobenius Institute's archives is part of the exhibition "Énergie animale", on display until 7 June 2020 at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich. The exhibition shows objects, graphics, photo series and much more, which illustrate how animals are perceived and the roles they are assigned.

The rock art copy was painted by by Joachim Lutz during Leo Frobenius' expedition to Zimbabwe in 1928. As early as 1931, the Zurich Museum of Decorative Arts showed examples of such artistic recreations of savannah animals.

Latest Publications


Cover Lavant et lailleursGEORGET, Jean-Louis, Philippe GROSOS & Richard KUBA (2020):
L’avant et l’ailleurs. Comparatisme, ethnologie et préhistoire. Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf.

Read more here
65 paideuma umsch65 front page 001Paideuma. Zeitschrift für Kulturantropologische Forschung. 65 (2019) 

Read more here
Jebens nicht alles verstehen COVERJEBENS, Holger (2019): Nicht alles Verstehen. Wege und Umwege in der deutschen Ethnologie. Berlin: Reimer

Read more here
Afrique encDIAWARA, Mamadou & Ute Röschenthaler  (2019): Normes Etatiques et pratiques locales en Afrique Subsaharienne. Entre afrondement et accomodement. Paris: Édition Manucius.

Read more here

Cover HnschHÄNSCH, Valerie (2019): Vertreibung und Widerstand im sudanesischen Niltal: Ein Staudammprojekt und der Versuch zu bleiben (Studien zur Kulturkunde, 134). Berlin: Reimer.

Read more here