Since 2009 I have been working at the Department for Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology as a professor and institute director (2009-2017). My "main subject" is the historical inter-discipline folklore; close to international, transversal and critical approaches, I see myself as a cultural anthropologist.
I was born in Germany on the French border, in Saarbrücken, Germany, lived in Marburg/L. I studied European Ethnology/Cultural Studies, Romance and Modern German Literature and in Aix-en-Provence Ethnology, Women's Studies and Sociolinguistics. I received my diploma in 1987 in France (from the charismatic football ethnologist and Iran specialist Christian Bromberger) and completed my doctoral thesis in 1991 under the influence of the French school in Marburg with Martin Scharfe. "Provence Image with Lavender" is a critical semiological analysis of the modern construction of regional representations.
The places of my academic work in Switzerland, in research and teaching since 1992 are Basel, Neuchâtel/Sion, Fribourg and Zurich. At the same time I have held visiting professorships and fellowships in Turku, Joensuu, Hamburg, Marburg and Innsbruck. My most recent position was as Scientific Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies in Architecture at the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich. Together with colleagues from the social sciences and architecture, I continue to pursue the critical bridging between the conception and use of the built environment that I aim to achieve with this approach. In 2004 I habilitated at the University of Zurich with the topic "Folklore/European Ethnology as Critical Cultural Studies. Methodological-epistemological contributions to professional identity".
My main focuses, from which I myself like to break out again and again, are above all in urban-spatial cultural research, in cultural mobility research, political anthropology, and scientific research. As a representative of Critical Cultural Studies, complex analyses of everyday culture - in a transdisciplinary and gender-oriented perspective - are close to my heart. Currently, I am concerned with resistance and everyday life, and I am interested in an anthropology of the Mediterranean again...