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I have been working at the Institute for Cultural Anthropology & European Ethnology as professor (since 2009) and director (2009-2017) in an international, transversal and critical perspective on the cultural analysis of contemporary phenomena.

I was born in Germany on the French border, in Saarbrücken, I have studied European Ethnology/Cultural Studies, French Language and Literature and Modern German Literature in Germany (Marburg University), and Ethnology, Women's Studies and Sociolinguistics in France (University Aix-Marseille I). I completed my diploma in 1987 in France (supervisor Christian Bromberger) and my doctoral thesis in 1991 under the influence of the French school in Marburg (supervisor 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 last position in Switzerland was Scientific Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies in Architecture at the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich. Together with colleagues from social sciences and architecture, I 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”.

From time to time I feel a need to break out from my main focuses, in order to update them and thereby to impart them critical bite. These focuses are above all cultural urban research, mobilities, political anthropology, science research. As a representative of the Critical Analysis of Culture and Society, complex analyses of everyday culture – in a transdisciplinary and gender-oriented perspective – are near to my heart. Currently I am dealing with resistance and everyday life, urban citizenship and new political perspectives of society in the Mediterranean.

Choice of Publications

mcsj. Mobile Culture Studies. The Journal (ed. with Joachim Schlör, Southampton) Link

IACSA. International Association for Cultural Studies in Architecture. (Co-Editor) Link

2018 Ina-Maria Greverus (1929-2017): Courage and Obstinacy. Remembering a Frontrunner. In: Anthropological Journal of European Cultures 27, 2 (2018), 13-19. Link

2016 Culture – a theatre of complications. Inchoate thoughts over suicide attacks In: MAKUFEE. Online-Schriften aus der Marburger Kulturwissenschaftlichen Forschung und Europäischen Ethnologie, Band 7/2016, 1-22. PDF (german), PDF (english)

2014 Wine Advertising & Biography. An Essay on Advertisement Analysis in Cultural Anthropology. In: Beate Flath, Eva Klein (eds.), Advertising and Design. Interdisziplinary Perspectives on a Cultural Field, Bielefeld, 115-132. PDF

2010 Cleanness, Order, and Safety: Towards Restrictive Re-Definitions of Urbanity. In: Eveline Dürr, Rivke Jaffe (eds), Urban Pollution. Cultural Meanings, Social Practises, Oxford: Berghan, 163-177. PDF

2010 Mobile Culture Studies: Reflecting moving culture and cultural movements. In: Jussi Lehtonen, Salla Tenkanen, Hanneleena Hieta (eds), Ethnology in the 21st Century. Transnational Reflections of Past, Present and Future, 192-202.

2007 The temptations of the provisional. Multilocality as the (whole) way of life. In: Ethnologia Europaea 2. Second Homes, Second Lifes? Eds. Orvar Löfgren, Regina Bendix, 17-25. PDF

2003 Town-Country-Flow / Stadt-Land-Fluss. Second Home-Scapes as New Social Spaces and Strongholds of Urban Rurality. In: Ethnologia Fennica vol. 30, 5-13.


Univ.-Prof.i.R. Dr.phil.

Johanna Rolshoven

Univ.-Prof.i.R. Dr.phil. Johanna Rolshoven

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