Nadine Brückner

Dissertation project
Femaleness in Change. Knowledge and Action of Kara Women in the 21th Century.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Rose Marie Beck (Leipzig) & Dr. Felix Girke (Halle/Saale)
E-Mail: nadine.brueckner[at]

Research Interests

Ethiopia, mainly Kara, gender studies, everyday culture, language & communication, anthropology of emotions, systems of knowledge & moral, tourism, cultural contact

Curriculum Vitae
Since 04/2011 | PhD at Institut für Afrikanistik, University of Leipzig

03/2011 | M.A. in Social Anthropology & African Studies at University of Leipzig. Thesis: Die Kara Südwestäthiopiens und ihre Sicht auf den Tourismus in Korcho.

Since 2008 | Every year several months of fieldwork in Kara (South Omo Zone / Ethiopia)

My Research
Femaleness in Change. Knowledge and Action of Kara Women in 21th Century.
This dissertation project addresses the identity of Kara women (south-western Ethiopia) by documenting their knowledge and action in everyday life. What it means to be a Kara woman is the central issue of the approach and should be answered by considering essential moments in female life-cycles, everyday practices, common ideas and personal thoughts.
To understand the concept of womanhood in a local sense both will be of interest, an abstract definition of womanhood, and the lived reality characterized by possibilities and limits for women. This fundamental approach makes it possible to understand changing conditions under external influences which occur in the course of modernizing and globalization dynamics. By looking at personal orientations of specific women and their divergence from normative gender models, variances from the "ideal of being a woman" become recognizable. Current internal and external discourses that deal with topics of gender will be reflected according to their influence on knowledge, action and networks of Kara women and the encounter with the other sex.
The study is positioned in the thematic field between generally accepted images of womanhood and individual variances from it. More special it is dealing with social restrictions and limitations of autonomous action and on the other hand subjective wishes, decisions and innovations of Kara women.