I am a social and cultural anthropologist with long-term ethnographic interests in Indonesia. My research focuses on environmental anthropology, marginality, poverty and wellbeing, inequality, gender, and development. As leader of this DFG-funded project my current research explores how different and partly contradicting visions of the future influence forest use changes and related social, economic and environmental transformations in the forested uplands of Indonesian Borneo.
I am working in Kalimantan since 2000, when I started to explore practices of customary land tenure among the Dayak Benuaq and struggles for the acknowledgement of customary rights. The downfall of the Indonesian President Suharto in 1998 and the subsequent political reform process had significant impacts for the political landscape of Indonesian Borneo and its indigenous population. My PhD research analysed the impacts of regional autonomy in East Kalimantan and opened the door for a broader perspective on changing centre-periphery relations in Indonesia. My subsequent post-doctoral research project focused on gender, (in)equality and economic changeand aimed to understand how inequalities are (re)produced along various categories of social differentiation within Dayak Benuaq society in the context of current rapid economic change. The many aspirations and worries concerning the future that I encountered in East Kalimantan during my last fieldwork drew me to my current research interest in future-making.
Since 2007, I am assistant professor (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology and since 2015 Senior Researcher at the Global South Studies Center at the University of Cologne.