Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik

Zentralinstitut der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Isabel Bredenbröker

Isabel Bredenbroeker
Photo: Kaluzna

Research Assistant
DFG Walter Benjamin Postdoctoral Fellow at CARMAH and HZK
Phone: –
Email: isabel.bredenbroeker@hu-berlin.de

I am a social and cultural anthropologist working between academia and art. As DFG Walter Benjamin Postdoctoral Fellow, my research project ‘Queering the Museum? – An anthropological toolkit for intersectional relations in the arts’ is based at CARMAH and HZK. I have conducted field research in Germany, Ghana, Togo, South Africa and Greece and previously held a faculty position at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Goethe University Frankfurt.

My work focusses on material and visual culture, specifically the anthropology of death, plastics and synthetic materials, anthropology of art and museums, queer theory and intersectionality, situatedness and autoethnography, colonialism, cleaning and waste. I employ multimodal ethnographic methods and engage with different formats in the field of public anthropology: I have produced ethnographic films, worked with field recording and (co-)curated as well as contributed to exhibitions in museum and contemporary art contexts. I enjoy the collaborative production of works and collective exchange as a different way of engaging with knowledge, also in teaching. At the EASA European Network for Queer Anthropology, I act a postdoctoral representative. My first monograph ‘Rest in Plastic: Death, time and synthetic materials in a Ghanaian Ewe community’ is forthcoming with Berghahn.

At CARMAH, I am conducting collaborative research in the Ethnological Museum Berlin. My project seeks to develop theoretical approaches from within the anthropology of art and kinship, queer studies and museum studies in order to understand and co-create queer relations around ethnographic museum objects. When searching for ways of collaborating that include political struggle, it is desirable to work on new intersectional techniques towards political agency and future-making. This should happen by looking at the intersection of defined categories of marginalization such as race, class, gender, economic positions and ableist conceptions of bodies and mental functions. Taking an approach that combines theoretical reflection from anthropology with artistic and curatorial practice, my project will formulate a queer methodology that informs and instructs the analysis and the creation of new relations around artworks and ‘ethnographic’ objects, queer here relating to unlikely kinship and non-normative kinds of relations that are of vital importance for anti-colonial practice in the arts and the museum. The project includes research with students as well as with other collaborators and will yield different works for exhibition contexts.