Diese Seite befindet sich im Umbau.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Stodulka

Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • News and information on consultation hours

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Stodulka will be in a research semester from 01.04. to 30.09.2024.

  • Research

    My first research project was based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork with marginalized communities in Indonesia between 2001 and 2015. In an applied anthropological manner, this study collaborated with street-related youth, local and expatriate NGO-networks, doctors, nurses, and artists. The ethnographic study elucidated practices of coping with stigmatization by following the lives and trajectories of street-related persons and communities. It examined practices of care and the expanding social, economic, and spatial mobilities at the margins. The study contributed to the formulation of anthropological theory on attention and avoidance, emotion and economy in marginalized environments.

    My second longer-term anthropology project that followed was titled “The Researcher’s Affects” (2013 to 2018). The project focused on the role of affect, embodiment, and emotions in ethnographic research and contributed to multimodal research methods in social and cultural anthropology, literature, and primatology. It has manifested in a series of books, peer reviewed articles, art installations, a documentary, and it has developed a kaleidoscope of ethnographic and text analysis methods. The scholarly works have emplaced these methods in internationally renowned handbooks and encyclopedias. Three other projects that I have co-directed in larger interdisciplinary consortiums promoted anthropology among more hegemonic disciplines, such as data science, health economics, neuroscience, and psychology. The collaborative projects focused on transcultural dimensions of envy and social inequality, big data research, ethics and archiving, and publicly engaged anthropology in the context of migration, im/mobility, and refugees.

    My commitment to research collaboration is further substantiated through my role as editor of internationally leading journals, blogs and book series, and as the co-founder and initiator of international research networks. I enjoy expanding existing networks with scholars working at universities, organizations, and civil society movements based in Asia and beyond. I collaborate with a group of scholars on school gardens and global knowledge circulation in the context of education, environmental activism and imagining futures. This is my third long-term study focus, which circles back to one of the facets of my first research where I followed marginalized communities that were particularly successful in advancing organic gardening in Indonesia together with translocal actors from Europe, Australia and America. The project expands on permaculture networks and focusses on how permaculture and school garden curricula can shape futures, livelihoods, personhoods and economies across Southeast Asia. Another ongoing and major focus of my work are collaborative methods and decolonial thought in research on mental health and illness at the urban and rural margins in Indonesia and beyond.

  • Research Focus

    • Affect and Emotion
    • Education, Economy, and Environment
    • Childhood and Youth
    • Ethnographic Methods and Collaborations
    • Marginalization, Stigmatization, and Mental Health
    • Psychological Anthropology
    • Public Anthropology
    • Social Inequalities and Mobilities
    • Visual Anthropology
  • Forschungsregion

    will follow

  • Lehransatz

    I use group walking sessions to learn more about student’s theoretical interest and scholarly motivation at the beginning of a semester. The 90-120 minutes walking sessions help in learning about students’ concerns at the onset of a semester, or when discussing public or political issues related to the course work in resonating public spaces. They also create a mobile format of bringing students into peer dialogue and conversation.

    Regular writing assignments include short response papers to texts, ad hoc essays on exploratory focused observation (e.g. in the U-Bahn: on embodiment and mobile technology practices; or positioned family ‘genealogies’: to illustrate the challenges and shortcomings of quantitative methods) or full essays that summarize main arguments of core readings, contextualize them historically, politically, and in a reflexive manner. The essays written in the seminars on suffering and well-being, and critical perspectives on mental health and illness have, for example, resulted in the publication of a blog titled ‘anthro-metronom’ that MA-students initiated and which I supervise on a voluntary basis.

    ‘World café’ sessions divide large groups into smaller sections to discuss central arguments of core texts or critical statements of politicians, journalists, activists etc. as they were published in blogs and newspapers. Volunteering ‘table hosts’ then summarize the main results and present them to the whole group. In the MA level, I use this method to help students design research proposals at the end of the teaching term.

    I adopt flash presentations of 7 minutes (sharp!) on topics that students choose themselves to ‘pitch’ ideas to an audience and get their attention for further discussion. This exercise is important for students to focus on main arguments based on previous readings and self-organized literature research, and win over the audience’s attention through engaging in mixed media presentations. I convey my feedback to them based on the criteria of eloquence, clarity of argument, creativity of argument and presentation, and subsequent moderation/Q&A of the discussion during weekly open door office hours.

    I hold regular supervision colloquiums for doctorate and MA students as well as hosted postdoc fellows in an ‘Ethnography Workroom’. Here, didactics are not oriented towards issues of performativity. As the title suggests, this process encourages early-career scholars to share their challenges, dead-ends, and also potential research-related frustration with myself and the group.

    My approach draws on the principles of intersectional teaching, which emphasizes inclusive and culture fair teaching practices. This awareness relates to the establishment of rather simple conventions of addressing each other in non-heteronormative ways or paying attention to language deficiencies in the course language, to more complex political and personal issues of racism, sexism, and bullying. I bring this awareness to my research, teaching, and service. Attending to students’ positionalities and biographies is important, because it promotes a diversification of voices in classrooms and at departments. I support applications of doctorate students from different backgrounds and I strive for a diversified cohort of doctorate students.

  • Teaching

  • Here follows the automated integration of all publications listed in CRIS.