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Social Anthropology Field Course Burkina Faso (2018/2019)

Do you want to learn more about everyday life in ordinary African cities such as Koudougou, Tenkodogo, Banfora Ouahigouya, Bobo Dioulasso Fada N‘Gourma, Ouagadougou?

Are you planning to complete your MA in Anthropology, African Studies, or Critical Urbanism? Will you want to write your MA thesis on a topic that is relevant for development cooperation? Are you interested to get a thorough insight into how urbanisation looks like from the other side of the globe?

Then this course is for you. The field course 2018–2019 will take you to Burkina Faso, a land-locked country in the West African Sahel. The country‘s spirit of independence and indomitability is famous since centuries. Burkina Faso has been the home of mighty kingdoms as well as farmers who did not recognise any domination. Villages grew into towns where merchants lived and established markets for the commodities that they traded from the fringes of the rain forest in the South to the river Niger in the North-West. Other towns hosted kings and their courts. You will read and disuss relevant literature on urbanisation in Burkina Faso and elsewhere. You will learn how to approach urban people and milieus in West African cities. Besides standard methods of anthropology, you will acquire skills in the analysis of daily social realities in an African urban context. Your research will be guided by experienced tutors and the chair will partly cover your travel expenses.

You can chose your thematic focus and your field site. Within the wider field of secondary cities, you will be free to develop a small research project of your choice.

What will you need to do?

The field course starts in fall 2018 and covers two terms, with a field stay of six weeks in January and February 2019. If you want to participate, join us on May 31, 2019 at 12:15 in the Seminar Room of the Institute of Anthropology, Münsterplatz 19. Aïdas Sanogo, a PhD candidate from Burkina Faso, and Till Förster, chair of anthropology, will give you more information on how the field course will be organised, how we travel, the dates and places that we will visit, how much you will have to contribute yourself, health and visa issues. We will try to answer all your questions. We will also provide more information on how to proceed best if you need extra funding.

If you are thinking about a specific subject but cannot make up your mind, we will provide more information and will also outline possible themes that you may be interested in.

Interested? Send an email to

Tell us who you are, and let us know more about you so that we can support you better.

Download:Flyer (pdf)