Institute of Historical and Cultural Anthropology

Graduate Program (M.A.) in Empirische Kulturwissenschaft (Historical and Cultural Anthropology) with a concentration in Museums and Collections

With its openness to other disciplines and its international orientation, Empirische Kulturwissenschaft (EKW, or Historical and Cultural Anthropology) represents a modernization and expansion of the field of Volkskunde (Folklore Studies) that is unique within Germany. It is concerned with German and European culture, with current developments, but also with cultural-historical processes that continue to have an impact today.
EKW understands culture as the permanent, creative negotiation of the rules by which people, groups, and societies live together, set themselves apart from each other, and communicate with each other. Within this context, EKW pays special attention to how people deal with cultural offerings and knowledge management, with cultural manifestations of social injustice, and with the interaction between global and local cultural developments (for instance, interculturality and transnational ways of life) in their everyday lives.

Career Opportunities

In comparison with other disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, as alumni of the program regularly report in career-oriented events, the career prospects of EKW graduates are consistently good. The most important career fields include museums and exhibitions as well as various professions in the media followed by academia, work in cultural heritage institutions and archives, and work in the area of cultural policy.

The program teaches a broad range of competencies aimed at helping students to understand and communicate about topics in culture and social science, and this prepares them for job opportunities in NGOs, businesses, consultation, etc.

 

How to Apply and Selection Process

The graduate program and the graduate program with a concentration in Museums and Collections take students with an undergraduate degree in cultural studies or the humanities with a minimum “B” grade average who would like to further their professional or academic qualifications. Currently, there is space to accept approximately 20 students into the program each year. The decision whether or not to add a concentration to the graduate program must be made by the end of the first semester of study. Students who did not major in EKW, European Ethnology, or Cultural Anthropology as undergraduates are encouraged to apply if they can demonstrate that they possess the pertinent knowledge in cultural studies.

Submission Deadline: January 15th/July 15th
Enrollment: by April/October
Start of Studies: in the summer/winter semester

Please apply using the Onlineportal ALMA

Program of Study

The M.A. program in EKW deepens students’ knowledge of subject-specific areas of focus and broadens their horizons in cultural studies through a student research project. This research project allows students with different kinds of disciplinary expertise and practical experience to contribute their knowledge and develop their research and practical skills.
Students have the option to integrate the concentration in Museums and Collections into their studies. The concentration imparts a deeper understanding of the museum as an institution and of museum theory and practice.
The integration of additional areas of concentration such as Cultural Diversity and The Digital Humanities is planned for the graduate program in the near future.

Research Areas
The profile of the discipline is shaped by the following areas of research focus:

Goals of the M.A. Program
The research-oriented M.A. program imparts in-depth subject-specific knowledge, methods, and techniques that are essential for comprehending the cultural constitution of modern European societies. Students gain the expertise necessary to independently analyze regional, ethnic, religious, and gender-related phenomena and conflicts within the context of social, historical, and sociopolitical developments. They learn to work at an advanced level in a way that is systematic, grounded in theory, and evinces reflection on methodology while developing the skills to conduct empirical research and to present results in a way that can be readily understood.

The Research Project
The concentration in Museums and Collections imparts additional knowledge and skills. Students develop competencies necessary for museum work and learn the basics of museum history and museum theory. The concentration also allows students to understand the special characteristics and complexities of work in museums and collections, to learn to differentiate independently between different forms of cultural and academic communication, and to professionally report and reflect on activities in museums in media. The concentration is oriented towards research and will use the university’s collections as a resource, give a new crop of students theoretical training in the field, and recruit students who wish to continue their studies at the doctoral level.

The research project constitutes the curricular core of the Master’s program, with or without a concentration in Museums and Collections. It is conducted over the course of three semesters and imparts a number of practical skills. In this research and presentation project developed in consultation with an instructor, students carry out independent, theory-based research, which at its conclusion is presented in a form that is accessible to and readily understood by the general public (for instance, through an exhibition, a book, or a website). To this end, questions pertaining to the everyday world are “translated” into a research project, and the contributions of the project to knowledge in the area of cultural studies are communicated to a non-academic public. In a joint effort and with an emphasis on teamwork, students employ empirical methods and develop their writing and presentation skills while working on assignments that are highly relevant to their professional lives. Students acquire expertise in project management, moderation, and group leadership, while at the same time developing their capacity for teamwork and cooperation, their ability to work under the pressure of deadlines, and their communication skills. The EKW research project “Tü amo” was awarded the “Landeslehrpreis” (State Teaching Award of the State of Baden-Württemberg) in 2009. Successfully completed research projects can be found here.

Program Outline
The content of the graduate program is organized in modules and consists of 120 credit points distributed over four semesters (the standard period of study). At the close of their studies, students complete a master’s thesis and an oral exam. Graduates obtain the academic degree of Master of Arts (M.A.). After completion of the program, it is possible to go on to obtain a doctorate.
For the concentration in Museums and Collections, three modules on museum studies consisting of a total of 30 ECTS credit points will be integrated into the program.