Social and Cultural Anthropology

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Alex

Director of the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology 

Editor (together with Alexis von Poser) of the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie/Journal for Social and Cultural Anthropology

Universität Tübingen
Abteilung für Ethnologie
Burgsteige 11
72070 Tübingen

+49 (0)7071 - 29 - 78 53 8

Room: 127

Office hours

Office Hours Summersemester 2024

Please make a note in the diary for consultation hours. The next consultation hour will take place on 18 April from 2pm to 4pm and 22 April frm 2-3pm: 

If you have any questions - please get in touch. Different appointments can also be arranged if required.



Regional Focus
  • South Asia, especially South India (Tamil Nadu)
Thematic Focus
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Museum Studies
  • Anthropology of childhood and youth
  • Migration
  • Methods of Research

Research projects

Ongoing Projects

Completed Projects


Seit 11/2010
Lehrstuhlinhaberin Professur für Südasien

an der Abteilung für Ethnologie Tübingen


Brunel University, West London

Thema: Children and Childhood in Rural Tamil Nadu. Aspects of Ritual, Kinship, Gender, and Education among Children and Youth of Rural Tamil Nadu.

Master of Science in Medical Anthropology

Brunel University, West London

Thema: Pregnancy and Childbirth in Berlin.

Magister Artium Ethnologie, Soziologie und Publizistik

Freie Universität Berlin

Thema Magisterarbeit: Wert und Zahlung- Das Problem des Brautpreises.

Detailed Vita





Medizinische Diversität im postkolonialen Indien. Dynamik und Perzeption von Gesundheitsangeboten in Tamil Nadu. Weissensee Verlag, Berlin.


Learning and Embodying Caste, Class and Gender. Patterns of Childhood in Rural Tamil Nadu. National Folklore Support Centre, Chennai.


Articles in Edited Volumes

Oral Traditions of the Vagri of South India. Parts and Wholes: Essays on Social Morphology, Cosmology, and Exchange in Honour of JDM Platenkamp, Lit Verlag 

Fieldwork in South Asia – Relations, Roles and Research. The Oriental Anthropologist14(1), V.

Edited with K.Krause and D.Parkin: Turning Therapies: Placing Medical Diversity, Special Issue 'Medical Anthropology', Vol. 33 (1).

Edited with D. Parkin and K.Krause: Therapeutic Crisis, Diversification and Mainstreaming: Special Issue 'Anthropology and Medicine', Vol 20 (2).

Alex, Gabriele und Frank Heidemann: Tamil Nadu. Inequality and Status. In 'The Modern Anthropology of India', ed. by Peter Berger und Frank Heidemann, Routledge, pp.260-275.

Alex, Gabriele; Bettina Beer und Bernhard Hadolt: Einleitung. Authentizität und Kommodifizierung von Gesundheit und Heilung; in Alex, Gabriele; Bettina Beer und Bernhard Hadolt (Hg.)
Wa(h)re Medizin. Zur Authentizität und Kommodifizierung von Gesundheit und Heilung, Special Issue: Curare 35, 3.,S. 162-165.

Die Professionalisierung der tamilischen Vagri-Medizin , in 2012 Alex, Gabriele; Bettina Beer und Bernhard Hadolt (Hg.)
Wa(h)re Medizin. Zur Authentizität und Kommodifizierung von Gesundheit und Heilung, Special Issue: Curare 35, 3., S. 219-229.


Thiruchandran, Selvy 2001 Feminine Speech Transmissions. An Exploration into the lullabies and dirges of women. Women's education and research centre. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, and 2006 Stories from the Diaspora: Tamil women, writing. Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications. Social Anthropology 2008.


Arnold, David 2006. The Tropics and the Traveling Gaze. India, Landscape, and Science, 1800-1856. (Studies in Anthropology and Environment. Devon Pena and K.Sivaramakrishnan, Series editors). Seattle and London: University of Washington Social Anthropology.

Kuper, Adam 2005 The reinvention of primitive society. Transformations of a myth, Routledge, London and New York. Anthropological Forum 2007.

Detailed Publication list



  • PhD Students

    Awarded Degrees (as first supervisor):

    Pallabi Roy: “'You drowned me in tears, where did you go?'  An Ethnographic Study of Reproductive Loss and Grief in Middle-Class Kolkata, India".

    Michael David: “Transnational Re-creation: A Study on the Enculturation of Second-generation Sri Lankan Tamils in Germany“.

    Heribert Beckmann:  „You’ll only Have Rice in Your Hands, if You Have Your Feet in the Mud!’ Changes in the Enactment of Rice, Body, Environment, and Social Inequality in a Rice-Cultivating Village in Tamil Nadu, India”.

    Max Priester-Lasch: „Eine Reise nach Indien. Übersetzungen eines Modells“.

    Stefanie Stocker: „From ‚Friend’ to ‚Kin’? Solidarity among Tamil Graduates in educational, domestic and marriage contexts“.

    Current Dissertation Projects:

    Jahangir Khan, M.A.: "Dealing with OCD in Pakistan".

    Halima Haque, M.A.: "Homemaking among Bangladeshis in Germany".

    Thomas Krippner, M.A.: "Academic Timelines - Changing Student Identities in Indian Higher Education".

    Judith Riepe, M.A.: „Zwischen universellen Menschenrechten und nationaler Grenzpolitik: ‚Asyl‘ aus ethnologischer Perspektive“. 

    Justus Weiss, M.A.: "Heilpflanzen als Ressource in Tamil Nadu, Indien".

    Thambi Thangavel, M.A.: "Health as an Individual and Collective Ressource, Tamil Nadu, India".

    Emmanuel Ngang, M.A.: "Social Media and Health Seeking Behaviour in Cameroon".

    Franca Webel, M.A.: "Gesundheit als Ressource während und nach COVID-19, Deutschland".

    Samantha Strohmenger, M.A.: "Becoming Black as an Identity-forming Moment in the Accommodation of Black Asylum Seekers".

    Julia Faulhaber, M.A.: "Rude Boys, Bad Man, Baller. A Social Negotiation of Values, Practices, Expectations, and the Future in Kingston, Jamaica" (Working Title).

    Lana Balorda, M.A.: " Commemorative Practices in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina".

    Judith Zweck, M.A.: "Blank Spaces in the Museum: Purchases and Sales of Museum Holdings to the Art Trade in the Period from 1945 to 1973 at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart". (Zweitbetreuung)

    Katharina Nowak, M.A.: "The Decolonial Knowledge Production of Ethnographic Collections: Rethinking Museums".

    Sophie Eckhardt, M.A.: „Exhibition-making in the 21st century. A process-accompanying research of an exhibition of the Linden-Museum Stuttgart“.

    Lisa Priester-Lasch, M.A.: "Die 'heilige' Speise des Jagganath Tempels in Orissa" (Working Title).



Summer term 2018




Winter term 2017/18



Title: Plan/Designing Research Projects
Module: ETH-MA-02-2
Time: Tuesday, 12 noon - 2 pm
Place: Castle, R220


Title: Theorien und Methoden
Module: BA-02-1
Time: Wednesday, 12 noon - 2 pm
Place: Neue Aula, HS10

Summer term 2017


Title: Forschung/Anwendung: Ethnologie des Körpers
Module: ETH-BA-05
Time: Tuesday, 2 pm - 4 pm
Place: Castle, R03


Title: MA-Kolloqioum
Module: MA-09-1
Time: Tuesday, 10 am - 12 noon

Place: Castle, R220


Title: BA-Kolloquium
Module: BA-11-1
Time: Wednesday, 9 am - 12 noon
Place: Castle, R03

Winter term 2016/17


Title: Planung/Vorbereitung Mobilitätssemester
Module: (BA-07-1)
Time: Tuesday 10 am - 2 pm, c.t.
Place: -


Title: Theorien und Methoden
Time: Wednesday 10 am - 12 noon, c.t.
Place: Neue Aula, HS2

Summer term 2016


Title: Forschung/Anwendung: Visuelle Ethnologie
Module: (BA-05-2)
Time: Tuesday. 10 am - 2 pm, c.t.
Place: Brechtbau
Title: Forschung/Anwendung: Materialität/Konsum
Module: (BA-05-2)
Time: Tuesday 6 pm - 8 pm, c.t.
Place: Room 03, Castle


Title: Bachelor- und Master-Kolloquium
Module: (BA-11-1); (MA-09-1)
Time:  Wednesday 9 am - 12 noon, c.t.
Place: Room 03, Castle