Social and Cultural Anthropology

Prof. Dr. Karin Polit


Universität Tübingen
Abteilung für Ethnologie
Burgsteige 11
72070 Tübingen




Room: 128

Office hours, inquiries and deadlines

Office hours in the winter term 21-22 will be held on Thursdays from 10:15 - 11:45 am.
You can sign up for them via the Doodle platform.

For written inquiries, please note the following:

As of now, only requests sent from your university email address will be processed, unfortunately emails from other addresses often disappear. Please note that emails cannot be answered on weekends. Since I receive a lot of emails, it is advisable to send your email on a working day between 07:00 and 18:00, otherwise it risks to get lost.

I will answer your emails on Thursdays from 08:00 - 10:00. If I have not replied by then, please feel free to contact me again.

In very urgent cases, you are welcome to write to Ms. Arold, who will then forward your request to me.

I kindly ask you to address only content-related questions, requests for expert opinions and letters of reference, and questions concerning my courses or the supervision of mobility semesters and theses directly to me. All other questions should be directed to the departmental or general academic advisor.

The deadline for all assignments is always the end of the current semester, i.e. March 30 for the winter semester and September 30 for the summer semester. In order to ensure that your work is processed as quickly as possible, from now on no work will be accepted that is submitted after this deadline



Research topics

  • The global hierarchy of value and the circulation of ideas, goods and aesthetic regimes related to cultural heritage, ritual and religion.
  • Education, Work and Art in Resistance to Global and Local Inequalities (In collaboration with Prof. Gabriele Alex, University of Tübingen and Imre Kertész Kolleg, University of Jena)
  • Religion, Ritual, Performance
  • Stress, education and teen suicide in India
  • Media and Youth Culture in New Delhi
  • Gender (violence, medicine, reproduction, youth)
  • Medical anthropology (new technologies - mental health - violence)
  • Mourning for own reproduction when children die early - USA, Europe, India, Japan (in cooperation with Prof. Harish Naraindas, JNU, New Delhi)

Since 04/2018

at the Department of Anthropology, University of Tübingen

Venia Legendi Award in Anthropology

at University of Heidelberg


University of Heidelberg Topic: "Ethnographic Reflections on Practices of Gender and Agency among Dalit Women in the Central Himalayas"

Magister Artium Anthropology

Bachelor of Arts Anthropology

at James Cook University, North Queensland, Australia



When Gods set out to wander: The value of art, heritage and ritual in Uttarakhand, India. (Habilitation thesis, submitted in April 2015. Faculty of Behavioural and Empirical Social Sciences, University of Heidelberg). New York: Oxford University Press.

Fieldwork in South Aisa, Special Issue 'The Oriental Anthropologist', Vol. 14 (1) .

Keep My Share of Rice in the Cupboard : ethnographic reflections on practices of gender and agency among Dalit women in the Central Himalayas. Heidelberg: Universitätsbibliothek der Uni Heidelberg. URL:


(with C. Brosius Ed.). Youth in South Asia. Special Issue. The International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies.

(with H. Walsdorf Hg.) Rituelle und Performative Lernkulturen. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz.

(with G. Alex Ed.) Childbirth and its Accompanying Rituals. Draupadi: Heidelberg.


Gifts of love and friendship: On changing marriage traditions, the meaning of gifts and the value of women in the Garhwal Himalays. In Journal of Hindu Studies.

Educational Stress and suicidal behavior among young middle class students in North India. In: Christiane Brosius und Karin Polit (Hg.) Youth in South Asia. Special Issue. The International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies.

Rituelles Lernen in ritueller Praxis: Kinästhetisch-mimetisches Lernen am Beispiel nordindischer Ritualpraktiken. In: Karin Polit und Hanna Walsdorf (Hg.). Rituelle und Performative Lernkulturen. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz.


When Gods set out to wander: the divine pilgrimage oft he godking „Jakh“ in the Central Himalayas. 59min, (Kamera, Regie, Konzept: K.Polit; Schnitt: S. Ewald und F. Pfeiffer)

Jugendkulturen in Indien und deren Rituale. 4,12 min. (Konzept, Mitarbeit und Protagonist: K.Polit – in Zusammenarbeit mit F. Pfeiffer und C. Bertolo, Universität Heidelberg)


Postgraduate students

  • Sarah Ewald „Acts of resistance in the every-day life of the conflict zone Kashmir“ [link]
  • Gaurav Lamichhane „Involuntarily Childlessness in Nepal: plural healing practices, masculinity, maleinfertility, and healing journeys of Nepali men“ [link]
  • Poonam Kamath „Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Infertility and Women’s Bodies: A Feminist Perspective“ [link]
  • Margarita Lipatova „“An ethnography of European refugee camp: structural violence in the ´refugee regime´”
  • Pallabi Roy „Locating Childlessness in India“ (Ko-Betreuung mit Prof. Gabriele Alex, Universität Tübingen)