American cultural anthropologist elected head of International Affairs at University of Tübingen
Monique Scheer to succeed Heinz-Dieter Assmann in October
The University of Tübingen Senate has elected a new Vice-President of International Affairs for an initial four-year term of office. She is Monique Scheer, a professor of Historical and Cultural Anthropology. Scheer succeeds Law professor Heinz-Dieter Assmann, who retires October 1.
University President Bernd Engler described Scheer as a distinguished researcher with outstanding international connections. He said Scheer could give fresh impetus to the University of Tübingen’s networking with excellent institutions of higher education around the world. “Many of our most important and very high-performance partners are in North America,” said Engler. “So I am very glad to be able to welcome Monique Scheer as our new Vice-President - our first US citizen in the President’s Office.” He added that Scheer is well acquainted with the University’s structure and with the work of non-university research institutions, and brings with her everything the University needs to further improve its international ties.
Engler also praised the retiring Vice-President of International Affairs. “Over the past seven years, Heinz-Dieter Assmann has played a major role in helping to develop the University of Tübingen as top international institution with ties around the globe,” he said. “This has included expanding our international study programs, co-founding the Matariki Network of international research universities, and the directing of complex processes of internationalization across all areas of the University.”
Monique Scheer aims to pursue the University’s long-term goals. “Collaboration with outstanding universities in Europe and North America are of particular importance,” she says. “We have very good networks in the area of student exchange across Europe. We need to secure and strengthen our networks beyond Europe.” Scheer also plans to further develop stronger European research ties. She stresses the importance of maintaining contacts with international researchers as part of making networks sustainable. She says the University cannot afford to lose touch with guest researchers who have worked and taught in Tübingen. “They hold considerable potential for building and expanding long-term academic projects,” Scheer says. “And so I would like to continue with the work of forming a network of Tübingen research alumni.”
Since 2014 Monique Scheer has been a professor of Historical and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Tübingen. Scheer, 49, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and acquired her first degree in History at Stanford. She began work in 1989 at a publishing house in Stuttgart. She completed her Master’s degree in Historical and Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies in Tübingen, going on to finish her doctorate in 2005. She worked within the Collaborative Research Center on “War Experience” in Tübingen. For several years she worked at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin before returning to Tübingen as an assistant professor in 2011.
Her research focuses on religious and ethnic diversity, and includes the manifold practices of Christian faith and the visual and material culture of religion. For example, she has conducted research into Marian apparition cults in postwar Germany and the changing meanings ascribed to the skin color of black Madonnas. Scheer has also looked at emotional histories, researching expressions of human emotion as cultural practices. She headed a project within the Collaborative Research Center on “Threatened Orders”, focusing on the emotional practices of social movements in the 1970s and 80s.
Monique Scheer is on the executive board of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore and is an editor of the international journal Ethnologia Europaea. With support from the Humboldt Foundation, Scheer was able to bring Professor Pamela Klassen from the University of Toronto to Tübingen as a guest researcher. Scheer and Klassen are conducting a joint project on the culture of remembrance in multicultural societies.
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