Prof. Dr. Matthias Krings

Principal Investigator | Bodies and Performances

I am head of the project “Melanin Matters: Fair Skin in- and outside of Africa” and co-leader of the Public Relations Project.

As a cultural anthropologist with a regional focus on Africa (Nigeria, Tanzania, and Kenya), I am interested in processes of postcolonial epistemic and cultural exchange between Africa and Europe.

Within the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1482, I investigate practices of human differentiation based on skin color, including those that exist in African societies with reference to Europeans and other light-skinned foreigners; that is, categorizations that transcend the European notion of “race.” In my research, I am particularly interested in the perspective of the categorized.

Beyond the CRC, I have worked on the ritual embodiment of Europeanness in African spirit possession cults, as well as on multiple framings of albinism in Europe, Africa, and elsewhere; currently, I am also researching African popular culture and cultural entrepreneurship in the age of digital transformation.

Foto: Stephanie Füssenich