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Gesa Grimme, M.A.

Gesa Grimme, M.A.

Alumni / Doctoral Researcher


Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Oettingenstr. 67
80538 Munich

Room: U 165
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 9248

Work group

Indigeneities in the 21st century: From ‘vanishing people’ to global players in one generation
(ERC Starting Grant, Number 803302)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Philipp Schorch


PhD project: “Doing provenance research: Towards the decolonization of ethnographic museums? An ethnographic study of researchers, institutions and post-colonial contexts”

Research Interest

My PhD project ethnographically examines how knowledge is produced in the field of provenance research on objects from colonial contexts. This growing field of research has emerged in the context of the debate on the origins of ethnographic collections in recent years. The project aims to uncover the decolonizing potential of provenance research and to map out the conditions of its unlocking. Taking the experiences of the protagonists involved as starting point, the multi-layered contexts in which provenance research is conducted will be investigated. By asking who is researching how and what under which conditions, the project will shed light on the multi-layered contexts in which provenance research is being conducted. In doing so, the project will reveal how institutional structures and social discourses, such as epistemological-ontological assumptions and moral-ethical perspectives, affect actors and research processes.

Academic Career

  • Since 2021: Doctoral researcher at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, LMU Munich
  • 2018-2021: Freelance provenance research on collections from colonial contexts
  • 2016-2018: Research associate at the Linden Museum Stuttgart
  • 2015-2016: Research associate at the Museum of Ethnology Hamburg
  • 2013-2015: Junior researcher at the Museum of Ethnology Hamburg
  • 2013: MUSEALOG – Training as a specialist for collection management and quality standards in museums
  • 2012: Research contract with the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum Hildesheim
  • 2011: M. A. at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg August University Göttingen. Thesis: „Kultureller Wandel und das Aufkommen von Störungen im Essverhalten in Fiji – Überlegungen zur Betrachtung von Essstörungen als kulturellem Phänomen“
  • 2004-2011: Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Medieval and Modern History at the Georg August University Göttingen

Presentations, Workshops & Discussions (Selection)

  • 02/2021: Colloquium “Provenienzforschung“ at the German Lost Art Foundation, panel discussion on “Digitale Provenienzforschung – Chancen und Herausforderungen“
  • 12/2018 “Where to start? Systemizing Provenance Research on Objects from Colonial Contexts”, conference “Sensitive Heritage: Ethnographic
Museums and Material/Immaterial Restitution“, Grassi Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig.
  • 03/2018 “‘Weltoffen seit 1862‘: Koloniale Spuren in Ethnologischen Museen“, workshop “Labelling im Museum – Wie gehen wir mit diskriminierender Sprache um?“ as part of „Heimat – Internationalen Wochen gegen Rassismus in Stuttgart“, Linden-Museum Stuttgart.
  • 02/2017 “Annäherungen an ein ‚Schwieriges Erbe‘. Provenienzforschung im Linden-Museum Stuttgart“.Conference “, conference “Provenienzforschung in ethnologischen Sammlungen der Kolonialzeit“, Museum Fünf Kontinente Munich.
  • 09/2015 “Das Projekt ‚Kolonialismus und Museum‘ und die Veröffentlichung der Ergebnisse als App“, workshop talk on the project „Kolonialismus und Museum“, Freundeskreis des Völkerkundemuseums Hamburg e. V.


Research Association for Provenance Research (Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung e. V.)

  • Working group Colonial Provenances
  • Working group Digitalization (part of the working group Colonial Provenances)

German Anthropological Association (DGSKA)

  • Working group Museum
  • Working group Oceania

Network "Colonial Contexts