Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology

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Prof. Dr. Philipp Schorch

Prof. Dr. Philipp Schorch


Areas of research and interest

Museum anthropology, material culture/history/theory, contemporary art and (post)colonial histories, the Pacific and Europe, collaborations with Indigenous artists/curators/scholars, (post)socialist environments


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

Room: U 165
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 9618
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 9602

Office hours:
Winter Term 2022: by appointment via email

Current research project

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

12 years after the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, indigenous stakeholders act as global players in arenas such as the UN Convention on Climate Change, the Dakota Access pipeline in the USA, and the Humboldt-Forum in Berlin. Yet, until the 1960s, anthropological inquiries considered the same people as ‘vanishing’ and doomed to disappear. The so-called Indigenous Renaissance presents a remarkable phenomenon of late (post)modernity. How can this surprising process be understood and explained? The objective of this project is to study how indigenous actors evolved from ‘vanishing people’ to global players. The project is located at the disciplinary intersections between anthropology, art, history, philosophy, and politics; and aims at making a future-oriented contribution to (re)emerging indigeneities and the (re)negotiation of their (post)colonial legacies in and with Europe. While the label ‘indigeneity’ circulates globally, it is also defined as a place-based marker of identity. This project breaks new ground by incorporating both dimensions – global circulation and local experience – in a common framework. It does so by studying entangled indigeneities as transregional and transcultural formations along the transpacific intersections between North and South America, Australia and the South Pacific. By untangling these intersections through museums as research sites and laboratories, the project’s sub-objectives are: 1. to historically identify the moments and processes through which indigenous people became re-ascribed through anthropological discourses and their involvement therein, 2. to ethnographically study the ways and forms in which indigenous people appropriate these external ascriptions for self-insertion into global affairs, 3. to experimentally research, in exhibitionary environments, the layers of indigenous continuity beneath the discursive transformation from ‘vanishing people’ to global players.

Prior research project

(Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant, Number 659660)
Assembling the Transpacific: Indigenous curatorial practices, material cultures and source communities

Curriculum vitae

Curriculum vitae Philipp Schorch (538 KB)

Cover Transpacific Americas 2

Transpacific Americas
Encounters and Engagements between the Americas and the South Pacific.
Edited by Eveline Dürr and Philipp Schorch, New York 2016.


Museums and the Future of Curatorship.

Edited by Philipp Schorch and Conal McCarthy, Manchester 2019.

Mat-Con cover

Exploring Materiality and Connectivity in Anthropology and Beyond

Edited by Philipp Schorch, Martin Saxer, and Marlen Elders, London 2020.


Refocusing Ethnographic Museums through Oceanic Lenses

Philipp Schorch, Honolulu 2020.

Curating (Post-)Socialist Environments
Edited by Philipp Schorch and Daniel Habit,
Bielefeld 2021.





List of publications Philipp Schorch (240 KB)