Raphaela von Weichs is affiliated to the ‘Institut de sciences sociales des religions’ (ISSR) at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She was research fellow at the ‘Maison d’analyse de processus sociaux’ (MAPS), University of Neuchâtel and lecturer at the Institut of Ethnology, University of Münster. She received her PhD in African Studies from the University of Cologne, Germany and Master degrees in Ethnology, Sociology and Geography from the Free University Berlin (FU) and in Area Studies (Africa) from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
For her doctoral thesis she explored the recent revival of kingship in Uganda. At the core of her study is Bunyoro-Kitara, an ancient kingdom of the Great Lakes area in East/Central Africa which was abolished in the 1960s in the process of modern nation-building and reinstalled together with neighbouring kingdoms in the early 1990s. By combining discourse analysis together with ethnography and historical contextualization, she explains the ambivalence of kingship with the critical transformations of modern Uganda.
Empiricially, she conducted intensive fieldwork in Eastern Africa, particularly in central, southern (Buganda, Ankole) and western Uganda (Bunyoro-Kitara), thereby conducting research on political and cultural revival processes and on gender relations in post-war reconstruction processes.
Recently she extended her field research to Cameroon where she conducted pilot research for a new project on religious music (choirs), travelling cosmologies and new forms of evangelization in and between Africa and Europe.
Raphaela von Weichs taught social and cultural anthropology on all levels at the Universities of Cologne, Bochum, Münster and the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf in Germany, and also recently at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, thereby focusing on the anthropology of Africa, of religions and politics, gender, the fission and fusion of tradition with modernity, transnational migration, social and cultural theory, and qualitative methods of social research in anthropology.
Anthropology of religions and politics, transnationalism and translocality, migration, anthropology of kingship, processes of political and cultural revival, social movements, cultural heritage, tradition and modernity, event theory, performance theory, gender theory, post-war reconstruction, civil society, state and church.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Uganda and Cameroon
Europe: Germany and Switzerland.