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Ute   Eickelkamp

Independent researcher

I grew up in Germany's Ruhr District, studied Anthropology in Marburg and Berlin, and completed my PhD at Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg in 2001, having by then emigrated to Australia. I live in the Blue Mountains, NSW, with my anthropologist husband, Jadran Mimica, and our twins.

Most of my ethnographic field research has been with Anangu Pitjantjara families at Pukatja in northern South Australia, with different foci including art, children's play and imagination, monsters, local representations of kinship, and, most recently, the idea of 'nature' in Anangu life as it is emerging via the semantic field of Christianity.

Since 2012, I have become very interested in understanding the transformation of my old heimat, the Ruhr District, which is shedding yet again a conflicted past - as Europe's epicentre of heavy industries and especially coal mining. Deindustrialisation and the heritagisation of the industrial past and specifically environment is now making way for a restored landscape. How are the people still attached to the working class milieu fare in this transition? What might be their relationship to 'nature' across time? This is a slow collaboration with local artists, activists and historian Stefan Berger.

I am trying to find my own integration of reflexive (philosophical?) questions and psychoanalytic insight on the one hand, and empirical facts on the other.
Member of
Australian Anthropological Society (AAS)
Geographic administrative areas
Geographic places
Central Australia
South Australia
Historical periods
20th century
21st century
The Colonial time
Indigenous languages
  • Academic Position (2012 to 2016)
    ARC Future Fellow — Australian Research Council/University of Sydney
    A fieldwork based research on Anangu ontology, Christianity, conception of nature and transforming personhood
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