Short Portrait: Hermann Jungraithmayr

Hermann Jungraithmayr
Hermann Jungraithmayr

Hermann Jungraithmayr was born in Eferding, Austria in 1931. After finishing school he took up his studies at the University in Vienna in 1950. Anthropology, African Studies and Egyptology were his major subjects.

In 1953 Jungraithmayr moved to Hamburg, where he continued his studies. He completed his Ph D thesis three years later and took up a lecturing position at the Goethe Institute in Cairo. Moreover, he began teaching at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

In 1958/59 Jungraithmayr did a field research both in Sudan and Chad. After his return to Europe he took up an assistant position at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology in Hamburg, where he was an expert for African Languages.

After his second field research, this time leading him to Nigeria, Jungraithmayr moved to Marburg in 1963 and began lecturing at the Chair for Cultural and Social Anthropology. Four years later he completed his habilitation thesis.

In 1968/69 Jungraithmayr held a Visiting Professorship at the Howard University in Washington,D.C., and eventually did further field researches in Nigerai and Chad. Throughout the following years he kept coming back to his places of research.

In 1972 Jungraithmayr was appointed professor at the Chair for Cultural and Social Anthropology in Marburg. After being Visting Professor at the Maiduguri University in Nigeria in 1982/83, Jungraithmayr moved to Frankfurt/Main in 1985.

In Frankfurt he became head chairman of the newly founded Chair for African Languages and also held a full professorship at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University.

Hermann Jungraithmayr retired in 1996 but kept researching (e.g., on the languages Tangale, Ngas and Mushere) throughout the following years.