Short Portrait: Thomas Bargatzky

Thomas Bargatzky
Thomas Bargatzky

Prof. Dr. em Thomas Bargatzky was born in 1946 and spent his childhood years in the south of Germany. He developed an early interest in foreign cultures, literature and philosophy. In his teenage years Bargatzky moved to Heidelberg with his father, where he finished school in 1964.

Initially Bargatzky planned to study Mathematics and Physics. Eventually he changed his mind and took up his studies at the Institute for Ethnology and African Studies in Munich in 1969. While Anthropology was his major subject, Philosophy and Prehistory were his minors. At the institute in Munich, Hanns Prem, Lásló Vajda, Johannes Raum and Helmut Straube were among his teachers. Throughout his studies, Bargatzky not only deepened his knowledge on anthropological and philosophical matters, but developed a growing interest in the scientific research on historic and religious topics.

Due to a regional focus on Polynesia and Meso-America, Bargatzky continued his studies at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology in Hamburg since 1971. Hans Fischer, Hartmut Lang and Eike Hinz were among his teachers there. Bargatzky not only attended courses on Anthropology but chose Ancient American Studies and Sociology to be his minor subjects. Moreover, he participated in a student field research program which brought him to Ireland in 1972/73. Bargatzky graduated in 1977.

In 1979 Bargatzky took up an assistant position at the Institute for Ethnology and African Studies in Munich. In 1980/81 he did fieldwork in Samoa, where he mainly worked on political structures and religion. After his return to Germany he not only began lecturing at the institute in Munich but did further field researches in 1985. Moreover, he began to write his habilitation thesis, which he completed in 1988.

In 1988/89 Bargatzky took up a visiting professorship at the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology in Tübingen. Since 1990 he held a full professorship for Ethnology at the University of Bayreuth. During the following decades, Bargatzky not only lectured on a wide range of topics and published a number of books but also chaired research programs and held visiting professorships (e.g., in Vienna). Moreover, Bargatzky did further researches in Samoa and Mexico. He retired in 2010.

further informationfurther information