Short Portrait: Ulrich Braukämper

Ulrich Braukämper
Ulrich Braukämper

Prof. Dr. em Ulrich Braukämper was born in Albaum in 1944. He grew up in a rural region of North-Rhine Westphalia. His family has a working class background. Due to his early interest in travel literature and foreign cultures, Braukämper planned to study Anthropology. He finished school in 1964.

The same year Braukämper took up his studies at the University in Cologne. While Anthropology was his major subject, Prehistory, Sociology and Oriental Studies were his minor subjects. At the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology Helmut Petri and Helmut Straube were among his teachers. Moreover, Karl Anton Nowotny and Rene König had an impact on him. Braukämper attended not only theoretical courses (e.g., on Ethnohistorie) but participated in a student field research to Spain. Furthermore, he developed a regional focus on Africa and especially deepened his knowledge about the Fulbe.

In 1969 Braukämper graduated with a thesis on the historical influence of the Islam in Cameroon. He immediately took up an assistant position at the Frobenius-Institute in Frankfurt/Main. During the following years Braukämper took part in a number of field researches in Ethiopia. Moreover, he lectured at the Institute of Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1979.

Further field researches led him to Somalia and Sudan between 1980 and 1984. In 1985 Braukämper became head chairman of the National Museum of Ethnography in Khartoum, Sudan. After his return to Germany Braukämper completed his habilitation thesis in 1990. He eventually took part in a collaborative research project for which he did field work in Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

In 1995 Braukämper took up a full professorship at the Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology in Göttingen. Besides lecturing Braukämper also established an Africa-Department at the Anthropological Collection in Göttingen and did further field researches. He retired in 2009.

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