Short Portrait: Ute Luig

Ute Luig
Ute Luig

Prof. Dr. em Ute Luig was born in Villingen in 1944. She grew up in Cologne. At an early age Luig developed a strong interest in literature, foreign cultures, and distant world regions, e.g., India and Tibet. She finished school in 1964.

The same year Luig took up her studies at Cologne University. She initially planned to become a teacher and elected Geography and German Studies as her main subjects. Anthropology was her minor subject, in which she attended courses by Helmut Petri and Florian Deltgen.

In 1966 Luig moved to Freiburg, where she continued her studies. Due to her growing interest in Anthropology, Luig undertook her first research trip which led her to Kenia. There she collected data on resettlement programs and took part in geographical expeditions.

Strongly influenced by the experiences of her journey, Luig decided to study Anthropology as a main subject. In Freiburg, Rolf Herzog was among her teachers. Furthermore, she not only attended courses by Gerd Spittler and Christian Sigrist at the Institute for Sociology but also visited lectures on Psychology and Psychoanalysis.

In 1968 Luig went to Uganda for two years, where she studied at the university in Kampala. She attended lectures by Adam Kuper, e.g., on urban anthropology, social anthropology and kinship. Besides her studies Luig conducted field research on Kiga migrant workers.

After her return to Freiburg Luig began to write her PhD thesis based on the data she had collected. She graduated in 1972 and immediately took up an assistant position at the Institute for Sociology and Anthropology in Heidelberg. There she not only began lecturing but developed a growing interest in Marxist and feminist theories. Moreover, Luig did further field researches in Africa.

In 1978 Luig took up a position at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies in Mainz. Eventually, she became academic council at the Johannes-Gutenberg-University in Mainz. Besides lecturing Luig began to write her habilitation thesis, which she finished in 1987. Throughout the following years, Luig
did further field researches, for example, in Zambia.

In 1990 Luig took up a full professorship at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the Free University in Berlin. Within the next two decades she not only gave a large number of lectures on various subjects and new topics (e.g., Gender, Medical Anthropology), but did further field researches ( e.g., in Zimbabwe and Tanzania).

In 2005 Luig received the Federal Cross of Merit. Furthermore, she became Dean of the Department of Political and Social Sciences in 2006/07.

Ute Luig retired in 2010.

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