zum Inhalt springen

Hauke-Peter Vehrs, M.A.

Shortbiography

At present

Post-Doctoral Research in the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre 228: Future Rural Africa: Future-making and social-ecological transformation.


Sub-project A04: Future Conservation: Towards an African Eden? Shifting bio-cultural frontiers and the (re)coupling of social-ecological relations in the conservation areas.

 

Until January 2019

PhD, Anthropology, University of Cologne
Topic: Perceptions and cultural appropriations of landscape-level (biological) invasions. Environmental change and social transformation in East Pokot, Kenya.

 

Until Mar 2018

Member of research staff at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Cologne.

 

Until Mar 2016

Project Affiliation

FOR 1501 – Resilience, collapse and reorganisation in social
ecological systems of East and South African Savannas.

Sub-project C3: In search of order: institutional change, violent regulation and environmental knowledge under conditions of rapid social ecological change.

PhD, Anthropology, University of Bayreuth (cancelled due to violent conflicts in the study area)

MA, Human and Social Ecology, IFF Vienna

BA, Culture and Society of Africa, University of Bayreuth

Thematic Interests

Human and environment relations, pastoral livelihoods, imaginations of the future, sensual anthropology, multispecies ethnography, cognitive methods

Research Projects

Namibia

The Zambezi Region in Namibia is part of the larger Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) and comprises three national parks, a forest reserve and several community-based conservancies. In 2018 I started my work in this conservation area, mainly in a Hambukushu village near the Kwando River. I am particularly interested in the historical and future-oriented design of this landscape (1), how small farmers perceive their future in the region with and without nature conservation (2), and how human-animal relationships have changed over time.

 

Kenya

East Pokot is located in north-west Kenya and has undergone major socio-ecological transformations over the last two centuries. On the one hand, the former vegetation – a grass dominated savannah – has changed dramatically. The grass vegetation, which is essential for pastoral livelihoods and the successful rearing of cattle, has strongly declined over a long period of time and acacia bushes have encroached large areas. The previously specialised pastoralists have diversified their livelihood systems over time, turning towards browsing species (especially goat and camel), supplementary to cattle husbandry. Furthermore, some pastoralists have started to cultivate maize and rely less on livestock husbandry than before.The social transformations and changes in the environment go hand in hand and intensify against the background of current developments.

 

Nigeria

Gum arabic is a tree resin extracted from several species of acacia endemic to the Sahel region of Africa. In recent years, gum arabic production has changed from a smallholder to a more intensive, "modern" production system in which trees are cultivated and used to produce resins. In general, gum arabic is collected from several species of acacia and has several uses, either demanded at an international level, e.g. as an emulsifier or coating for a variety of products, or at the local level, e.g. for medical treatment or the production of ink (for writing).
In my work I focus mainly on the extent to which the commercialization of gum arabic and the perceived modernization of production practices in northeastern Nigeria has been successful in the past years and on the perspectives and challenges of modernization strategies in gum arabic production.

Lectures

Anthropology, fiction and literature. BA and MA seminar. Universität of Cologne. Winter term 2019/20.

A practical guide to fieldwork. Seminar given at the University of Namibia (UNAM) in collaboration with the Department of Sociology. Windhoek: Sommersemester 2019

Social and Ethical Responsibility of Scientists: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. BA and MA seminar. University of Cologne. Winter term 2017/18. In collaboration with the Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology.

Introduction to human-environment relations. MA seminar. University of Cologne. Winter term 2016/17.

New Approaches to Human-Environment Relations in Anthropology: Philippe Descola and Tim Ingold. BA and MA seminar. University of Cologne. Summer term 2017.

Social and Ethical Responsibility of Scientists. BA and MA seminar. University of Cologne. Summer term 2017. In collaboration with the Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology.

Introduction to human-environment relations. MA seminar. University of Cologne. Winter term 2016/17.

Introduction to human-environment relations in Africa. MA seminar. University of Cologne. Winter term 2013/14.

Tim Ingold and Philippe Descola: New Approaches to Human-Environment Relations in Anthropology. BA seminar in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Georg Klute. University of Bayreuth. Summer term 2013

Presentations

The making and remaking of future visions in the Zambezi Region, Namibia. European Conference on African Studies (ECAS). Edinburgh, 2019.

Lehre mal praktisch: Interdisziplinäres Team Teaching. Gemeinschaftlich Lehren und Lernen. Lecture Series “Lehre mal praktisch” at the Center for University Didactics. Cologne, 2018. Online verfügbar: https://youtu.be/R-HgPhUTeGI

CO2-arme Wissenschaft - sind Klimawissenschaftler*innen Klimasünder*innen? Studentische Meteorologie Tagung (STUMETA). Bonn, 2018.

Translocality Reversed. The Creation of “Remoteness” in Pastoral
East Pokot, Kenya. European Conference on African Studies (ECAS). Basel, 2017.

An Environmental History of East Pokot Land-Use and Land-Cover Transformations over the Past 200 Years. Symposium at the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology. Cologne, 2017.

Pokots' 'resistance to change' after Merkutwo circumcision (2016): Imagining future pastoral livelihoods. Conference of the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom (ASAUK), Cambridge, 2016.

In search of order: Institutional change, violent regulation and environmental knowledge under conditions of rapid social ecological change. FOR 1501 Stakeholder Workshop, Naivasha, 2015.

The expansion of Dodonea viscosa and its implications for socio-ecological change in Baringo County, Kenya. Baringo Workshop, University of Cologne, 2014.

The Enterprise of Gum Arabic. Reflections on the application of anthropological methods in the interdisciplinary field of human-environmental relations. German Anthropological Association (GAA), Mainz, 2013.

Publications


Vehrs, H.-P. and N. Küchler, 2019: Lehren im interdisziplinären Team - Das Team als Lerngegenstand. In: Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre 89. DUZ Medienhaus: pp. 65-80.

Basukala, A.K., Bollig, M., Greiner, C., Vehrs, H.-P., and F. Thonfeld, 2018: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Land Use Land Cover Change in East Pokot, Kenya. Poster presented at the Tropentag 2018: Global food security and food safety: The role of universities.

Vehrs, H.-P. and G.R. Heller. 2017: Fauna, Fire, and Farming: Landscape Formation over the Past 200 years in Pastoral East Pokot, Kenya. In: Human Ecology 45: pp. 613-625.

Vehrs, H.-P. 2017: Walking with pastoralists. Retrospective reflections on the everyday and exceptional challenges of the field. In: Storer, L. and A. Shoemaker (eds.): The challenges undisclosed. Reflections on invisible experiences of doctoral fieldwork. Field Diary 2: pp. 6-15.

Vehrs, H.-P. 2016. "Changes in landscape vegetation, forage plant composition and herding structure in the pastoralist livelihoods of East Pokot, Kenya." Journal of Eastern African Studies 10 (1): pp. 88–110.

Becker, M., Alvarez, M., Heller, G., Leparmarai, P., Maina, D., Malombe, I., Bollig, M. and H. Vehrs. 2016. "Land-use changes and the invasion dynamics of shrubs in Baringo." Journal of Eastern African Studies 10 (1): pp. 111–29.

Vehrs, H.-P. 2014: “Vorwort. Eine Anthropologie der Sinne oder eine sinnliche Anthropologie?” Cargo. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 33: pp. 1-3.

Vehrs, H.-P. 2013: Gum arabic as an enterprise. Socio-ecological analysis of gum arabic production in Yobe State, Nigeria. Social Science Series. Akademikerverlag: Saarbrücken.