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A kind of crisis

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I begin writing this blog with this first post, reflecting on why I actually began it. I am a social anthropologist, whose main interests were in health, HIV/AIDS, NGOs, development and feminist anthropology. After doing fieldwork with a Tanzanian NGO for my MA thesis, I took up work as a development worker with the German development cooperation in Tanzania, where I worked in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention.

Back in Germany, I joined an international NGO, now working as a desk officer but increasingly noticing that this is not what I want to go on with. It took me quite a while to figure this out, and finally, by mid/end 2009 I began serioulsly thinking of embarking on a PhD project, something that I always had been interested to do “later” – firstly, after graduation with my MA, I felt the urge to experience first hand what development work is all about. Because I am still working full time, it is not so easy to again to back to the libary, this is also why I experienced the anthro-blogosphere highly enriching as it is a great way to explore current trends and discussions.

So now, I am kind of thinking of a variety of topics for my PhD thesis, actually already completed a proposal about the current political development of Rwanda for a certain grad school. I was shortlisted, but then rejected – which, after firstly being greatly disappointed, probably just meant that I simply picked a second-best idea.

Because I am already blogging in my native German, I found blogging a great way of presenting one’s thoughts in a brief and concise way, inviting others to give feedback. By writing brief contributions on certain issues will also help me to sort out my many thoughts and maybe post some things that I cannot place elsewhere.

My main interests are development, the relationship between development and “culture” in particular, but also things like representation (how are “they” depicted – one reason why I keep feeling more and more uncomfortable working for the NGO I am working for), power-relations as influenced by development and fairly recently my interest in feminist thinking experienced a resurrection, also due to my exploration of some very good feminist blogs.

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