Direkt zum InhaltDirekt zur SucheDirekt zur Navigation
▼ Zielgruppen ▼

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Europäische Ethnologie

Jonas Tinius, Ph.D.

Curriculum Vitae | Research | Publications | Teaching | Conferences/Talks
Jonas Tinius Ph.D.
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Forschungsprojekt)
jonas.tinius (at) hu-berlin.de
Web Adresse

Einrichtung (OKZ)
Philosophische Fakultät → Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Mohrenstraße 40/41 , Raum 402/403
+49 (0)302093-70887

nach Vereinbarung

  • Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (post-doc) at the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMaH) in the research project „Making Differences in Berlin: 'Transforming Museums and Heritage in the 21st Century'

  • Against the backdrop of Berlin's major new museum developments, most notably the Humboldt-Forum and its associated partners (Ethnological Museum, Museum of Asian Art, Humboldt-Lab), my post-doctoral research explores the theorising potential of contemporary art and its role in engaging diversity and non-European art and cultural heritage in Germany. As part of CARMaH's "Transforming the Ethnographic" research area, my project focuses on a range of dispersed artistic organisations and institutions as sites for reflexive theorising about the relation between art and anthropology. I will be exploring how artists and researchers position themselves with regard to some of the contentious issues raised by ethnological museum projects such as those in the Humboldt-Forum. These include, but are not limited to, questions about the involvement of artistic research and expertise, 'source communities' and alternative knowledge production, architectural design and cultural heritage, neo-colonialism and cosmopolitanism.

  • Among the central aims of my research are, first, a rethinking of institutions (including galleries and museums) as reflexive sites and public theorisers of difference and diversity in Berlin and Germany. Second, I seek to reposition contemporary art practices and communities as fields of expertise for the negotiation of Germany's relation to European and non-European art and cultural heritage. In the process of working through these relations ethnographically, it may evidently turn out to be fruitful, and indeed necessary, to interrogate and find alternative concepts to the very categories of analysis that underlie the project, such as 'contemporary', 'expertise', or ‘anthropological/ethnological/ethnographic'. Through my previous doctoral research on German public theatre institutions and the free theatre scene, I also continue to work collaboratively with critical refugee theatre initiatives and freelance collectives in Berlin and the Ruhr valley on issues such as post-fordist labour conditions, ethical self-cultivation in the arts, and artistic representations of otherness in theatre. I am currently preparing a book manuscript based on this research. For my CARMaH profile, please visit the project's own website.

Selected publications 



  • 2017 'Art as ethical practice: anthropological observations on and beyond theatre'. World Art 7(2). Special issue on Aesthetics and Ethics. [LINK
  • 2017 'Anthropological observations on artistic subjectivation and institutional reflexivity: the theatre project Ruhrorter with refugees at the Theater an der Ruhr', in: Matthias Warstat et al. (eds.) Applied Theatre - Frames and Positions. Berlin: Theater der Zeit, pp. 205-235. [LINK].
  • 2016   ‘Foreword: The charitable relation’, in: Art as a Medium for Action. [Exhibition catalogue, edited by Gyunel Rustamova, curated by Cinthia Willaman.] London: Langham Press, pp. 4–6. [LINK]
  • 2016   ‘Economy, Happiness, and the Good Life’. An Interview with Prof Edward Fischer (Vanderbilt) on The Good Life. King’s Review. 2016 (1): 90–102.
  • 2016   'Palace coups: reconstructing history in the heart of Berlin' (with Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, Oxford). The Calvert Journal. June 2016. [Link]
  • 2016   ‘Institutions’ (with Lidia Rossner). Entry in GRAPA research group web dictionary, in collaboration with ‘Anthropology of Art’ interest group of VANEASA (Visual Anthropology Network of European Association of Social Anthropologists). June 2016. [Link]
  • 2016   Review: Sansi, Roger (2015): Art, Anthropology and the Gift. London: Bloomsbury. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 22 (1): 215-216. [Link]
  • 2016   ‘Rehearsing detachment: refugee theatre and dialectical fiction’. Journal of Art and Anthropology Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia. 5(1): 21-38. [Link]
  • 2016   ‘Micro-utopias: anthropological perspectives on art, creativity, and relationality’ (introduction to special issue). With Ruy Blanes, Alex Flynn, and Maïté Maskens. Journal of Art and Anthropology/Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia. 5(1): 5-20. [link]

  • 2016   ‘Micro-utopias: connections in anthropology, art, relationality and creativity’ (Special issue, co-edited with Ruy Blanes, Alex Flynn, and Maïté Maskens. Journal of Art and AnthropologyCadernos de Arte e Antropologia. 5 (1). [link]

  • 2015   Anthropology, Theatre, and Development: The Transformative Potential of Performance, edited with Alex Flynn. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [link]

  • 2015   ‘Between professional precariousness and creative self-organisation: the free performing arts scene in Germany’, in: Mobile Autonomy. Organizing Ourselves as Artists Today, edited by Pascal Gielen and Nico Dockx. Amsterdam: Valiz, pp. 159-181. [link]

Recent/upcoming talks

  • 2017 Tagung: ‘Das Politische in der Kunst: Anthropologische Betrachtungen’, Sektion VIII: Kunst-Medien-Politik, geleitet von Prof Christian Grüny, ‘Die Phänomenologie und das Politische’, Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Phänomenologischen Forschung, Institut für Philosophie, FernUniversität in Hagen/Deutschland. 13-16. September 2017.
  • 2017 Congress: ‘'The projectual and the contemporary: thinking about artistic precarity across time and space'. Work with/out borders. Precarity and the performing arts conference, organized by Prof Katharina Pewny et al., Performing Arts & Media, Department of Art Studies, Ghent University/Belgium. 18-19 March 2017.
  • 2017 Conference: ‘Ethnographic methods in theatre studies’. Methoden der Theaterwissenschaft, Konferenz organisiert von Prof Christopher Balme, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft, LMU Munich/Germany. 3-4 February 2017. 
  • 2016Seminar: ‘Reviewer meets reviewed’ (with Dr Roger Sansi). Seminar at the British Museum, organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute, British Museum, London/UK, 17 November 2016.
  • 2016 Workshop:'Beobachter unter sich: ethnografisches Forschen in der Kunst'. cobratheater.cobra Netzwerktreffen, Uferstudios für zeitgenössischen Tanz Berlin, 23-25 September 2016.
  • 2016 Conference: ‘Cultivating character: detachment in theatre and German society’. Anthropology of Character conference organised by Dr Adam Reed. Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews/Scotland. 1-2 September 2016.
  • 2016 Conference (discussant): 'The Art of Slowing Down' (P086), at EASA 2016 (Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists), Milan/Italy, 20-23 July 2016.
  • 2016 Podiumsdiskussion: 'Kultur und Flucht - Möglichkeitsräume in der Krise?' mit Oliver Keymis (Landtagsvizepräsident NRW), Helmut Schäfer (Dramaturg, Theater an der Ruhr), Ulle Schauws (MdB, Sprecherin Kulturpolitik, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Theater an der Ruhr, Mülheim, 28 Juni 2016, 19.00h. (Link)
  • 2016 Conference: ‘Appropriating Universal Centrality: Containing the World in Berlin’s new Humboldt Forum’ (with Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, Oxford). ‘The Centre Cannot Hold’? New Monumentality, Neo-Modernism and Other Zombie Urban Utopias conference hosted by the UCL SSEES FRINGE Centre, The Calvert 22 Gallery, and the UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, Calvert 22 Gallery London/ UK, organised by Dr Michal Murawski (UCL) and Dr Jonathan Bach (New School, NYU), 10-11 June 2016.
  • 2016 Conference: ‘Rehearsing conduct and gesture: notes on art as ethical practice’. The Ethics of Gesture conference organised by Dr Lucia Ruprecht at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge/UK. 16 April 2016. Keynote: Prof Rebecca Schneider (Brown/USA).
  • 2016 Conference: ‘Engaging art: urban diversity, public institutions, and the ‘refugee crisis’’. Experiencing Difference and Diversity in Contemporary Germany conference organised by Prof Sharon Macdonald and Dr Jan-Jonathan Bock. Institute for European Ethnology, Humboldt University of Berlin/Germany. 14-16 April 2016.
  • 2016 Seminar (chair): ‘On Detachment and Relations’. Chaired discussion with Prof Hallvard Lillehammer (Philosophy, Birkbeck) and Dr Matei Candea (Anthropology, Cambridge) at the Centre for Research of the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge/UK. 25 April 2016.
  • 2016 Workshop (co-organiser): Re-Theorising the Avant-Garde Today: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Co-convened with Prof Georgina Born (Music & Anthropology, Oxford) and Dr Chris Haworth (Music, Oxford). King’s College, University of Cambridge/UK. 12-13 December 2015. Keynote: Prof Branden W. Joseph (Art History, Columbia, NY/USA).


  • Alongside Dr Alex Flynn (Social Anthropology, Durham University, UK), I founded and convene the Anthropologies of Art [A/A] Network for anthropological approaches to studying and theorising the relation between art and anthropology.
  • With Dr Clare Foster (Classics, UCL, UK), I co-founded and convened the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network at the Centre for Research on the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) since 2012. I am now a steering commitee member for the network as it enters its fourth year of funding. 
  • Since 2013, I have been accompanying the refugee theatre and arts collective Ruhrorter and document their projects and rehearsals. I am currently preparing a book chapter for Theater der Zeit on the aesthetics of the project.

    • The project is currently preparing an open atelier for artists who have fled to Germany and are seeking a space to create and discuss their ideas. http://www.ruhrorter.com/atelier.html