Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institute for European Ethnology

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Europäische Ethnologie | Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage

Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage


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CARMAH aims to deepen understanding of the dynamics and potentials of museums and heritage in the contemporary world. It looks globally to identify and analyze the significant social, cultural and political developments facing museums and heritage today. Its in-depth research tackles how these play out and are reconfigured in specific national and institutional contexts. In this way, CARMAH provides new insights into what is going on now and innovative ideas for good karma in the future.

Central themes of CARMAH’s research programme are how the following shape and are shaped through museums and heritage:

  • Diversity and difference
  • Citizenship and knowledge formation
  • Media and material culture

These raise questions of social recognition, audience, collections, cultural property, power relations, communication and public culture.

We use established methods – especially ethnographic – and also develop innovative methodological approaches. Our perspective is anthropological in its insistence on addressing specific cases in-depth and attending to practice and process, at the same time as thinking comparatively and reflexively.

CARMAH is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Museum of Natural History Berlin and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. It is also host to research projects funded by other organisations.



See the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's media library for more information.