People - 01.08.2022 - 00:00 

Appointment: Rita Kesselring

Prof. Dr. Rita Kesselring has been appointed Associate Professor for Urban Studies at the University of St.Gallen as of 1 August 2022.
Source: HSG Newsroom

1 August 2022. In 2007, she completed her Licentiate in Social Anthropology at the University of Zurich, for which she had also studied at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She undertook her doctoral studies within the framework of the bilateral project "Safeguarding Democracy" between the University of Basel and Witwatersrand University in South Africa. During this time she lectured at the University of Basel, and held research and writing fellowships at the University of Connecticut and the University of Cape Town. She passed her PhD with summa cum laude at the University of Basel in 2013. Her award winning work appeared with Stanford University Press as Bodies of Truth: Memory, Law and Emancipation in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2017). Since 2013 she has been researcher and senior lecturer at the University of Basel's Chair of Social Anthropology. During her post-doctoral time, she conducted extensive research in Zambia, lectured at the Copperbelt University in Zambia, spent a year as Fung Global Fellow at Princeton University and led the SNIS-financed project "Valueworks: Effects of Financialization along the Copper Value Chain". In the summer of 2022 she received her venia docendi in Social Anthropology from the University of Basel.

Research in urban anthropology specializing on Southern Africa

Prof. Dr. Rita Kesselring's work focuses on the field of urban anthropology, among other things. She researches global interdependencies of urban life and the opportunities for civil society action with a regional focus on Southern Africa (primarily Zambia and South Africa) and Switzerland. The methodology of her work is based on many years of participation in the respective societal contexts and close cooperation with researchers in these regions. Her Habilitation thesis focused on global extractivism and urban development in a new mining town in Zambia, and how it is shaped by the Swiss trade hub. The research of Prof. Dr. Rita Kesselring is of societal and political relevance and regularly appears in non-academic outlets (e.g. Le Temps, Die Wochenzeitung WoZ, SRF Kultur, etc.).

Interactive teaching methodology based on field research

Prof. Dr. Rita Kesselring is an experienced university lecturer, who interactively shapes her courses with students through field research. At the bachelor and master level, she lectures on topics pertaining to methodology, field research, and specialist courses related to her own research (e.g. Anthropology of Mining, Ethnography of Zambia, etc.). The goal of her teaching is to explore the scope of action for practically focused social science and to promote the acquisition of skills. 

Image: Derek Li Wan Po