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Prof. Dr. Uli Beisel


Department of Geography

Chair of Human Geography


Malteserstr. 74-100
Room K 184
12249 Berlin

Office hours


Winter Term 2021/22

  • GK - Mensch-Umwelt-Beziehungen
  • V - Grundlagen der Geographischen Entwicklungsforschung
  • S - Grundlagen der Geographischen Entwicklungsforschung
  • S - Mensch-Umwelt-Beziehungen (Geogr. Entwicklungsforschung)
  • C Forschungskolloquium Anthropogeographie (Entwicklungsforschung)

Summer Term 2021

  • S - Projekt I: Geographien von elektronischem Müll
  • LFP - Projekt I (AB Entwicklungsforschung): Geographien von elektronischem Müll
  • V - Regionale Studien: Regionale Geographie Südasiens
  • S - Regionale Studien: Regionale Geographie Südasiens
  • C - Forschungskolloquium Anthropogeographie (Entwicklungsforschung)

Trust in medicine after the EVD epidemic

Förderung: DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Laufzeit: 2016 - 2022

Projektteam: Prof. Dr. Uli Beisel, Dr. Sung-Joon Park (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg), Dr. Sylvanus Spencer (Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone), Esther Mukowa und Prof. Dr. Paul Richards (Njala University, Sierra Leone), Dr. John Ganle (University of Ghana), Dr. Grace Akello (Gulu University, Uganda)

The scale of the EVD epidemic in the West African countries has been unprecedented. Lack of trust in medicine has been identified as one of the major factors in the scientific literature, in media reports, and global health discourses, which accelerated the spread of EVD and posed a central challenge to the Ebola response. Our project investigates the social, medical, and historical conditions of the formation of trust in medicine in African contexts. Taking the EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone as our empirical starting point, we conduct a comprehensive case study of trust in medicine in Sierra Leone, a site of prolonged EVD epidemic and radical insecurity. This will be complemented by studies in Uganda and Ghana, evaluating previous experiences of short-term EVD outbreaks (Uganda) and recent preparedness interventions in a neighboring country (Ghana). In these three country case studies we analyze how and to what extent trust is built in health service delivery. We ask how trust relations have been shaped by the EVD outbreak, how trust is being (re)built in health service delivery after the EVD epidemic, and to what extent trust forms the social basis for epidemic preparedness. Comparing individual and collective experiences of the institutionalization of care in Sierra Leone with Uganda and Ghana enables us to produce a systematic and in-depth analysis of trust in contexts of radical insecurity and poverty. Such an analysis grounded in the lived everyday realities in African countries is urgently needed in order to devise culturally appropriate and locally accepted epidemic preparedness measures.

Planned obsolescence, circular economies and ecologies of electronic devices in transdisciplinary perspective

Förderung: Exzellenzcluster Afrika Multipel, Universität Bayreuth, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Laufzeit: 2020 - 2024

Projektteam: Prof. Dr. Uli Beisel, Dr. Grace Akese (University of Bayreuth/Freie Universität Berlin), Dr. John Kuumuori Ganle (University of Ghana)

Planned obsolescence denotes design practices that are assumed to build an artificially limited life into a technical device. This discourse links electronic waste to the logics of capitalism and renders the design of devices into a process imbued with politics. It also transforms the electronic product into waste, or rather into a material object that has outlived its intended usage patterns. However, the fact that an electronic device has reached its intentioned shelf-life does not mean its life is over. To the contrary, this is a moment, where the device enters into different processes of transfer and transformation. In this project that combines anthropology and engineering studies we are interested in the intentioned and improvised registers of mobility of electronic devices – their physical circulations, their composition through design, repair and maintenance, as well as the attendant material-semiotic transformations of the devices themselves. The project studies these mobilities between Germany and Ghana and their effects along the lives of two electronic devices: mobile phones and fridges. In this we are interested in how mobile electronic devices are transforming and being transformed while they travel from cradle to grave/cradle?

Mobile Mosquitoes - Understanding the Entangled Mobilities of Aedes Mosquitoes and Humans in India, Mexico, Tanzania and Germany

Förderung: Volkswagen Stiftung Globale Herausforderungen, Mobility - Global Medicine and Health Research

Laufzeit: 2020 - 2021

Projektteam: Prof. Dr. Uli Beisel, PD Dr. Carsten Wergin (Universität Heidelberg), Pro. Dr. Gerrardo Suzán (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico), Dr. Fredros Okumu (Ifakara Health Research and Development
Centre, Tanzania), Dr. Ashwani Kumar (Indian Council of Medical Research, Vector Control Research Centre)

This project establishes an interdisciplinary research consortium to study the entangled mobilities of humans and Aedes mosquitoes in India, Mexico, Tanzania and Germany. The project examines mosquito dispersal in relation to human movement both in terms of long-distance (tire trade, boat and plane transportation) and short-distance (from local buses to watering cans) mobility. It systematically analyses how the mobility of people and things (migrants, tourists, objects of travel and trade) is interlinked with the mobility of Aedes and the spread of associated arboviral diseases. The applicants study (i) which mosquitoes move where and how, including their larvae, and long-term egg survival, (ii) if and how mosquitoes hitch rides on human infrastructure, and (iii) the socio-economic mobility patterns of humans and how these might contribute to mosquito dispersal. This "multispecies approach" will generate mobility maps of humans and mosquito species that can be overlayed and analysed for their entanglements. The invasive mosquito species Aedes, vector for a variety of arboviral diseases, is a paradigmatic case of how human and nonhuman mobility converge in contemporary societies. Understanding their entangled movement is of utmost importance for developing successful vector control strategies.