Sascha Kesseler, M.A.

PhD candidate

Georg-August-University of Göttingen
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
D-37073 Göttingen

Office:

Institut für Regionalforschung

Humboldtallee 15

Email: sascha.kesseler@sowi.uni-goettingen.de

Phone: +49 551 39-14046

Office hours by appointment

Scientific Background

Since 2012 – Director of the survey “Expectations of employers concerning the capacities of graduates of the Faculty of Social Sciences” at the University of Göttingen.

Since July 2010 – PhD student at the Department of Social Anthropology at the Georg-August-University Göttingen; supervisor Prof. Nikolaus Schareika

July 2010 to September 2012 – Research assistant at the Department of Social Anthropology at the Georg-August-University Göttingen

April 2008 to June 2010 – Research assistant and PhD student at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies in Mainz for the research programme Biota (West Africa); supervisor Prof. Nikolaus Schareika

March 2008 – Master degree (Magister Artium) of Social Anthropology, Political Science and Philosophy

November 2007 – Finishing of Master´s thesis on persuasive elements in local political discourse in a rural community in Senegal

September 2005 to March 2006 – Studies at the University Paris X and at the French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations INALCO

August 2005 to March 2008 – Scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation

April 2002 – Beginning of studies (Magister) in Social Anthropolgy (major), Political sciences and Philosophy (minor)

Research Interest

Political and legal anthropology, Local political institutions, actor-oriented approaches, Discourse and Conversational Analysis, political discourses, Wolof, hunting societies, biodiversity, Anthropology of development

Research Area: West Africa, especially Benin and Senegal

PhD Project

Hunting and Protecting in Pendjari Biosphere Reserve (North Benin): Negotiating New Institutions for the Integration of Local Hunters in the Park-Surveillance.

The dissertation project focuses on social practices of negotiating institutions in Pendjari National Park (North Benin). The creation of national parks, especially in the colonial context, implies the establishment of new rules for the exploitation of resources like land, water, game or timber. Regulations are often highly contested because the actors who are affected by them like members of the park administration and dwellers seek to use these resources in different ways. The same applies to the access to employment, revenues from (hunting) tourism and development aid projects which is being permanently negotiated between these actors.

In my dissertation, I concentrate on the interactions between the state-run park administration and local hunters. Since the creation of the park, the latter have been designated as “poachers” and therefore criminalized by the park administration. The relations of these two groups changed in 2009 when the administration started to employ local hunters to send them on patrol together with park-rangers. By integrating local hunters into the park´s surveillance service, the administration aimed at using their expertise and manpower. In my analysis I focus on the negotiations of the conditions of cooperation between hunters and administration. In the process of establishing the new institution ‘cooperative park-surveillance’ actors refer (more or less explicitly) to identities, norms and values and reproduce them by doing so. The new regulations are established and change the perception of the park area as a social space and the way people deal with this space.

During 19 months of ethnographic field research between 2008 and 2010, I gathered data on micro-processes of negotiation of new institutions. The subsequent analysis focuses on understanding the different strategies of argumentation invoked by different actors during negotiation. My final aim is to figure out the meaning attributed to (new) social institutions in the setting of the park and to draw conclusions about their sustainability. Thereby, I understand ‘national park’ not as an a priori category but as something that is constructed by the above-mentioned processes of negotiation which establish the Park as a social reality. To comprehend the connections between the construction of space and the regulative institutions of the national park I apply an approach combining New Institutional Economics and social theory of space.

Keywords: national park, space, identity, norm, administration of natural resources, hunting, New Institutional Economics

Research Projects

Since 2012 – Director of the survey “Expectations of employers concerning the capacities of graduates of the Faculty of Social Sciences” at the university of Göttingen.

April 2008 to June 2010 – Research assistant for the research programme Biota (West Africa) with Dr. habil. Nikolaus Schareika. Field research in Pendjari National park from June 2008 to June 2009

Mai 2006 to December 2007 – Participation in the research project “Persuasive communication among the Wolof: the interplay of cultural and linguistic aspects” of Dr. Christian Meyer and Dr. Anna Maria Diagne at the department of anthropology and African studies of the Gutenberg-University in Mainz. Therefore, 6 month field-research in Senegal for my master´s thesis funded by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)

September 2003 to April 2004 – Field-research on actor’s strategies in local politics for the EU funded research programme INCO Ecocité on peri-urban agriculture in Senegal with Prof. Bierschenk

Publications

Edited volumes

2011 Diagne, Anna M., Sascha Kesseler & Christian Meyer (Hrsg.). Communication wolof et société sénégalaise: Héritage et création. Paris: L´Harmattan.

 Journal articles

2007 Konferenzbericht: „Kultur und Kommunikation bei den Wolof“ in St. Louis (Senegal). Anthropos 1. 234–237.

Book Reviews

 2010 Grätz, Tilo. Goldgräber in Westafrika. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag. Anthropos (1): 246-247.

Contributions to edited volumes

2011 Eléments persuasifs dans les discours politiques d´une communauté rurale. In: Anna Maria Diagne, Sascha Kesseler & Christian Meyer (Hrsg.). Communication wolof et société sénégalaise: Héritage et création. Paris: L´Harmattan: 171-198.

Working papers

2004 Kesseler, Sascha & Victor Tine. “Un mal nécessaire”? Influences industrielles à l’interface urbain rural: L’impact des ICS sur la zone de Mboro, Sénégal: Arbeitspapiere des Instituts für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien der Universität Mainz. http://www.ifeas.uni-mainz.de/workingpapers/Arbeitspapiere.html doi:49.

Presentations

2010 Kesseler, Sascha & Bianca Volk. Interaktive Positionierung Beniner Wildhüter: Zwischen Kooperation und Konfrontation. Hold in: Mainz, conference of VAD „Kontinuitäten und Brüche. 50 Jahre Unabhängigkeit in Afrika“ on April 8th, 2010: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität.

2010 Kesseler, Sascha & Bianca Volk. Anthropologie Sociale et Conservation: L´Apport des Anthropologues à la Gestion des Ressources Naturelles. Hold in: Ouagadougou, conclusion conference of research project BIOTA-West on January 1st, 2010: BIOTA-West.

2009 Présence étatique dans une Réserve de Biosphère au Nord du Bénin: Les interactions et perceptions mutuelles des agents étatiques, « quasi-étatiques » et des populations riveraines : violence étatique et co-gestion. Hold in: Niamey, conclusion conference of research project “States at Work” on December 8th, 2009: ASDEL.

2007 Interactive Positioning through Body and Speech in Interaction: Local Politics in Darou Khoudoss. Hold in: Berlin, workshop of research project “Persuasive Kommunikation bei den Wolof: Das Zusammenspiel sprachlicher und kultureller Aspekte” on October 13th, 2007: Freie Universität Berlin.

2007 Langage, traduction, interprétation et analyse de discours: Réflexions méthodologiques et épistémologiques en anthropologie sociale. Hold in: Paris, Laboratoire de recherche POPINTER on May 3rd, 2007: Sorbonne.

2007 Persuasive Elements in local political speeches: A case study from a Wolof-phone rural municipality in Senegal. Hold in: Mainz, transdisziplinary workshop of research project “Persuasive Kommunikation bei den Wolof: Das Zusammenspiel sprachlicher und kultureller Aspekte” zu den Ländern Senegal und Gambia on March 17th, 2007: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität.

2007 Codeswitching and proverbs as persuasive elements in local political discourses in the Wolof-speaking, rural municipality of Darou Khoudoss (Senegal). Hold in: Groningen, International Research Meeting for Applied Linguistics on January 25th, 2007: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, ANELA und GAL.

2006 Internationalisation en sciences sociales: L’anthroplogie sociale en Allmagne. Hold in: Paris, Laboratoire de recherche POPINTER on February 3rd, 2006: Sorbonne.

Teaching

WS 11/12 und SS 2012 Was wollen die eigentlich von uns? Lehrforschung zu Kompetenz-Erwartungen von Arbeitgeber*innen an Absolvent*innen der Sozialwissenschaftlichen Fakultät

SS 11 Räume, Identitäten und Normen in Afrika

WS 10/11 Der Senegal aus ethnologischer Perspektive

SS 10 Ich, du, er, sie, es… Identitäten im Film

WS 09/10 Jäger*innen und Gejagte. Ethnologie jagender Gesellschaften