Dilger, Hansjörg



Hansjörg Dilger (Dr. phil 2004, Freie Universität Berlin) is a Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin. From 2007-13, he was a Junior Professor for Religious Diversity in Transnational Contexts at FU Berlin and from 2005-07 Assistant Professor for African Health and Society (tenure track) at the University of Florida, Gainesville. His research and teaching interests include medical anthropology; the anthropology of religion; kinship, sexuality, gender (esp. masculinities); urban anthropology; and the anthropology of schools and education.
Between 1995 and 2006, Hansjörg Dilger conducted fieldwork on HIV/AIDS and social relations in rural and urban Tanzania, focusing initially on young people’s discourse on AIDS, morality and modernity. He also studied the experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS and their social and family networks in the context of rural-urban migration. Since 2008, he has done research on Christian and Muslim schooling in Dar es Salaam and the social, political and moral presence of religion in the wake of neoliberal restructuring. This research has also included the aspect of medical mission which has been employed by revivalist religious organizations to access and transform urban space.
Dilger is head of the Research Area Medical Anthropology at FU Berlin. He is the head of several research projects, including: ‘The Antiretroviral Therapy in Tanzania: Drugs and Patients in the Context of Global Power Structures and Local Agency’ (2008-2012); ‘Masculinities and HIV/AIDS in Cape Town, South Africa’ (2007-2011); ‘Bioprospecting in the African Renaissance: From Muthi to Intellectual Property Rights’ (2010-13); and ‘African Medical Migration: Nigerian Doctors in the USA between Moral, Economics and Professional Obligations’ (2013-15). He is a board member of the International Research Network ‘Religion, AIDS and Social Transformation in Africa’ (RASTA) and research partner of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Research Focus ‘Medical Diversity’. Between 2004 and 2010, he was the chair of the Work Group Medical Anthropology within the German Anthropological Association (DGV e.V.).


Research Interests

HIV/AIDS and social relations; religion and medicine; mobility, migration and health; transnational health interventions; global flows of medical knowledge and healing landscapes; professionalization processes


Research Area(s)

Eastern and Southern Africa; migratory contexts in Europe and the USA


Publications (Selection)

Monographs and Edited Volumes

2015. (ed., together with Susann Huschke and Dominik Mattes): „Ethics, Epistemology and Engagement: Encountering Values in Medical Anthropology“, Special Issue Medical Anthropology. Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness 34(1).

2014. (ed., together with Marian Burchardt, Rijk Van Dijk und Thera Rasing): „Religion and AIDS Treatment in Africa: Saving Souls, Prolonging Lives“. London: Ashgate Publishers.

2012. (Eds., together with Abdoulaye Kane and Stacey Langwick) ‘Medicine, Mobility, and Power in Global Africa: Transnational Health and Healing’. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

2011. (Eds., together with Anita Hardon) ‘Global AIDS medicines in East African health institutions’. Schwerpunktheft Medical Anthropology. Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness 30/2.

2010. (Eds., together with Marian Burchardt and Rijk van Dijk) ‘“The redemptive moment”: ART and the formation of new religious spaces’. Special Issue, African Journal of AIDS Research 9(4).

2010. (Eds., together with Ute Luig) ‘Morality, Hope and Grief: Anthropologies of Aids in Africa’. Oxford / New York: Berghahn Books. (Paperback in 2012)

2005. ‘Leben mit Aids. Krankheit, Tod und soziale Beziehungen in Afrika. Eine Ethnographie’. Frankfurt a.M. / New York: Campus. [Engl.: Living with Aids. Illness, Death and Social Relations in Africa. An Ethnography]

1999. ‘Besser der Vorhang im Haus als die Fahne im Wind. Geld, AIDS und Moral im ländlichen Tansania’. Münster / London: LIT Verlag. [Engl.: ‘Better the Curtain in the House than the Flag Flowing to and fro’. Money, AIDS and Morality in Rural Tanzania]

Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)

2015. (together with Bernhard Hadolt): “Medicine in Context: Towards a Social and Cultural Anthropology of Medicine(s) in an Interconnected World”. In: Medicine, Anthropology, Theory 2 (3). Online: http://www.medanthrotheory.org/read/5734/medicine-in-context

2015. (together with Susann Huschke and Dominik Mattes): „Ethics, Epistemology and Engagement: Encountering Values in Medical Anthropology“. In: Medical Anthropology 34 (1): 1-10.

2014 (together with Leah F. Bohle and Uwe Groß): „HIV-serostatus disclosure in the context of free antiretroviral therapy and socio-economic dependency: experiences among women living with HIV in Tanzania“. In: African Journal of AIDS Research 13 (3): 215-227.

2014. ‘Claiming Territory: Medical Mission, Interreligious Revivalism, and the Spatialization of Health Interventions in Urban Tanzania’. In: Medical Anthropology 33 (1), (Special Issue ‘Turning Therapies: Placing Medical Diversity’).

2013. (Together with Linn Leißner, Lenka Bosanska, Christina Lampe and Ursula Plöckinger) ‘Illness Perception and Clinical Treatment Experiences in Patients with M. Maroteaux-Lamy (Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI) and a Turkish Migration Background in Germany’. In: PlosOne.

2012. (Together with Susann Huschke, Dominik Mattes and Angelika Wolf) ‘Medizin und Gesundheit in globalen Felder: Forschen und Studieren am Institut für Ethnologie in Berlin’. In: Ethnoscripts 14 (2): 156-180.

2011. (Together with Anita Hardon) ‘Global AIDS medicines in East African health institutions. Introduction’. In: Medical Anthropology 30 (2): 136-57.

2010. (Together with Rijk van Dijk and Marian Burchardt) ‘“The redemptive moment”: ART and the formation of new religious spaces. Introduction’. In: African Journal of AIDS Research 9(4): 373-383.

2010. (Together with Noelle Sullivan and David Garcia) ‘Negotiating Professionalism, Economics, and Moral Obligation: An Appeal for Ethnographic Approaches to African Medical Migration’. In: African Diaspora 3 (2): 235-252.

2009. ‘Doing Better? Religion, the Virtue-Ethics of Development and the Fragmentation of Health Politics in Tanzania’. In: Africa Today 56 (1): 89-110.

2008. ‘“We Are All Going to Die”: Kinship, Belonging and the Morality of HIV/AIDS-Related Illnesses and Deaths in Rural Tanzania’. In: Anthropological Quarterly 81 (1): 207-232.

2007. ‘Healing the Wounds of Modernity: Community, Salvation and Care in a Neo-Pentecostal Church in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’. In: Journal of Religion in Africa 37 (1): 59-83.

2006. ‘The Power of Aids: Kinship, Mobility and the Valuing of Social and Ritual Relationships in Tanzania’. In: African Journal of Aids Research 5 (2): 109-21.

2005. (Together with Johanna Offe) ‘Making the Difference? Structure, Agency and Culture in Anthropological Research on Gender and Aids in Africa’. In: Curare 28 (2+3): 266-280. (Special issue ‘Kulturelle Reaktionen auf AIDS und HIV: Multidisziplinäre Blicke auf den Umgang mit AIDS und HIV-Patienten weltweit’).

2004. (Together with Brigit Obrist and Walter Bruchhausen) ‘Kranksein, Heilen und Gesundbleiben im Schnittpunkt von Religion und Medizin’. In: Curare 27 (1-2): 27-39. (Special issue ‘Medical Anthropology in Germany’).

2003. ‘Sexuality, AIDS and the Lures of Modernity: Reflexivity and Morality among Young People in Rural Tanzania’. In: Medical Anthropology 22, 1: 23-52

2001. ‘“Living PositHIVely in Tanzania”. The Global Dynamics of AIDS and the Meaning of Religion for International and Local AIDS Work’. In: afrika spectrum, 36 (1): 73-90. (Special issue ‘AIDS in Africa. Broadening the Perspectives’)

2001. ‘AIDS in Africa. Broadening the Perspectives on Research and Policy-Making. An Introduction’. In: afrika spectrum, 36 (1) 2001: 5-16. (Special issue ‘AIDS in Africa. Broadening the Perspectives’)

Chapters in Edited Books

2013. „No Public? Class Dynamics, the Politics of Extraversion, and the Non-Formation of Political Publics and (Religious) AIDS Activism in Urban Tanzania“. In: Schmitt, Caroline und Asta Vonderau (eds.): Öffentlichkeiten in Bewegung. Formationen von transnationalen Kommunikations- und Handlungsräumen. Bielefeld: Transcript, 175-206.

2012. ‘Targeting the Empowered Individual: Transnational Policy-Making, the Global Economy of Aid and the Limitation of “Biopower” in the Neoliberal Era’. In: Dilger, Hansjörg; Kane, Abdoulaye and Stacey Langwick (eds.): Medicine, Mobility, and Power in Global Africa. Transnational Health and Healing. pp. 60-91. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

2012. (Together with Stacey Langwick and Abdoulaye Kane) ‘Introduction: Transnational Medicine, Mobile Experts’. In: Dilger, Hansjörg; Kane, Abdoulaye and Stacey Langwick (eds.): Medicine, Mobility, and Power in Global Africa. Transnational Health and Healing. pp. 1-28. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

2012. (Together with Bernhard Hadolt) ‘Medizinethnologie’. In: Beer, Bettina und Hans Fischer (eds.): Ethnologie: Einführung und Überblick. pp. 309-329. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.

2011. ‘Contextualising Ethics: or, the Morality of Knowledge Production in Ethnographic Fieldwork on “the Unspeakable”’. In: Geissler, Wenzel and Sassy Molyneux (eds.): Evidence, Ethos and Experiment: The Anthropology and History of Medical Research in Africa. pp. 99-124. Oxford und New York: Berghahn Books.

2011. ‘Macht, Pluralität und soziale Beziehungen: Gesundheit und Heilung im Afrika des 20. Jahrhunderts’. In: Sonderegger, Arno; Grau, Ingeborg and Birgit Englert (eds.): Afrika im 20. Jahrhundert. Geschichte und Gesellschaft. pp. 117-134. Wien: Promedia Verlag.
[Reprint of 2011a in: Periplus: Jahrbuch für außereuropäische Geschichte, Themenheft ‘Seuchen in der Geschichte Afrikas’ ed. by Roman Loimeier, September 2011, 18-44)

2010. ‘“My Relatives are Running Away From Me!” Kinship and Care in the Wake of Structural Adjustment, Privatization and HIV/AIDS in Tanzania’. In: Dilger, Hansjörg and Ute Luig (eds.): Morality, Hope and Grief: Anthropologies of Aids in Africa. pp. 102-124. Oxford und New York: Berghahn Books.

2010. ‘Introduction. Morality, Hope and Grief: Towards an Ethnographic Perspective in HIV/AIDS Research’. In: Dilger, Hansjörg and Ute Luig (eds.): Morality, Hope and Grief: Anthropologies of Aids in Africa. pp. 1-18. Oxford und New York: Berghahn Books.

2010. (Together with Bernhard Hadolt) ‘Medizin im Kontext – Überlegungen zu einer Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie der Medizin(en) in einer vernetzten Welt’. In: Dilger, H. and B. Hadolt (eds.): Medizin im Kontext. Krankheit und Gesundheit in einer vernetzten Welt. pp. 3-29. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang Verlag.

2010. ‘Zwischen Health Citizenship und der Hoffnung auf Heilung: Urbane Lebensentwürfe im Kontext neoliberaler Gesundheitsversorgung in Dar es Salaam, Tansania’. In: Dilger, Hansjörg and Bernhard Hadolt (eds.): Medizin im Kontext. Krankheit und Gesundheit in einer vernetzen Welt. pp. 351-370. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang.

2009. ‘“African Sexualities” Revisited: The Morality of Sexuality and Gender in the Era of Globalization and AIDS’. In: Pope, Cynthia; White, Renée T. and Robert Malow (eds.): HIV/AIDS: Global Frontiers in Prevention/Intervention. pp. 124-136. London: Routledge.

2006. (Together with Angelika Wolf) ‘AIDS in Africa. Global, National and Local Reponses to the Development Crisis’. In: Colin Legum (ed.): Africa Contemporary Record Vol. 28 (2001-2002). pp. A133-A150. New York: Africana Publishing Company.

2004. ‘Verwandtschaft und rituelle Praxis in der Moderne: die Aushandlung von “Zugehörigkeit” im Spannungsfeld von Land-Stadt-Migration und HIV/AIDS in Tansania’. In: Dilger, Hansjörg; Wolf, Angelika; Frömming, Urte Undine and Kerstin Volker-Saad (eds.): Moderne und postkoloniale Transformation. Ethnologische Schrift zum 60. Geburtstag von Ute Luig. pp. 193-208. Berlin: Weißensee Verlag.

2003. (Together with Angelika Wolf) ‘Universalismus versus lokale Besonderheiten: Medizin, Globalisierung und AIDS’. In: Thomas Lux (ed.): Kulturelle Dimensionen von Medizin. Ethnomedizin – Medizinethnologie – Medical Anthropology. pp. 252-276. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.

2001. (Together with Angelika Wolf) ‘Ethnologische Perspektiven auf das Verhältnis von Religion und Medizin. Bericht über das Panel der AG Medical Anthropology auf der Tagung der DGV in Göttingen’. In: curare 2001 (1/2): 191-195.

1996. ‘Frauen, Geld und Aids: ein Aids-Diskurs von Jugendlichen am östlichen Viktoria-See in Tansania’. In: Wolf, Angelika and Michael Stürzer (eds.): Die Gesellschaftliche Konstruktion von Befindlichkeit. pp. 189-204. Berlin.


2011. (Together with Britta Rutert and Gilbert M. Matsabisa) ‘Bioprospecting in South Africa: Opportunities and Challenges in the Global Knowledge Economy? – A Field in the Becoming’. In: CAS Working Papers, Center for Area Studies, Freie Universität Berlin.