Short CV/Education and training

  • Prof. Dr. Birgitt Röttger-Rössler holds a chair in social and cultural anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin and is director of the Collaborative Research Center “Affective Societies. Dynamics of Sociality in a World in Motion” at Freie Universität Berlin. Besides this she is head of the research unit “Anthropology of Emotion” at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology.

  • She was vice director of the Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotion” at Freie Universität Berlin and Dean of the Faculty for Political and Social Science at FU.

  • Birgitt Röttger-Rössler is deeply engaged and experienced in interdisciplinary work: from 2003-2006 she was head of the interdisciplinary research group “Emotions as bio-cultural processes” at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Bielefeld; from 2001- 2011 she was member of the interdisciplinary research network “Transcultural Universals” at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Studies) in Delmenhorst, Germany.

  • She studied cultural and social anthropology, Romance studies, Malay Languages and Literatures as well as European Ethnology at the universities of Göttingen, Zürich, Cologne and Bonn.

  • For the last years her research focuses on emotion research, primarily dealing with the cultural modeling of emotions in Southeast Asian societies. She conducted several years of fieldwork, mainly in Indonesia.

Selected publications

  • B. Röttger-Rössler, G. Scheidecker, L. Funk, M. Holodynski (2015): Learning (by) Feeling: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Socialization and Development of Emotions. In: Ethos 43(2):187-220.

  • B. Röttger-Rössler, T. Stodulka (Hg.) (2014): Feelings at the Margins. Dealing with Violence, Stigma and Isolation in Indonesia. Frankfurt/ New York: Campus.

  • B. Röttger-Rössler (2014): Bonding and Belonging Beyond Weird Worlds. Rethinking Attachment Theory from a Social Anthropological Perspective. In: H. Keller, A. Otto (Hg.): Different Faces of Attachment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 281-329.

  • B. Röttger-Rössler, A. Bender (2013): Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie/Kognitionsethnologie. In: A. Stephan, S. Walter (Hg.): Handbuch Kognitionswissenschaft. Stuttgart, Weimar: J.B. Metzler, 35-41.

  • B. Röttger-Rössler, E.-M. Engelen (2012): Current Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Debates on Empathy. In: Emotion Review 4 (1): 3-8.

  • B. Röttger-Rössler (2012): The Emotional Meaning of Ritual. In: A. Michaels, C. Wulf (Hg.): Emotions in Rituals and Performances. New Delhi: Routledge, 41-54.

  • B. Röttger-Rössler (2010): Das Schweigen der Ethnologen. Zur Unterrepräsentanz des Faches in Neurobiologisch-Kulturwissenschaftlichen Forschungskooperationen. In: Sociologus 60 (1): 99-121.

  • E.-M. Engelen, H. Markowitsch, B. Röttger-Rössler (2009): Emotions as Bio-cultural Processes: Disciplinary Debates and an Interdisciplinary Outlook. In: H. Markowitsch, B. Röttger-Rössler (Hg.): Emotions as Bio-cultural Processes. An Interdisciplinary Approach. New York: Springer, 23-54.

  • B. Röttger-Rössler (2008): Voiced Intimacies. Verbalised Experiences of Love and Sexuality in an Indonesian Society. In: W. Jankowiak (Hg.): Intimacies. New York: Columbia University Press, 148-173.

  • B. Röttger-Rössler, E. Hermann (Hg.) (2003): Lebenswege im Spannungsfeld lokaler und globaler Prozesse. Person, Selbst und Emotion in der ethnologischen Biographieforschung. Göttinger Studien zur Ethnologie. Band 11. Münster: LIT.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Her current projects deal with the socialization of emotions in cross-cultural comparison, with the connection of emotion and memory as well as with conflicting feeling rules in the context of migration.

  • Construction of Emotions in vietnamese Berlin. Subproject of the Collaborative Research Center “Affective Societies. Dynamics of Sociality in a World in Motion” at Freie Universität Berlin (Director: Birgitt Röttger-Rössler; Staff: Gabriel Scheidecker, Anh Thu Anne Lam)

  • Socialisation and Ontogeny of Emotions in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Subproject of the Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotion” at Freie Universität Berlin: To what extent do cultural factors influence the transmission and acquisition of emotional knowledge, patterns of emotional behaviour and emotion regulation from birth to puberty? (Directors: Birgitt Röttger-Rössler, Manfred Holodynski; Staff: Leberecht Funk, Susanne Jung, Gabriel Scheidecker)

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Head of the advisory board of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) in Bielefeld

  • Member of editorial board of the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, Germany’s leading anthropological journal

Interdisciplinary networks within the domain of emotion research:

  • Member of the International Society for Research on Emotions (ISRE)

  • Member of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP)

  • Member of the German Anthropological Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde DGV)


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