Materiality – Museology – Knowledge

The work of the Research Focus centers around the interrelationship of three aspects: materiality, museology and knowledge.

Museums are and have always been of fundamental importance for those academic disciplines concerned with artifacts, such as anthropology, archaeology as well as art and natural history. At the same time, the museum itself is an epistemic apparatus consisting of spatial parameters, structural guidelines along with material and aesthetic practices. The central focus is thus on the mutual relationships between object, space, practice and perception as they occur particularly in museums and universities.

The centerpiece of the Research Focus will be the close cooperation with several Munich museums including the Pinakothek der Moderne, the Museum Fünf Kontinente and Biotopia. Several practical units held within the collections are planned in order to examine closely the discipline frameworks for anthropology, archaeology as well as art and natural history.


  • Prof. Dr. Ruth Bielfeldt (Klassische Archäologie, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Philipp Schorch (Ethnologie, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Philipp Stockhammer (Vor- und Frühgeschichtliche Archäologie, LMU)
  • Dr. Uta Werlich (Museum Fünf Kontinente)

Working Group

  • Dr. Susanne Bosche (Klassische Archäologie, LMU)
  • Dr. Anna-Lisa Dieter (Biotopia)
  • Dr. Astrid Fendt (Staatliche Antikensammlung München)
  • Prof. Dr. Michael John Gorman (BIOTOPIA – Naturkundemuseum Bayern / LMU)
  • Dr. Karl Borromäus Murr (Staatlichen Textil- und Industriemuseums Augsburg tim / LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Pfisterer (Kunstgeschichte, LMU)
  • Colleen Schmitz (Biotopia)
  • Prof. Dr. Bernhart Schwenk (Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Pinakothek der Moderne)

Visiting Fellows

Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Hahn

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Dr. Anke te Heesen

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Nicholas Thomas, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Dr. Margarete Vöhringer

Current Visiting Fellow


  • Workshop – "Materiality – Museology – Knowledge"
    (Sommersemester 2021)
  • Podiumsdiskussion – "Knowledge Creation in Museums"
    (Wintersemester 2021/2022)
  • Workshop – "»Skill« als Thema der Museumsethnologie und Ausstellungspraxis"
    (Wintersemester 2021/2022)
  • Symposium – "What Can Museum Anthropology Do in the 21st Century?"
    (Sommersemester 2022)
  • Vortrag von Prof. Dr. Margarete Vöhringer | Moderation: Prof. Dr. Ilse Sturkenboom (LMU) – "Material Humanities. Ansätze einer materialbasierten Wissensgeschichte"
    (29. November 2022, 18:30 Uhr) | (Wintersemester 2022/23)
  • Podiumsdiskussion mit Prof. Dr. Ruth Bielfeldt, Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Hahn, Prof. Dr. Anke te Heesen, Dr. Karl Borromäus Murr und Dr. Johan Schloemann – "Classics without Classics"
    (27. März 2023, 18:30 Uhr) | (Wintersemester 2022/23)