Jun.-Prof. Dr. Julia Binter

Argelander Professor for Critical Museum and Heritage Studies
University of Bonn

Research professorship of the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Present Pasts" of the University of Bonn.

Plurifying the Formation of Knowledge Across Museums and Heritage

Julia Binter is a social anthropologist with a background in theatre, film, and media studies, specialising in material culture, critical museum and heritage studies. She has worked in numerous transdisciplinary settings, including art, historical and ethnological museums, and with a variety of stakeholders from academia, art, activism, and cultural heritage communities. A key focus of her academic and curatorial work is analysing the colonial entanglements of museums and their collections and to develop innovative ways of bringing the stakeholders' diverse modes of knowledge formation with and about museum collections into dialogue. Moreover, she understands museums as a prominent and powerful form amongst many heritage practices. She therefore also studies more broadly how people engage with things, understood as images, artefacts, bodies, and the environment, to relate to the past, create presents and envision possible futures. In her previous research, she analysed how heritage is negotiated in museums, film, theatre, visual arts, funerals and fashion in Nigeria, Namibia, Great Britain, and Germany, and how it is shaped by dynamic, historically grown political economic relations. Binter strives to put postcolonial theory in practice and, consequently, her research not only reflects on these cultural, political, and economic entanglements past and present, but also seeks to reshape them in collaborative film and exhibition projects.

Julia Binter is currently pursuing two lines of research: The Heritage of Mission and The Heritage of Water. The Heritage of Mission examines the impact of missionization on the body, ranging from changes in religious practices to clothing styles, gender norms, and healing practices. The Heritage of Water takes the current global water crisis, ranging from extreme floods to drought, as a starting point to examine the relationships between people and water in global, comparative perspective.

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Jun.-Prof. Dr. Julia Binter


Argelander Professor for Critical Museum and Heritage Studies, Transdisciplinary Research Area "Present Past" of the University of Bonn


Curriculum Vitae

Julia Binter studied social and cultural anthropology as well as theatre film and media studies at the University of Vienna and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She received her DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford in 2022. Binter also trained as assistant curator in the Africa department of the Weltmuseum Wien from 2010 to 2013. In 2016/2017, she was curatorial fellow at the Kunsthalle Bremen. From 2018 to 2023 she worked as research associate for postcolonial provenance research at the Ethnologisches Museum/ Zentralarchiv of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. She has been lecturing at the University of Vienna since 2009. Binter joined the University of Bonn as Argelander Professor for Critical Museum and Heritage Studies in 2023 and is a member of the Global Heritage Lab.

Julia Binter is the co-founder of the transdisciplinary research network 'Colonial Ports and Global History' at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. She is also a member of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie and the European Association of Social Anthropologists and contributes to the AG Koloniale Provenienzen of the Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung and the EASA Network Anthropology of History.

Third-Party Funded Projects

Duration: 2023-2024

Principal Investigator: Julia Binter, Ndeenda Shivute (National Art Gallery of Namibia), Golda Ha-Eiros (National Museum of Namibia)

Funder: Heinrich Böll Foundation

Duration: 2018-2024

Principal Investigator: Julia Binter, Kristin Weber-Sinn (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), Ndapewoshali Ashipala (Museums Association of Namibia)

Funder: Gerda Henkel Foundation

Duration: 2016-2017

Principal Investigator: Julia Binter

Funder: Curatorial Fellowship 'Internationales Museum', Kulturstiftung des Bundes

Duration: 2016-2017

Principal Investigator: Julia Binter

Funder: Caird Short-Term Research Fellowship, Royal Museums Greenwich

Duration: 2013-2016

Principal Investigator: Julia Binter

Funder: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

Publications (selection)

Binter, J.T.S.

In: Collections as Relations. Belonging, Cultural Heritage, and Infrastructures of Knowing

Dilger, H., Göbel, B. von Poser, A. Schütze, S. (eds.)

Routledge (forthcoming).

Binter, J.T.S., Howald, C., Labischinksi, J., Weber-Sinn, K.

In: Tagungsband des Arbeitskreises Provenienzforschung (forthcoming).

Binter, J.T.S., Howald, C., Labischinksi, J., Sporleder, B., Weber-Sinn, K. (eds.)

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (2022).

Binter, J.T.S., Ha-Eiros, G.

In: Playbook Klimakultur. Strategien für einen nachhaltigen Kulturwandel

Lurz, B., Schlag, W., Wolkinger, T., et al. (eds.)

Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten – Sektion für internationale Kulturangelegenheiten, 39-42 (2021).

Binter, J.T.S.

In: Material Relations. On Materiality and Connectivity in Anthropology and Beyond

Schorch, P., Saxer, M. (eds.)

UCL Press, 53-71 (2020).

Binter, J.T.S., Fine, J., Förster, L.

Provenienz und Forschung, 2, 46-51 (2020).

Binter, J.T.S., Fine, J.

Baessler-Archiv 66, 179-188 (2020).

Binter, J.T.S.

Third Text, 33:4-5, 575-593 (2019).

Binter, J.T.S. (ed.)

Reimer Verlag (2017).

Binter, J.T.S.

The Senses and Society 9/2, 342-360 (2014)

Reprinted: In The Auditory Culture Reader

Bull, M., Back, L. (eds.)

Bloomsbury (2015).

Binter, J.T.S.

In: Ethnohistorie. Rekonstruktion und Kulturkritik. Eine Einführung

Zips, W., Wernhart, K. (eds.)

Promedia Verlag, 2014.

Binter, J.T.S.

In: Transcultural Montage

Willerslev, R., Suhr, C. (eds.)

Berghahn Books, 183-197 (2013).

In: Global Studies. Mapping Contemporary Art and Culture

Belting, H. Birken, J. Buddensieg, A., Weibel, P. (eds.)

Hatje Cantz, 158-173 (2011).

Binter, J.T.S.

LIT-Verlag (2009).

Exhibitions and Film Festivals (selection)

Duration:     2021

Curators:      Binter, J.T.S., Ha-Eiros, G.

Venue:          Humboldt Forum

Duration:      2017

Curator:        Binter, J.T.S.

Venue:          Kunsthalle Bremen

Duration:      2010

Curators:      Binter, J.T.S., Dietrich, M.C.

Venue:          KosmosTheater

Further Information

TRA Present Pasts

Research on the preconditions and conditions of the emergence of modern societies as well as on negotiation processes of heritage.

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