Cornelia Günauer, M.A.


Research interests
Anthropology of music, sound studies, political anthropology, identity politics, popular culture

Research areas
South Asia (especially India and Northeast India), Indian Ocean (Mauritius).


Music, anthropology, and podcasting

In 2018, the African Music Archives (AMA) got its own podcast, the AMA:CAST.

Being part of the new initiative to further strengthen the focus on music at the ifeas, this new audio podcast aims at raising the AMA’s profile by exploring the collection of the AMA. To conceptualize the podcast and to include podcasting into the curriculum, Cornelia Günauer organized and conducted the course ‘Musik, Ethnologie und Podcasts – Übung zur medialen Vermittlung wissenschaftlicher Inhalte’ which was awarded by the Gutenberg Lehrkolleg (GLK) as an innovative teaching project. Students from both social anthropology and musicology developed the AMA.CAST and produced episodes. In the first part of the seminar, various podcasting professionals provided input on various aspect of podcasting: Nele Heise, podcaster and researcher at the Hans-Bredow-Institute, shared her insights into the world of academic podcasts; Marthe Lisson, who podcasts for the Schirn, talked about how to conceptualize a podcast; and the journalists Roland Welling (SWR) and Nora Hespers shared their insights into how to write for an audio podcast and into how to launch a podcast. In addition, the students received speech training and an introduction to audio recording and editing. In the second part of the course, the students conceptualized and produced individual episodes, amongst others on Heavy Metal in Botswana. The first episodes of the AMA:Cast will be published in 2020. Follow the AMA on Facebook to stay updated: ...

Anthropology of Music Lecture Series and Master Class

In summer 2018, the first edition of our new “Anthropology of Music Lecture Series and Master Class” took place. It is part of a new initiative to further strengthen and expand the focus on music at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies (ifeas), Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany. Combining a public lecture series held by one of the field’s most established representative with a Master Class designed for young researchers to present their works, this new format provides a unique opportunity to discuss ongoing research and reflect on the current state of anthropological engagements with music and sound.

In 2018, we focused the topic of Valuing Music and welcomed Timothy Taylor, professor of ethnomusicology and musicology at the University of Los Angeles (UCLA), as expert on this topic. In a series of three public lectures, Timothy Tayler explored questions of value with respect to music as a form of cultural production. Simultaneously, the Master Class on the same topic took place, providing a group of 13 young researchers from across the globe with the opportunity to present their work, discuss it with leading exponents of their field (Timothy Taylor among them) and relate it to recent developments and debates. See also: and

The focus of the 2019 edition is on “acoustemology”, and we are therefore glad to welcome Steven Feld, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico (USA) and Senior Scholar at the School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico (USA), to serve as both our guest lecturer and main discussant in the master class.

Steven Feld introduced the concept of acoustemology in the early 1990s, conjoining ‘acoustic’ and ‘epistemology’ in order to pursue the social study of sound as a way of knowing and being in the world. In the 2019 lecture series, Steven Feld will present the current state of his own thinking about and through acoustemology. He will also demonstrate how acoustemological approaches may contribute to ongoing theoretical debate on globalization, neoliberal capitalism, environmental change and human-nonhuman-interactions, and thus may speak to some of the most pressing questions of our times. The master class directly relates to this topic and we are looking forward to contributions which further explore the potential of acoustemology concerning ethnographic studies of music and sound.

The next Anthropology of Music Lecture Series and Master Class will take place from June 26 to June 29, 2019. The Call for Papers will be published soon on .  ...