Prof Dr habil Katja Müller

Position: Visiting Professor (UTS), Privatdozentin (MLU)

portrait of Katja Müller


Main fields of interest

Visual Anthropology, Photography, Museum Anthropology, South Asia, Environmental Anthropology, Energy Anthropology, Coal Mining and Renewable Energy

Research Projects

Postcolonial Digital Connections” – Sociocultural Impacts of Digitization Processes in the Cultural Heritage Sector
Decarbonising Electricity
The Coal Rush and Beyond

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2021 Visiting Professor at the University of Technology Sydney
Since 2021 Privatdozentin for Social Anthropology at MLU Halle
2021 Senior Researcher at Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam
2018-2021 Partner Investigator at the University of Technology, Sydney
2017 Research Fellow at Centre for Digital Anthropology, University College London
2015-2021 Researcher and academic coordinator at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, ZIRS
2014-2017 Research Associate at the University of Technology, Sydney
2013-2015 Lecturer at Leipzig University, Institute of Anthropology
Lecturer at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences
2011-2014 PhD Candidate at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (Thesis title: “Die Eickstedt-Sammlung aus Südindien. Differenzierte Wahrnehmungen kolonialer Fotografien und Objekte “)
2009-2011 Scientific research assistant at GrassiMuseum für Völkerkunde, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
2008 Magister Artium, Leipzig University (Cultural Studies / Indian Studies / Philosophy)


2023 Contested Futures of/with Energy Generation
2023 Digitisation and Low-Carbon Energy Transitions
2022 Climate Camps and Environmental Movements: Impacting the Coal Industry and Practicing ‘System Change’
2022 Postcolonial Digital Collections: Instruments, Mirrors, Agents
2021 Digital archives and collections. Creating online access to cultural heritage. Oxford, New York: Berghahn. open access
2021 with Hahn, Hans Peter, Oliver Lueb and Karoline Noack. Digitalisierung ethnologischer Sammlungen: Perspektiven aus Theorie und Praxis. Bielefeld: Transkript. open access
2021 Heat pipelines and climate camps: Coal mining’s in/visible infrastructure, The Extractive Industries and Society
2021 with Morton, Tom. The space, the time, and the money: Wind energy politics in East Germany, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 40: 62-72.
2021 with Endres, Kirsten and Charlotte Bruckermann (eds.). Feature: The political power of energy futures, FocaalBlog: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology.
2021 with Endres, Kirsten and Charlotte Bruckermann. Introduction: The political power of energy futures, FocaalBlog: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology.
2020 Zugang zu wissenschaftlichen Sammlungen: Rechtliche, ethische und politische Dimensionen, in: Andraschke, Udo (ed.): Objekte im Netz, Transcript: 205-219.
2020 with Morton, Tom, James Goodman, Riikka Heikkinen: Forest Wind and Australia’s renewables revolution: how big clean energy projects risk leaving local communities behind, The Conversation August 23, 2020.
2020 with Goodmann, James, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Linda Connor, Devleena Gosh, Kanchi Kohli, Jonathan Marshall, Manju Menon, Tom Morton, Rebecca Pearse, Stuart Rosewarne. Beyond the Coal Rush. A turning point for global energy and climate policy? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2020 with Morton, Tom, James Goodman, Jonathan Marshall, Riika Heikkinen: People need to see the benefits from local renewable energy projects, and that means jobs, The Conversation June 19th, 2020.
2020 with Everts, Jonathan. Riskscapes, Politics of Scaling and Climate Change: Towards the Post-Carbon Society? Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 13 (2): 14 pages.
2020 with Morton, Tom, Jonathan Marshall, Linda Connor und Devleena Ghosh. From Coal to Renewables: Changing Socio-Ecological Relations of Energy in India, Australia and Germany, in: Renn, Ortwin, Frank Ulmer und Anna Deckert (eds.): The role of public participation in energy transitions, Academic Press: 93-104.
2019 with Aich, Rajkamal. Indian post-digital aesthetics. Visual Ethnography 8 (2): 155-168. read it online 2019. with Geismar, Haidy (eds.): Postcolonial Digital Connections. Web publication, Halle (Saale)
2019 Vom Nutzen digitalisierter Sammlungen. Museumskunde 1/2019: 12-17.
2019 Digitalisierung von kulturellem Erbe: Potentiale und Schwächen. Bedrohte Völker – pogrom 311_2: 14-15.
2019 India’s digital archives: Online spaces for cultural heritage. Asiascape: Digital Asia 6: 84-109.
2019 with Wille, Boris: Materiality and Mobility: Comparative notes on heritagisation in the Indian Ocean World, in: Schnepel, Burkhard and Tansen Sen (eds.): Travelling Pasts: The Politics of Cultural Heritage in the Indian Ocean World, Brill: 81-106.
2019 review. Photography in India: From Archives to Contemporary Practice, ed. by Aileen Blaney and Chinar Shar. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 41(4): 927-929.
2019 The Eickstedt archive: German anthropology in colonial India. Indian Historical Review 45(2): 213-232.
2018 Exhibition Review for ‘Another India: Explorations & Expressions of Indigenous South Asia’ at Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, 8 March 2017-22 April 2018. Museum Anthropology Review 12 (2): 153-155.
2018 Mining, time and protest: Dealing with waiting in German coal mine planning. The Extractive Industries and Society 6(1): 1-7. read it online
2018 Digitale Objekte – subjektive Materie. Zur Materialität digitalisierter Objekte in Museum und Archiv, in: Hahn, Hans-Peter (ed.): Dinge als Herausforderung, Transcript: 49-66. free download
2017 Der böse Blick: Sehen und Gesehenwerden in Südindien, in: Münster, Ursula, Claudia Lang, Jens Zickgraf und Philipp Zehmisch (eds.): Ästhetik, Atmosphäre, Medialität: Beiträge aus der Ethnologie, Lit: 133–142.
2017 Heimat, Kohle, Umwelt. Argumente im Protest und der Befürwortung von Braunkohleförderung in der Lausitz. Zeitschrift für Umweltpolitik und Umweltrecht 2017(3): 213–228
2017 Online Documents of India’s Past: Digital Archives and Memory Production. Museum Worlds: Advances in Research 5: 149–161.
2017 Writing into the Archive: Digitizing ethnographic collections, in: Noack, Karoline und Ihde, Beatrix (eds.): Potentials of Museum-Ethnology: Aparai-Wayana and other indigenous groups of the Guyanas as reflected in museum collections, Shaker: 269-282.
2017 Reframing the Aura: Digital Photography in Ancestral Worship, in: Museum Anthropology, 40(1): 65-78.
2017 Between Lived and Archived Memory: How Digital Archives Can Tell History, in: Digithum, 19: 11-18.
2017 Picturing Culture: The Photography of Muttappan teyyam between 1920 and Today, in: Visual Anthropology, 30(2): 147-165.
2016 mit Morton, Tom: Lusatia and the Coal Conundrum: The Lived Experience of the German Energiewende, Energy Policy 99: 277-287.
2015 Die Eickstedt-Sammlung aus Südindien. Differenzierte Wahrnehmungen kolonialer Fotografien und Objekte, Europäische Hochschulschriften, Band 84. Peter Lang, Frankfurt et al. (Ph.D. thesis)
2015 review. The Coal Nation. Histories, Ecologies and Politics of Coal in India, by Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt (ed.), South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 38: 3, 541-542.
2015 review. Colour, Art and Empire. Visual Culture and the Nomadism of Representation, by Natasha Eaton, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 38: 1, 132-134.
2014 with Rycroft, Daniel: The Future of Anthropology’s Archival Knowledge: an International Reassessment (FAAKIR), in: Jahrbuch der Staatlichen Ethnographischen Sammlungen Sachsen Bd. 46, pp. 221-226.
2014 Eickstedt in Südindien, in: Jahrbuch der Staatlichen Ethnographischen Sammlungen Sachsen Bd. 46, pp. 227-236.
2013 Koloniale Fotografien im Dialog. Rückführung und Erschließung des Eickstedt-Archivs, in: Rundbrief Fotografie 20, pp. 5-10.
2011 Schädelträger und das zornige Opfer der fünf Sinne – zur Verwendung von Schädeln im Hinduismus und Buddhismus, in: Schädelkult. Kopf und Schädel in der Kulturgeschichte des Menschen, Regensburg, pp. 125-131.
2010 Kulturelle Veränderungen in Malabar – Forschungsbericht Indien 2009/2010, in: Jahrbuch der Staatlichen Ethnographischen Sammlungen Sachsen Bd. 45, Berlin, pp. 359-363.
2009 with Krebs, Carola: Ins Innere Indiens – Die Expedition des Egon Freiherr von Eickstedt 1926–1929, in: Auf der Suche nach Vielfalt, Leipzig, pp. 321-328.
2009 with Wagenknecht, Reinhard/ Krebs, Carola: „Vom Reiten und Jagen, Fischen und Fangen“ Über die Museumspädagogik am Leipziger Völkerkundemuseum, in: Auf der Suche nach Vielfalt, Leipzig, pp. 495-500.


2014/15 with Leipzig University / GrassiMuseum für Völkerkunde. Vom Wesen der Dinge. Ethnologische Konstellationen.
2012 with Museum of Voice / University of East Anglia / Museum of Archeology and Anthropology Cambridge. Purvajo-ni Aankh.

Grants and awards

2020 Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Open access publishing grant
2020 Deutscher Akademikerinnenbund, Open access publishing grant
2020 Forum for the study of the global condition, Grant for international conference ‘Resources and Strukturwandel’
2019 Asiascape/Brill, Best Article Award for ‘India’s Digital Archives: Online Spaces for Cultural Heritage’
2018 Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Grant for international conference ‘Postcolonial Digital Connections‘
2018 CI: James Goodman, ARC grant for project ‘Decarbonising Electricity’
2014 DAAD grand for conference participation
2011/12 DAAD research grant for fieldwork in India
2011 Grant by the VW-Foundation for International Workshop on Anthropological Archives (FAAKIR)
2009/10 Research grant by the FAZIT-Foundation for fieldwork in India

Invited Presentations

2020 Curating the truth as grass-roots history: Digital archives and their relation to postcolonial theory and practice. Digital Truth-Making, Humboldt University Berlin.
2020 Sammlungen online: Postkoloniale Ideale und digitale Wirklichkeit. Zwischentagung DGSKA AG Materielle Kultur, AG Museum, Cologne.
2020 Die (Im)Materialität von Objekten im digitalen Raum. Zukunft der Objekte, University of Cologne.
2020 The futures of visual restitution. EASA, University Lisbon.
2020 Decarbonising Electricity & Strukturwandel in India, Australia and Germany. Resources and Strukturwandel, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
2020 Die Grenzen des rechtlich Machbaren: Urheberrechte bei der Digitalisierung in Museum und Archiv. Sammlungen zwischen Materialität und Medialität, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt.
2019 with Tom Morton. The state of decarbonization in Germany: the “Coal Commission”, climate policy and decarbonization on the ground in the Lausitz. Socio-ecological relations of energy transition in Australia, Germany, and India, IIT Kanpur.
2019 with Tom Morton. The spatio-temporal politics of wind energy: some initial reflections on fieldwork and energy transition in Brandenburg. Socio-ecological relations of energy transition in Australia, Germany, and India, IIT Kanpur.
2019 Objekte als rechtliche Grenzmarken der Digitalisierung. DGSKA-Tagung, Universität Konstanz.
2019 with Boris Wille. Coral Blocks and Binary Code: Moving Matter(s) in the Indian Ocean World. Deutscher Südasientag, Universität Bonn.
2019 The Meaning of ‘Sharing’ for Online Projects – Analysis of a Changing Term as Applied in Indian Digital Archives. Sharing Society, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao.
2019 Digital Archives: Postcolonial Ideas and Online Involvement. After-Lives of Photographs in the Digital Age, Pembroke College, London.
2019 Ethnographisch-journalistische Arbeit in der Lausitz 2014-17 – The Coal Rush and Beyond. Perspektivwechsel im Strukturwandel, IASS Potsdam.
2018 The Coal Rush and Beyond. Kohlentag: A multi-disciplinary workshop on the past, present, and future of coal use, MPI für Wissenschaftsgeschichte Berlin.
2018 The Internet as a field for decolonizing Indian cultural heritage. Conference Heritage, Decolonisation and the Field, German Historical Institute London & UCL Institute of Archaeology.
2018 Following the 1947 Partition Archive – Online community-building beyond kin and borders. Asiascape: Digital Asia Conference, Universiteit Leiden.
2018 Adivasi Images, Adivasi Voices: The resonance of the Eickstedt collection. 25th ECSAS, Paris.
2017 Anthropologic Photographs. The Present and (Digital) Future of Images from the Past, FFA, Brno Technical University.
2017 with Tom Morton. Globalising the Local to Reach the National. Extended Coal Mines in Lusatia, Germany. The Coal Rush and Beyond: A Workshop on Coal Contestation and Advocacy for Energy Transition, IASS Potsdam.
2017 Digitale Fotografien – Erweiterte Erinnerungen, erweiterte Identitäten. Symposium Augmented Identites, ZIS Universität Mainz.
2017 Online Archives of Indian Photography. Towards an Accessibility of Visual Cultural Heritage, Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi.
2017 Colonial Photography by Egon von Eickstedt. A German anthropologist’s camera view on India in the 1920s, Sahapedia Baithak Talks, Delhi.
2017 Digital Future of Anthropological Archives? Memory Making on the Indian Past, Seminar Series Material, Visual and Digital Culture Research, University College London.
2017 with Boris Wille. Materiality and Mobility. Comparative notes on heritagisation in the Indian Ocean World, Conference Travelling Pasts: The Politics of Cultural Heritage in the Indian Ocean World, Max Planck Institute, Halle.
2016 Digitale Objekte. Subjektive Materie, Zwischentagung AG Materielle Kultur der DGV, Frankfurt/M.
2016 with Tom Morton. At the coalface. A case study between anthropologist and journalist, Australian Anthropological Society Conference, Sydney.
2016 Waiting for the pre-cut conveyor belt. How time shapes mining protest forms, Australian Anthropological Society Conference, Sydney.
2016 The (post)digital future of anthropological archives: Memory-making and heritage in cyberspace, 17th AoIR Annual Conference, Berlin.
2016 Linking museum- and community-based archives in a postdigital world, 14th EASA Biennial Conference, Milano.
2016 Opening archives. Digital photographs between India and Europe, India International Centre, New Delhi.
2016 Erinnern online. Museum- und Community-basierte Fotoarchive in Indiens postdigitaler Welt, Ringvorlesung Museum 4.0, Halle.
2016 Von 0 und 1 zum Koraj Hill. Digitalisiertes Erbe in Ahnenverehrung und Erinnerung, Mitteldeutscher Südasientag, Leipzig
2015 Dialogue through Digitisation. Herrenhäuser-Symposium „Positioning Ethnological Museums in the 21st Century“, Hannover.
2014 Indifference and fetishizing. Modes of visual appropriation without reciprocal value, Conference „Anthropology and Photography”, Royal Anthropological Institute, London.
2012 Vom möglichen Umgang mit ethnologischen/anthropologischen Archiven. Perspektiven des Eickstedt Archivs, Symposium „Koloniale Portraitfotografie“, Museum of Photography, Berlin.
2011 The Egon von Eickstedt Collection, Conference “Objects and Words: Writing on, around and about things”, Museums Ethnographers Group, Oxford.


Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

  • WiSe 2020/21 ETROD – Environmental and Transition Research Online Dialogues
  • SoSe 2020 Media practice – Podcasts and photo essays as output of science and research
  • SoSe 2019 Lecture Series at MPI Halle: “Towards (the Anthropology of) the Future”
  • WiSe 2018/19 Energie und Klima
  • SoSe 2018 Lecture series at MPI Halle: “Fueling the Future: Energy, Resources & Environment”
  • SoSe 2016 Lecture Series “museum 4.0. challenges for cultural heritage in the digital world”
  • WiSe 2015/16 Visual Anthropology – Photography and Image

Leipzig University

  • WiSe 2013/14 and 2014/15 Economic Anthropology
  • SoSe 2014 and 2015 South Asia

Anhalt University

  • WiSe 2013/14 – SoSe 2015 German as a Second Language, DSH-level


Deutscher Museumsbund
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie
EASA European Association of Social Anthropologists – Convenor if the Energy Anthropology Network
AoIR Association of Internet Researchers
EASAS European Association for South Asian Studies