Prof. Dr. Till Förster


Curriculum Vitae

Till Förster holds the chair of social anthropology since 2001 and is founding director of the Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He has specialised on visual culture and political transformations in West- and Central Africa. He has conducted field research in northern Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon for many years and heads two research groups on Political Transformations and Visual Culture. His recent publications focus on questions of governance and social creativity in northern Côte d’Ivoire and on urban visual culture in Cameroon. Till Förster is author of several books and numerous articles, among them Zerrissene Entfaltung: Alltag, Ritual und künstlerische Ausdrucksformen im Norden der Côte d’Ivoire (Köppe 1997). He is also co-editor of Non-State Actors as Standard Setters (Cambridge University Press 2009) and has edited with Sidney Kasfir African Art and Agency in the Workshop (Indiana University Press 2013).
Till Förster studied social anthropology and art history at the Universities of Mainz, Bonn and Cologne. He obtained his PhD from the Free University in Berlin in 1985. His dissertation examined everyday conflicts and their transformation through divination among the Senufo of northern Côte d’Ivoire.

Focus in Research

1. Political transformations, governance, state and statehood
2. Art and visual culture of Africa

Africa South of the Sahara
1. West Africa: Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring countries
2. Central Africa: Cameroon and neighbouring countries

Focus in Teaching

General anthropology, phenomenological epistemology and methodology, visual culture and art, political anthropology, urban anthropology



Förster, Till (2003): Victor Turners Ritualtheorie. Eine ethnologische Lektüre. In: Theologische Literaturzeitung 128 (7-8), S. 703-716. [PDF (323 KB)]

Latest Publications

Förster, Till: Anthropology and Urban Comparisons, in: Förster, Till; Koechlin, Lucy (Hg.): African Cities, By Comparison, 13/14, Basel 2017 (= Basel Papers on Political Transformation), S. 36-48. edoc, URL
Förster, Till: Beyond the Metropolis: Inclusive Urbanity - Made in Korhogo, Côte d'Ivoire, in: Ammann, Carole; Sanogo, Aidas (Hg.): Secondary Cities - The Urban Middle Ground, 11/12, Basel 2017 (= Basel Papers on Political Transformations), S. 35-46. edoc
Förster, Till: Envisioning the City in Africa: Anthropology, Creativity and Urban Culture, in: Glaveanu, Vlad Petre (Hg.): The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity and Culture Research, London 2017, S. 449-471. edoc

> All Publications



Ethnologisches Seminar
Universität Basel
Münsterplatz 19
CH-4051 Basel

Office phone:
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