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University of Basel

27 April 2022

George Paul Meiu appointed Professor of Anthropology

Kollegienhaus of the University of Basel
Kollegienhaus of the University of Basel. (Image: University of Basel, Mark Niedermann)

The University Council has elected Prof. Dr. George Paul Meiu as Professor of Ethnology/Anthropology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Furthermore, international law expert Prof. Dr. Anna Petrig has been promoted to associate professor and computational physicist Prof. Dr. Stefan Goedecker to full professor.

George Paul Meiu will take up the professorship with a focus on social anthropology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences on 1 July 2022. He succeeds Prof. Dr. Till Förster, who held the position since 2001.

Prof. Dr. George Paul Meiu
Prof. Dr. George Paul Meiu

Meiu, 38, has been a full professor at Harvard University since 2021, where he previously served as associate professor and assistant professor. He holds a BA in anthropology from Concordia University in Montreal and an MA and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

His book «Ethno-erotic Economies: Sexuality, Money, and Belonging in Kenya» (University of Chicago Press, 2017) expands on his 2013 Ph.D. thesis, which had won him the Daniel F. Nugent Prize for the best dissertation in historical anthropology. His book won the Ruth Benedict Book Prize and the Nelson Graburn Prize of the American Anthropological Association.

A native of Romania, he has conducted field research in Kenya for about 17 years, focusing on the role of sexuality and ethnicity in the political economy of contemporary Africa and the postcolonial world. His current research interests also include gender politics and the relations between mobility, materiality and memory in East Africa and Eastern Europe.

Meiu speaks German, English and Swahili, and is also proficient in French and Samburu-Maa.

Two promotions

Anna Petrig will be promoted to associate professor on 1 August 2022. Petrig has been working at the University of Basel’s Faculty of Law as a tenure-track assistant professor for international law and public law since 2017.

Her research focuses include maritime law, international human rights law, law for international organizations and the issue of the interplay between national and international law. In 2018, she worked as an ad hoc judge for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea – the first woman to do so in the history of the UN tribunal.

Stefan Goedecker, professor of computational physics in the Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, is promoted to full professor as of 1 May 2022.

Appointment of three adjunct professors

The University Council has approved the decision made by the Senate to appoint three adjunct professors at the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Business and Economics:

  • Professor Mira Katan Kahles for neurology (with simultaneous “Umhabilitation”, transfer of authorization to teach)
  • Professor Heide Elke Viehweger for orthopedic surgery and traumatology of the musculoskeletal system (with simultaneous “Umhabilitation”, transfer of authorization to teach)
  • Professor Sylvia Kaufmann for macroeconometrics

Election of Torsten Schwede as Vice President confirmed

The University Council has also confirmed the Senate’s re-election of Professor Torsten Schwede as Vice President for Research.

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