Logo Leipzig University

Adaptation and Creativity in Africa – Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder [2011 - 2016]

TypePriority Programme (SPP 1448)
Hosting Institution(s)Centre for Area Studies, U Leipzig, Germany
Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, U Halle, Germany
Director(s) /
Ulf Engel
(DFG Research Training Group (GK 1261) and DFG Priority Programme (SPP 1448), U Leipzig, Germany)

Richard Rottenburg
(Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, U Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)
FundingGerman Research Council (DFG)
Funding Term2011 - 2016

Africa is witnessing one of the most precarious periods in its postcolonial time as new distributions of sovereignty and forms of ordering are being negotiated at various levels. The capacities of African societies to navigate these changes are crucial, yet the determinants of these capacities are heavily under-researched. The DFG Priority Programme (SPP 1448): “Adaptation and Creativity in Africa – Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder” addresses the key question of how actors in postcolonial Africa deal with the multiple challenges they are facing by mobilizing and transforming their institutional capacities of adaptation and creativity. Particular attention is being paid to the role of technologies and systems of signification in the production of order and disorder. The research programme aims at utilizing the collaborative potential of African studies throughout Germany and increasing the discipline’s international visibility. It does so by facilitating innovative, interdisciplinary research and by promoting research approaches that promise to take African agency seriously. The implementation of the SPP 1448 is shared together by the universities of Halle and Leipzig, with possibly three two-year periods of funding beginning on 1 January 2011.