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Tuning the Vibes of Difference. On Harmonies and Dissonances in the Co-Production of Knowledge with Physicists

Anne Dippel (University of Jena)



In the past years I have been co-producing knowledge together with physicists of various subfields, from High-Energy-Physics over Computational Physics to Quantum Mechanics. As anthropologist I was initially entering an imperial field of power, incapable of speaking a very enigmatic language and even more complex tools. As anthropologist I often enough felt (and was to be felt by others painfully) to be the subaltern that listened to mighty representatives of a rich field of research that accumulates bright minds, attention,  data, knowledge and capital. Working together with those who wire the world wide web and high-frequency trading as much as nuclear weapons, I slowly found my ways to horizontal communication by meeting humans who are able to think beyond the standard model of scientific reasoning. In this talk I want to present the emergence and making-off of articles, workshops and books. I want to  share vignettes of fieldwork - and take the time to think together with the GSSC Working Group „Co-Producing Knowledge“ to pause and reflect about these collaborations and the surroundings they co-create; also to relocate anthropologies place in societies. By theoretically engaging  with material-semiotic concepts of harmony and manifolds, I want to focus on common horizons and different understandings of naturecultures and epistemologies in what could be seen as the post-war era of the 1980s „science wars“ on planet Gaia.



Anne Dippel  is a cultural anthropologist and historian with a passion for ethnographic inquiries of all kind, researching and teaching at University of Jena (Germany). She studied in Berlin and London (PhD Humboldt-University Berlin 2013, Habilitation University Jena 2022) and became a specialist in physics and computers scientific cultures as well as German speaking societies. She held fellowships, taught and researched in Germany and abroad, including at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Institute for the Advanced Study of Media Cultures of Computer Simulation (MECS) at Lüneburg University, and the Universities of Basel, Berlin and Heidelberg. She conducted extensive ethnographic research in Vienna/Austria, Geneva/Switzerland and different physics laboratories and data centres in Europe and USA.


June 12, 2024
5:45-7:15 pm (CET)


Global South Studies Center
University of Cologne
Room 2.53
Classen-Kappelmann-Strasse 24, ground floor, 50931 Köln

Zoom: Contact for Zoom Link.


Organized by the Thematic Area Co-Producing Knowledge (GSSC)