Prof. Dr. Mirco Göpfert

Phone: 069/798-33078
E-Mail: goepfert (at)
Room: IG 557
Office hours: Registration via terminplaner

Mirco Göpfert is professor for social and cultural anthropology. He received his doctorate in anthropology from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in 2014 and taught at the University of Konstanz before coming to the Goethe University in 2018.

Also, Mirco (he/him) is a first generation academic, so please get in touch if you need help or seek advice!

Research project
Humour as an Epistemic Practice of the Political Present [NoJoke]

Main research interests
- Humour and satire (as epistemic practices)
- Anthropology of the state and bureaucratic practice / violence and security / crime and punishment / power and resistance
- Relational ontology / phenomenological approaches in anthropology / practice theory
- Heuristic and methodology of ethnographic research 


2022    On dictators and clowns. Anthropology Today 38(3): 22-24.
2020 An artistic reaction to perceived injustice: Cartooning, resistance and textures of the political in Iran. Anthropological Notebooks 26(1): 147-166.
2020 Epistemophilic obsessions: Espionage, secrets and the ethnographer's will to know. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 10(2): 487–498.
2020 Policing the Frontier: An Ethnography of Two Worlds in Niger. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
2017 Police in Africa: The Street Level View (Edited with Jan Beek, Olly Owen and Jonny Steinberg). London: Hurst Publishers.
2016 Repairing the law: the search for justice in the Nigerien gendarmerieTheoretical Criminology 20(4): 446–461.
2016 Surveillance in Niger: gendarmes and the problem of "seeing things"African Studies Review 59(2): 39-57.
2015 Travelling police: the potential for change in the wake of police reform in West Africa (with Jan Beek). Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale 23(4): 465-479.
2015 Ethnographische Überlegungen zu Polizeiarbeit in Niger: Geschichten hören, verstehen und schreibenPaideuma. Mitteilungen zur Kulturkunde 61: 237-255.
2013 State violence specialists in West Africa (with Jan Beek). Sociologus 63(1-2): 103-124.
2013 Police violence in West Africa: perpetrators' and ethnographers' dilemmas (with Jan Beek). Ethnography 14(4): 477-500.
2013 Bureaucratic aesthetics: report writing in the Nigerien gendarmerieAmerican Ethnologist 40(2): 324-334.
2013 Disziplin und Kreativität an ghanaischen Internatsschulen (with Andrea Noll). Frankfurt: Brandes & Apsel Verlag.
2012 Security in Niamey: an anthropological perspective on policing and an act of terrorism in NigerJournal of Modern African Studies 50(1): 53-74

The complete list of publications can be found here.

Cassis Kilian (NoJoke)
Sepide Ghorbani Sagherloo (Student assistant)
Melina Götze (Research associate)

Sophia Hornbacher-Schönleber (Research associate)
Gil Hızı (Research associate)
Moritz Post (NoJoke)
Raúl Acosta Garcia (NoJoke)
Prateek (NoJoke)
Timo Roßmann (PhD candidate | ELLVIS-Pilotprojekt “Kollaborative Ethnologie“)
Helena Zohdi (PhD candidate)