Prof. Dr. Catherine Whittaker

Tel: +49 (0)69/798-33070
Room: IG 554
Email: Whittaker (at) 
Appointments: By announcement and individual appointment

Research and teaching interests
• Latin America (especially rural Central Mexico), U.S.-Mexico border region (particularly urban California), transnational   
• Anthropology of structural violence: Diversity, power, activism, racism, gender, migration, subjectivation, vigilance;
• Feminist, Indigenous, and decolonial theories and methods, affect theory;
• Ethnographic writing
• Transnational perspectives

Short biography

.I am an Assistant Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Goethe University Frankfurt (W1, tenure track) and deputy head of department. I am also on the editorial board of the journal Feminist Anthropology

Previously, I was a research associate at the SFB 1369 "Cultures of Vigilance" at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and at the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL) at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. I have also been a visiting scholar at Brown University (Providence, RI, U.S.A.), the University of California San Diego and the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and completed my graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the University of Oxford (all Anthropology, UK), and the University of Bonn (Latin American and Indigenous American Studies, Germany).

Previous ethnographic research projects on structures of violence

2022-2023: Rethinking masculine capital: militarization, care, and awkward affects (funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and the Johanna Quandt Young Academy).

2019-2023: The vigilance and subjectivity of Latin@s and those mistaken for migrants in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands (DFG-funded, project director: Prof. Dr. Eveline Dürr, LMU Munich).

2019: Gender roles in anti-violence activism in Michoacán, Mexico (ESRC-funded, project director: Dr. Trevor Stack, University of Aberdeen).

2014-2019: Indigenous women's power, the relationship between love and violence, and the politics of indigeneity in the rural south of Mexico City (funded by the University of Edinburgh, the Mexican government's Fellowship Program for Foreign Scholars, and the Royal Anthropological Institute).


    • Watchful Lives in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. DeGruyter, 2023 (with Eveline Dürr, Jonathan Alderman und Carolin Luiprecht) Download-link (Open Access):
    • Vigilance and Subjectivity. DeGruyter, 2023 (with Eveline Dürr et al.).
    • Love Within Violence: Paradoxes of Gender Violence and Coloniality in Mexico (manuscript in progress)

    Special Sections
    • 2024. “The Negotiation of Authenticity and the Representation of Cultural Heritage in the Americas." Co-edited with Antje Gunsenheimer and Stephanie Schütze, Indiana.
    • 2022 - “Vigilance." Co-edited with Eveline Dürr and Ana Ivasiuc, Conflict & Society.


Third Mission


  Media Commentary:

   Scientific Blogs (selection)

Student assistant: Miriam Werp
PhD supervisees: Akemi Matsumura Vásquez, Mathias Hartmann, Desta Lorenso Girma