Prof. Dr. Catherine Whittaker

Tel: 069/798-33070
Room: IG 554
E-Mail: Whittaker (at)
Office hours: by appointment per mail

Regional and thematic interests

Latin America (esp. Central Mexico), the U.S.-Mexican border region (esp. California); anthropology of violence and feminist anthropology: vigilance, coloniality of power, racism, gender, migration, intersectionality, affects, religion, ritual, cosmologies

Short Biography

I am a Professor of  Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Goethe University Frankfurt (W1, tenure track) and currently also a visiting scholar at the University of California San Diego.

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 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).

Supervision of students

I particularly welcome enquiries from prospective students interested in any of my regional and thematic fields of interest.

Previous ethnographic research projects on structures of violence:

2019-present: 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).

Publications and Scientific Blogs


Scientific blogs (selection)