Jonas Tinius


Jonas Tinius is a sociocultural anthropologist, whose ethnographic research grapples with the tensions between art, migration, public institutions, and difficult heritage in Europe. He has conducted fieldwork in Germany, France, and Italy on institutionalised forms of cultural production (esp. theatres, museums, and art spaces), focusing on the reflexive agency of artistic cand curatorial work. He studied British and American Studies as well as Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Münster (Germany) before completing the Archaeology and Anthropology Tripos with a focus on Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge (2012). He received his PhD at Cambridge for an ethnographic study of a migrant-situated public theatre in the postindustrial German Ruhr region (2016), which is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. He was founding co-convenor of the Mellon-Newton-funded Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network at the Centre for Research on the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) and of the Anthropology and the Arts Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) with Prof Roger Sansi. From 2016-2020, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Anthropological Studies on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH) at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, funded by Sharon Macdonald’s Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. He subsequently joined the ERC project Minor Universality. Narrative World Productions After Western Universalism (2020-2024) as a postdoctoral researcher in cultural anthropology and scientific coordinator. The multilingual research project investigates forms of world-making narratives that emerge out of and after the critique of the violent articulations of Western Universality. The project goes beyond narratives that resort to relativistic or identitarian claims, and focuses instead on concrete, situated narratives of humanity, world, justice, freedom that articulate themselves in "minor" forms of literature, architecture, curating, publishing and so on. As part of the project, he curated a residency, research, and exhibition programme in collaboration with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin, entitled The Pregnant Oyster - Doubts on Universalism (June-July 2022). The project also publishes the open-access book series Beyond Universalism / Partager l'universel and maintains a Youtube series of conversations with scholars, thinkers, and writers.

Tinius teaches cultural and social anthropology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin where he completes a habilitation. He is editor of a number of books, including the open-access volume Across Anthropology. Troubling Colonial Legacies, Museums, and Heritage (with Margareta von Oswald, Leuven University Press, 2020) and the open-access teaching workbook Awkward Archives. Ethnographic drafts for a modular curriculum (with Margareta von Oswald, 2022, Archive books), the two-volume reference book Der Fremde Blick. Roberto Ciulli und das Theater an der Ruhr (2020, with Alexander Wewerka, Alexander Verlag), the edited volume Otherwise. Rethinking Museums and Heritage (2018, with Sharon Macdonald et al), the special issue Micro-utopias (with Ruy Blanes, Maïté Maskens, and Alex Flynn, 2016), and the book Anthropology, Theatre, and Development (with Alex Flynn, 2015, Palgrave). Forthcoming: Minor Universality (with Markus Messling, open-access, 2023, Boston: de Gruyter).

Most recent publication: ‘Dis-Othering Diversity: troubling differences in a Berlin-Brussels Afropolitan curatorial collaboration’, in: Sharon Macdonald. Ed. Doing Diversity in Museums and Heritage. A Berlin Ethnography. Bielefeld: transcript, pp. 158–172.