Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (University of Bonn – UBO)

The University of Bonn is one of the prominent research institutions of Germany. During the winter term 2013/14 32,500 students were enrolled in the university's programs. In 2014 the UBO was ranked among the 200 best universities world-wide.

With eight departments and 15 professors, The Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies (IOA) at the University of Bonn is the largest academic unit on research and teaching regarding Asia. IOA's key teaching activities refer to the broad options for studying about Asia offered in Bonn (Bachelor in Asian Studies, Master in Southeast Asian Studies, and related PhD and other postgraduate studies).The department provides linguistic, philological, historical as well as social science and cultural studies modules. Furthermore, it offers a structured dissertation program, the Bonn Graduate School in Oriental and Asian Studies (BIGS-OAS). The department of Southeast Asian Studies is part of IOA. As its subdivision it is mainly concerned with contemporary Southeast Asia from a social science perspective (sociology, cultural anthropology).

The department's research agendas include urban development studies, political ecology, urban anthropology and migration research. Courses taught include development globalization, migration, cities and natural resources. Within the UBO the IOA is contributing to a transdisciplinary MA program on Economy and Society in Asia (in the IOA) and a new MA program on Cultural Anthropology of our Philosophy Faculty. The IOA is affiliated with the University of Singapore and several other universities and academic institutions throughout Southeast Asia with a broad international network within and outside academia.

The department will help to develop the teaching methodology and learning materials for transdisciplinary research seminars. It brings expertise in socio-cultural and political ecological topic in Southeast Asia. The IOA has lots of experiences with visiting PhD students and dissertations by researchers from the Global South and especially Southeast Asia. It therefore has a deep insight into the state-of-art of post-graduate training in Asian Countries and the respective structural and educational circumstances. It will therefore provide the consortium with advice on these matters and will take over the lead in quality control of project implementation. Furthermore, it has very close links to many colleagues and institutions in Southeast Asia, including official development institutions as well as civil society and private sector actors.


Christoph Antweiler

Prof. Dr. phil. CHRISTOPH ANTWEILER is a cultural anthropologist and Prof. of Southeast Asian Studies at the Institute for Oriental and Asian Studies (IOA), University of Bonn, Germany. He is Board member of the Bonn Center for Asian Studies (BAZ) and Member of the Academia Europea (London). His fields of research are urbanity, decision-making, cognition, local knowledge, ethnicity, societal evolution, and human universals. He is interested in applied anthropology and his fieldwork area is Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. Book publications include: Handbook of Evolution. Vol. 1: The Evolution of Cultures and Societies (co-editor), 2004; Was ist den Menschen gemeinsam? Über Kultur und Kulturen, 2009; Inclusive Humanism. Anthropological Basics for a Realistic Cosmopolitanism, 2012; Environmental Uncertainty and Local Knowledge. Southeast Asia as a Laboratory of Global Change, (co-editor), 2012; and Our Common Denominator. Human Universals Revisited, New York: 2016.

Simone Christ

SIMONE CHRIST is a Cultural Anthropologist and Southeast Asianist. Since 2008, she is a lecturer at the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Bonn. She received her M.A. (Magister Artium) in Sociology, Cultural Anthropology and Political Science from the University of Trier in 2008. She successfully defended her dissertation in Southeast Asian Studies in 2015. Her dissertation focused on the culture of migration in the Philippines. The Philippines is a major sending country of international labor migrants. The dissertation is based on extensive fieldwork in a major region of outmigration, using qualitative methods such as participant observation, qualitative interviews and ranking and sorting methods.

At the University of Bonn, she teaches migration, sociology of Southeast Asia, development theories, globalization, families and gender, nation-building in multi-ethnic societies, culture and history of the Philippines and qualitative research methods at Bachelor and Master levels. She supervises BA and MA theses and organized a three-week field trip to the Philippines. Between 2009 and 2013, she was chairwomen at the organization for young scholars at the German Association for Asian Studies (DGA).

Oliver Pye

With a PhD in forestry science, OLIVER PYE has a research and teaching focus on political ecology and the social relations of nature in Southeast Asia. Key research projects include his PhD research on social movements and forestry politics in Thailand; "The making of social movements in the context of transnationalism and precarity" (DFG project 2009-2012) with a focus on labour in the palm oil industry; "Connecting the urban and the rural: A political ecology of the Kapuas River (Kalimantan, Indonesia)" (DFG project 2011-2015). His teaching includes courses on political ecology, on climate change, on biodiversity, on social movements and on globalisation.

Frank Seemann

Frank Seemann, M.A., finished his studies in 1984 with a degree in comparative religion, focusing on philosophy and psychology (Japanese), at the University of Bonn (UBO). Since 1982 Frank Seemann is owner and co-manager of the "Südstadt-Buchhandlung" in Bonn and in 1985 he finished his qualification in "Postural Integration" under the instruction of Jack Painter. In 1991 Frank Seemann qualified as Shiatsu therapist at the Ohashi Institute, New York, under the instruction of Wataru Ohashi. As of 2001, Frank Seemann is heading and teaching at the ISOM Institute for Shiatsu in Wiesbaden as well as Bonn and in 2002 he joined the Society for Shiatsu in Germany (GSD) as board member (Department national and international contacts), eventually working as chair person for the society from 2012 until 2017.
In 2008 Frank Seemann returned to the UBO and since then participates in the study programme of Southeast Asian Studies at the Institute for Oriental and Asian Studies (IOA) under the professorship of Dr. Antweiler, having regular teaching assignments since the winter term of 2009 and in 2012 becoming research assistant at the department of Southeast Asian Studies of the IOA. His research focusses on religion in South East Asia, Buddhism, Engaged Buddhism, minorities in South East Asia, Civil Society, and the impacts of environmental and climate change within the region. Frank Seemann is living with his three grown-up daughters and his wife in Bonn.