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Cultural and Social Anthropology

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Team > Claudia Liebelt, PD Dr.

Liebelt Claudia 180x180 1.2019 Claudia Liebelt, PD Dr.
Liebelt Claudia 180x180 1.2019

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Social Anthropology


  • April 2020-July 2021, Heisenberg Position on "Gender, Body, Beauty: Transnational Formations of the Self," Chair for Social Anthropology, University of Bayreuth

Academic Positions and Training

  • October 2019–March 2020, Guest Professorship for Gender & Diversity Studies, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin
  • June 2019, Dr. habil. and venia legendi in Social and Cultural Anthropology; title of habilitation thesis: ‘Istanbul Appearances: beauty and the making of middle-class femininities in urban Turkey,’ Faculty of Cultural Studies, University of Bayreuth
  • December 2010–September 2019, Assistant Professor ('Akademische Rätin') at the Chair of Social Anthropology, University of Bayreuth
  • 2013–2018, Principle Investigator ('Eigene Stelle') of a large grant research project on Aesthetic Body Modifications and Femininity in a Global City: cultures of Beauty in Istanbul funded by the German Research Foundation
  • April–July 2017, Replacement Professorship, Chair of Social Anthropology, University of Bayreuth
  • April–November 2010, Lecturer at the Chair of Social Anthropology, Bayreuth University
  • July 2007–September 2010, Research Fellow, Research Institute for Law, Politics & Justice, Keele University (UK), as part of the comparative project In the Footsteps of Jesus and the Prophet: Sociality, Caring, and the Religious Imagination in the Filipina Diaspora (PI: Prof. Pnina Werbner; funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK)
  • November 2010, Dr. phil. in Social Anthropology (summa cum laude), ‘Caring for the “Holy Land”: Transnational Filipina Care Workers in the Israeli Migration Regime,’ Faculty of Philosophy I, Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg; supervisors: Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schnepel (Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany) and Prof. Dr. Eyal Ben-Ari (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
  • 2005–April 2008, PhD Fellow, Graduate School Culture and Society in Motion, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
  • August 2003, Magistra Artium (MPhil) in Social Anthropology (major), Islamic Studies, and Sociology, University of Cologne; graduated with honours
Liebelt Claudia 180x180 1.2019

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Social Anthropology

Research Interests

My research foci are in the Anthopology of the Body and the Senses, Political Anthropology, Gender and Sexualities, Care and Intimate Labour, as well as Islam and Secularity. I am especially interested in debates on the biopolitics of beauty, embodied normativities, postsecularism, new materialities, as well as categorizations of race, class and gender, with a regional focus on the Middle East and Turkey. As part of my Heisenberg Position at the University of Bayreuth, I currently conduct research on the Olfactories of Hygiene, that is, the social configurations of bodily hygiene, scents, and the role of hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 pandemics in Turkey and Germany.

Between 2013–2018, I directed a research project on  Aesthetic Body Modifications and Femininity in a Global City: Cultures of Beauty in Istanbul financed by the German Research Foundation, which resulted in a habilitation thesis on the topic. As a postdoctoral researcher, I was part of a large-grant AHRC-project based at the Universities of Keele and Hull (UK) and studied the “Sociality, Caring and the Religious Imagination in the Filipino Diaspora” (2007-2010, PI Prof. Pnina Werbner).

I have authored  Caring for the 'Holy Land': Filipina Domestic Workers in Israel (Berghahn Books 2011) and have edited a volume on Beauty and the Norm: Debating Standardization in Bodily Appearance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), as well as special journal issues on "Manufacturing Beauty, Grooming Selves: The Creation of Femininities in the Global Economy" (Sociologus, 2016) and "Gendering 'Everyday Islam'" (with Pnina Werbner, Contemporary Levant, 2018). I also co-directed an ethnographic documentary on Filipina return migrants in Manila (Cycles of Care, with Lizza M. David, UK/D 2011, 52 mins).

Finally, I am a member of the scientific network "Gender, Queer, Intersectionality and Diversity Studies (GeQuInDi) at the University of Bayreuth, a founding member and speaker of the working group "Gender & Sexualities | Queer Anthropology" within the German Anthropological Society (DGSKA). I am part of the editorial team of Sociologus–Journal for Social Anthropology.

Liebelt Claudia 180x180 1.2019

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Social Anthropology



Liebelt, Claudia
From Manicurist to Aesthetic Vanguard : the Biopolitics of Beauty and the Changing Role of Beau ...
Palgrave Handbook on Race and Gender
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2021

Liebelt, Claudia
Negotiating "Islamic" Beauty in Turkey, or Conceptualizing the Complex Entanglements Between Be ...
The Routledge Companion to Politics of Beauty
London ; New York : Routledge, 2021 (Routledge Companion Series)

Liebelt, Claudia; Alber, Erdmute; Häberlein, Tabea; Martin, Jeannett; Maurus, Sabrina; Thelen, Tatjana; Zoanni, Tyler
Revisiting Marilyn Strathern's Relations : A Relational Reading
in Zeitschrift für Ethnologie volume 146 (2021) issue 1/2. - page 219-224


Sharma, Mihir; Liebelt, Claudia
Cultures of Hygiene : Interview with Claudia Liebelt
in Allegra Lab : Anthropology for Radical Optimism
24. Juni 2020
https://allegralaboratory.net/cultures-of-hygiene- ...

Liebelt, Claudia
Ästhetische "Upgrades" in Istanbul : Über alternde Körper und ästhetische Körpermodifikation al ...
Upgrades der Natur, künftige Körper : Interdisziplinäre und internationale Perspektiven
Wiesbaden : Springer VS, 2020. - page 139-156
doi:10.1007/978-3-658-31597-9_8 ...


Liebelt, Claudia
Aesthetic Citizenship in Istanbul : on manufacturing beauty and negotiating belonging through t ...
in Citizenship Studies volume 23 (2019) issue 7. - page 686-702
doi:10.1080/13621025.2019.1651088 ...

Liebelt, Claudia
Beauty and the Norm : an Introduction
Beauty and the Norm : Debating Standardization in Bodily Appearance
Cham : Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. - page 1-19 . - (Palgrave Studies in Globalization and Embodiment)
doi:10.1007/978-3-319-91174-8_1 ...


Beauty and the Norm : Debating Standardization in Bodily Appearance
publ: Liebelt, Claudia; Böllinger, Sarah; Vierke, Ulf
Cham : Palgrave Macmillan, 2019 . - (Palgrave Studies in Globalization and Embodiment)
doi:10.1007/978-3-319-91174-8 ...

Liebelt, Claudia
Secular self-fashioning against "Islamization" : Beauty Practices and the Crafting of Secular S ...
Secular Bodies, Affects and Emotions : European Configurations
London, Oxford : Bloomsbury, 2019. - page 109-122


Gendering "Everyday Islam"
publ: Liebelt, Claudia; Werbner, Pnina
Contemporary Levant

Liebelt, Claudia; Werbner, Pnina
Gendering "Everyday Islam" : an introduction
in Contemporary Levant volume 3 (2018) issue 1. - page 2-9
doi:10.1080/20581831.2018.1449932 ...

Liebelt, Claudia
Reshaping "Turkish" Breasts and Noses : on Cosmetic Surgery, Gendered Norms and the "Right to L ...
Beauty and the Norm : debating Standardization in Bodily Appearance
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. - page 155-176


Liebelt, Claudia
Grooming Istanbul : Intimate Encounters and Concerns in Turkish Beauty Salons
in Journal of Middle East Women's Studies volume 12 (2016) issue 2. - page 181-202
doi:10.1215/15525864-3507628 ...


Manufacturing Beauty, Grooming Selves : the Creation of Femininities in the Global Economy
publ: Liebelt, Claudia

Liebelt, Claudia
Manufacturing Beauty, Grooming Selves : the Creation of Femininities in the Global Economy – An ...
in Sociologus volume 66 (2016) issue 1. - page 9-24


Alber, Erdmute; Drotbohm, Heike; Liebelt, Claudia; Skornia, Anna Katharina; Lidola, Maria; Leinaweaver, Jessaca; Thelen, Tatjana; Häberlein, Tabea; Coe, Cati; Feldman-Savelsberg, Pamela
Anthropological Perspectives on Care : Work, Kinship, and the Life-Course
publ: Alber, Erdmute; Drotbohm, Heike
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. - X, 237 page

rev.: Chirinos, Carlos: Lectures sur le Thème, In: Ethnologie francaise 2018/3

Liebelt, Claudia
The Gift of Care : on Filipina Domestic Workers and Transnational Cycles of Care
Anthropological perspectives on care : Work, Kinship, and the Life-course
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. - page 23-42


Liebelt, Claudia; Bojadzijev, Manuela
Cosmopolitics, oder: Migration als soziale Bewegung : Von Bürgerschaft und Kosmopolitismus im g ...
Drotbohm, Heike ; Boris Nieswand (Hrsg.): Kultur, Gesellschaft, Migration : Die reflexive Wende in der Migrationsforschung
Wiesbaden : Springer VS, 2014. - page 325-346 . - (Studien zur Migrations- und Integrationspolitik)
doi:10.1007/978-3-658-03626-3_13 ...

Liebelt, Claudia
The "Mama Mary" of the White City's Underside : Reflections on a Filipina Domestic Workers’ Blo ...
Fernandez, Bina ; Regt, Marina de (Hrsg): Migrant Domestic Workers in the Middle East: The Home and the World
Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. - page 95-116
doi:10.1057/9781137482112 ...


Liebelt, Claudia
Consuming Pork, Parading the Virgin and Crafting Origami in Tel Aviv : Filipina Care Workers' A ...
in Ethnos : Journal of Anthropology volume 78 (2013) issue 2. - page 255-279
doi:10.1080/00141844.2012.655302 ...

Liebelt, Claudia
"The last to remember?" : Von philippinischen Altenpflegerinnen und Aufopferungen im Gelobten L ...
Dachs, Gisela ; Leo Baeck Institut Jerusalem (Hrsg.): Alter
Berlin : Jüdischer Verlag im Suhrkamp Verlag, 2013. - page 107-117 . - (Jüdischer Almanach der Leo-Baeck-Institute; 2013)


Liebelt, Claudia
Caring for the "Holy Land" : Filipina Domestic Workers in Israel
Oxford ; New York : Berghahn Books, 2011. - XIV, 213 page . - (EASA Series; 17)

rev.: Kilias, Olivia in: Sociologus : Journal for Social Anthropology
rev.: Salazar Parreñas, Rhacel in: American Anthropologist
rev.: Bornstein, Avram S. in: American Ethnologist

Liebelt, Claudia
On Gendered Journeys, Spiritual Transformations and Ethical Formations in Diaspora : Filipina C ...
in Feminist Review volume 97 (2011) . - page 74-91
doi:10.1057/fr.2010.32 ...

Liebelt, Claudia
On Global Happenings in the Name of Jesus, Rubbing Shoulders with VIPs and Domestic Work in the ...
in South East Asia Research volume 19 (2011) issue 2. - page 225-248
doi:10.5367/sear.2011.0041 ...


Liebelt, Claudia
Becoming Pilgrims in the "Holy Land" : On Filipina Domestic Workers' Struggles and Pilgrimages ...
in The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology volume 11 (2010) issue 3-4. - page 245-267
doi:10.1080/14442213.2010.511632 ...

Liebelt, Claudia
On Sentimental Orientalists, Christian Zionists, and "Working Class Cosmopolitans" : Filipina D ...
Constable, Nicole (Hrsg.). Migrant Workers in Asia : Distant Divides, Intimate Connections
London, New York : Routledge, 2010. - page 13-26

Johnson, Mark; Liebelt, Claudia; McKay, Deirdre; Pingol, Alicia; Werbner, Pnina
Sacred Journeys, Diasporic Lives : Sociality and the Religious Imagination among Filipinos in t ...
Knott, Kim ; McLoughlin, Sean (Hrsg.): Diasporas : Concepts, Identities, Intersections
London : Zed Books, 2010. - page 217-222


Liebelt, Claudia
On Sentimental Orientalists, Christian Zionists, and "Working Class Cosmopolitans" : Filipina D ...
in Critical Asian Studies volume 40 (2008) issue 4. - page 567-585
doi:10.1080/14672710802505315 ...

Liebelt, Claudia
"We are the Jews of Today" : Filipino Domestic Workers in Israel and the Language of Diaspora
in Hagar : Studies in Culture, Polity and Identities volume 8 (2008) issue 1. - page 105-128

Liebelt Claudia 180x180 1.2019

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Social Anthropology

Claudia Liebelt, PD Dr.
Heisenberg Position at the Chair for Social Anthropology until 7.2021

E-mail: claudia.liebelt@uni-bayreuth.de
Homepage: Anthropology | Universität Bayreuth

Webmaster: Dr. Claudia Liebelt

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