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Valerie Nur

ValerieProfilbild Valerie Nur

Short Bio

In May 2021 Valerie Nur (née Hänisch) defended her PhD on artisanal skills, mobility and family among Tuareg artisans in Niger at the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), University of Bayreuth, Germany. For her PhD thesis she was awarded the Frobenius-Forschungsförderungpreis 2022 and the first prize by the German association of Social and Cultural Anthropology (GASCA) at the 2023 conference in Munich. She studied Social and Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, History and Religion in Bayreuth, Basel, Aix-en-Provence and Berlin. Between 2017 and 2021 Valerie was employed as a research associate at University of Bayreuth. From December 2022 till September 2023 she received a postdoctoral scholarship for her project “Gold Connections in Niger” by the Equalization Office of the University of Bayreuth. Her research focuses on technical knowledge and skill as shared dynamic practices, craft and mobility, work and family, gold and gender.

Selected Publications

  • Nur, Valerie (Accepted for an open-access-publication of the Université de Tamanrasset, Algeria): Mobilité et Circulation de savoir-faire artisanaux chez les Touaregs de l’Aïr (Niger)
  • Nur, Valerie (im Erscheinen): Die Unbeständigkeit der Dinge – Handwerk, Familie und Mobilität bei den Tuareg in Niger, Reimer, Studien zur Kulturkunde.
  • Hänisch, Valerie (2018): Dinge und Wissen in den Händen von Handwerkern. In: Hahn, Hans Peter; Neumann, Friedemann (Hrsg.): Dinge als Herausforderung: Kontexte, Umgangsweisen und Umwertungen von Objekten. Bielefeld: transcript. S. 167-194.
  • Hänisch, Valerie (2017): Technical Action in Flow, and the Moment when Kato hit his finger. In: Verne, Markus; Ivanov, Paola; Treiber, Magnus (Hrsg.): Körper, Technik, Wissen: Kreativität und Aneignungsprozesse in Afrika. Berlin: LIT. S. 259-273.


Project Description

The endeavor of my project is to think of artisanal knowledge/ skill from a mobile perspective. Artisans in Niger often offer their services on the road and, in doing so, rely on a broad kinship network during their travels, within which knowledge, practices, and materials are exchanged, modified, and enhanced. By looking beyond single workshops and individual skills, I understand artisanal skill as a shared dynamic practice and places and routes of learning and exchange as hubs of technology and knowledge transfer over long distances. The aim is to conceptualize craft as an epistemology of an exclusive professional community.

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