Hans Peter Hahn


Hans P. Hahn is Professor for Anthropology with regional focus on Africa at Goethe University of Frankfurt /M., Germany. He spent many years in West Africa (Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso) doing ethnographic fieldwork on a wide range of themes of rural economies. His research interests are oriented towards material culture, consumption, migration and mobility in non-western societies. He participated in the organization of several exhibitions on culture, society and materiality. Other ongoing research initiatives are linked with polysemic approaches to material culture studies. He was the spokesperson for a research training group (RTG) on Value and Equivalence (2010-2019) (https://www.value-and-equivalence.de/1/home/).

HP Hahn’s recent publications include an edited volume entitled Things as a challenge (transcript 2018) and The New Home. Households and Everyday life After Migration (Campus 2019) an Values in Things (Oxbow 2022).

More information on his academic activities are available on his homepage: https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/43492836/Hahn__Hans_Peter

MIASA Project:

The collaborative research project (MIASA Tandem fellowship project together with Professor Kodzo Gavua, University of Ghana) investigates the question of what the restitution of ethnographic objects means for cultural policy in the recipient countries. While in Europe the recognition of colonial asymmetries of power and the desire to remedy historical injustice make the process of restitution seem an urgent necessity, in the countries receiving these material objects many decisions still need to be made regarding the meaning of these objects, the responsible actors and the place of storage.
While restitution has in many cases been initiated by activists and is now leading to concrete repatriation, the question of a long-term future has so far been little discussed. the return of these objects is undoubtedly an act of justice, but at the same time there needs to be an open discussion about which group within the recipient states is responsible for these objects. What role do national museums play, for example? Can these objects be considered national cultural property and in this way contribute to strengthening the cultural identity of these nations?
We are looking for answers to these questions as a team together with Professor Kodzo Gavua, who has headed the Department of Cultural Studies at the university for many years. The project has its spatial focus in Ghana, but it will also take into account the situation in the neighbouring countries of the subregion (Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin).
Senior Tandem Fellow, October 2022 - March 2023
Goethe University Frankfurt