Sinah Theres Kloß

I'm a social anthropologist, working at the Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Cologne. My main research areas are the anthropology of religion; material culture studies; tattoo, clothing and dress; migration; and Southern theory. My regional focus is on the Caribbean, especially Guyana and Suriname, but I also specialize in the transcultural flows between India and the Caribbean.


Research Article

"Staying in Touch: Used Clothes and the Role of Materiality in Transnational Guyanese Gift Exchange."

In: Bandau, Anja, Brüske, Anne und Ueckmann, Natascha (eds.): Reshaping Glocal Dynamics of the Caribbean, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, pp. 351-365.

Talk @ Schmittmann-Kolleg, Cologne

"Fairer Handel in Deutschland: Ein Überblick"

October 25, 2018

Round Table Discussion @ a.r.t.e.s. forum 2018, University of Cologne

"Societies and Social Practices: Between Theory and Responsibility"

July 6, 2018

Talk @ Conference Revisionen des Porträts: Jenseits der Repräsentation

"Dressing Deities, Making Gurus: Material Portraits and the Creation of Likeness"

June 15, 2017; 11:45 am

Invited Talk @ University of Amsterdam, Department of Anthropology

"Troubled Fieldwork: Deconstructing Othered Ethnography"

April 23, 2018; 1pm

Workshop @ University of Amsterdam, Department of Anthropology

"Reflexivity in Ethnographic Research"

April 23, 2018

Workshop with Teju Cole @ Poetica IV - Festival für Weltliteratur

"Blind Spot"

January 26, 2018, 10 am

Latest Book

New Edition

The latest edition of the web magazine Voices from around the world is out now:

Social Water

vol. 3, 2017


Previous Edition:

Garments in Exchange: Changing Clothes Around the World

vol. 2, 2017


Conference @ University of Cologne

Tattoo: The Histories and Aesthetics of Embodied Imaging and Writing

December 1 - 2, 2017


Tattoos and tattooed bodies seem to be omnipresent among a variety of social groups and actors today. Although in public discourse the popularity of tattoos is commonly discussed as ‘growing’ or as a ‘novel’ phenomenon, tattoo practices indeed have long and diverse histories around the globe. As tattoo narratives and analyses are often narrowly focused on stigmatization and marginalization processes, this international conference seeks to go beyond this discourse. It addresses, for example, visual and material aspects of the (un)making of tattoo or the relevance of tattoo(ing) in the construction of socio-cultural bodies, lives and histories, both among individuals and groups, in the past and at present. Questions will be raised such as: How do tattoo images and practices facilitate representations of self and other? How do they performatively (re)create biographies and histories? What do tattoo aesthetics and practices reveal about the often separately used categorizations of life-writing and life-imaging?


The interdisciplinary conference, which brings scholars of history, social anthropology, sociology, archaeology, literary studies, cultural studies and art history into dialogue, is going to take place on December 1 and 2, 2017 at the Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies, University of Cologne.