Research Fellow





Affiliated People


Former members of staff



André Chappatte

Education | Continuous Training | Experience in academic teaching | Experience in applied social sciences | Other professionnal experiences | Conferences | Press Publication | Community life | Language skills


Education nach oben


ZMO Research Fellow associated to the Berliner Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS)

Oct. 2007 –
Jan. 2013


PhD in Social Anthropology, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), United Kingdom
The PhD dissertation is based on an 18 months fieldwork in southwest Mali. I submitted the PhD dissertation in September 2012, attended the PhD viva in December 2012, and was awarded the degree of PhD in January 2013.

- Walking an earthly path; everyday Islam in Bougouni, a town of southwest Mali (PhD dissertation title)
- This PhD was financed by a Full time Fellowship for Prospective Researcher awarded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (2009-2012).

Oct. 2008 –
Dec. 2008


Intensive private language training in Bamanakan, Bamako
The teacher was Mohamed Larabi Diallo, linguist and lecturer at the University of Bamako.

- This language training was financed by the SOAS Additional Award for Fieldwork Grant.

Sept. 2006 – Sept. 2007

Master of Science in Social Anthropology, London School of Economics (LSE), United Kingdom

- Being Ivorian:ethnic groups, ethnicity, and nationalism in Côte d’Ivoire (Msc. dissertation title)
- I was accepted with a Graduate Merit Award.

Nov. 2000 –
Sept. 2005

Bachelor and Master of Science in Sociology with a minor in Sciences of Environment, University of Geneva, Switzerland
The Master dissertation is based on a 6 months fieldwork in the rural commune of Fama in southeast Mali.

- Chefferie traditionnelle et conseillers communaux dans la commune rurale de Fama (Région de Sikasso, Mali) : la parenté comme élément de dialectique (Msc. dissertation title)
- This project was financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Mali.

Continuous Training nach oben

Short Course in Ethnographic Filming. Granada Centre. University of Manchester. 19-30 June 2017

Experience in academic teaching nach oben

Sept. 2015 -
Jan. 2016

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Berliner Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS)

- Replacement for the session The Concerns of Anthropologyin the course Critical Theory and Methods, first year PhD students (course convenors: Professor Gudrun Krämer), 10am – 2pm, 15 December 2014

- Co-convenor of the Seminar Ethnographic Method with PhD Candidate Rosa Cordillera Castillo, first year PhD students, 3x5 hours, Summer Semester 2015

- Co-convenor of the Seminar Quantitative Research Methods with PhD Candidate Rosa Cordillera Castillo, first year PhD students, 4 x 3 hours, Winter Semester 2016

Sept. 2011 -
Sept. 2012

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) at SOAS for The Social Theory course, first year BA students (course convenors: Professor John D. Y. Peel and Senior Teaching Fellow Anne Mette Fiesker-Nielsen)

27-29 Sept. 2010

GTA Training Module 1
Development of skills for managing tutorials and seminars, exploration of strategies to actively support student learning, an introduction to the principle of student assessment and feedback, basic orientation on understanding diversity and student needs

Experience in applied social sciences nach oben

Sept. 2007
– Feb. 2008

AGIR abcd Aquitaine Sud and ADL/Mali NGOs, southwest Mali, Consultant in anthropology for a cultural study on rural brotherhoods; writing of a document of 33 pages called
‘Farakala:Les confréries des bouffons et des Cicaara’ (see AGIR abcd website).

Mai 2006 –
July 2006

Erasm Sa, applied studies in sociology and marketing, Geneva, Switzerland
Sociologist: literature researches and reviews on obesity for ILSI Europe

Sept. 2004 –
March 2005

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Mali
Consultant on decentralisation and local development in southern Mali

Other professionnal experiences nach oben

Oct. 2012 –
Oct. 2013

Replacements in Secondary Schools and High Schools, Canton de Fribourg, Switzerland

Nov. 2000 –
Sept. 2007

Adecco Switzerland HR Solutions
I financed my academic studies in Switzerland by working temporarily as electrician over a period of 18 months in total.

Conferences nach oben


Adventures, destiny and the quest for a better life among young Muslim men in Mali. 2016 Satterthwaite Colloquim on Religion and African Rituals (1-4 July). Glenthorne Quaker Centre, Lake District. United Kingdom


The maquis: a space of entertainment at the margins of public morality in Odienné, a secondary town of northern Côte d’Ivoire. International Workshop on Islam, Urban Life, and the Production of (moral) Norms (co-organizer). 26-27 Mai 2016. ZMO Berlin. Germany


‘Dans la journée on est tous dans le même film (…) ; quand la nuit tombe chacun suit son film’: notes sur les moralités de la nuit à Odienné (Côte d'Ivoire). Colloque LA NUIT SE LEVE (18 decembre). 7 Spirits. Paris. France


‘When darkness arises: thinking urban space, social margin and morality through night-time in Muslim West Africa’. Afrika-Kolloquium, Goethe-University Frankfurt. Germany


‘Beyond the neo-liberal interpretation of success: “‘The vulture without fear” or the study of a mode of minded affluence and moral success existing in contemporary rural Mali’. ASA Decennial Conference ‘Anthropology and Enlightenment’ Panel 21  (19-22 June). Edinburgh. Scotland


‘Exploring the city’s margins: night life in two small towns of Muslim West Africa’. Urban Studies Seminar (16 June). ZMO Berlin. Germany


‘Some thoughts on African truck Art between Bamako and Abidjan’. The Long Night of the Sciences (10 Mai). Berlin Mitte. Germany


‘Ansar Dine, une association musulmane au coeur de l’aide sociale dans le quartier de Bankoni à Bamako (Mali)’. Seminar Socio-anthropologie du Développement (20 novembre). Institut d’Ethnologie. University of Neuchâtel. Switzerland


‘The yearly Ansar Dine “pilgrimage” of Maouloud in Bamako: between baraka, piety, networking, business and fun’. 2013 Satterthwaite Colloquim on Religion and African Rituals (15-18 July). Glenthorne Quaker Centre, Lake District. United Kingdom


International Exploratory Atlantic-Sahara Workshop (17-20 April)’. Centre for African Studies Basel. Switzerland


‘Youths, elders and the controversy over Zikiris in contemporary Mali’. Religion, Media and Marginality in Africa since 1800 (23-24 March). SOAS. United Kingdom


‘Adventures through the certainty of God in southwest Mali’. Anthropology in London Day 2012 (11 June). University College London. United Kingdom


‘Public Islam and “zigzag” Muslims in the town of Bougouni (Southwest Mali)’. The LSE African Initiative Seminar Series (8 February). The London School of Economics and Political Science. London. United Kingdom


‘Night life’. Post-Fieldwork Seminar. SOAS. London. United Kingdom


‘Religion et spiritualité dans la coopération au développement; éléments de réflexion’ (in collaboration with Anne-Marie Holenstein). West Africa Division Seminar of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Fribourg. Switzerland


‘Being Muslim and success in life: popular piety, consumption and ostentatious identities in southwest Mali’. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Bamako. Mali


‘Islam and inequalities in southern Mali’. Seminar organised by Professor Roy Dilley. University of St Andrews. Scotland

Press Publication




Crowd, Sensationalism and Power: The Yearly Ansar Dine 'Pilgrimage' of Maouloud in Bamako. In: Journal of Religion in Africa, 47 (4), 1-32.


"The vulture without fear": Exploring the noble Muslim in contemporary rural Mali. In HAU: Journal for Ethnographic Theory 8 (3), 686–701.


(mit Sanaa Alimia, Ulrike Freitag, Nora Lafi), In search of urbanity, ZMO Programmatic Texts No. 12, 21 p.


Encounter between tiredness, dust and Ebola at a border checkpoint of northwestern Côte d’Ivoire. In Basel Papers on Political Transformations. Mobilities – In and Out of Africa. No. 10, 9-23.


Unpacking the concept of urban marginality. ZMO Programmatic Texts Series, 10. Berlin


Night life in urban Mali: being a Muslim maquisard in Bougouni. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 20:3, 526-44.


Chinese products, social mobility and material modernity in Bougouni, a small but fast-growing administrative town of southwest Mali. African Studies Review. 73:1, 22-40.


Book chapter


Introduction: Urban marginality at an interdisciplinary crossroads. Co-written with Freitag U. & Lafi N.) In Chappatte A., Freitag U. & Lafi N. (eds.) Understanding the City through its Margins: pluridisciplinary perspectives from cases studies in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. New York: Routledge (forthcoming)


‘Texas’: an off-centre district at the heart of night life in Odienné. In Chappatte A., Freitag U. & Lafi N. (eds) Understanding the Citythrough its Margins: pluridisciplinary perspectives from cases studies in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. New York: Routledge (forthcoming)


Exploring youth, media practices and religious affiliations in contemporary Mali through the controversy over the musical zikiri. In: Becker F., Cabrita J. and Rodet M. (eds.): Religion, Media and Marginality in Modern Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press.


Applied social sciences


Farakala: Les confréries des bouffons et des Cicaara (southern Mali). AGIR abcd. France


Sexual minorities in Ivory Coast. Report. CLEDU project. University of Palermo. Italy


Media publication


La rébellion touareg du Mali au-delà des clichés. Le Temps (24.04). Geneva. Switzerland.




Online publication


Mali: les musulmans ordinaires à Bougouni – Entretien avec André Chappatte. Religioscope Institute. Fribourg. Switzerland



Community life

2014 - present

Affiliate Member of the Research Group on Political Transformations in the Seminar of Social Anthropology, University of Basel, 2014 - present

2013 - present

Post Doctoral Associate at SOAS, University of London

2010 - present

Member of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI)

2010 - present

Member of the Swiss Society for African Studies (SSEA)


Elected representative of the PhD students in social anthropology at SOAS


Founder and former president of the artistic and cultural association called Artchimie. Organizer and artist of an exhibition that gathered seven different artists in Le Contre-Temps, Geneva, Switzerland


Organizer and artist of an exhibition-concert called ‘Evolution’ in Le Nouveau-Monde, Fribourg, Switzerland

1998 – 2000

Member of the committee of a role play association called Oniphoros.Organizer of three ‘Real Play Fantasy Medieval Theatre’ events each of which attracted 100-200 participants over a two days period.

Language skills

English (excellent written and spoken)

French (native speaker)

German (Intermediate knowledge)

Spanish (Intermediate Knowledge)

Bambara (fluent written and spoken)

Arabic (LSE Certificate in Arabic level one)