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Hilke Thode-Arora

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Biography

Hilke Thode-Arora, PhD, is a German social and cultural anthropologist. Specialising in Oceania, her research interests lie with material culture and the history of museum collections, interethnic relations and ethnic identities, images and stereotypes. From 2002 to 2005, while doing her fieldwork on Niuean weaving under the auspices of the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, she held a Honorary Fellowship at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. At the Five Continents Museum in Munich, based on a three-year research project funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, she curated the exhibition From Samoa with Love? Samoan Travellers in Germany 1895-1911. Retracing the Footsteps, which contextualised the history of the Samoan collection in Munich and was based on in-depth communication with Samoan descendants. From 2015 till 2016, she was the curator for the Pacific collections at the Übersee-Museum in Bremen. Since 2017, she is the Head of the Oceania Department / Curator for Pacific Collections and Anthropology at the Museum Fünf Kontinente / Five Continents Museum in Munich. Her research projects included long-term fieldwork in New Zealand, Samoa and Niue in close collaboration with the Samoan and Niuean communities. Selected publications: Tapa und Tiki. Die Polynesien-Sammlung des Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museums, Cologne 2001; Weavers of Men and Women. Niuean Weaving and its Social Implications, Berlin 2009; From Samoa with Love? Samoan Travellers in Germany 1895-1911. Retracing the Footsteps, Munich 2014; "Verflochten in Beziehungen. Über das heutige Sammeln neuerer polynesischer Flechtkunst", in: Expeditionen in die Südsee, ed. Markus Schindlbeck, Berlin 2007, 165-186; "Nukuoro: German Sources on the Ancestor Statues: Kubary, Jeschke, and the Hamburg South Sea Expedition", in: Nukuoro. Sculptures from Micronesia, eds. Christian Kaufmann and Oliver Wick, exh. cat. Fondation Beyeler Basel, Munich 2013, 44-59.

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