Elke Mader

Elke Mader

2. May 1954 - 8. August 2021

It is with great sadness that we report that Prof. Dr. Elke Mader passed away on 8 August 2021 at the age of 67. Elke has been closely associated with the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna since her undergraduate studies in sociocultural anthropology (Völkerkunde). In 1986, she completed her doctorate with a thesis on subsistence and work organization among the Achuar of the Peruvian Amazon. With a study on personhood, vision and power among the Shuar and Achuar in Ecuador and Peru, Elke became one of the first women to defend a post-doctoral thesis (Habilitation) at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology in 1997.

From 1986 to 2004, Elke was a lecturer at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, and a lecturer and visiting professor at other institutions, such as the Austrian Latin America Institute and the Gender College of the University of Vienna. After a two-year substitute professorship, she was appointed as the first female full professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna in 2006.

Elke held several important administrative positions at the University of Vienna: vice dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences (2008-2012), deputy director of the Study Programme for Social and Cultural Anthropology (2012-2014), director of the Interdisciplinary University Programme for Higher Latin American Studies (2013-2017) as well as head (2014-2016) and deputy head (2016-2018) of the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology.

Elke’s research fields included myths and rituals, Amazonian anthropology as well as the anthropology of media and visual anthropology. In the last years of her academic career, she became particularly interested in globalization processes in relation to Indian cinema and film as well as in ritual dynamics in rural Austria. Moreover, Elke pioneered the development and implementation of e-learning and blended learning strategies and services in sociocultural anthropology and the social sciences in general. Elke, either alone or as part of a team, supervised more than 300 academic theses, which addressed topics close to her own research, as well as themes and questions outside her own research interests.

We will remember Elke as an optimistic, cheerful, warm and open colleague who always had an encouraging word for students and colleagues alike. We will miss her very much.

The Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna

von Philipp Budka unter Verwendung von Texten, Kommentaren und Hinweisen von Ulrike Davis-Sulikowski, Gabriele Habinger, Anita Krainer, Wolfgang Kraus, Peter Schweitzer, Gertraud Seiser und Kolleg:innen am Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie der Universität Wien
Dieser Text erschien auch in den Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie, Nr. 55/Juni 2022

obituary and memorial ceremony

The memorial ceremony took place on August 30th in the Feuerhalle Simmering.

The urn funeral took place on September 29th at Kommunalfriedhof Salzburg (Gneiser Straße 8, 5020 Salzburg, Grab Gruppe 16, Reihe 03, Grabnummer 013-014).