Tamara Gupper

PhD student in Social and Cultural Anthropology | Computer Scientist in the making | Humanoid Robotics and AI | she/her


Ph.D. Project, Anthropology of Science and Technology

The project I currently work on most extensively is my Ph.D. on the programming processes through which software for humanoid robots is written. If you want to know more about that, have a look at my research page.

Studying Computer Science

I started studying computer science in the spring of 2020. Because my Ph.D. project explores a topic located in computer science from an anthropological point of view, learning about the theoretical, mathematical, and practical foundations of this discipline has been incredibly useful to understand my research field. Additionally, learning something completely different from the things I had engaged in studying cultural anthropology has been inspiring for me. I have discovered my passion for mathematics and theoretical computer science. I am also particularly interested in the intersections between hardware and software, such as process control or memory allocation.

The Safer Fieldwork Project

In May 2021, two colleagues and I co-founded an initiative on safety in (ethnographic) fieldwork that I am very passionate about. We have held workshops on the topic at several universities for participants at very different stages of their careers and with varying disciplinary backgrounds. In July 2023, we will also hold a roundtable at the Conference of the German Anthropological Association. For more information, have a look at the Safer Fieldwork Project website.

Master Thesis: “Technology of Freedom” or “Technology of Inequality”

I completed my master thesis in September 2020 and published it roughly a year later at the Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg (you can find it in my publications). It is based on three-month ethnographic fieldwork in Dakar, Senegal, and explores the ways activists use their smartphones for their activist engagement and how that influences and is influenced by pre-existing inequalities.

Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK)

From 2016 to early 2022, I was a conflict researcher at HIIK. The Institute monitors conflicts worldwide throughout the year and publishes its findings in the annual Conflict Barometer. I conducted research on conflicts in South-East Asia and West Africa, for more information see my publications. I was also a member of HIIK’s IT department between 2017 and 2020.