Dr. Knut Graw

Bild von Knut Graw

Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung "Schicksal, Freiheit und Prognose. Bewältigungsstrategien in Ostasien und Europa"

IKGF Visiting Fellow January 2020 – June 2020

IKGF Research Project:

Divination, Time, and the Subject in Senegal and Gambia

Curriculum Vitae

Knut Graw (PhD) is a social and cultural anthropologist specializing in African Studies, divination studies and migration theory. He has worked at the University of Leuven (Belgium), the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin (Germany), the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Uppsala (Sweden), and the United Nations University-Institute in Barcelona (Spain). He is the author of various articles on West African divination and co-editor of 'The Global Horizon: Expectations of Migration in Africa and the Middle East' (2012). His current research focuses on comparative divination studies, migration in the Afro-European border zone, and the role of photography in the social sciences. He has conducted anthropological field research in Senegal, Gambia, Spain, and Greece, and has a growing interest in traditional Chinese religions. Knut Graw speaks several European and African languages, including German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, and Mandinka. Alongside his academic work, he has trained as a consultant in Non-Violent Communication and conflict mediation (NVC).

Selected Publications

Books edited

2012(with Samulie Schielke) The Global Horizon: Migratory Expectations in Africa and the Middle East. Leuven: Leuven University Press.


2012 "On the Cause of Migration: Being and Nothingness in the AfricanEuropean Borderzone", in: Knut Graw and Samuli Schielke (eds.), The Global Horizon. Migratory Expectations in Africa and the Middle East, Leuven: Leuven University Press, pp. 23-42.
2012 "Divination and Islam: Existential Perspectives in the Study of Ritual and Religious Praxis in Senegal and Gambia", in: Samuli Schielke and Liza Debevec (eds.), Ordinary Lives and Grand Schemes. An Anthropology of Everyday Religion, New York: Berghahn, pp. 17-32.
2009 "Divination as Hermeneutic Encounter. Reflections on Understanding, Dialogue, and the Intersubjective Foundation of Divinatory Consultation", in: William A. Christian Jr. and Gábor Klaniczay (eds.), The Vision Thing. Studying Divine Intervention, Budapest: Collegium Budapest, pp. 459-477.
2009 "Beyond Expertise: Specialist Agency and the Autonomy of the Divinatory Ritual Process", in: Africa 79/1, pp. 92-109.
2006 "Locating Nganiyo: Divination as Intentional Space", in: Journal of Religion in Africa 36/1, pp. 78-119.
2005 "The Logic of Shells: Knowledge and Lifeworld-Poiesis in Senegambian Cowrie Divination", in: Mande Studies 7, pp. 21-48.