Sarah Bittel

Sarah Bittel

PhD Researcher in Anthropology and Sociology
Spoken languages
German, English, French, Italian
Areas of expertise
  • Visual Anthropology
  • Politics of culture and identity
  • Migration
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Switzerland

PhD Thesis


Provisionary Title:  The Migrant, Key Figure to Contemporary Politics: Claiming Subjectivity Through (Self-)Representation

PhD Supervisor & 2nd Reader: Alessandro Monsutti and Patricia Spyer

Expected completion date: 2022-2023




Sarah is a third year PhD candidate at the department of Anthropology and Sociology. During the first three semesters, she was active as a teaching assistant, covering areas such as visual anthropology, migration, methodology and politics of culture and identity. In spring 2020, she received the Swiss National Science Foundation’s Doctoral Fellowship to fund her doctoral research. Under the provisionary title “The migrant, key figure to contemporary politics: Claiming subjectivity through (self-)representation", her research seeks ‘to listen’ and ‘look at’ practices of representation by Afghans in Greece and Germany, with a special attention to how created visuals speak to their social aspirations, obligations, and pre- and changing conceptions of “Europe” with social media platforms as spaces of major significance for performance of the self. Sarah mainly discusses forms of (visual) communication and their use of media technologies in order to broaden perspectives on what image migrants convey of themselves and how visual (self-)representations mediate roles of migrants as political actors.

Country of origin: Switzerland


Research Interests


  • Visual Anthropology
  • Migration
  • Methodology and Politics of Culture and Identity


Academic Work Experience


Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant, Department of Anthropology and Sociology: Autumn 2018 - Autumn 2019

Autumn 2018
ANSO 071 - Visual Anthropology, with Patricia Spyer
ANSO 108 - The Politics of Culture, Identities and Heritage, with Valerio Simoni

Spring 2019
ANSO 093 - Ethnographic Fieldwork, with Alessandro Monsutti and Françoise Grange Omokaro

Autumn 2019
ANSO 121 - Border Forensics: Documenting and Contesting the Violence of Borders at the EU's Maritime Frontier, with Charles Heller


Fellowships, Grants and Awards


Swiss National Science Foundation’s Doctoral Fellowship (Doc.CH)