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Andrea Steinke

Freie Universität Berlin


PhD Candidate

desiguALdades.net: Former Doctoral Researcher (01/10/2010 - 30/11/2013)

Boltzmannstr. 1
14195 Berlin, Germany

Academic Career

Since 10/2010  Doctoral Researcher desiguALdades.net, Berlin, Germany
04/2009 - 09/2010 Scientific Assistant, Department of Anthropology, University of Leipzig
10/2002 - 03/2009 Masters (Magister) in Anthropology, Sociology and Communication- and Media Studies, University of Leipzig

Teaching Experience

2011 - 2012 Seminar „Transatlantische Verflechtungen in der Karibik in Geschichte und Gegenwart – Kuba, Jamaika, Haiti“ Together with Claudia Rauhut and Birte Timm. Lateinamerika-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
2006 - 2010 student/academic tutor of several courses on Anthropology of Religion and Roma/Gypsy Studies, Department of Anthropology, University of Leipzig

Faith-based Organizations in Post-earthquake Haiti: Religion and Humanitarian Aid

The ethnographic research that forms the basis of this thesis is set in the context of the earthquake of January 12, 2010 in Haiti. Causing more than 300,000 casualties, this was one of the deadliest disasters in recent history, giving rise to a series of humanitarian and military interventions as well as subsequent secondary disasters, including a cholera epidemic that killed a further eight thousand people. In the meantime Haiti has been dubbed the “Republic of NGOs”. Even before the quake the Caribbean state was host to a multitude of non-governmental aid organizations, with estimates ranging from 10,000 to 14, 000 NGOs, thus making the “poorest nation of the Western hemisphere” the one with the highest per capita ratio of NGOs worldwide. Additionally the country has been the scene of an UN stabilizing mission, MINUSTAH, since 2004.

This research analyzes the work of several faith-based NGOs in post-earthquake Haiti.  It seeks to illustrate the ways in which faith motivates both the staff as well as the beneficiaries of the organizations, and, secondly, how their actions relate to notions of professionalism and codes of conduct in the globalized world of NGOs.

Faith-based organizations (FBOs) within the field of humanitarian aid have become increasingly visible, in Haiti as well as in other intervention sites all over the world. Thus, the study of FBOs in contemporary contexts of processual disasters and humanitarian emergencies is especially relevant in analyzing the world of international aid. One can observe globally intensified modes of non-governmental intervention in general.

Additionally, a “resurgence of religion” is taking place,  also in formally secularized

regions of the world. Faith-based organizations are being more generously funded, more widely recognized by international donor agencies.  While religion itself always has been an important factor in the majority of countries in which international aid agencies operate.  Thus, religion needs to be addressed as an analytic variable alongside gender, class, “race” and ethnicity to the study of interdependent inequalities. It remains to be analyzed in what ways faith-based humanitarianism provide a contemporary alternative to the work secular agencies.

The subject of interdependent Inequalities will be approached from different angles. First as the raison d'être for the FBOs, as Haiti's present status quo is deriving from historical, and contemporary socio-economic and socio-political inequalities that the aid agencies try to counterbalance. Secondly the phenomenon of humanitarianism itself is embedded in the very same interdependent system that creates inequalities and can thus contribute to the persistence and reconfiguration of interdependent inequalities. 

Scientific Publications:

2011: Die Mitte ist überall – Überlegungen zu „Shutka Book of Records“, dem Fremden und der Exzentrizität. In: Jacobs, Theresa und Jacobs, Fabian (2011): Vielheiten. Leipziger Studien zu Roma/Zigeuner-Kulturen. Leipzig: Universitätsverlag Leipzig

2009: „Conference Report – The many faces of Romani Pentecostalism“ (together with Harika Dauth) In: FTF – Blickpunkte 5, December 2009.

2009: Dr. Koljo – ein Interview. In: Streck, Bernhard (Hg.) (2009): „Shutka Shukar. Zu Gast bei Roma, Ashkali und Ägyptern.“ Universitätsverlag: Leipzig.

Journal Articles:

01/2012: Republik der NGOs – Haiti zwei Jahre nach dem Beben. ak -analyse & kritik - zeitung für linke Debatte und Praxis / Nr. 568 / 20.1.2012 http://www.akweb.de/ak_s/ak568/16.htm

02/2010: Haiti und der „verfluchte“ Vodou. In: Quetztal. Politik und Kultur in Lateinamerika http://www.quetzal-leipzig.de/lateinamerika/haiti/haiti-und-der-verfluchte- vodou-19093.html

02/2010: Neuanfang in Haiti: Mit Vodou gegen die Erdbebenfolgen. In: Zeit Online http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2010-02/vodou-haiti

To be published:

forthcoming „Strangers, the Center and the Eccentric. On the phenomenological locating of Roma/Gypsies“. In: Jacobs, Fabian (forthcoming 2010): Tsiganologische Studien.



11/2012 New York
Faith-based humanitarian organizations in post-earthquake Haiti at 24th Annual Conference of the Haitian Studies Association (HSA) Haiti Beyond Borders: Challenges and Progress Across the Diaspora, York College, CUNY, New York, USA

01/2012 Leipzig
Haiti in der Welt. Erdbeben, Religion und humanitäre Hilfe at Grassimuseum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, Germany

12/2011 LAI, Berlin
Urban actors' challenging of unequal reconstruction in Haiti. Cultural heritage vs. basic supply in times of crisis at International Workshop  Afro-Indigenous Cultural Heritage:  Current Debates on Origins, Multiculturalism and Consumerism in Latin America at  Lateinamerika-Institut, Berlin, Germany

09/2011 Vienna
Ungleicher Wiederaufbau in Haiti – Kulturerbe vs. Grundversorgung at Workshop Afroamerika (Kulturerbe, Konsumstile und Diaspora in Afrolateinamerika), at Annual Conference of the German Anthropological Association (DGV), Vienna, Austria

11/2010 São Paulo
Religious Actors in post-earthquake Haiti at Summer School on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America, Center for Metropolitan Studies, São Paulo, Brazil

02/2010 University of Leipzig:
Department of Anthropology. Lecture „Anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean“ on „Haitian Vodou“

08/2009 Sorbian Museum, Bautzen:
Lecture on the film „Shutka – Stadt der Roma“ and the representation of Roma

03/2008 Leipzig:
Paper held at Netzwerken on Roma/Gypsy studies: „Shutka – a city and a film in representation crisis“

09/2006 Münster:
Paper held at the conference „Mittendrin und Außenvor“: „The role of women and girls in Roma communities"

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