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Yannick van den Berg, M.A.


Department of Ethnology

Rheinstraße 10
79104 Freiburg
Phone: +49 761 203-67763

PhD student in sub-project  P2
"Worship and Otium. Religiosity in Everyday Life and the Experience of Church Services in Namibia"

Academic CV

  • Since 2017 research fellow and PhD student at the Collaborative Research Centre 1015 “Otium. Boundaries, Chronotopes, Practices”, sub-project P2: ”Worship and Otium. Religiosity in Everyday Life and the Experience of Church Services in Namibia” supervised by Prof. Dr. Gregor Dobler
  • 2017 M.A. in Social Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Basel. M.A.-thesis: Fascination – Experimental Approaches. Science-Fiction and Johannesburg
  • 2014 Diploma Supplement in Science Studies at the University of Basel
  • 2013 B.A. in Geography and Social Anthropology at the University of Basel

Dissertation project

"Otium, Religiosity in Everyday Life and the Experience of Church Services in Namibia: A comparative Ethnography of Worshipping in Anglican and Charismatic-Pentecostal Churches of Oukwanyama."
The sub-project P2 “Worshipping, contemplation and otium. Religiosity in everyday life and the experience of church services in Namibia” studies practices of worshipping. For this I live an everyday life in Northern Namibia, and I participate in church services of two respective churches: on the one hand an Anglican congregation near the border to Angola, on the other hand one of the newer, charismatic congregations to the south.
The area of study as well as the idea of Muße (otiose leisure) is coined by ambivalences. Only through those, otiose leisure becomes comprehensible as ‘actively doing nothing’, as dwelling in time, or as a particular moment of experienced freedom.
For the sub-project P2 too, such ambivalences are central: For example, take the individual with its experiences, perceptions, and its corporality as well as the mutual relation to a wider, social field. In which ways do possibilities of an alternative way of being emerge through and by practices of worshipping? What kind of actants, meanings or framings are involved?


  • Yannick van den Berg: Eine gute Zeit, und eine geteilte Erfahrung: Schweine finden, schlachten und essen. In: Muße. Ein Magazin, 5. Jhg. 2020, Heft 1, S. 19-38. DOI: 10.6094/musse-magazin/ 5,7.2020.19. URL: Datum des Zugriffs: 16.04.2020
  • Yannick van den Berg/Sandro Simon, „Conference Report ‘Comment penser l’Anthropocène?’ at Collège de France, Paris“, in: Somatosphere, 18.03.2016, (last visited 26.06.2017).
  • Yannick van den Berg/Sandro Simon, „The Anthropocene in the Classroom“, in: Newsletter der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Afrikastudien / Société suisse d’études africaines, 2 (2015), 40–41.

Teaching Experience

  • Winter semester 2018/19: Seminare on Religion and everyday life in Namibia and South Africa, University of Freiburg
  • 2015 Lecturer “Social Anthropology and the Anthropocene: Perspectives from Latin America and Africa” at the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel, together with Sandro Simon



  • Religiosity in Everyday Life and the Experience of Church Services in north-central Namibia. At the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel. 07th October 2020
  • Presentation at the conference Verkörpererte Muße. Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf das Verhältnis von Körper, Leib und Muße. Followed by podium discussion with Prof. Dr. Thomas Böhm, Dr. Olmo Götz and Dr. Andreas Henn, 14 October 2019.
  • Presentation at the workshop Muße & Narration/Otium and Narration: Entangled Questions of Methodology and Possibilities, together with Farha Noor and Lisa Müller, 13 December 2018.
  • Presentation at the conference Gesundheit erzählen. Ästhetik, Performanz und Ideologie seit 1800 at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS): Zum Chronischen einer Performanz der Gesundheit: Überlegungen anhand einer Darstellung gottesdienstlichen Handelns und seiner Alltäglichkeit, 26 October 2018.
  • Worship & Otium. Religiosity in Everyday Life and the Experience of Church Services in Namibia. At the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. 10th July 2018

Conference and Administrative Experience

  • Organization of the workshop "Otium and Narrative" as part of the integrated research training group in the CRC 1015 Otium, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, December 13-14, 2018