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Maike Birzle-Zante

Phd student

Short profile

Maike Birzle-Zante studied African Culture and Society with a minor in Art and Literature in Africa (BA) at the University of Bayreuth and Ethnology (MA) at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. From 2013 to 2017, she was a research assistant in the project "Construire son Avenir" at the Centre for African Studies Basel. In this context, she began work on her dissertation on the professional career and self-image of young university graduates in Burkina Faso, which she has been continuing at the Institute of Ethnology at the University of Freiburg since 2019. From 2020 to 2022, she completed a library traineeship for the higher service in academic libraries at the University Library of the Humboldt University in Berlin, where she has been working as a project assistant since November 2022.


Regional Interests

West Africa, especially Burkina Faso and Gambia


Thematic Interests

  • Youth
  • Academic life worlds
  • Biographical research approaches
  • Dealing with uncertainty



Birzle-Zante, M. (2019): Von der Uni in die Arbeitslosigkeit? UniversitätsabsolventInnen in Burkina Faso und der Umgang mit Unsicherheit nach dem Studium (Poster). Freiburg: Institut für Ethnologie der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.

Birzle, M. (2017): Ça va aller: The Role of Hope in Burkinabe University
Graduates’ Navigation towards the Future. In: Steuer, N., Engeler, M., Macamo E. (Hg.): Dealing with Elusive Futures. University Graduates in Urban Africa. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.

Birzle, M., Engeler, M., Ludwig, S., Steuer, N. (2015): Was Werden Wird. Erwachsenwerden in Westafrika und der Schweiz. Basel: ZASB.

Birzle, M. (2014): Review: 50 Jahre Unabhängigkeit in Afrika. Kontinuitäten, Brüche, Perspektiven, In: Peripherie 133.

Birzle, M. (2012): Erwachsenwerden in Gambia. Zur Navigation männlicher Jugendlicher im Rahmen von gesellschaftlicher Norm und „modern life“. Freiburg: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Freiburger Ethnologische Arbeitspapiere 21.