Racism-Critical Working Group at the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna


In April 2021, the "Racism-critical Working Group" was founded at the Department of African Studies. It aims to intensify the discussion on the topic of racism, particularly in the university context. The group wants to develop strategies to identify and counteract racist structures at the Department.

What have we done so far?
We have developed an anti-racist policy for the Department.

We have established a working group, so that anyone who experiences racist incidents related to the department can turn to this point of call - whether as a person discriminated against in a racist way or as a witness. To report is the first important step to initiate further steps that bring about concrete changes/improvements.

The members of the working group see it as their task to look for solutions and to relieve those affected in this regard. The concrete procedure differs depending on the type of incident. It is important to us to take all cases seriously and to first seek solutions in discussions. If necessary, we will also report a case to other bodies within the university and ensure that the issue is dealt with appropriately.

The working group is a team made up of people who work in different roles at the institute: Students, permanent staff, external lecturers. They all bring different competences, perspectives and experiences. What they have in common is the willingness to listen and work out solutions - always in dialogue with those who report incidents.

The point of call also offers the possibility to address or clarify concerns or uncertainties in related to racism/anti-racism that go beyond this.


The following people are currently members of the Working Group at the Department of African Studies:

on the employees' side (in alphabetical order - 05/2023):

  • Ulrike AUER (Secretary)
  • Nkosinathi DLAMINI (Lecturer for Zulu language)
  • Birgit ENGLERT (Programme Director African Studies, Associate Prof with a focus on History and Society)
  • Bea GOMES (Lecturer with a focus on racism research, member of the group Advancing Equality Within The Austrian School System #AEWTASS)
  • Miša (Michaela) KRENČEYOVÁ (Lecturer and trainer with a focus on power/empowerment, intersectionality/diversity, gender, racism, inter/transculturality)
  • Karlheinz MÖRTH (Lecturer for Zulu language)
  • Gabriele SLEZAK (Lecturer with a focus on Language and Society)
  • Rémi TCHOKOTHE (Assistant professor with a focus on literary studies)
  • Daniela WALDBURGER (Senior Lecturer for Swahili and Lecturer with a focus on Language and Society)

on the part of students (alphabetisch gereiht):

  • Shona KHUMALO 
  • Nadine OKALANWA 
  • Lisa TACKIE 

Student Assistants:
01.06.2021-31.05.2023: Lisa Tackie
01.06.2023-31.12.2023: Viola Innerhuber


Via mail:
Currently we can be contacted under the email address against.racism.afrika@univie.ac.at

All persons listed under "Employees" can also be contacted individually at their univie.ac.at address: always write the respective name before the @, e.g. birgit.englert@univie.ac.at. In case of doubt, university employees can be found via http://ufind.univie.ac.at 

Via social media:
We can also be reached via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/afrikawissenschaftenwien

In person and by "box":
We can of course also be contacted in person at the department at any time.
There is also a letterbox in front of the secretary's office where you can drop off notes - anonymously or with your name.

In general, the idea behind the group is that a person of trust can be approached who, if desired, will also keep the identity of the reporting person secret from the other members of the group. This can be particularly relevant when complaints are directed against staff of the department who are themselves part of the working group.

We hope that through the activities of the working group we will succeed in creating an atmosphere that makes it possible to talk openly about difficult and painful issues such as experiences of racism and structural or institutional racism. Nevertheless, anonymous or partially anonymous reporting will always remain a possibility.

Südwind Magazin, Jänner 2023