Maike Melles

Maike Melles


Dr. phil. Maike Melles




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Research Profile

Maike Melles completed her PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. Her research activities focused on landscapes, resources, and heritage in southwestern Spain, where she conducted ethnographic fieldwork for 13 months. She taught International Relations at the University of Münster and Anthropology at Goethe University Frankfurt.

Prior to her PhD, Maike earned an MA in Peace and Conflict Research at Goethe University Frankfurt and Technical University Darmstadt in 2017 that followed her BAs in German Studies, Anthropology, Political Science and Economics at the Universities of Münster and Warsaw (2009-2015).

At the Institute of Ethnology, Maike is a postdoctoral researcher in the Praemium Academiae ‘RESOURCE Project’ (PIs: Petr Jehlička and Daniel Sosna) that investigates the frugal use of resources in European households. She specifically looks at household practices related to water consumption and food waste generation in the Netherlands and is interested in how these interact with discourse and values of environmental sustainability.

Research output


Scientific Publications

Articles in peer reviewed journals

2023     Melles, M. Rooting Pigs in a Plural Landscape: Human and Porcine Place-making in the Spanish Dehesa. Etnofoor 35 (2): 85-100.

Book chapters

2023     Melles. M. Making and Growing: The Lives and Deaths of a Tree and a House in the Spanish Dehesa. In M. Porr and N. Weidtmann (eds.) One World Anthropology and Beyond. A Multidisciplinary Engagement with the Work of Tim Ingold, 156-170. Abingdon: Routledge.

2023     Melles, M. When Humans Meet: Re-evaluating Current Trends in Landscape Anthropology. The Case of the Spanish Dehesa. In D.M. Hennrich, P. Reyes and A. Rozestraten (eds.) Thinking Landscape. São Paulo: USP Open Books Portal (E-Book).

2022     Melles, M., Bartelheim, M., Carmona Ruiz, M.A., Chala Aldana, D., Díaz-Zorita Bonilla, M., García Díaz, J. and Hardenberg, R. Landscape Use and Transhumance in Sierra Morena through the Ages. In M. Bartelheim, F. Contreras Cortés and R. Hardenberg (eds.) Landscapes as Resource Assemblages in the Bronze Age of Southern Spain. RessourcenKulturen 17. Tübingen: Tübingen University Press.

2021     Melles, M. The Representation of the Dehesa Landscape in Spanish Local Museums. In M. Bartelheim, L. García Sanjuán and R. Hardenberg (eds.): Human-made Environments – The Development of Landscapes as Resource Assemblages. RessourcenKulturen 15. Tübingen: Tübingen University Press.

Conferences and Workshops

Conference and Workshop Presentations

2024  Melles, M. Rooting Pigs in a Plural Landscape: Human and Porcine Place-Making in the Spanish Dehesa. Webinar Roots - Unearthing Race, Landscapes, and Ancestors organised by Etnofoor and the Dutch Anthropological Association (ABv) (online), 26 January.

2023     Melles, M. Ibérico Pigs between Domestication and Landscape Autonomy. Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Praha, 18 October.

2023     Melles, M. Die Rückforderung der substanziellen Landschaft: Formen der Anfechtung in der spanischen Dehesa [Revindicating the Substantive Landscape: Forms of Contestation in the Spanish Dehesa]. 10th Workshop of Arbeitskreis Landschaftsforschung [Landscape Research Group Germany] Landschaftsgerechtigkeit – Gerechte und ungerechte Landschaften in der Transformation [Landscape Justice – Just and Unjust Landscapes in Transformation], Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, 13 October.

2023     Melles, M. Revindicating the Substantive Landscape: Emplacement and Custom as Forms of Contestation in the Spanish Dehesa. Roundtable Fences and Walls: Materializing and Contesting Everyday Borders. DGSKA 2023, LMU Munich, 27 July.

2022     Melles, M. Good Industry, Bad Industry? The Ambivalent Role of Local Industrial Production in Rural Landscapes. Conference Panel (Un-)wanted Alternatives? Negotiating Heritage in Postindustrial Environments, EASA 2022, Queens University Belfast, 29 July.

2021     Melles, M. Environmentalism and the Problem of Epistemic Superiority: Hierarchies of Knowledge between Landowners and Land Workers in the Spanish Dehesa Landscape. Workshop of the EASA Network EnviroAnt Environmental Anthropology 2021: Hope, Ruination and Environmentalism, School of Humanities, Tallinn University, 15 October (online).

2020     Melles, M. Unequal Delights: Jamón Ibérico and ‘Easy Culture’ as the Results of an Uninhabited Landscape. Panel Controversial Heritages: Memories, Knowledges and Practices of Scarcity, EASA 2020, Universidade de Lisboa, 21 July (online).

2020     Melles, M. Complex Resources, Resource Complexes: Prospering Pigs and Shaggy Sheep as Two Faces of the Spanish Dehesa Landscape. Colloquium of the Frobenius Institute Frankfurt, 10 February.

2019     Melles, M. Representing Landscape – Dwelling in the Dehesa? 1st International Conference of Philosophy of Landscape, Thinking Landscape in the Anthropocene, Center of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon and the National Portuguese Agency for Science and Technology, Universidade de Lisboa, 7 November.

2019      Melles, M. Iberian Ham – A Landscape Luxury. Workshop Beyond Subsistence: Human-Nature Interactions (SFB 1070 RESOURCECULTURES), University of Tübingen, 18 October.

2019      Melles, M. Jamón Ibérico – ländliche Identitäten zwischen ökologischer Patrimonialisierung und musealem Marketing. [Jamón Ibérico – Rural Identities between Ecological Heritagisation and Museum Marketing] Workshop Geschmackssache? Gastronomie und Esspraxen zwischen Aushandlungen und Eigenlogiken [A Matter of Taste? Gastronomy and Food Practices between Negotiations and Internal Logics], DGSKA 2019, University of Konstanz, 30 September.

2019      Melles, M. There are no Shepherds anymore; there are only Ganaderos. Workshop Landscapes as Resource Assemblages in the Bronze Age of Southern Spain (SFB 1070 RESOURCECULTURES), Linares (Spain), 27 September.

2019     Melles, M. Dwelling in the Dehesa by Dwelling in Memories? Masterclass with Tim Ingold (Forum Scientarium Tübingen), University of Tübingen, 24 September.

2018     Melles, M. The Representation of the Dehesa Landscape in Local Museums, Panel Human-made Environments – The Development of Landscapes as Resource Assemblages, EAA 2018, University of Barcelona, 6 September.

2018     Melles, M. Contextualising Democracy Promotion. Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Tunis, 24 January.

Conference and Workshop Organisation

2023     The Knowledge We Live by: Authenticity and its Contestations as Epistemic Process, DGSKA 2023, 27 July, Munich. Co-organised with Jeanine Dağyeli.

2022     (Un-)wanted Alternatives? Negotiating Heritage in Postindustrial Environments, EASA 2022, 29 July, Belfast. Co-organised with Jeanine Dağyeli.

2021     Beyond the -cenes? Roundtable, DGSKA 2021, 30 September, Bremen (online). Co-organised with Jeanine Dağyeli and Sandro Simon.

2021      Ethnography among the Multispecies, Lab, DGSKA 2021, 1 October, Bremen (online). Co-organised with Jeanine Dağyeli and Sandro Simon. Lab report

2021      Engaging Anthropology for the Future, Workshop of the DGSKA Environmental Anthropology Working Group, 27 and 28 May, online. Co-organised with Jeanine Dağyeli and Sandro Simon.

2018     SFB 1070 ResourceCultures Dialogue with Dan Hicks (University of Oxford), Lecture and Round Table, 12 and 13 December, Tübingen. Co-organised with the SFB 1070 Working Group on Plants, Animals, and Substances. 

Other selected publications and activities

2023     Melles, M., and Dağyeli, J. From Original Evidence to Ordinary Epistemes: Authenticating the Knowledge We Live by Boasblog Contested Knowledge.