The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Grit Wesser

Research Associate


I am a social anthropologist interested in history and memory; kinship and gender; feminism; the anthropology of the state; Cold War studies; life cycle rituals; the anthropologies of food, the senses, and emotions. My regional focus is on Europe, especially eastern Germany and more broadly societies of the former Eastern Bloc in Central and Eastern Europe.

Since December 2018, I’ve been working as Research Associate on the AHRC-funded research project “Knowing the Secret Police: Secrecy and Knowledge in East German society” (PI: Dr Anselma Gallinat). For more information, please visit our project website

Before joining Newcastle University, I was a Career Development Fellow (teaching and research) in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh from 2016-2018. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA), and I have convened and taught various undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Social Anthropology.

I earned my MA (Hons) in Social Anthropology and Politics (2011) and my PhD in Social Anthropology (2016) from the University of Edinburgh. In my PhD thesis, I explore the connections between kinship and politics through the locus of a secular coming-of-age ritual, commonly celebrated in eastern Germany. Thesis available here: PhD Thesis

See also: ResearchGate

·       European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)


  • Edwards F, Gerritsen R, Wesser G, ed. Food, Senses and the City. Routledge, 2021.
  • Edwards F, Gerritsen R, Wesser G. The 'food, senses and the city' nexus. In: Edwards, F; Gerritsen, R; Wesser, G, ed. Food, Senses and the City. Routledge, 2021, pp.1-26.
  • Wesser G. Thuringian festive cakes: Women's labour of love and the taste of Heimat. In: Edwards, F; Gerritsen, R; Wesser, G, ed. Food, Senses and the City. Routledge, 2021, pp.108-121.
  • Wesser G. Socialist biography and post‐socialist ethnography: on the ethical dilemmas of trust and intimacy during fieldwork. Social Anthropology 2018, 26(1), 60-73.