Daniel Münster

Image of Daniel Münster
Norwegian version of this page
Room 259
Visiting address Kirkeveien 166 Fredrik Holsts hus 0450 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1130 Blindern 0318 Oslo

Academic interests

  • Health and Environment
  • More-Than-Human Health: People, Plants, Fungi, Animals, Microbes
  • Anthropology of Food and Agriculture
  • Anthropology of Mental Health / Critical Suicide Studies
  • Anthropology of Drugs and Drug Use
  • Toxicity/Pollution/Pesticides; Chemical Ethnography
  • Disease Ecologies and Climate
  • Soil, Land, Landscape
  • Medical Pluralism; Traditional Medicine; Alternative Medicine
  • Postcolonial Science Studies
  • South Asia (esp. South India: Kerala, Tamil Nadu); Norway; Germany


Daniel Münster's research is located at the intersection of medical and environmental anthropology. Drawing on ethnography and historical anthropology, he studies power, health, and ecology in the contemporary world. He has focused his work on rural communities in the Global South. Daniel's ethnographic work with smallholder farmers in South India explores the possibilities for an alternative agriculture based on decolonial and ecological understandings of people and their non-human others, including plants, animals, microbes and soils.

Writing on such issues as farmer suicides, pesticide use, food scares, landscape changes, fermentation, and alternative agriculture, he studies the possibilities for health and recuperation for people and their environments in a world threatened by ecological destruction and political-economic crises. Combining interdisciplinary theorizing from the fields of science and technology studies, multispecies studies, and political ecology with empirically grounded studies of rural communities, Daniel explores a variety of crucial topics in medical anthropology, such as suicide and mental health, biopolitics, toxicity and environmental poisons, drugs and drug use, more-than-human health, and planetary health.

Courses taught

  • HES9280 – Introduction to Medical Anthropology
  • HELSEF4410 – Introduction to Qualitative Methods


Daniel Münster received his PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from LMU Munich (2005) and his Habilitation (2019) from Heidelberg University (venia legendi: Social and Cultural Anthropology). 2013-2018 he was leader of the Junior Research Group “Agrarian Alternatives: Agrarian Crisis, Global Concerns and the Contested Agro-Ecological Futures in South Asia” at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context" at Heidelberg University, Germany. Prior to coming to the University of Oslo, Daniel has taught anthropology at Bielefeld University (2005-2007), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (2007-2013), Heidelberg University (2013-2018), the University of Cologne (2019), and Bremen University (2019-2020). In June 2020, Daniel joined the Institute of Health and Society as Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology.


Tags: Medical Anthropology, Environmental Anthropology, Food and Agriculture, Health and/as Ecology, Science and Technology Studies, Historical anthropology, Toxicity, Drugs and Drug Use, Postcolonial Studies, South Asia, India, Kerala, suicide and suicidal behaviour, Mental health, chemical ethnography, alternative agriculture


Download publications on academia.edu or ReserachGate


Books and Edited Works:

journal cover RCC perspectives

Multispecies Editing Collective, The. (Eds.) (2017): Troubling Species: Care and Belonging in a Relational World,” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society 2017, no. 1. doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7768

Book cover, Suicide and agency, edited by Ludek Broz and Daniel MünsterBroz, Ludek; Münster, Daniel (Eds.) (2015): Suicide and Agency: Anthropological Perspectives on Self-Destruction, Personhood and Power. Farnham, UK, Burlington, VT: Ashgate (Studies in Death, Materiality and the Origin of Time).

Journal Contribution to Indian SociologyNeveling, Patrick; Christian Strümpell, and Daniel Münster (Eds.) (2014): The Anthropology of Neoliberal India. Special Issue. Contributions to Indian Sociology.

Book cover, fields and forests, edited by Ursula Munster, Daniel Munster and Stefan DorondelMünster, Ursula; Münster, Daniel; Dorondel, Stefan (Eds.) (2012): Fields and Forests: Ethnographic Perspectives on Environmental Globalization. Munich: Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society (RCC Perspectives 2012/5).

Image may contain: Text, Adaptation, Organism, History, Font.Münster, Daniel (2007): Postkoloniale Traditionen. Eine Ethnografie über Dorf, Kaste und Ritual in Südindien. Bielefeld: transcript

book cover Religionsästhetik und Anthropologie der Sinne by Daniel MünsterMünster, Daniel (2001): Religionsästhetik und Anthropologie der Sinne. Vorarbeiten zu einer Religionsethnologie der Produktion und Rezeption ritueller Medien. München: Akademischer Verlag. Google Scholar



Articles and Book Chapters:

Münster, Daniel (2021) The Nectar of Life: Fermentation, Soil Health, and Bionativism in Indian Natural Farming. Current Anthropology. online first, https://doi.org/10.1086/715477

Münster, Daniel, and Ursula Münster (2021) "Pharmaceutical Care: Diclofenac, a Pharmacon of More-Than-Human Health." Theorizing the Contemporary, Fieldsights, January 26. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/pharmaceutical-care-diclofenac-a-pharmacon-of-more-than-human-health

Münster, Daniel (2020): The Science Question in Alternative Agricultures. Zero Budget Natural Farming and the emergence of agronomical pluralism in India. In: Axel Michaels, Christoph Wulf (Eds.): Science and Scientification in South Asia and Europe. London: Routledge India, pp. 78–95.

Münster, Daniel (2019): Ethnologie. In: Werner Nell, Marc Weiland (Eds.): Dorf. Ein Interdisziplinäres Handbuch. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, pp. 32–38. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-476-05449-4_6.

Münster, Daniel (2018): Performing alternative agriculture: critique and recuperation in Zero Budget Natural Farming, South India. In Journal of Political Ecology 25 (1): 748–764.  Web of Science | Google Scholar

Münster, Daniel (2018): Affect Beyond the Human. Indian Agriculture in a Multispecies World. In Laila Abu-Er-Rub, Christiane Brosius, Sebastian Meurer, Diamantis Panagiotopoulos, Susan Richter (Eds.): Engaging transculturality. Concepts, key terms, case studies. Abingdon Oxon, New York NY: Routledge, 398-412.

Münster, Daniel (2017): Zero Budget Natural Farming and Bovine Entanglements in South India. In Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 2017 (1), pp. 25–32. 

Münster, Daniel (2017): Frontier in Ruins. Internal Colonization and the Making of an Agricultural Landscape in South India. In Philipp Zemisch, Ursula Münster, Jens M. Zickgraf, Claudia Lang (Eds.): Soziale Ästhetik, Atmosphäre, Medialität. Beiträge aus der Ethnologie. Münster: Lit, pp. 97–107.

Münster, Daniel; Poerting, Julia (2016): Land als Ressource, Boden und Landschaft. Materialität, Relationalität und neue Agrarfragen in der Politischen Ökologie. In Geogr. Helv. 71 (4), pp. 245–257. DOI: 10.5194/gh-71-245-2016.

Münster, Daniel (2016): Agro-Ecological Double Movements? Zero Budget Natural Farming and alternative agricultures after the neoliberal crisis in Kerala. In B. B. Mohanty (Ed.): Critical Perspectives on Agrarian Transition. India in the Global Debate. New Delhi: Routledge, pp. 222–244.

Münster, Daniel (2015): “Ginger is a gamble”. Crop Booms, Rural Uncertainty, and the Neoliberalization of agriculture in South India. In Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 71, pp. 100–113. doi: https://doi.org/10.3167/fcl.2015.710109 | Web of Science |

Münster, Daniel (2015): Farmers’ Suicides as Public Death. Politics, Agency and Statistics in a Suicide-Prone District (South India). In Modern Asian Studies 49 (05), pp. 1580–1605. DOI: 10.1017/S0026749X14000225. Web of Science | 

Münster, Daniel (2015): Farmers’ Suicide and the Moral Economy of Agriculture. Victimhood, Voice, and Agro-Environmental Responsibility in South India. In Ludek Broz, Daniel Münster (Eds.): Suicide and Agency. Anthropological Perspectives on Self-Destruction, Personhood and Power. Farnham, UK, Burlington, VT: Ashgate (Studies in Death, Materiality and the Origin of Time), pp. 105–125.

Münster, Daniel; Broz, Ludek (2015): The Anthropology of Suicide. Ethnography and the Tension of Agency. In Ludek Broz, Daniel Münster (Eds.): Suicide and Agency. Anthropological Perspectives on Self-Destruction, Personhood and Power. Farnham, UK, Burlington, VT: Ashgate (Studies in Death, Materiality and the Origin of Time), pp. 3–23.

Münster, Daniel (2015): Agrarian Alternatives. Agroecology, Food Sovereignty and the reworking of human-environmental relations in India. In Rivista Degli Studi Orientali Nuova Serie 88 (Supplement 2), pp. 233–250.

Münster, Daniel; Strümpell, Christian (2014): The Anthropology of Neoliberal India: An Introduction. In Contributions to Indian Sociology 48 (1), pp. 1–16. Web of Science |

Münster, Daniel (2012): Farmers' suicides and the state in India. Conceptual and ethnographic notes from Wayanad, Kerala. In Contributions to Indian Sociology 46 (1-2), pp. 181–208. DOI: 10.1177/006996671104600208. Web of Science | Google Scholar

Münster, Daniel (2012): Postkoloniale Ethnologie. Vom Objekt postkolonialer Kritik zur Ethnografie der neoliberalen Globalisierung. In Julia Reuter, Alexandra Karentzos (Eds.): Schlüsselwerke der Postcolonial Studies. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 191–202.

Münster, Daniel; Münster, Ursula (2012): Consuming the Forest in an Environment of Crisis. Nature Tourism, Forest Conservation and Neoliberal Agriculture in South India. In Development & Change 43 (1), pp. 205–227. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7660.2012.01754.x. Web of Science | Google Scholar

Münster, Daniel; Münster, Ursula (2012): Human-Animal Conflicts in Kerala. Elephants and Ecological Modernity on the Agrarian Frontier in South India. In Rachel Carson Center Perspectives 2012 (5), pp. 41–49. Available online at http://www.environmentandsociety.org/perspectives/issues.


Published June 3, 2020 12:43 PM - Last modified Oct. 28, 2021 12:16 PM