Professor Ullrich Kockel BA (Hons) DipBw PhD FAcSS MRIA FRSA


Professor of Creative Ethnology

Institute for Northern Studies
Scott's House,Grainshore Road,
+44 (0)1856 569300


Ullrich Kockel is Professor of Creative Ethnology at UHI. He taught at Leeds Polytechnic and NUI Galway before receiving his PhD from the University of Liverpool, where he was appointed to the first-ever full-time post in Irish Studies at a British university. Ullrich also taught Geography at University College Cork, and has held chairs in European Studies (University of the West of England), Ethnology and Folklife (University of Ulster), and Cultural Ecology and Sustainability (Heriot-Watt). He is a Visiting Professor at the Center for Social Anthropology, Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas, Lithuania, and the Latvian Academy of Culture, and was President of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF), 2008-13.

Research Interests

Throughout my research career, I have worked at the interface of arts and crafts, ethnology, and intercultural philosophical anthropology. My primary regional foci are Scotland, the eastern Baltic, Ireland and Germany, and I have also worked in border regions and ethnic frontiers elsewhere in Europe. One of my major research topics has been sustainable local and regional development, especially regarding heritage and other cultural resources, from an interdisciplinary perspective rooted in cultural anthropology (aka European ethnology), human ecology, and political economy. In recent years, my work has focused on indigeneity, displacement, and place-making.


Professor Ullrich Kockel

External Memberships content

External Memberships

External Memberships

  • Visiting Professor, Latvian Academy of Culture since 2020
  • Steering Group member, Learning for Sustainability Scotland, 2012-22
  • Member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2012
  • Visiting Professor, Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas, Lithuania, 2011-
  • President of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF), 2008-13
  • Editor-in-Chief, Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, 2007-18
  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences since 2003
Publications content




Ullrich Kockel: Re-Visioning Europe: Frontiers, Place Identities and Journeys in Debatable Lands. Palgrave Macmillan 2010, 225p. [nominated for Laura Shannon Prize in European Studies]

Ullrich Kockel: Regional Culture and Economic Development: Explorations in European Ethnology. Ashgate 2002, 268p. [paperback edition: Routledge 2017]

Ullrich Kockel: Borderline Cases: The Ethnic Frontiers of European Integration.  Liverpool UP 1999, 368p.

Ullrich Kockel, Philip McDermott, and Liam Campbell (eds), Per scribendum, sumus: Ethnopoesis, or: Writing Heritage. A Cèilidh in Honour of Mairéad Nic Craith. Lit 2020. 280p.

Ullrich Kockel, Cristina Clopot, Baiba Tjarve, and Máiréad Nic Craith (eds): Heritage and Festivals in Europe. Routledge 2019. 213p.

William Logan, Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel (eds): A Companion to Heritage Studies. Wiley-Blackwell 2016. 624p.

Ullrich Kockel, Máiréad Nic Craith and Jonas Frykman (eds): A Companion to the Anthropology of Europe. Wiley-Blackwell 2012. 624p. [paperback edition 2015]

Máiréad Nic Craith, Ullrich Kockel and Reinhard Johler (eds): Everyday Culture in Europe: Approaches and Methodologies. Ashgate 2008. 190p. [paperback edition: Routledge 2017]

Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel (eds): Cultural Heritages as Reflexive Traditions. Palgrave Macmillan 2007, 221p.

Reginald Byron and Ullrich Kockel (eds): Negotiating Culture: Moving, Mixing and Memory in Contemporary Europe. Lit 2006, 209p.

Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel (eds): Communicating Cultures. Lit 2004, 314p.

Ullrich Kockel (ed.): Culture and Economy: Contemporary Perspectives. Ashgate 2002, 254p.

Ullrich Kockel (ed.): Landscape, Heritage and Identity: Case Studies in Irish Ethnography. Liverpool UP 1995, 272p.

Ullrich Kockel (ed.): Culture, Tourism, and Development: The Case of Ireland. Liverpool UP 1994, 206p.

Peer-reviewed Essays


Ullrich Kockel: ‘Kenneth White, “A Shaman Dancing on the Glacier”.’ In: Ulrich Marzolph (ed.), Reading Matters. Universitätsverlag Göttingen 2023, 205-9.


Ullrich Kockel: ‘Adaptive Modernism and Beyond: Towards a Poetics of a New Scotland.’ Culture Crossroads 19, 2021, 8-26.

Ullrich Kockel, Máiréad Nic Craith, Cristina Clopot and Baiba Tjarve: ‘Heritages, Identities and Europe: Exploring cultural forms and expressions.’ In: Ullrich Kockel, Cristina Clopot, Baiba Tjarve, and Máiréad Nic Craith (eds): Heritage and Festivals in Europe. Routledge 2019, 1-17.

Ullrich Kockel and Mairi McFadyen: ‘On the Carrying Stream into the European Mountain: Roots and routes of creative (Scottish) ethnology.’ ANUAC 8(2), 2019, 189-211.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Commemorating vanished “homelands”: displaced Germans and their Heimat Europa.’ In: Ullrich Kockel, Cristina Clopot, Baiba Tjarve, and Máiréad Nic Craith (eds): Heritage Festivals in Europe. Routledge 2019, 188-204.

Máiréad Nic Craith, Ullrich Kockel and Katherine Lloyd: ‘The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage: Absentees, Objections and Assertions.’ In: Natsuko Akagawa and Laurajane Smith (eds), Safeguarding Intangible Heritage: Practices and Politics, Routledge 2019, 118-32.

Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel: ‘Homo Hibernicus Rusticus Revisited: Flann O’Brien’s Parody of National Mythmaking.’ In: Regina Bendix and Dorothy Noyes (eds), Terra Ridens – Terra Narrans, vol. 2, Verlag für Orientkunde 2018, 220-42.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘On Becoming Indigenous: Building, Dwelling and Thinking Future Heritages of a Nordic Scotland.’ In: Hanneleena Hieta, Aila Nieminen, Maija Mäki, Katriina Siivonen and Timo Virtanen (eds), Rajaamatta: Etnologisia keskusteluja, Ethnos 2017, 367-89.

Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel: ‘(Re-)Building Heritage: Integrating Tangible and Intangible.’ In: William Logan, Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel (eds), A Companion to Heritage Studies, Wiley-Blackwell 2016, 426-42.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Re-placing Europe: An Ethnological Perspective on Frontiers and Migrants.’ In: Christopher Whitehead, Katherine Lloyd, Susannah Eckersley and Rhiannon Mason (eds), Museums, Place and Identity in Europe, Ashgate 2015, 81-100.

Ullrich Kockel and Máiréad Nic Craith: ‘Hybride Ethnologien des Eigenen, Anderen und Dritten: Toposophische Erkundungen am Beispiel der Pfälzer in Irland.’ In: Fabian Jacobs and Ines Keller (eds), Das Reine und das Vermischte, Waxmann 2015, 73-95.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Aye’ll Be Back: The Quest for Scotland’s Independence.’ Anthropology Today 31 (1), 2015, 1-2.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Towards an Ethnology Beyond Self, Other and Third: Toposophical Explorations.’ Tradicija ir dabartis 9, 2014, 19-40.

Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel: ‘Blurring the Boundaries between Literature and Anthropology. A British perspective.’ Ethnologie Française 44(4), 2014, 675-684.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Borders, European Integration and UNESCO World Heritage: A Case Study of the Curonian Spit.’ In: Arnika Peselmann, Aditya Eggert and Regina Bendix (eds), Heritage Regimes and the State, Universitätsverlag Göttingen 2012, 227-246.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Toward an Ethnoecology of Place and Displacement.’ In: Ullrich Kockel, Máiréad Nic Craith and Jonas Frykman (eds), A Companion to the Anthropology of Europe, Blackwell 2012, 551-571.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Being From and Coming To: Outline of an Ethno-Ecological Framework.’ In: Lewis Williams, Rose Roberts and Alastair McIntosh (eds), Radical Human Ecology: Intercultural and Indigenous Approaches, Ashgate 2012, 57-71.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Morphogenetic Fieldwork and the Ethnologic of Toposophy: Meditation on a Coyote Wandering on Rannoch Moor.’ In: Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes and Victoria Walters (eds), Beuysian Legacies in Ireland and Beyond: Art, Culture and Politics, Lit 2011, 195-219.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Wozu eine Europäische Ethnologie – und welche?’ Österreichische Zeitschrift für Volkskunde LXIII/112(3), 2009, 39-56.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Old Europe, Debatable Land, or: Why do I feel “at home” in places I have never been to?’ In: Iain Biggs (ed.), In Debatable Lands, Wild Conversations 2009, 103-14.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Putting the Folk in Their Place: Tradition, Ecology and the Public Role of Ethnology.’ Anthropological Journal of European Cultures 17(1), 2008, 5-23.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Liberating the Ethnological Imagination.’ Ethnologia Europaea 38(1), 2008, 8-12.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Ieškant Europos vidaus ribų: ekoetnologiniai pamąstymai apie vietos ir istoriškumo prasmę.’ Lietuvos Etnologija 7(16), 2007, 57-76.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Heritage versus Tradition: Cultural Resources for a New Europe?’ In: Marion Demossier (ed.), The European Puzzle: The Political Structuring of Cultural Identities at a Time of Transition, Berghahn 2007, 85-101.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Reflexive Traditions and Heritage Production.’ In: Máiréad Nic Craith and Ullrich Kockel (eds), Cultural Heritages as Reflexive Traditions, Palgrave Macmillan 2007, 19-33.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘Beyond L’Amour de l’Art: Youth, Cultural Democracy and Europe.’ In: Naomi Horlocks (ed.), Testing the Water: Young People and Galleries. Tate Gallery and Liverpool UP 2001, 39-47.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘The Celtic Quest: Beuys as Hero and Hedge School Master.’  In: David Thistlewood (ed.), Joseph Beuys – Diverging Critiques. Tate Gallery and Liverpool University Press 1995, 129-47.

Ullrich Kockel: ‘“The West is Learning, the North is War” – Reflections on Irish Identity.’ In: Ullrich Kockel (ed.), Landscape, Heritage and Identity. Case Studies in Irish Ethnography. Liverpool University Press 1995, 237-58.

Selected Talks and Conferences content

Selected Talks and Conferences

Selected Talks and Conferences

International Forum “Modernism in Culture: global and local succession strategies and approaches”, Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia 2020: After Adaptive Modernism: Heritages, Authenticity and Sustainability of New Scots in a New Scotland

Conference on “Constructing Social Futures – Sustainability, Responsibility and Power”, University of Turku, Finland 2019: Heritage Futures: Tradition, Gain, Sustainability

Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, Scotland 2018: On Scottish Ground: Creative Ethnology as Radical Hope

Chair of European Anthropology and the Anthropology of Europe, Louvain, Belgium 2018: Borders and Frontiers of Europe

‘Being Human Festival’, Aberdeen, Scotland 2017: Finding lost homelands in the frontier: German heritage in Lithuania’s Memelland

Conference on “Dichotomies and Shares in Cultural and Social Contexts”, Lithuanian Institute of History, Vilnius, Lithuania 2016: Your Place or Mine? ‘Self’, ‘Other’ and Indigeneity in an Age of Hypermigration

Symposium on “Cultural Significance of Place”, University of Newcastle, England 2016: “The Whole House”: An Old Ethnological Concept for Our Times?

Conference on “Paths toward Dwelling”, Göttingen, Germany 2016: “Early Days of a Better Nation”: New Ways of Dwelling in and on Scotland

Conference on “History in Interdisciplinary Discourse”, Aachen, Germany 2015: Europa in Grenzlanden suchen. Öko-Ethnologische Reflexionen über geschichtliche Verortungen

International Conference on “Cultural Crossroads 2014”, European City of Culture, Riga, Latvia 2014: Culture as a Resource for Development: Models of conjunctions between culture and economics in Europe

Symposium on Transnationalism, Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland 2013: Roaming and Homing: Critical Perspectives on Transnationalism

FP7 MeLa conference on “‘Placing’ Europe in the Museum: people(s), places, identities”, Newcastle, England 2012: Re-Placing Europe: Anthropological Perspectives on Frontiers and Migrants

European Social Science History Conference, Glasgow, Scotland 2012: Invoking Europe: The Spirit of Utopia and the Heritage of Our Time

Conference of the DFG Working Group on Cultural Property, Göttingen, Germany 2011: Local/National Stakeholders, the European Landscape Convention and UNESCO Policy: A Case Study of the Curonian Spit

SIEF Presidential Address, Lisbon, Portugal 2011: Let Us Re-Place Ourselves! Signposts towards a European Ethnology

ETHNOS – Association of Finnish Ethnologists, Turku, Finland 2010: Reclaiming Europe: Journeys Through a Displaced Land

Ethnologia Europaea symposium, Lund, Sweden 2007: European Ethnology and the University

2nd LAND2 Interdisciplinary Symposium, Bristol, England 2006: “Building, Dwelling, Thinking”: Practicing Anthropology as Art in the Glass Bead Game

Inaugural Conference for Social Anthropology at the University of Klaipeda, Lithuania 2005: Heritage and Tradition Revisited: Towards a European Ethnology for the 21st Century

ESF Workshop “Towards an Anthropology of Europe”, Litomyšl, Czechia 2004: European Ethnology as Intercultural Area Studies

3rd Wenshan Conference on Cultural Diversity, National Changchi University, Taipei, Taiwan 2002: Culture Contact and Conflict – A European Perspective

Conference of Irish Geographers, Londonderry, Northern Ireland 2002: Authentic Fakelore and the Creation of Regions in a Borderless Europe

2nd Conference on “New Directions in Celtic Studies”, Newquay, Cornwall 2000: Paddy Goes to Holyhead: Links between Irish Music and German Politics


PhD Students content

PhD Students

PhD Students

Current PhD students

Currently supervising two projects (co-curating maritime heritage; heritage tourism and communities on the Clyde) and co-supervising one (drystone walling in Scotland).

Previous PhD students

16 completions since 2001.

Suggested PhD topics

Ullrich would be particularly interested in proposals for local or comparative case studies looking at issues around indigeneity, place-making, and sustainable communities in a Northern (esp. Scottish, Irish, or Baltic) context, and in experimental (including practice-based) work linking creative arts, ethnology, and intercultural philosophical anthropology.