Stefanie Samida
IFK_Research Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2019 bis 31. January 2020

Stefanie Samida


DNA-supported studies of the past: complexity and simplicity in interdisciplinary contexts


The project focuses on the field of DNA-supported research of the past (so-called Genetic History) and thus lies at the intersection of cultural and natural sciences. In archaeology, scientific methods have become increasingly important in recent years. Primarily, molecular genetics has opened up an entirely new approach to history. DNA evidence is being used more and more to clarify historical questions (e.g. early human migration). In the debate, however, the relationship between complexity and simplicity, which results from the variety of disciplinary approaches and theoretical drafts, is often being ignored. The project addresses this relationship and seeks to explore the web of ‘translations‘ in the interdisciplinary research context, which I call the ‘complexity paradox‘. Here, I will also include popular contexts, as e.g. print media representation.


Stefanie Samida is an associate professor of Popular Cultures at Zurich University and a research associate at Heidelberg University. She studied Prehistory, Classical Archaeology and Medieval History as well as Media Studies. She received her doctorate in Tübingen in 2005 and habilitated at Zurich University in 2016. She was a research fellow of the Gerda Henkel Foundation, Junior Fellow at the Berlin Cluster of Excellence „Topoi“ and from 2012 to 2015 one of three principal investigators in the research project „Living History. Reenacted Prehistory between Research and Popular Performance“ at the Leibniz Centre of Contemporary History Potsdam. Her research focuses on heritage, material culture, popular cultures and history of media and science.


Publikationen (u.a.): gem. mit Jörg Feuchter, “Why Archaeologists, Historians and Geneticists Should Work Together— and How”, in: Medieval Worlds 4, 2016, p. 5–21; gem. mit Manfred K. H. Eggert und Hans Peter Hahn (Hg.), Handbuch Materielle Kultur: Bedeutungen, Konzepte, Disziplinen, Stuttgart, Weimar 2014; gem. mit Manfred K. H. Eggert, Archäologie als Naturwissenschaft? Eine Streitschrift, Berlin 2013.

Elsbeth Bösl/Stefanie Samida: New sequencing methods: New data and new challenges

Elsbeth Bösl/Stefanie Samida: New sequencing methods: New data and new challenges, 11–17, in:

Special Topic „Next Generation Sequencing: Challenges for Science and Society“, in:

Zeitschrift „TATuP – Journal for Technology Assessment in Theory and Practice“/TATuP – Zeitschrift für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Theorie und Praxis“ (30/2, 2021)

  • Lecture

In der Juli-Ausgabe des Jahres 2015 titelte „Bild der Wissenschaft“: „Wir Europäer sind Asiaten“. Die Beiträge zum Titelthema rekurrierten dabei weniger auf archäologische, sondern vielmehr auf aktuelle genetische Analysen, die auf neue und bislang „unbekannte Komponenten im Erbgut der Europäer“ hinwiesen.