Julia Rehsmann is an assistant and postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Social Anthropology. In her dissertation, entitled «Waiting for a Liver: Manipulation, Magic and Moralising in Transplant Medicine» (2018), she explores existential, technological and institutional dimensions of waiting in transplant medicine and shows how this field of high-tech medicine is interwoven with moral, political and intimate questions about «lives worth saving». She conducted the research for her dissertation within the framework of the SNSF-funded project «Intimate Uncertaintes» under the lead of Prof. Dr. Sabine Strasser, as well as a Doc.Mobility fellowship at the University of Liverpool.

Julia Rehsmann studied Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Vienna and completed her M.A. studies in 2012 with the thesis «Act of Violence – Act of Love», in which she dealt with transnational adoption between Austria and Ethiopia. 

Her research interests include:

  • Temporality
  • Waiting
  • Medical anthropology, especially organ transplantation, liver diseases, palliative care, alcohol, addiction
  • Transnational adoption
  • Qualitative methods
  • Regional focus: Europe (mainly Germany, Switzerland, Austria)



Hope. Flight to Europe, surrogate motherhood in Russia, organ donation in Germany: wishes and hopes from an artistic, scientific and literary viewpoint. With photographs by Sarah Hildebrand and essays by social anthropologists Gerhild Perl, Julia Rehsmann and Veronika Siegl
for Publications of Mag. phil. Julia Rehsmann

Autumn Semester 2018

An anthropological engagement with transplant medicine