Curriculum Vitae

Vanessa Rau is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity specializing in migration, diversity and the politics of difference, particularly in the context of religion and secularism, disability, race as well as gender and sexuality.

Her current project focusses on migration and intimate relationships and emotional lives and is specifically interested in the negotiation of difference, diversity and love between migrants and permanent residents, predominantly refugees and German nationals. Besides that, she is a researcher and advisor in the international research project “Encounters – Jewish-Muslim relations in urban Europe.” Prior to this project, Vanessa was part of the collaborative research project on Civil Societies and the Challenges of Migration and Diversity where she focused on migration and diversity related to disability and sexual minorities. Vanessa holds a Ph.D. in Sociology at from the University of Cambridge for which she conducted research on the trajectories of Israeli migrants and the emergence of a new Hebrew-Jewish scene in Berlin. The dissertation was awarded with the German Dissertation prize of the Koerber Foundation. Being dedicated to ethnography and biographical research, Vanessa is interested in different theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches, particularly post-colonial, antiracist and psychoanalytical theory. Vanessa has cooperated with different organisations and foundations in Germany and abroad including the UK, Israel, South Africa, Botswana and Rwanda.

If you are interested in Vanessa’s research and projects, please get in touch.

Research projects


Rau, V. (2023, July 11). Weniger Kirche, mehr religiöse Pluralität: Religionsverfassungsrecht revisited. Retrieved from Deutschlandfunk Podcast.

MPI-MMG in Dialogue, October 2022. "Navigating a Political Minefield? Researching Muslim-Jewish Encounters"

MPI-MMG in Dialogue, July 2022. "Can advocacy organisations be intersectional?"  

„Können Organisationen Vielfalt?“ Der Film zu den ZOMiDi-Ergebnissen, August 2021.


Monographs and Collected Editions

Rau, V., & Nicoubin, M. (Eds.). (2023). Religionsverfassungsrecht revisited: Religion, Säkularität und Gesellschaft im Wandel [Special Issue]. Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung.  Link

Hensold, J., Kynes, J., Öhlmann, P., Rau, V., Schinagl, R.C., & Taleb, A. (Eds.) (2020). Religion in Motion: Rethinking Religion, Knowledge and Discourse in a Globalizing World. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Special Issues

Riedel, M., & Rau, V. (forthcoming). Intersections of Religion and Race [Special Issue]. Identities Global Studies in Culture and Power.

Journal Articles

Schönwälder, K. Baykara-Krumme, H. Boekle, S. Rau, V. (under review). Societal transformation and organisational change: How advocacy organisations respond to migration-related diversification in Soziale Welt

Vanessa Rau and Helen Baykara-Krumme (2024, accepted for publication). Migration meets Disability. Approaches to intersectionality in the context of a disability rights organization in Disability and Society.

Rau, V. (2023). Between symbolic distancing and following desires: Conversion to Judaism among women in Germany. Religion and Gender, 13(2), 162-185.

Baykara-Krumme, H., & Rau, V. (2022). Herausforderung Vielfalt? Migrantische Repräsentation und Teilhabe in einer zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisation für Menschen mit Behinderung. Teilhabe, 61(1), 4-12. Link

Rau, V. (2014). Vehementer Säkularismus als Antisemitismus? Aus Politik und Zeitgeschehen, APuZ, 64(28-30), 31-38.

Contributions to a Collected edition

Rau, V. (2024). Philosemitismus. In P. Ullrich, S. Arnold, A. Danilina, K. Holz, U. Jensen, I. Seidel, & J. Weyand (Eds.), Was ist Antisemitismus? Begriffe und Definitionen von Judenfeindschaft. 1. Aufl. Bd. 8. Studien zu Ressentiments in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag.

Rau, V., & Peretz, D. (2023). Zwischen Tradition und Freiheit. Religion, Säkularität und Religionsfreiheit aus jüdischer Perspektive. In V. Rau, M. Nicoubin (Eds.), Schriftenreihe: Vol. 10822. Religionsverfassungsrecht revisited: Religion, Säkularität und Gesellschaft im Wandel (pp. 211–226). Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung.

Baykara-Krumme, H., & Rau, V. (2022). Dynamische Zeiten, zögerlicher Wandel: Migrationsbezogene Vielfalt in der Lebenshilfe. In H. v. Unger, H. Baykara-Krumme, S. Karakayali, & K. Schönwälder (Eds.), Organisationaler Wandel durch Migration? Zur Diversität in der Zivilgesellschaft (pp. 33-66). Bielefeld: transcript Verlag. Link

Rau, V. (2019). Turning the Kaleidoscope and Religious Pluralism Inside-Out: The Case of Berlin’s Jewish Scene. In J.-J. Bock, J. Fahy, & S. Everett (Eds.), Emergent Religious Pluralisms (pp. 195–221). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Rau, V. (2016). Exotisierung, Faszination und Befremdung. Ein Blick auf Migration und Begegnung zwischen Israel und Deutschland. In O. Glöckner, & J. H. Schoeps (Eds.), Deutschland, die Juden und der Staat Israel. Eine politische Bestandsaufnahme. (pp. 216-246). Hildesheim/Zürich/New York: Georg Olms Verlag.

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