Enrico Ille

Enrico IlleNetwork Member

Enrico has a doctoral degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Halle. After holding positions as Assistant Professor at the University of Halle, Germany, and Ahfad University for Women, Sudan, he is currently working on his Habilitation (post-doc thesis) at the Institute of African Studies, University of Leipzig. He co-edited the volume Emerging orders in the Sudans (2014) and published on history, land issues, development interventions and political economy of the Nuba Mountains, Sudan. He was Urgent Anthropology Fellow at The British Museum / Royal Anthropological Institute (2016-2018) with a research on socio-ecological changes in settlements along the Nile in northern Sudan. In 2019, he worked as post-doctoral researcher in a project of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, University of Sussex) on inclusive urbanization in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Khartoum. He leads a research team studying gold mining in Sudan’s border regions, as part of Rift Valley Institute’s X-Border Local Research Network.

Current position
Assistant Professor
University affiliation
University of Leipzig


Enrico studies economic and environmental effects of gold mining close to Sudan’s borders with Eritrea, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. The research forms part of the RVI X-Border subproject ‘Reconstructing trajectories through the Nile Valleys: militarised labour, livelihoods, and resource flows in Central Sudanic Africa’ which studies the impact of military-dominated economic relations on different areas in South Sudan and Sudan. The research also analyses the flows of people and resources across the wider Central Sudanic landscape, and the ideas that drive (and are driven by) these flows. The core conceptual aim is a beyond-borders perspective on how older forms of economic, political and social control are transformed across interregional networks and commodity chains. In his Habilitation, he combines this research with insights from earlier research projects in Sudan (violent conflicts in the Nuba Mountains, date production in the Northern State) to formulate a political ecology that connects a long-durée perspective with contemporary political developments, and human/other-than-human interactions with the gritty details of Sudan’s economic crises.


  • Ille, Enrico and Mariam Sharif (2022) "Peace-building as thought and practice in the Nuba Mountains before 2011." in Sudanese Intellectuals in the Global Milieu: Capturing Cultural Capital , edited by Sondra Hale and Gada Kadoda, 173-190. Lanham: Lexington Books. → https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781793622761/Sudanese-Intellectuals-in-the-Global-Milieu-Capturing-Cultural-Capital
  • Ille, Enrico (forthcoming) (2022) "Apocalypse tomorrow? Ecological futures." in A book of exercises in STS: On futures and designs of collective life , edited by Sung-Joon Park and Richard Rottenburg. Manchester: Mattering Press.
  • Ille, Enrico (2022) "Brothers, arrivals, refugees: South Sudanese as subjects of naming and reporting practices in Sudan’s humanitarian sector." in Diaspora 22 (1): 11-32. → https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/diaspora.22.1.2022.12.17
  • Lamoureaux, Siri, Enrico Ille, Amal Hassan Fadlalla, and Timm Sureau (2021) "What Makes a Revolution ‘Real’? A Discussion on Social Media and Al-Thawra الثورة in Sudan." in Digital Imaginaries: African Positions Beyond Binaries , edited by Richard Rottenburg, Oulimata Gueye, Julien McHardy and Philipp Ziegler, 124-145. Bielefeld/Berlin: Kerber.
  • Rottenburg, Richard, Enrico Ille, and Siri Lamoureaux (2021) "Nuba." in Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE , edited by Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, and Everett Rowson. Leiden: Brill. → http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_40350
  • Ille, Enrico and Griet Steel (2021) "Khartoum: City scoping study." Manchester: African Cities Research Consortium, The University of Manchester.
  • Ille, Enrico, Mohamed Salah and Tsegaye Birhanu (2021) "From dust to dollar: Gold mining and trade in the Sudan-Ethiopia borderland." Nairobi and London: Rift Valley Institute.
  • Ille, Enrico, Gamal H. Hamid, and Salah Osman (eds.) (2020) "Recent urbanisation trends in Khartoum State." Khartoum: University of Khartoum in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.
  • Chevrillon-Guibert, Raphaëlle, Enrico Ille and Mohamed Salah (2020) "Pratiques de pouvoir, conflits miniers et économie de l’or au Soudan durant le régime d’al-Inqaz." in Politique Africaine 158 (2): 123-148.
  • Ille, Enrico (2019) "Tunisia: Modern and contemporary performance practice." in SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture , edited by Janet L. Sturman, 2239-2241. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Ille, Enrico (2019) "Sudan: Modern and contemporary performance practice." in SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture , edited by Janet L. Sturman, 2095-2096. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Ille, Enrico (2019) "South Sudan: Modern and contemporary performance practice." in SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture , edited by Janet L. Sturman, 2042-2044. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Ille, Enrico (2019) "South Sudan: History, culture, and geography of music." in SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture , edited by Janet L. Sturman, 2040-2041. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Ille, Enrico (2018) "Urgent anthropology research in the area of Kerma." in The British Museum Newsletter Egypt and Sudan 5 (25).
  • Ille, Enrico (2018) "Social lives of diesel engines in northern Sudan’s Nile settlements." in RAI Review 1 (2).
  • Ille, Enrico (2018) "Anthony John Arkell as Commissioner for Archaeology and Anthropology (1939-1948): A look into an early experiment with interdisciplinary administration." in Sudan & Nubia 22: 179-187.
  • Ille, Enrico (2018) "Land alienation as a legal, political, economic and moral issue in the Nile Valley of North Sudan." in Anthropology of law in Muslim Sudan: Land, courts and the plurality of practices , edited by Barbara Casciarri and Mohamed A. Babiker, 21-52. Leiden: Brill.
  • Ille, Enrico (2018) "International joint ventures in industrial gold mining, corporate social responsibility, and harm-production in Sudan." in Africa Spectrum 53 (3): 33-64.
  • Ille, Enrico (2017) "Venezuela." in SAGE encyclopedia of war: social science perspectives , edited by Paul Joseph, 1792. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Ille, Enrico (2017) "Sudan." in SAGE encyclopedia of war: social science perspectives , edited by Paul Joseph, 1639. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Ille, Enrico (2017) "South Sudan." in SAGE encyclopedia of war: social science perspectives , edited by Paul Joseph, 1604-1605. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Ille, Enrico (2017) "Conflict minerals." in SAGE encyclopedia of war: social science perspectives , edited by Paul Joseph, 369-372. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Ille, Enrico (2016) "Complications in the classification of conflict areas and conflict actors for the identification of ‘conflict gold’ from Sudan." in The Extractive Industries and Society 3: 193-203.
  • Ille, Enrico (2016) "Political, financial and moral aspects of Sudan’s private higher education." in Rethinking private higher education: Ethnographic perspectives , edited by Daniele Cantini, 98-130. Leiden: Brill.
  • Calkins, Sandra, Enrico Ille, and Richard Rottenburg (eds.) (2015) "Emerging orders in the Sudans." Bamenda and Buea: Langaa.
  • Ille, Enrico (2015) "An annotated bibliography of social research on the Nuba Mountains." Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute.
  • Calkins, Sandra, Enrico Ille, Siri Lamoureaux, and Richard Rottenburg (2015) "Rethinking Institutional Orders in Sudan Studies: The Case of Land Access in Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur." in Canadian Journal of African Studies 49 (1): 175-195. → https://doi.org/10.1080/00083968.2014.963135
  • Calkins, Sandra, Enrico Ille, and Richard Rottenburg (2015) "Emergence and contestation of orders in the Sudans." in Emerging orders in the Sudans , edited by Sandra Calkins, Enrico Ille and Richard Rottenburg, 1-22. Bamenda and Buea: Langaa.
  • Ille, Enrico (2015) "Historical thinking in political discourses: The case of land issues in South Kordofan." in Past, present and future: Fifty years of anthropology in Sudan , edited by Munzoul A. M. Assal and Musa Adam Abdul-Jalil, 277-290. Bergen: Chr.-Michelsen-Institute.
  • Ille, Enrico (2015) "Sudan." in The SAGE encyclopedia of world poverty , edited by Mehmet Odekon, 300-302. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
  • Ille, Enrico (2015) "Greedy donors? Uncertainty and the organisation of seed distribution in the Nuba Mountains." in Emerging orders in the Sudans , edited by Sandra Calkins, Enrico Ille and Richard Rottenburg, 221-240. Bamenda and Buea: Langaa.
  • Ille, Enrico (2015) "'But they can’t manage to silence us': Mahjoub Sharif’s prison poem ‘A homesick sparrow’ (1990) as resistance to political confinement." in Middle East – Topics & Arguments 5: 117-130.
  • Ille, Enrico (2015) "The Nuba Mountains between coercion and persuasion during Mahdist rule (1881-1898)." in Northeast African Studies 15 (2): 1-63.
  • Ille, Enrico, Guma Kunda Komey, and Richard Rottenburg (2015) "Tragic entanglements: Vicious circles and acts of violence in South Kordofan." in Sudan's killing fields: Political violence and fragmentation , edited by Laura Nyantung Beny and Sondra Hale, 117-137. Trenton: Red Sea Press.
  • Ille, Enrico (2015) "‘Nuba’: A historical perspective on changing and contested notions." in Nuba Mountains Studies Working Paper 2. Halle: LOST Research Group, University of Halle.
  • Ille, Enrico (2015) "Dynamics of destabilisation in development interventions in South Kordofan, 2005-2011." in Sudan Working Paper 2015: 4. Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute.
  • Ille, Enrico (2015) "Variations of field design and crop organization in Heiban (South Kordofan): Forecast and experimentation between the wars." in Sudan Journal of Economic and Social Studies 12: 9-45.
  • Calkins, Sandra and Enrico Ille (2014) "Territories of gold mining: International investments and artisanal extraction in Sudan." in Disrupting territories: Land, commodification and conflict in Sudan , edited by Jörg Gertel, Richard Rottenburg and Sandra Calkins, 52-76. Woodbridge: James Currey.
  • Ille, Enrico (2013) "Projections, plans and projects: Development as the extension of organizing principles and its consequences in the rural Nuba Mountains / South Kordofan, Sudan (2005-2011)." Leipzig and Weissenfels: Ille & Riemer.
  • Calkins, Sandra, and Enrico Ille (2013) "Gold mining concessions in Northern Sudan’s written laws and practices of gold extraction in the Nuba Mountains." in Identity, economy, power relations and external interests: Old and new challenges for Sudan and South Sudan , edited by Elke Grawert, 112-126. Addis Abeba: OSSREA.
  • Ille, Enrico (2013) "Das Plenum 2010: Handel und Mobilität im Sudan zwischen nomothetischer und idiopathischer Perspektive." in Mobilität neu gedacht? Ein interdisziplinärer Forschungsbericht der AG "Mobilität" des Sonderforschungsbereiches 586 "Differenz und Integration" (2008-2012) , edited by Thomas Brüggemann. Working papers 'Contested order', 51-68. Leipzig: Universität Leipzig.
  • Ille, Enrico (2013) "Some linguistic expressions related to agricultural annual cycles in the Nuba Mountains (Miri, Krongo, Moro, Tira, Abol)." in Nuba Mountain language studies , edited by Thilo C. Schadeberg and Roger Blench, 523-549. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.
  • Ille, Enrico (2013) "Literacy, translation, practices: Groundwater location under stress in South Kordofan (Republic of Sudan)." in Journal des Anthropologues 132-133: 219-242.
  • Ille, Enrico (2012) "The classification of drinking water between public administration and rural communities in South Kordofan, Sudan." in Sociologus 62 (1): 73-93.
  • Komey, Guma Kunda, and Enrico Ille (2012) "Suq Sumbuq: Geheime Märke im sudanesischen Bürgerkrieg." in Nomaden in unserer Welt. Die Vorreiter der Globalisierung: Von Mobilität und Handel, Herrschaft und Widerstand , edited by Jörg Gertel and Sandra Calkins, 106-115. Bielefeld: Transcript.