The Publishing House

The publishing house Rüdiger Köppe Verlag was established in Cologne / Germany on July 25th, 1988 and celebrated its 35th anniversary in summer 2023. The idea of founding such a specialized publishing house was born by the former professors of Africanistics at the University of Cologne/Germany, Dres. Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig (1934–2023) and Bernd Heine. This alternative publishing house should be independent from their institute and from the University of Cologne. During the last 35 years, our publishing house has become one of Germany’s leading outlets in the fields of monographs in Africanistics / African Studies and Cultural Anthropology. Since 1998 publications on traditional African legal systems / legal ethnology and Ethiopian / Semitic studies have continuously gained in importance in our programme.

The publishing house is closely linked to the seven Institutes of Africanistics / African Studies in Germany (Universities of Bayreuth, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Leipzig and Mainz) and to similar institutes in Europe (Ghent / Belgium, Gothenburg / Sweden, Leiden / Netherlands, Trondheim / Norway, Turin / Italy, Vienna / Austria).

It also cooperates with the Institute of African Studies at the Goethe University in Frankfurt / Main and with the following Collaborative Research Centres of the German Research Foundation DFG:

- Cologne, SFB 389 1995–2007, SFB 1252 2017–

Frankfurt/Main, SFB 268 1988–2003

- Hamburg, SFB 520 1999–2003

- Hamburg, SFB 950 2011–2020

Mainz, SFB 295 1997–2008

Mainz, SFB 1482 2021–heute

The publishing programme comprises more than 860 titles, of which over 720 are immediately available from our in-house stock, including several scholarly journals. They are available either as books, CD-/DVD-ROMs or tape cassettes. The programme focuses on monographs written in English, German and French, text books and historical source editions of African languages. The study books comprise basic courses, exercise books, grammars, and audio material. Various scholarly disciplines are represented by conference proceedings volumes, doctoral dissertations, habilitation theses and festschrifts.

In the field of Cultural Anthropology, the programme focuses on ethnohistory, legal anthropology, analyses of oral literature and ethnographical accounts.

Since 2000 we have included electronic publications in our programme, mostly by CD-/DVD-ROM editions accompanying the textbooks and pdf-documents of these editions for download. The exercises and languages drills are regularly presented by African mother-tongue speakers of the respective indigenous language.

From November 2020 onwards, we offer a webshop ( in which pdf-files of almost all published book editions and journal issues can be downloaded, on the basis of universal payment methods like paypal and stripe.

Address and Contact Information

Publisher Address:

Rüdiger Köppe Verlag
Languages and Cultures

Max-Planck-Strasse 12
50858 Koeln Marsdorf


For letters only:

P.O. Box 46 01 49
50840 Koeln


Phone: +49 2234 939 96 04

Fax: +49 2234 939 96 06


VAT-Identification No.: DE 123 429 406

Owner and Managing Director: Rüdiger Köppe

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