By Luisa T. Schneider on April 15, 2019
Luisa T. Schneider joined the Law and Anthropology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale) in 2019 with a research project that examines intimate relationships, privacy, violence, and state–citizen engagement among unhoused populations in Germany. She holds a DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford, where she examined violence in relationships in Sierra Leone and responses to it at the interpersonal, household, community, and state levels. Set against the post-conflict and post-TRC watershed, her work combines an analysis of top-down policy and legal approaches to violence prevention with grassroots understandings of the role and place of violence in relationships.
Schneider’s doctoral research was funded by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, the Royal Anthropological Institute, and Oxford University. She has won several prestigious prizes and awards, including the SAME Prize Competition for ‘academic merit and excellence of prior record’ of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (University of Oxford), the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI)/Sutasoma Award for ‘outstanding merit of research’, and the Aylmer Award of St. Peter’s College, Oxford University, for academic achievement.
Schneider has also been a fellow at the Center for African Studies, University of Copenhagen, and at DIGNITY, the Danish Institute Against Torture (2018). From 2011 to 2015, she studied social and cultural anthropology, international development, and journalism at the University of Vienna and the Freie Journalistenschule Berlin. Her thesis on female genital cutting received the award for queer-feminist relevance of the Österreichische Hochschüler_Innenschaft, Vienna University.
Schneider also taught at the University of Oxford, where she offered tutorials on the Archeology and Anthropology BA Final Honour School and supervised undergraduate dissertations (2017–2018). She has also worked as a mentor for students at all levels at St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford, and for undergraduates at the University of Vienna.
Luisa T. Schneider publishes her work in academic and professional publications including ‘Ethnography, the ‘Journal for Abuse, Maltreatment and Trauma’, ‘Paradigmata’, ‘the Conversation’, the Sierra Leone Telegraph’, ‘fairplanet.org’.
In addition to her academic work, Schneider has worked for various NGOs and International Organizations in India, Africa, Asia, and Europe, including Partners for Prevention. This regional joint programme of the UNDP, UNFPA, and UN Women was the first large-scale research initiative on the prevention of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific that also focuses on men and boys in a concerted effort to promote evidence- and theory-based approaches to prevention. She is the founder and chairwoman of the not-for-profit organization ENTER Salone, which supports the work of local human rights organizations in Sierra Leone, and a volunteer at the Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre, where she offers free and confidential counselling over the phone and via email for survivors of rape and abuse.
Through combining long-term ethnographic research in post-conflict and peace-building contexts in the geopolitical South as well as in the geopolitical North, with conceptual synthesis, Schneider’s work fosters new understandings of the anthropology of violence and law at the intersection of local agency, social and legal structures and forms of power interweaving the political-legal, the social-relational and the intimate-personal.
With over 9 years experience in developing leading large-scale research projects on violence against women and girls, crisis management and response, transitional justice and post-conflict reconstruction, she combines policy and legal analysis with grassroots understandings. Schneider offers high-level strategic advice and support to donors, multi-lateral and community organisations and policy makers.
Her CV can be downloaded here.