Law and rights, state and citizenship, violence (esp. SGBV), gender and sexualities, prisons and confinement, emotion and affect, research methodology and ethics
West Africa (esp. Sierra Leone); Europe (esp. Germany)
Luisa T. Schneider joined the Law and Anthropology Department 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.
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.
Why Law & Anthropology?
Law organizes abstract ideas about human coexistence and social ordering into enforceable laws, while anthropology studies humans through time and space and hence examines how they live within or against these principles and how they design, experience, and shape legal regulations. Combining law and anthropology closes a gap between qualitative lived experience and abstract quantified legal principles. Our life-worlds and social lives are intimately grounded in legal frameworks that structure everyday experiences, subjectivities, rights, restrictions, and privileges in contemporary society, so it seems only sensible to overcome the dogmatic barriers between academic disciplines to reach a more nuanced understanding of lived experiences in our shared world.