Predictable prisons, uncertain streets, Luisa Schneider talks about her work with homeless people in Leipzig and their ambivalent relationship with prison life.
Oct 13th, 2021 by lockedupliving
Luisa specialises in the anthropology of intimacy, violence and law and has been conducting compassionate, collaborative, engaged anthropological research in Sierra Leone since 2011 and in Germany since 2018. She studies how people negotiate the space to live their most intimate needs on various levels of social and legal organisation. She is particularly interested in the friction between care and control, between rights, protections and their practical realisation that arise from the divide between private and public spheres, both through the politico-legal separation between home/house and street, and through conflicting discourses regarding which areas of life states may regulate and in what way. She is interested in what laws ‘do’ and how they interact with how people govern their lives in diverse contexts. Louisa works on social issues and tries to make theory answerable to practice which means that she collaborates closely with practitioners, politicians and policy makers and actively communicates research findings in newspapers, on television and expert platforms.
Another cornerstone of her research turns inward and looks at social sciences, at the nexus between ethnographic unpredictability and institutional demands and at how we conduct and navigate research, academia and the university. She have been writing about various aspects of what we could call the ugly underbelly of anthropological work (ontological insecurity, loneliness, violence, abuse). She asks what anthropologists and institutions can and should do to challenge and deconstruct violent structures, prevent harm where possible and to offer support while taking seriously the unpredictability of human interactions?
Sexual violence during research: How the unpredictability of fieldwork and the right to risk collide with academic bureaucracy and expectations.