Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Burkhard Schnepel

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Burkhard Schnepel - Curriculum Vitae


Name: Burkhard Schnepel
Date of birth: 29.09.1954
Marital status: married
Nationality: German


Professor of Social Anthropology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

Acting Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Area Studies, MLU

Member of the Faculty Council at the Faculty of Philosophy I, MLU

Fellow of the Max-Planck Society

Member of the Academic Senate of the Martin-Luther-University


a) Thematic
History of Anthropological Thought; Divine Kingship; Ritual Theory; Personhood/Fools; Cultures in Motion; Village Theatre; Liminal Times and Spaces; Anthropology of the Night; Anthropology of Tourism, The Politics and Cult of Cultural Heritage; Connectivity in Motion

b) Regional
East Africa (especially Southern Sudan); India (especially Orissa); Indian Diaspora; Indian Ocean Societies (especially Mauritius)


January 1982              
Magister Artium in Social Anthropology, Free University, Berlin

June 1983                   
Diploma (M. Phil. Qualifying) in Social Anthropology, Oxford University

May 1987                   
Doctor of Philosophy, Oxford University

June 1996                   
Habilitation, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg


October 1976             
Matriculated at the Free University, Berlin, in Social Anthropology, Sociology and Religious Studies

January - April 1980    
Fieldwork in Southern Sudan

January 1982              
Master of Arts (with distinction)

January - May 1982     
Fieldwork in Southern Sudan.

October 1982 - June 1983      
Graduate student at Wolfson College, Oxford University, Institute of Social Anthropology.

July 1983                    
Diploma in Social Anthropology (M. Phil. Qualifying)

Oct. 1983 - May 87      
Research student, Oxford University, Institute of Social Anthropology.

May 1987                   
Doctor of Philosophy. Supervisor: Dr. R. G. Lienhardt. External Examiner:Prof. Dr. Ernest Gellner, Cambridge

Oct. 1988 - Aug. 1989  
Lecturer at the Free University, Berlin, Institute of Ethnology

Oct. 1989 - Mar. 1990   
Fieldwork in Orissa, India

Apr. 1990 - Aug. 1990   
Lecturer at the Free University, Berlin, Institute of Ethnology

Dec. 1990 - Jan. 93      
Fieldwork in Orissa and Researcher at the South Asia Institute in Heidelberg

Jan. 1993 - May 96      
Lecturer at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg.

June 1996                   
Habilitation, Venia Legendi in Social Anthropology, University of Heidelberg

Oct. 1996 - Sept. 1997 Acting Professor, University of Heidelberg

Oct. 1998                    
Professor of Social Anthropology (tenure), Institute of Historical Ethnology,

March 2002                
Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University, Frankfurt

since April 2002        
Founding Professor (C3), Institute for Social Anthropology (Institut für Ethnologie), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


1982 - 1983                  
Research Fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service (for Oxford)

1983 - 1984                  
Wolfson College Fees Scholarship, Oxford

August 1989               
Visiting Fellow at the Dept. d’Ethnologie, Nanterre Université, Paris X

May - June 1995          
Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology, Gothenburg, Sweden

1990 - 1993                               
Fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation

May 1993 - May 96    
Fellow of the German Research Foundation

Oct. 1997 - Sept. 98    
Fellow of the German Research Foundation

June 2006                   
Visiting Professor at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Since 2007                 
Director of the «Centre for Interdisciplinary Area Studies»

Sept. 2010 - August 2014          
Dean of the Philosophical Faculty of the Martin-Luther-University

Since Oct. 2013          
MPI Fellow

Since Nov. 2015         
Member of the Expert Committee on the Indian Ocean of the Foreign Office Germany


Jan. 1998                    
Six-year research programme (“priority programme”) sponsored by the German Research Foundation on ‘Contested Centres: Construction and Change of Socio-cultural Identities in Orissa’ (including around 25 different projects, starting in 99) (jointly with H. Kulke)

May 1999 - Apr. 2001
Head of a project on ‘Performative Constructions of Identities among Subaltern Groups in South Orissa’. (This included 2 research assistants)

June 1999 - Dec. 2001
Head of a project on ‘Village Theatre in Orissa and Nepal’. (This included 2 research assistants and was part of the German Research Foundation’s priority programme on ‘Theatre as a Cultural Model’).

July 2002 - June 2004  
Head of a project on ‘Female Identity Construction in Orissa’ (2 research assistants); funded by the German Research Foundation

May 2004 - Dec. 2006
Head of a project on ‘Contested Identities in Mauritius’ (1 research assistant); funded by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation.

Oct. 2008 - Sept. 2012
Head of a project on “After the Survivors: Holocaust Tourism in Berlin and Jerusalem”; funded by German Israeli Foundation (Principal researchers: Dr. J. Feldman, Israel, and Dr. Anja Peleikis, Berlin)

Since October 2013   
MPI-Fellowship-Program: “Connectivity in Motion: Port Cities of the Indian Ocean”


in Sudan: January - April 1980; January - May 1982

in Orissa: October 1989 - March 90; December 1990 - November 1992; February - March 1995; February - April 1997; November - December 1997; March - April 1998; March - April 1999; September -October 1999; September 2001; February - March 2004

in Mauritius: September - October 2002; February - March 2003; September - October 2003; March - April 2004; February - March 2005; December - January 2005/6; February 2007; September-October 2010; February-March 2012; February-March 2014, February-March 2016, February-March 2016, February-March 2018