Michaela Schäuble is Professor for Social Anthropology with a focus on Media Anthropology at the University of Bern (CH). She also trained as a documentary filmmaker and regularly curates film programmes for exhibitions and festivals. 

From 2013 to 2014 she was lecturer at the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology (GCVA) at Manchester University (UK) and from 2008-2013 lecturer (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at the Institute for Social Anthropology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg (Germany). In 2009 she completed her PhD with a dissertation on nationalism, gender dynamics and the politics of commemoration in post-war Croatia.  Her current research focuses on ecstatic religious cults and saint veneration in the Mediterranean. As head of the SNF Agora project “Tarantism Revisted” she, in collaboration with Anja Dreschke, uses film and photography as a research tool in investigating re-enactment and (religious) performances as sites of revitalising and negotiating tradition, heritage and cultural identity in Southern Italy.

Michaela has held research posts and fellowships at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University (2012/2013), the Institute of Advanced Studies in Bologna (2011/2012) and UCL University College London (2006/2007).

Research Fields

  • media anthropology & audio-visual anthropology       
  • religion
  • social memory
  • gender
  • space and place
  • post-scocialist transformation (mainly former Yugoslavia/Balkans)
  • anthropology of the Mediterranean
  • nationalism
  • 16.02.2024: Workshop zu "Divine Agency" von Anna-Lena Wolf mit Beteiligung von Michaela Schäuble
  • Michaela. Schäuble. 2023. “Afronauts: visions of extra-terrestrial colonization”, Alive. More than human worlds, edited by  Ursula Regehr and Rosine Vuille. Museum der Kulturen, Basel. Hatje Cantz Verlag , pp. 165-168.
  • Michaela Schäuble and Zainabu Jallo spoke on “Visual Approaches to Vodun and Vodou” (Zürich, 14-15 Sep 23) FLYER Methods and Media of the Absent Present.pdf
  • New article by Michaela Schäuble: “The hero and the ‘whore’: Croatia’s sexualised and gendered (self- )ascriptions and its desire for European belonging” In: Borders of desire. Gender and sexuality at the Eastern borders of Europe, edited by Elissa Helms and Tuija Pulkkinen, Manchester University Press 2023
  • 05.05.2023: Filmgespräch mit Prof. Dr. Chase Joynt am Kino Rex zu seinem presigekrönten Dokumentarfilm «Framing Agnes»
  • 2023, June, Michaela Schäuble and Anja Dreschke present parts of their essayistic documentary “Tarantism Revisited” in Galatina at "Il ritmo ed il battito della pizzica tarantata"
  • 2023, March 6-10, Thinking with Water, Critters, and Landscapes: Multimodal Engagements. Michaela Schäuble and Darcy Alexandra host a panel on Thinking with Water, Critters, and Landscapes: Multimodal Engagements at the RAI Film Festival Conference of the Royal Anthropological Institute in Bristol, UK.
  • 2023, June 4, Geological Filmmaking: Screening and Masterclass with Sasha Litvintseva. Every film image is geological. As a technical medium derived from the metals and minerals extracted from the earth, every moving image is materially embedded in the world it records. It is also temporally linked to the almost inconceivably vast deep time of the planet’s formation. What would it mean to make films in response to this situation? In this screening and expanded discussion Sasha Litvintseva will discuss her process of developing such a film practice as a way of tackling the perceptual and aesthetic difficulties presented by ongoing ecological crises. The event at Kino Reitschule will include the screening of two films made as part of this broader research project, Salarium (2017), which looks at the sinkholes appearing on the Dead Sea shore, and Asbestos (2016), which traces the interaction of toxicity and invisibility in the the history of the use of this mineral. Moderation and Discussion: Michaela Schäuble
  • Beiträge zum mehr-als-menschlichen Anthropozän: Im Wintersemester 2022 haben Studierende der Sozialanthropologie an der Universität Bern – inspiriert vom Feral Atlas (Tsing, Deger, Keleman Saxena & Zhou) – eigene Beiträge zum mehr-als-menschlichen Anthropozän recherchiert und verfasst. Im Zentrum stand die Frage, welche ökologischen Welten hier vor Ort in der Schweiz entstehen, wenn nicht-menschliche Wesen mit menschlichen Infrastrukturprojekten kollidieren. Die Erfahrungsberichte von Studierenden im Bachelorstudium zeigen, wie sich „wilde Ökologien“ außerhalb der menschlichen Kontrolle entwickelt und ausgebreitet haben. Unser alternativer Feral Atlas weist – basierend auf lokale ethnografische Beobachtungen – auf dringende ökologische Herausforderungen unserer Zeit hin. Das Seminar wurde geleitet von Prof. Michaela Schäuble.


Current Research Project


Past Research Project

Narrating Victimhood: Gender, Religion, and the Making of Place in Post-War Croatia

Current Book Project

“The Art of Controlled Accident”: Corporeal Cinematography in Ethnographic Films on Trance and Spirit Possession (1940s-1960s)

Completed PhDs

1st supervisor:

Dr, des Jana Thierfelder

Dr. des. Léa Klaue

Dr. des. Zainabu Jallo

Dr. des. Aubry, Gilles

Dr. Dr. Urich van Loyen


2nd supervisor:

Dr. des. Sandra Mooser

Dr. Lene Faust

Dr. des. Harry Rödel

SS 2023

CREOLE: IP - Intensive Program

Summer School Geological Filmmaking (Sasha Litvintseva)

Introduction to religious Anthropology (Sachbereich IV)

Exploring Human and More-than-Human Relationships: multimodal approaches

Master Colloquia - Prof. Schäuble

PhD Colloquia


AS 2022

Das Anthropozän laut «Feral Atlas»

Master Colloquia - Prof. Schäuble

PhD Colloquia

SS 2021

CREOLE: IP - Intensive Program

Introduction to religious Anthropology (Sachbereich IV)

Interdisziplinäre Ringvorlesung: “Kontamination” – ein kritisches Vokabular der Moderne und Gegenwart

Master Colloquia - Prof. Schäuble

PhD Colloquia

AS 2020

Course reseach II

Master Colloquia - Prof. Schäuble

PhD Colloquia

SS 2020

course reseach I

Master Colloquia

PhD Colloquia

AS 2019

Seminar: Ecstasy and Madness

Auto_Bio_Grafie. Interdisciplinary Lecture Series

Master Colloquia

PhD Colloquia

SS 2019

Storytelling in documentary film

Introduction to religious anthropology

Master Colloquia

PhD Colloquia

AS 2018

Theory and History of ehtnographic films + Visionierung

Anthropologists as Novelists

Master Colloquia

PhD Colloquia

SS 2018

Seminar: Sensory Ethnography

Exercise: Essay film and ethnographic film

Seminar: Marian Apparitions in Europe

Exercise: Film verORTen: Film as a social science research and communication method (introductory course)

Intensive Course (IP)

AS 2017

Exercise: Ethnography and performative practices of reeenactment

CREOLE Exchange an der UAB Barcelona