© Institut für Ethnologie

Dr. Markus Schleiter

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Institute of Ethnology
Studtstraße 21
D-48149 Münster
Tel.: +49 251 83-27308
Fax: +49 251 83-27313


  • News

    Office Hours during the Summer Semester 2019:

    Tuesdays 4:15 - 6pm

    Without appointment or by appointment at  schleiter@uni-muenster.de

    Dr. Schleiter is responsible for ERASMUS-Consultations, the Master-course in Social Anthropology and the exchange programme with South Africa.



    Hier finden Sie die aktuelle Erasmus Ausschreibung (2018-2019)

  • Teaching at the WWU Münster

    Teaching in the Summer Semester 2019

    086889 From Bollywood to Nollywood: Popular Music Videos and the Representation of Culture and Belonging in the Global South
    02.04.19 - 09.07.19, Di 14-16, STU 102 (2.4)
    02.04.19 - 09.07.19, Di 14-16, STU 104 (2.1)
    086890 Empirische Verfahren/ Übungsforschung Filmpraktiken und Zuschauerstudien: Methoden der Ethnologie und Medienethnologie
    04.04.19 - 11.07.19, Do 14-16, F 042

    Teaching in the Winter Semester 2018/19

    084886 Film Practices and Audience Studies: Methods of Media Anthropology (Ethnographic Methods in a selected research field)
    18.10.18 - 31.01.19, Thu 14-16, STU 105 (2.10)

    Teaching in the Summer Semester 2018

    082874 Empirische Verfahren
    19.04.18 - 19.07.18, Do 14-16, ES 227
    082885 Writing a Project Proposal
    18.04.18 - 30.05.18, Mi 14-16, STU 105 (2.10)
    18.04.18 - 30.05.18, Mi 14-16, STU 104 (2.1)
    06.06.18 - 18.07.18, Mi 12-14, STU 105 (2.10)
    082888 Indigeneity and Indigenous Movements in South Asia
    10.04.18 - 17.07.18, Di 12-14, STU 105 (2.10)
    10.04.18 - 17.07.18, Di 12-14, STU 104 (2.1)

    Teaching in the Winter Semester 2017/18

    081064 Seminar Einführung
    02.11.17 - 01.02.18, Do 14-16, SRZ 17
    Einzeltermin, 18.01.18, Do 12-16, STU 105 (2.10)
    Einzeltermin, 25.01.18, Do 12-16, STU 105 (2.10)
    081082 Patronage, Profit und Cinephilea: Film- and Media Industries of South Asia from an Ethnographic Perspective
    07.11.17 - 01.02.18, Di 12-14, STU 105 (2.10)
    07.11.17 - 01.02.18, Di 12-14, STU 104 (2.1)

  • Short Biography

    Markus Schleiter is an anthropologist who currently works predominantly in the field of media anthropology, focusing on South Asian cinemas. His further longstanding interests are the politics of indigeneity and indigenous peoples of South Asia, practice theory and concepts of culture, ethnographic writing, and the anthropology of the state.
    His most recent research examines the indigenous film industry of Santal people. His multi-sited field studies have incorporated visits to music studios and film sets in India, as well as long-term/in-depth audience studies in villages and towns – the latter including an exploration of the various ways in which music videos and popular films are consumed as an everyday practice. He is currently co-editing a book on indigenous film industries in the wider region of South Asia. The anthology seeks to identify connections between a disparate field of South Asian cultural producers (Bourdieu) and the emergence of ‘culturalized’ media in South Asia. In addition, he has initiated a long-term project for the archival, in Frankfurt am Main and Calcutta, of Santali VCD films and albums.
    Recently, Schleiter has begun work on a new research project on the consumption of South Korean soaps and K-pop by indigenous communities in Northeast India. This will explore the ways in which these soaps may foster aspirations towards East Asian modernity among indigenous populations, as well as investigating the influence of South Korean media upon the different cosmopolitan indigeneities of Naga, Bhutia, and Mizo people in the region.
    Schleiter’s earlier research includes long-term field studies conducted in a settlement of Birhor people in rural Odisha, focusing on socio-economic negotiations and Birhor everday culture. Birhor people are a formerly nomadic indigenous community and a lot of them earn their livelihood by their traditional occupation of producing ropes from the bark of a forest creeper. He has also undertaken extensive studies on governmental development work in India, as well as on ethnographic texts from the colonial era relating to the region now known as Odisha.

  • Publications


    2017 Der Pop-Hit Injurious to Health: Musikschaffende, indigene Traditionen und kulturelle Praktiken des Flirtens am Beispiel eines Santali-Videosongs aus Indien. In Zehmisch, Philipp; Ursula Münster; Jens Zickgraf and Claudia Lang (ed.), Soziale Ästhetik, Atmosphäre, Medialität: Beiträge aus der Ethnologie. Münster: LIT, pp. 161-174.
    2015 Nackte Jarawa: „Indigene“ Bevölkerung, Indiens Zeitungs-Boom und administrative Praktiken der Ausgrenzung. Paideuma 61: 71-94.
    2014 VideoCD Crossovers: Cultural practice, ideas of belonging and Santali popular films. Asian Ethnology 73 (1-2): 81-100.
    2014 India’s Indigenous Cinemas: A Village Video Night and the Future of Santal Traditional Dances. IIAS Newsletter 67: 10-11.
    2014 Wo es kein Bollywood gibt: Eine ethnologische Reise zum „indigenen“ Kino Indiens. Masala Newsletter 9 (2): 12-18.
    2010 mit Erik de Maaker. Indigeneity as a Cultural Practice: “Tribe” and the state in India. IIAS Newsletter 53. 16-17.
    2009 Dances with an Indian “Tribe”. IIAS Newsletter 51: 11.
    2007 Hausgötter, Hexengift und staatliche Entwicklungsexperten: Eine narrative Ethnographie über Aushandlungen um eine biomedizinische Malaria-Behandlung bei den Birhor in Orissa, Indien. Paideuma 53: 127-144.
    2006 „Tribal“ Representations: Infliction and mitigation of social suffering. Man in Society 16: 17-27.
    2006 „Zum Tanze“: Eine ethnographische Erzählung über den indischen „Stamm“ der Birhor. Journal Ethnologie. 5/06.
    2005 Enduring Endangerments: Constructing the Birhor “Tribe”, development officers and anthropologists from early twentieth-century colonial India to the present. In: Huggan, Graham und Stephan Klasen (Hrsg.) 2005, Perspectives on Endangerment. Leipzig: Olms, S. 71-82.


    2008 Die Birhor: Ethnographie und die Folgen: Ein indischer „Stamm“ im Spiegel kolonialer und postkolonialer Beschreibungen. Heidelberg: Draupadi.


    2010 mit Erik de Maaker. 'Indigenous' India. IIAS Newsletter 52.

    Book reviews:

    2015 Marine Carrin, Palay Kanungo and Gérard Toffin (Hrsg.): The Politics of Ethnicity in India, Nepal and China. Neu Delhi: Primus Books. 2014. 343pp. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 38 (3): 393-341.
    2008 Martin Kunz: Mahasweta Devi. Indische Schriftstellerin und Menschenrechtlerin. Heidelberg: Draupadi. 2006. 216pp. Paideuma 54: 312-314.
    2008 Tina Otten: Heilung durch Rituale. Vom Umgang mit Krankheit bei den Rona im Hochland Orissas. Berlin: Lit Verlag. 2006. 421pp. Paideuma 54: 315- 316.

    Press reports about Markus Schleiter:

    2014 Flirt, Liebe großes Drama. Frankfurter Rundschau 11. 11.
    2013 Filmkultur in Indien: Jenseits von Bollywood. Frankfurter Rundschau 1. 8.

    List of Presentations (partial):

    A Song from „Why, oh Moon": revisiting concepts of ‘indigenous’ media using an ethnography of a popular Santali video clip, Panel Reassembling the visual: from visual legacies to digital futures, 14th EASA Biennal Conference, Milano, 21. Juli 2016

    Romance, Dances and the Extra/-Ordinariness of Film Viewing: An ethnography of a village video night in
    a Birhor settlement in India, Insitutskolloquium, Institut für Ethnologie, Heidelberg, 22. Dezember 2015

    Der Pop-Hit „Injurious to Health”: Populärkultur, ‘indigene’ Traditionen und kulturelle Praktiken des Flirtens am Beispiel eines Santali-Videosongs aus Indien, Panel Krisenhelfer: Lebensbezüge populärer Kultur, DGV-Tagung 2015, Marburg, 2. Oktober 2015

    Circulating "indigenousness": media practices, ideas of belonging and "vernacular" popular vcd movies of India, Panel Experiences in watching, making and evaluating media, AAA Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., 5. December 2014
    The Andaman nude video case: India’s newspaper boom, media coverage on corruption and everyday office practice, 13th EASA Biennal Conference, Panel The intimacy of corruption as a conundrum of governance: secrecy vs inflated theory, Tallinn, 1. August 2014

    "I am the jasmine flower": romantic love and cultural practices of film viewing at the example of a village video night in Odisha, India, 23rd European Conference on South Asian Studies, Panel Video varieté: the cultures and forms of new visual media in South Asia, Zürich, 26. Juli 2014

    "Indigenizing" screens: the agleam appearance of vernacular documentary, video and cinema in South Asia, Workshop 'Tribes' on Screen: Mediatizing South Asian 'indigeneity', Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich, 22. Juli 2014

    Within/and on the “Andaman nude video case”: a media event through the pre-terrain and (involuntary) involvement, DGV-Tagung 2013, 4. Oktober 2013

    ‘Stammes’ -Bewusstsein auf VideoCD? Alltagskultur, 'vernakulare' Spielfilme und die mediale Formierung einer ‘indigenen’ Gruppe Südasiens am Beispiel der Santal, 32. Deutscher Orientalistentag, Panel Mediatisierung religiöser und ethnischer Identität Südasiens, Münster, 24. September 2013

    Circulations of Community. Everyday Culture, Ideas of Belonging and Santali popular films, Department of Anthropology, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, 7. November 2012

    VideoCD Crossovers. Shaping ideas of belonging by popular Santali films in India and Bangladesh, 3rd Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network: Connections, Corridors, Communities, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, 11. Oktober 2012

    ‘Tribal’ Consciousness on VideoCD? State, ideas of belonging and popular Santali films, Panel State-Identity Interface: explorations in economic, social and cultural dynamics of tribal communities, 22nd European Conference on South Asian Studies, ISCTE-Lisbon University, 28. Juli 2012

    „Ich bin die Jasminblüte“. Romantische Liebe und kulturelle Praxis des Filmeschauens am Beispiel einer Videonacht in einem indischen Dorf. Frobenius-Institut, Goethe-Universität, 25. Juni 2012

    Flirten, Filme, Kautabak. Die „kulturelle Marge“ einer VideoCD-Film Distribution am Beispiel einer Videonacht in einem Dorf in Odisha, Indien, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 21. Mai 2012

    Love, films and chewing-tobacco. an exploration of the ‘cultural margin’ of a VideoCD circulation by an ethnography of a village video night in India, Journée d’étude Cinéma et Musique, Centre d’études Inde Asie du Sud, L’Ėcole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, 7. Mai 2012

    Love, films and chewing-tobacco. An exploration of the ‘cultural margin’ of a VideoCD circulation by an ethnography of a village video night in India, ASA 12, Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 4. April 2012

    Santali video nights in a Birhor village. An ethnographic inquiry in rural spectatorship in India, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 9. November 2011

    Santal culture across regions. 'Metro-city' and rural social practices of articulating identity on the basis of popular Santali video films, Panel Kultur, Kulturalisierung und Medialität des ethnographischen Feldes, DGV-Tagung, Wien, 15. September 2011

    'Dreamworlds'. Rejoicing or not in multi-narrativity, romance, sorrow and revenge in popular Santali VideoCD films, Media Morphologies, De Nieuwe Oogst, Rotterdam, 1. September 2011

    „This is like Breakdance of Michael Jackson”. Ethnographische Impressionen zu ‘Schau-Plätzen’ von Santali-VCD-Spielfilmen in Kolkata, Assam, Odisha und Bangladesh, Frobenius-Institut, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 27. Juni 2011

    Love Dances and Holy Groves: The articulation of 'indigeneity' through Santali romantic video films, Workshop Indigenisation of Modernity in Indian Tribal Societies, European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, Bonn, 26. Juli 2010

    Local Modernities: Articulating transnational ideas in South Asia, Einführung zum gleichnamigen Workshop, DGV-Tagung 2009, Frankfurt am Main, 30. September 2009

    Localized Statehood: Cultural practices at work at a governmental 'tribal' development project in India, AAS Annual Meeting, Chicago, 27. März 2009

    Beyond the loads of files: The scope of anthropological queries into office culture of India, Introductory Remarks, Workshop 'Tribes', Traditions and the State: Reconsidering social practices of ‘tribal’ development, IIAS, Leiden, 22. Juli 2008

    Localized Statehood: Economic access, 'traditional' practices and 'tribal' development interconnected, 20th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, Panel Legal Pluralism and 'Tribal' Politics in South Asia, University of Manchester, 9. Juli 2008

    Lokalisierte Staatlichkeit: Soziale und kulturelle Praktiken der „Stammes“-Entwicklungsarbeit Indiens, Kolloquium zu laufenden Forschungsarbeiten, Institut für Ethnologie/ Frobenius-Institut, Frankfurt am Main, 23. Juni 2008

    Administering Development: Ethnographic queries into governmental office culture and the Birhor 'Tribe' of India, IIAS Fellow Symposium, Leiden, 28. Mai 2008

    'Shouting Out': A cultural practice of “tribal” development, Konferenz Anthropology in India Today: Postmodernism and Globalism in Perspective, Department of Anthropology, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, 18. Dezember 2007

    „Alkoholkulturen” und biomedizinische Behandlung: Das Beispiel des indischen ‘Stammes’ der Birhor, 19. Fachkonferenz Ethnomedizin: Ethnologie und Medizin im Dialog, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Oktober 2006

    „Shy, Happy and Innocent People“: Do colonial representations matter for postcolonial Birhor 'Tribe'?, Panel Tribes of Mind? Exploring, Contesting and Redefining Notions of Tribe, 19th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, Juni 2006

    Hausgötter, Hexengift und staatliche Entwicklungsexperten: Eine narrative Ethnographie über Aushandlungen um eine biomedizinische Malaria-Behandlung bei den Birhor in Orissa, Indien, AG Medical Anthropology, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Januar 2005

    Enduring Endangerments: Constructing the Birhor 'Tribe', development officers and anthropologists from early twentieth-century colonial India to the present, Konferenz Perspectives on Endangerment, Tutzing/ Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, November 2003

    Negotiation of Technological Commodities in a 'Tribal' Village, Conference Postcolonial Studies: modernisation, technology and cultural conflict, Universität Stuttgart, 18. Juli 2003