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Max Schnepf

Max Schnepf

Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Research Associate (Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Dilger)

Project "PrEPped Intimacies in Berlin: Affective Ambivalences and Embodied Subjects in Biomedical HIV-Prevention"

Postal adress: Landoltweg 9-11 Office: Thielallee 52
Room 105
14195 Berlin

Pronouns: he/him

Twitter: @MXSchnepf

Having studied Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin in my bachelor's, I obtained my Master of Science at the University of Amsterdam. As part of the program in Social Sciences, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork at an upmarket hairdressing salon in Berlin about bodies in styling practices (see www.anthrobod.net). Since 2019, I am co-chairing the working group “Gender & Sexualities | Queer Anthropology” within the German Anthropological Association (DGSKA). With an interest in Science and Technology Studies, Queer Studies, and Medical Anthropology, I conceptualize my PhD project about the co-constitution of biotechnologies and queer intimacies in HIV-prevention.

Fall term 2021/2021
“Themes and Theories in Social and Cultural Anthropology”, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin  

Spring term 2021
“Anthropology of Pharmaceuticals”, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin

Fall term 2020/2021
“Anthropology and Intimacy”,
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin

Spring term 2020
“Methods of Social and Cultural Anthropology (Übung/tutorial)”,
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin

Fall term 2019/2020
“Social Sciences”,
HMKW University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication and Management, Campus Berlin

Fall term 2017/2018
“Body, technology, knowledge: Approaches in feminist science and technology studies”, co-taught reading group with Maja Sisnowski,
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin

Project „PrEPped Intimacies in Berlin”, funded by the German Research Foundation

Director: Hansjörg Dilger

Duration: April 2022 - March 2024

PrEP – “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis” – is a new biotechnology that, if taken regularly, protects effectively against an HIV infection. In Germany, PrEP has been available on prescription since October 2016 and it is covered by public insurance as of September 2019, inciting new discussions about what constitutes “safer sex” and “risky behavior” as well as concerns about increasing infection rates with other sexually transmitted infections. My planned PhD project aims at situating PrEP as well as the discourses and practices surrounding it in the lives of gay men in Berlin, who constitute the main user group of PrEP. Attending to how sexual subjectivities and queer intimacy are shaped and transformed in relation to this new biotechnology, I ask: How do gay men in Berlin perceive themselves as sexual beings, enter in intimate contacts, relate to discourses about “at risk populations,” and deal with HIV/AIDS-related stigmata?

Journal articles

2022 “Chemical becoming: Embodied moments of urban belonging in Berlin [Chemisch-Werden: Verkörperte Momente urbaner Zugehörigkeit in Berlin].” sub\urban 10 (2/3): 17-42. https://doi.org/10.36900/suburban.v10i2/3.762

2022 (with U. Probst) “Moral Exposures, Public Appearances: Contested Presences of Non-Normative Sex in Pandemic Berlin.” European Journal of Women's Studies 29 (1): 75-89. https://doi.org/10.1177/13505068221076386  

2020 “Camp at the Salon: Anthropological Sense-Making with a Wink.” Etnofoor 32 (2): 83-98. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26964289


Blog posts

2022 “In Suhbet with Queer Companions: An Affectionate Book Review.AnthroDesires: gender & sexualities in context.

2020 “Back home to normal? Emerging spaces of queer intimacy and ethnographic pathways.” Boasblog: Fieldwork meets crisis.

2020 (with U. Probst) “Thinking sex in times of corona: A conversation.” Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, and Anthropology

2017 “Enacting the homosexual body: The Turkish military’s practice of ‘proving’ homosexuality through rectal examinations.” Blog Medizinethnologie.


2020 (with H. Dilger) Alternative Gesundheitsvorstellungen und -praktiken in der deutschen Therapielandschaft: Bericht zur Literaturrecherche ‘Vielfalt im Gesundheitswesen’ im Auftrag der Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH. Berlin.

2019 (with K. Buchner) “Where is my mind? Ecologies of healing and care in more-than-human worlds.” Curare: Journal of Medical Anthropology 42 (1+2): 125-31. (online on Blog Medizinethnologie)

2019 (with U. Probst and K. Buchner). “Creative methods and participatory arts research in medical anthropology: Conference report of the 9th MAYS meeting.” Blog Medizinethnologie.

2017 “Transfigurations in/of medical anthropology in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.” Medicine Anthropology Theory 4 (4).

Berlin Southern Theory Lecture