Annika Schmeding

Our Students

Annika Schmeding

Matriculated September 2014

Annika Schmeding’s dissertation explores belonging and community association in times of heightened religious and economic polarization in (post-) conflict settings through tracing the socio-economic, political and intra-religious position of contemporary Sufi networks in Afghanistan.

A native German, Annika earned her BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Political Science and Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin/Germany, studied at the National Institute of Pakistan Studies at Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad/Pakistan and holds an MA in Middle Eastern Area Studies from Leiden University in the Netherlands. She conducted field research in Afghanistan for her Master thesis among nomads, refugees and politicians, investigating the social, bureaucratic and political consequences of labeling practices among pastoral and peripatetic nomads. Her study earned the National Master Thesis Price for Asian Studies in the Netherlands.

Mrs. Schmeding is engaged in furthering exchange between academics and media professionals through her function as a co-director of the Central Eurasian Scholars and Media Initiative (CESMI) ( and editor of the CESMI/BBC blog project “My take on”.


 Dean’s Fellowship
 Muslim Studies Fellowship
 Short term GRAF
 Leiden University Thesis Award (cross-disciplinary)
 IlIAS National Master Thesis Price for Asian Studies