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Social Anthropology

Finding a supervisor

Our varied research interests allow us to offer postgraduate research supervision in a wide range of topics and regions.

Explore the research expertise of our staff below to match your area of interest to a supervisor.

Dr Rupert Cox

Research areas:

  • The theory and practice of sensory media (visual, aural, material)
  • The intersections of art and anthropology
  • The role of visual technologies(graphic and mechanical) in the history of representations of native peoples
  • The anthropology of sound and the political ecology of military technologies, particularly aircraft
  • Japan, where he has worked particularly on asceticism and the Zen arts, and ideas about copying and the heritage industry

See Rupert's full research profile

Professor Jeanette Edwards

Research areas:

  • Kinship (parenting, personhood, gender, families of ‘choice’, secrets and lies)
  • The anthropology of science and technology (bodies, biotechnology, biomedicine)
  • The politics of social class, community and identity

See Jeanette's full research profile

Dr Gillian Evans

Research areas:

  • Education, childhood and youth
  • Urban anthropology, including gender, youth, 'the street', crime, working class life in the city, urban elites, the state and urban policy, post-industrial regeneration and sporting mega-events
  • The anthropology of Britain including race, class, ethnicity, indigeneity and multiculturalism
  • Phenomenology, materiality, ontology and personhood
  • Regional specialisation: UK

See Gillian's full research profile

Professor John Gledhill

Research areas:

  • Globalisation and transnationalism
  • Politics
  • Social movements and the state
  • Urban and rural poverty
  • Indigenous rights
  • Historical anthropology
  • Regional specialism: Mexico, Central America and Brazil

See John's full research profile

Professor Maia Green

Research areas:

  • Development policy and categories
  • Poverty and destitution
  • East Africa
  • Health seeking behavior and health systems (including 'traditional' healing)

See Maia's full research profile

Professor Penny Harvey

Research areas:

  • Anthropology of science and technology (engineering; infrastructures such as roads, canals, railways; design and construction practices; material relations; experimentation)
  • Ethnographic approaches to state formation, post-colonial politics, neo-liberal regulation and public participation
  • Space and affect – landscape, mobility, environmental controversy, toxic economies
  • The politics of communication (language practice, information technologies, community radio, digital visualisation, exhibitions)
  • Regional specialisations are the Andean region, in Peru, Spain and the UK

See Penny's full research profile

Dr Andrew Irving

Research areas:

  • Death
  • Illness and medical anthropology
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Interior dialogue, memory and imagination
  • Visual, sensory and bodily perception
  • The anthropology of time
  • Art, performance and aesthetics
  • Experimental methods and collaborative anthropology
  • Existential and phenomenological anthropology
  • Urban anthropology and spatial perception
  • Regional specialisations: East Africa and New York City

See Andrew's full research profile

Dr Stef Jansen

Research areas:

  • Hope, 'normality' and political-economic change, especially post-socialist transformations (yearnings, expectation, despair, planning, imagined futures)
  • Anthropology of the state (state effects, borders, hegemony, resistance and compliance, senses of entitlement, ideology, cynicism, socialism and neoliberalisation)
  • Home-making and place (displacement, entrapment, 'ethnic cleansing', the (im)possibility to cross borders)
  • Everyday configurations of nationality and belonging
  • Memory (remembering and forgetting, remembered normality, nostalgia)
  • Regional specialism: post-Yugoslav states and other postsocialist states

See Stef's full research profile

Dr Petra Tjitske Kalshoven

Research areas:

  • Practices of play, imitation, illusion, and simulation as transformative forces in social life
  • Identity play and cultural appropriation in transnational settings
  • Conceptions of indigeneity
  • Materiality
  • Material culture and human-thing relationships
  • Anthropology of landscape and art
  • Skill and knowledge production
  • Ecological anthropology
  • Human - non-human animal relations
  • Anthropology of the senses

See Petra's full research profile

Dr Michelle Obeid

Research areas:

  • Social change
  • Agender and kinship
  • The anthropology of political processes (elections, the state, borders, legality) and livelihoods
  • Regional specialisation: the Middle East and Arab speaking populations

See Michelle's full research profile

Dr Madeleine Reeves

Research areas:

  • The anthropology of socialism and postsocialism
  • Political anthropology
  • Sovereignty, the state, and experiences of state "failure"
  • Emotion and affect
  • Borders and bordering
  • Transnationalism and experiences of im/mobility
  • The history of Russian and Soviet anthropology
  • Regional specialisations: Central Asia and Russia

See Madeleine's full research profile

Dr Tony Simpson

Research areas:

  • Identity
  • Education
  • Christianity
  • Missionaries
  • Religious conversion
  • Medical anthropology
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Death
  • Masculinities
  • Childhood

See Tony's full research profile

Dr Katherine Smith

Research areas:

  • Fairness and equality
  • Social class
  • Englishness
  • Belonging
  • Policy and the state
  • Political correctness
  • Democracy and democratic participation
  • Humour and joking relationships
  • Anthropology of moralities
  • Anthropology of Britain

See Katherine's full research profile

Professor Karen Sykes

Research areas:

  • Social reconstruction and theories of society
  • The anthropology of knowledge
  • Aesthetics
  • Ethics
  • Intergenerational relations and property relations

See Karen's full research profile

Dr Angela De Souza Torresan

Research areas:

  • Studies of favela (slums)
  • Securitisation/pacification/violence
  • Urban anthropology
  • Economic morality of material practices
  • Visual anthropology
  • Ethnographic cinema
  • Migration studies/transnationalism
  • Brazilian international migration

See Angela's full research profile

Dr Olga Ulturgasheva

Research areas:

  • Social change
  • Personhood
  • Shamanic and animist cosmologies
  • Resilience
  • Climate change and environmental transformations
  • Place, locality and displacement
  • Human-animal relations
  • Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Socialisation
  • Memory
  • Post-socialism
  • Legacy of the Soviet Gulag
  • Regional specialisation: Siberia, Alaska, Circumpolar North

See Olga's full research profile

Dr Soumhya Venkatesan

Research areas:

  • Art and craft
  • Weaving
  • Islam
  • Development
  • Description and representation
  • Material culture
  • Regional expertise: South Asia, especially India, and Uzbekistan

See Soumhya's full research profile

Professor Peter Wade

Research areas:

  • Blackness and racial identity in Latin America (and the Caribbean)
  • Ethnic social movements in Latin America
  • Constructs of nature, biology and culture in racial identity
  • Genomics, genetics and race
  • Ideologies of race, gender, sexuality and nation
  • Popular music and identity (in Latin America and the Latino diaspora)

See Peter's full research profile

Dr Chika Watanabe

Research areas:

  • Development
  • Humanitarianism
  • NGOs
  • Questions of the secular, and relatedly, religion (especially in Asia)
  • Ethics and morality
  • Sustainability, the environment, disasters
  • Regional specialisation: Japan, Myanmar

See Chika's full research profile