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Dr Karen Lane

Lecturer and Evening Degree Coordinator

Email: kll5@st-andrews.ac.uk

Phone: (01334 46) 1968

Office: Room 48, United College

Office hours: By appointment


Karen Lane’s ethnographic research in 2014 was in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and with ex-pats from Belfast living in London. She is interested in exploring to what extent people’s ordinary and everyday lives transcend the Troubles, the conflict in Northern Ireland from 1968 to 1998, and how geographical and temporal distance affects those representations. The Troubles have, to a large extent, become a defining discursive feature of representations of the city, including academic analysis. Meanwhile, anthropology has traditionally accorded less epistemological weight to fleeting and superficial encounters with strangers, but this mode of sociality is a central feature of life in the city, relationships that the modern stranger navigates with relative ease. Lane explores these research interests through a wide variety of methods and analytical tropes: storytelling, theatre, flâneurie, using fictional literature as ethnographic data, and human-animal interactions. Lane developed an innovative research method where her dog, Torridon, worked as her research assistant, increasing engagements with strangers and prompting stories that otherwise would not be told, or told so easily, to an anthropologist alone.

Research information

Research Interests

Urban anthropology, literary anthropology, anthrozoology, anthropology of performance and the senses, ethnographic writing.



Selected publications

Lane, K. 2015. Canine Connections: working with a dog as a research assistant. Anthropology in Action, 22 (3), 27-38.

(submitted/under review) Not-the-Troubles: disinterring the marginalised stories of the ordinary and the everyday.



Anthropology of global social issues, urban anthropology, introduction to anthropology, current research in anthropology, ethnographic project, anthropology courses and lectures for St Andrews Open Association.

SA1901 An Introduction to Anthropology

SA 3902 Anthropology of Global Social Issues

SA2901 Anthropology in Today’s World

SA3903 City Life: From Ur to Athens to Motown