His research interests have focused on the peasantries who live along the waterways of the Amazon river and its tributaries. His monograph, Life on the Amazon looked at questions of peasant social life and their history in the region and beyond. His second monograph, Rebellion on the Amazon, uses archival documents in Brazil, Portugal and Britain to study a peasant insurgency in the Amazon in the 1830s. His wider interests include ethnohistory; ecological anthropology; knowledge in and methodology of the social sciences; the practice of teaching and learning.
I am currently writing a book on the politics and history of religious experience in the Brazilian Amazon from conquest to present day.
2010 Rebellion on the Amazon: The Cabanagem, Race and Popular Culture, 1798-1840. (Latin American Monograph series 95, Cambridge University Press, New York).
2000 Life on the Amazon: The Anthropology of a Brazilian Peasant Village.British Academy/Oxford University Press.
2008 Amazon Peasant Societies in a Changing Environment: Political Ecology, Modernity and Ecology in the Rainforest. (co-edited with Cristina Adams, Rui Murrieta, Walter Neves). Springer, New York.
2007 Ways of Knowing: New Anthropological Approaches Learning and Experience. Berghahn: Oxford.
2004 Some Other Amazonians: Modern Peasantries in History. Co-edited with Stephen Nugent. Institute for the Study of the Americas, London.
2000 The Child in the City: A Case Study in Experimental Anthropology. Co-edited with A. Grimshaw with an Introduction. Prickly Pear Pamphlets: Manchester.
Selection of recent book chapters and journal articles:
2011 ‘The enchantment of food in the Lower Amazon, Brazil’ in Leo Coleman (ed.) Food: Ethnographic Encounters. Berg Publishers: Oxford.
2011 ‘The Lower Amazon as a historical place’, in Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez, Mauro Luis Ruffino, Robin R. Sears, Eduardo S. Brondizio and Christine Padoch (eds), The Amazonian Várzea: The Decade Past and the Decade Ahead. Springer-Verlag and The New York Botanical Garden Press.
2008 ‘O lobisomem entre indios e brancos’, Revista do Instituto dos Estudos Brasileiros no. 47. September, pp. 29-55.
2008. ‘Uma historia dos nomes: A alcunha, o primeiro nome e o apelido no Pará, norte do Brasil’, Etnográfica, vol. 12, no 1, May 2008, 215-235, special issue on ‘Outros nomes, Histórias cruzadas: os nomes de pessoa em português’, João de Pina-Cabral and Susana Viegas (eds).