Jonathan Alderman

PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology

Personal website

My PhD research examines the meaning of autonomy and the good life for the Kallawayas, an indigenous Andean nation in Bolivia. The Kallawayas are one of several indigenous people in Bolivia taking advantage of recent constitutional changes to convert their municipality into an officially recognised indigenous territory, autonomous from the state. My research looks at the meaning of autonomy within the Kallawaya cosmovision, and examines how the Kallawayas have been creating autonomy for themselves in their own social relations with...

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Dr Stephanie Bunn

Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

School web page

I aim to work with field companions to produce material in mutually beneficial ways. We share ideas, time and more. This involves reciprocation, whether gifts, time, help, friendship or pay. Perhaps there is no need to articulate this, it’s about relationships after all. My field companions are my close friends and relatives, that is how it is now. This seems to basically what we do as humans, whether as being in loco parentis for the children of two close field-friends, or reciprocal invitations for field companions to come to the UK.I don’t...

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Andreza De Souza Santos

PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology

My current PhD draws on 15-months fieldwork in Brazil. During that time I lived in Ouro Preto, a city part of a selected group of Brazilian towns that has its colonial architecture preserved, making it a top tourist destination in the country. However, while a fluctuating population of tourists and students live mainly in the historic city centre, permanent residents often build their homes in underprivileged and marginalised areas. Perceptions of zones of exclusion boost the divide between residents and the newcomers, echoing the colonial...

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Dr Paloma Gay y Blasco

Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

School web page

At present I am engaged in two collaborative projects. The first builds on interests and relationships established during long term work with Gitanos (Spanish Gypsies/Roma) in Madrid. With Liria de la Cruz, a Gitana friend and informant since  1992, I am working on a co-authored, reciprocal, egalitarian life history – a book telling how Liria abandoned the Gitano community and started a new life amongst illegal immigrants in Madrid. The text we are attempting is collaborative because both of us decide together what each chapter will be...

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Dr Stavroula Pipyrou

Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

School web page

A significant strand of my research relates to the politics and aesthetics of performance in Greece, Italy and Scotland. More particularly, scholars of Greece have commented on the direct link between staged folk performances and the reproduction of national identity. In this schema, the homogenous repetition of dancing patterns and their precise refashioning are the outcome of a strict schooling of the body to aesthetically reproduce national imagery. Such aesthetic outcomes are based on a top-down visioning and execution of performance...

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Dr Victor Cova

Postdoctoral researcher

My work so far has focused on relations between North American Evangelical missionaries and Indigenous Amazonians (Shuar) in Ecuador. During my fieldwork, I collaborated with a theatre director, Brian Sonia-Wallace, to lead a workshop for young indigenous leaders. Brian Sonia-Wallace is based in LA and uses techniques from Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. The 8-week long workshop had two aims. On the one hand, I had agrees with the indigenous organization (NASHE) to help develop a training and empowerment program for young Shuar...

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Katarzyna Bylow-Antkowiak

Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology

School web page

My PhD project involves an ethnographic study of one of Tibetan Children’s Villages. The campus where I work is located in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas and occupies a unique position in the history and politics of the Tibetan diaspora. My aim is to identify the core aspects of learning as both conceptualized and lived experience within contemporary Tibetan Buddhist education system, derived from one of the oldest wisdom traditions in the world and crystallizing within a modern nation-state Asia. Through ethnographic material I want...

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Arran Calvert

PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology

My project aims to understand the dynamics of change between Durham Cathedral and its community. Exploring the manner in which the relationships that exist between the community and the building have transformed over time and the effect these changes have had on both community and building. My interest in collaboration came after I returned to Durham Cathedral to give a series of seminars regarding aspects of my research. Over the course of the seminars, a number of informants attended and became involved in the discussions and engaging with...

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Sara Friend

Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology

School web page

Collaboration was a buzzword for many of the people I worked with in the renewables industry during my PhD fieldwork in Orkney. While I do not intend to focus heavily on this ethnographic theme in my thesis, I did try to draw it into my methodology while I was in the field. This collaboration was mostly informal: I would let what my informants were saying and what I was observing guide my subsequent research, following up on comments and stories with other informants where and when applicable. In a more formal use of collaboration, I held a...

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Robin Irvine

Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology

School web page

My doctoral fieldwork centres on an Andalusian bull-breeding estate called Partido de Resina. Beyond the estate, through the people who work or have worked with the pabloromero fighting bulls I’m also investigating small town life in Sevilla, which is a seat of tradition with regard to horsemanship and pilgrimage. For me collaboration in the writing-up process is a natural extension of everyday collaboration in the field. Working in a hands-on way with fighting bulls means not only co-ordinating with vets, foremen and experienced...

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Jonatan Kurzwelly

Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology

School web page

During my PhD research in Nueva Germania, Paraguay, I have been using participatory photography as one of my key methods of enquiry. Instead of photographing myself or telling the stories of the people I work with, I gave out digital cameras and asked research participants to tell the stories they consider important. Sometimes it took only a few days, sometimes months for the participants to finish their accounts. Free to work as they thought adequate, with my influence limited to technical help, a number of very interesting stories has been...

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Adom Philogene Heron

PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology

My research took me to the Eastern Caribbean Island of Dominica where I explored the kinship and family lives of men. Departing the narrow optics of the matrifocal gate-keeping concept, my work aims to interrogate notions of male marginality vis a vis family life. Early on I met Scratchie, or ‘Old School’ as his young male peers call him – ‘a man who pass plenty life already’, so they told me. We quickly became friends. Scratchie was keen to share his story with me; and for me to share it with others. In the five years preceding to my arrival...

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