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Anthropology and Ethnomusicology Cluster

Anthropology and Ethnomusicology form a single research cluster with integral links to the Institute for the study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, the Institute of Irish Studies and the Institute¬†of Cognition and Culture. Key strengths of the cluster are the Borders and Conflict Transformation; Performance and Emotion; Anthropology of Ireland; and Cognition and Culture.

  1. Borders and Conflict Transformation: The newly formed Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice directed by Professor Hastings Donnan provides an international research arena for 3 senior fellows and 5 research fellows to examine social justice issues and sustainable processes of conflict transformation leading to peace which intersects with ongoing anthropological research on migration and emotion.
  2. Performance and Emotion: Performance research on the social, religious and aesthetic dimensions of music and dance comprises a core element in the scholarship of both Anthropology and Ethnomusicology. Social Anthropology was established as a discipline in 1962 by Estyn Evans, and it became a department in 1973 under the anthropological and ethnomusicological expertise of John Blacking. Contemporary work includes dance and movement therapy, music and religion, intangible cultural heritage and aesthetics and globalisation.
  3. Anthropology of Ireland: Research across Ireland forms the basis of contemporary work carried out within the Unit. Scholars in Anthropology and Irish Studies address issues of policy, symbolism, ritual, urban space and conflict, community and identities.  Since 1987, the Institute of Irish Studies has provided the opportunity for graduates to undertake interdisciplinary study in conjunction with disciplines in the Arts Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Cognition and Culture: The Institute of Cognition and Culture (ICC) is one of the world's first centres for research in cognition and culture established in 2004. This is a burgeoning interdisciplinary field in which scholars seek to explain patterns of cultural stability and variation utilizing theories and methods of the cognitive and evolutionary sciences.

 Dr. Evropi Chatzipanagiotidou

Her research interests lie at the study of ethnicity, nationalism and anti-nationalism, peace activism, social memory and politics in conflict affected contexts. Her doctoral work, based on long-term fieldwork between 2006 and 2008 in London and Cyprus thematically contributes to political anthropology, migration and diaspora studies and the anthropology of activism through a multi-sited ethnographic study of the political connections between the Cypriot diaspora in the UK and Cyprus. It also makes contributions to the anthropology of technology through the study of the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the field of peace activism. Material from this work has been recently published in an edited volume on the politics of memory in Cyprus (edited by Y. Papadakis and R. Bryant) and Evropi is currently in the process of turning her doctoral work into a book manuscript.

 Professor Hastings Donnan

His research focuses on the comparative study of borders that have experienced conflict, violence and war and on related issues of trauma, memory and displacement, exploring how the intersections of identity and power at state borders challenge, subvert or support the policies emanating from the state and from supra-national bodies. He carried out long-term residential field research at Pakistan’s borders with Afghanistan and Kashmir, as well as at the Irish land border, interviewing a range of people including perpetrators and victims of violence, politicians, police and military personnel as well as pro-state militias and armed anti-state activists. His interest in border crossings, transitions and transgressions has also informed his research in other fields, including projects on ‘the senses, driving, walking and risk’ and on sexual subjectivities.

Professor Lisette Josephides 

My current research straddles anthropology and philosophy. It is best exemplified in the title of my 2009 lectures for the Oslo Postgraduate Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies: Thinking Philosophically in Anthropology: Approaches to the Self, Morality and Cosmopolitanism. I seek to develop a philosophical anthropology from a perspective which emphasizes actual social practice. My enquiry into the moral underpinnings of human rights and ideas of cosmopolitanism grounds them in understandings of what it means to be human as exemplified in everyday practices, life experiences, and the moral/legal codes of different societies. I am also preparing for publication two books from two conferences: Cosmopolitanism, Existentialism and Morality: Anthropological Perspectives (with my former PhD student Alex Hall), and (provisionally titled) Recontextualising Anthropological Knowledge: Building on the Work of Marilyn Strathern.  

 Dr. Barbara Karatsioli (Research Fellow ICTSJ)

Received a PhD in Social Anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in 2009 and held the position of temporary lecturer in the post-graduate programme of the Institute d’Etudes Européennes at the University Paris-8. I propose to develop in the Institute two research programmes: The first, related to my PhD thesis, now a forthcoming book in English, Living with the Enemy: Dynamics of Conflict and Peace in Greek and Turkish Cypriot Cohabitations” deals with conflict transformation on the border. The second, “The Right to the City, the Right to the State: Social Justice in War and Peace” examines the relation between conflict transformation and social justice in “conflict and peace zones”. Some of my fieldwork involves research on the Occupy movement in New York, Belfast and Cyprus.

Dr. Alexander Koensler (Research Fellow ICTSJ)

Alexander received a PhD in “Methodologies of Socio-Anthropological Research” (PhD University of Siena, 2009). His research focuses on conflict and social movements in the Israeli Negev desert and Israeli-Palestinian border-zones, where he has carried out extended ethnographic fieldwork. This includes the politics of claims of movements, the potential of non-sectarian, transversal networks and mobilizations, and the role of international actors such as NGOs and/or political tourists in conflicts. His work links recent developments in ethnography with social movement studies, research on ethnic relations and visual anthropology.  

Dr. John Knight 

John Knight has undertaken extensive field research in rural Japan on a range of topics, including migration, forestry, farming, and tourism, on which he has published widely. His main area of research is human-animal relations, including sportive hunting, wildlife pests, and the use of animals in tourism. His most recent field research has been on Japanese monkey parks as sites of primatology and tourism.

Dr. Jonathan Lanman

Dr. Lanman is interested in applying the methods and theories of both social and cognitive anthropology to issues in the study of religion, atheism, morality, and intergroup relations. His DPhil research yielded both a descriptive and explanatory account of atheism in the contemporary West, which he is writing up as a monograph. At present, he is collaborating with anthropologists and psychologists on an ESRC funded project, entitled Ritual, Community, and Conflict, to ascertain the effects of ritual on ingroup cohesion and intergroup relations across a range of contexts.  He is also, along with Co-Principal Investigators Harvey Whitehouse and David Sloan Wilson, working on an interdisciplinary project entitled Religion’s Impact on Human Life:  Integrating Proximate and Ultimate Perspectives, funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

Professor Fiona Magowan, Director of Research 

Fiona Magowan's research interests span issues of movement, music and the senses in anthropology and ethnomusicology. She has conducted fieldwork on religion, ritual and Christianity amongst Yolngu in north east Arnhem Land since 1990 with regular return trips over eighteen years, most recently to research cultural tourism in 2006 and mission history in 2008. Her book, Melodies of Mourning, shortlisted for the 2008 Stanner Award, examines Yolngu sensory awareness of the Northern Territory environment through music and dance, and the emotions produced by women in ritual performance. She has also carried out water development and customary marine tenure consultancies in far north Queensland and north east Arnhem Land. In recent years, she has also worked on senses of musical healing and culture in Northern Ireland and has conducted an ESRC funded project on senses of risk among drivers, pedestrians and other road users.

Dr. Neil Jarman

Neil Jarman has a PhD in anthropology from University College London and has worked extensively on issues associated with the political transition in Northern Ireland over the past 20 years. He has been the director of the Institute for Conflict Research, a not-for-profit, policy orientated research centre, which has been based in Belfast, since 2002. His research interests include the role of the civil society in peacebuilding; vigilantism and the control of violence; public order policing; hate crimes and issues related to migration and cultural diversity.

Dr. Jonathan Skinner 

Montserrat (British Overseas Territory, Eastern Caribbean) and applied anthropology:(tourism, risk, development). For the past ten years, I have pursued intermittent ethnographic research on the island of Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory in the Eastern Caribbean ranging from an examination of ‘Black Irish’ ethnicity and indigenous strategies of resistance to colonialism through the performing arts (calypso, performance poetry, carnival and St Patrick’s Day festivities), the nature of risk, migration, development policy, the public understanding of science (vulcanology), and tourism regeneration. Modern Social Dance: (salsa, jive, ballroom, same-sex; the teaching and learning of dance; fantasy and the imagination in dancing; dancing and health). I held a 3 year QUB University Research Award and a British Academy Award to conduct research comparing salsa and latino migrants and dance tourists in Sacramento and Belfast. In 2006, I was awarded a Lecturer in Industry placement to work with Artfrique dance company in Belfast which is using dance as a peace and reconciliation ‘tool’ between Protestant and Catholic youth.  For this placement, I recorded and participated in a series of dance courses and made a teaching and learning film – ‘Second Degree Dance’ – about apprenticeship and dance student development.  The success of this placement, the film and subsequent 150 page report, resulted in a Graduateship City & Guilds Senior Award in Anthropology, the first to be awarded in Anthropology.

Dr. Paulo Sousa (Acting Director, Institute of Cognition and Culture)

He has participated in many cross-cultural projects and has published numerous articles in the field of cognition and culture. He has also applied an epidemiological approach to the history of ideas of anthropology that has stimulated a major controversy. His research interests focus on folk conceptions of mind, agency and morality, religious representations and kinship relatedness. He is currently writing a book on the folk concept of moral responsibility (in the sense of culpability).

Dr. Maruska Svasek
Svašek’s main research interests include art, material mediation, migration and emotions. In her most recent work she seeks to bring these strands together, exploring mobility and agency of humans, objects and images in an era of intensifying globalization and transnational connectivity.  Previous projects that feed into this work include AHRC-funded work on Migration, Diaspora and Emotions (2007-2009), a CAP-funded project on Transnational Families, Age Progression and Care (2009-2010), and EU Framework 7 funded Euroidentities Research on Transnational Workers, Identity Formation and Emotions (2009-2011). In 2007, Svašek established the Cultural Dynamics and Emotions Network (CDEN) with Dr. Kala Shreen (MOP Vaishnay College for woman, Madras, India). This exciting new Network stimulates international and interdiscipline research on cultural dynamics and emotional processes, and functions as a teaching tool to facilitate local and transnational communication between lecturers and students interested in the study of emotions. To enter the CDEN website click: Cultural Dynamics and Emotions Network. From June 2010 to October 2012, Svašek led the HERA-funded Interdisciplinary Research Project Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement (CIM), a collaboration between Belfast; Manchester Amsterdam Utrecht and Oslo. In the context of CIM, she conducted fieldwork amongst Indians in Tamil Nadu and Northern Ireland, and established the Berghahn Book Series ‘Material Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement’ (co-editor Birgit Meyer). Another major outcome of CIM is an Open University Resource that explores the social lives of specific artefacts (editor Amit Desai)


Dr. Suzel Reily

Suzel Reily has been conducting research on Brazilian musics since the early 1980s. Her main focus has been the musical traditions of southeastern popular catholicism, the topic of her book Voices of the Magi (Chicago 2002), but she has also written about various popular styles, such as bossa nova and musica sertaneja as well as issues pertaining to the development of ethnomusicological research in Brazil, a central concern of her edited volume Brazilian Musics, Brazilian Identities (BJE 2000). She is also interested in the ways ethnomusicologists and anthropologists might use hypermedia, and she has been involved in the construction of a website based on John Blacking's ethnographic material, titled Venda Girls' Initiation Schools, while also overseeing the student-led Music Making in Belfast Project. Her most recent hypermedia venture involved the representation of the Holy Week celebrations in Campanha, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Dr. Marina Roseman

Recipient of the esteemed Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as Fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment of the Humanities, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Foundation, and Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Dr. Roseman is known for her research on music and healing, cosmology and ecology with the Temiars, Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia.  Author of Healing Sounds of the Malaysian Rainforest: Temiar Music and Medicine (U. California, 1991), she also produced the CD Dream Songs and Healing Sounds: In the Rainforests of Malaysia (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 1996) and has published numerous articles in journals, including the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (2007).  She is currently studying how Temiars respond and contribute to global changes and modernity in the realms of dance, movement, music, ritual, and performance, for the book Engaging the Spirits of Modernity (forth.). Most recently, she has consulted with the National Institute of Folklore, Hanoi, Vietnam, and the Vietnam Institute of Culture and Information, and presented for the Chief Minister’s Office of Sabah, Malaysia on issues surrounding tourism and the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage.


Dr. Dominic Bryan (Director, Institute of Irish Studies)

Dr Bryan has developed a research agenda exploring rituals, symbols and memory as they influence identity and social space in Ireland. Much of his early research focused upon Orange parades in Northern Ireland (see Orange Parades: Ritual tradition and Control Pluto Press 2000) but the research now covers a much broader range of rituals and activities including St Patrick’s Day, The Lord Mayor’s Show and Carnival in Belfast. In addition, Dr Bryan has a major four year project looking at the popular flying of flags in Northern Ireland. In November 2001, Dr Bryan and Dr Gill McIntosh (Queen’s University, Belfast) were awarded substantial funding under the ESRC Devolution and Constitutional Change Research Programme to explore attempts to represent or imagine the new political dispensation in Northern Ireland through rituals and symbols. In 2005 Dr Bryan, Prof Sean Connolly and Dr Gill McIntosh won a further major ESRC grant to study of the formation and public expression of identity in Belfast, combining a long term historical study with an anthropological investigation of recent developments. From 2008, a further ESRC/IRCHSS funded project in partnership with Prof. Steve Reicher (St. Andrews University) and Prof. Orla Muldoon and Dr. Clifford Stevenson (University of Limerick) will examine St Patrick’s Day and the commemoration of the Easter Rising in Belfast and Dublin. In all this research Dr Bryan examines the policy implications of the way public space is utilised and how it influences people identity. As such, the outcomes of the research have implications for conflict resolution and understanding why violent conflict has been such a part of Northern Ireland’s recent history and why violence has diminished.