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Professor Hastings Donnan

BA (QUB), DPhil  (Sussex), FBA, MRIA, AcSS

Professor of Social Anthropology

Director of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice

Phone : + 44 (0) 28 9097 3284

Office: 19.01.003, 19 University Square

Hastings Donnan is Director of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice and co-Director of the Centre for International Borders Research. He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Academy for Social Sciences and chairs the Anthropology and Development Studies subpanel for the UK’s Research Excellence Framework 2014. Prof Donnan was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2013.


Research Interests

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, and worked for extended periods with 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.

He has published more than twenty books and serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals.  His research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Irish Higher Education Authority and the EU’s FP4 and FP7 programmes.

Select Publications

A Companion to Border Studies (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) (with T. M. Wilson) [link]

The Anthropology of Sex (Oxford: Berg, 2010) (with F. Magowan) [link]

Borderlands: Ethnographic Approaches to Security, Power and Identity (with T. M. Wilson) (Lanham MD: University Press of America, 2010)

'Cold war along the emerald curtain: Rural boundaries in a contested border zone', Social Anthropology, 18:3 (2010)

Transgressive Sex: Subversion and Control in Erotic Encounters (with F. Magowan) (Oxford: Berghahn, 2009) [link]

The Anthropology of Ireland (Oxford: Berg, 2006) (with T.M. Wilson)

‘Material identities: Fixing ethnicity in the Irish borderlands’, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 12 (1): 69-105 (2005)

Culture and Power at the Edges of the State: National Support and Subversion in European Borderlands (Ed.)(Münster: Lit Verlag, 2005) (T.M. Wilson).

Interpreting Islam (Ed.) (London: Sage, 2002).

Borders: Frontiers of Identity, Nation and State  (Oxford: Berg, 1999, 2001) (T.M. Wilson).

Entry on PURE research portal

Relevant Website Addresses

Centre for International Borders Research

Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice