The Anthropology Department has research strengths in a number of core areas of socio-cultural anthropology. Special areas of expertise include medical anthropology covering global health, infectious disease, reproductive and sexual health and psychological anthropology. A second overarching theme of staff research covers religion studies, in particular Islam and new religious formations. A third area of expertise is development studies and the social impact of globalising economic formations, mobility and migration, human rights, and new social movements. A further area of research interest is phenomenology, embodied experience and the anthropology of emotion.

Since our founding under the late Professor Chandra Jayawardena, the Department of Anthropology at Macquarie University has maintained a broad international focus, extensive social engagement, concentration on the politics of everyday life, concern about the ethical requirements of anthropology, and an eagerness to innovate. Our staff members are all active as researchers, supporting a wide range of projects, including student research at all levels.The Department maintains a high degree of research support, including funding for HDR students' field research.

Annually, we sponsor a Research Week, when visiting scholars of international stature help us to prepare our students to be competitive professionally and to strengthen our global networks for collaboration. We also support a very active colloquium series.

Medical anthropology

This area of specialty includes global health, infectious disease, as well as reproductive and sexual health. Although a number of our researchers have interest in areas linked to medicine and health, the following researchers concentrate especially on medical anthropology: Aaron Denham | Chris Lyttleton | Kalpana Ram | Lisa Wynn| Kevin Groark

Religion in anthropology

The study of religion in anthropology is a rich tradition, as the confrontation with world religious diversity was one of the historical conditions that helped to create our discipline. In our department, a number of scholars study contemporary religion and culture, especially Islam and Christianity in the Pacific. The following scholars are especially active in the study of religion: Gabriele Marranci | Jaap Timmer | Deborah VanHeekeren | Lisa Wynn | Chris Houston

Development, globalisation, political and social issues

Since our founding, the Department of Anthropology has maintained a strong focus on political anthropology and the study of development, as well as support for applied anthropology in a variety of situations. A number of staff work on political, social and development issues around the world and a host of related issues, such as legal plurality, urbanisation, indigenous rights, and human rights. Although virtually all staff recognise political and social issues in their research to some degree, staff that focus especially strongly in this area include: Greg Downey | Chris Houston | Chris Lyttleton | Jaap Timmer | Eve Vincent| Chris Vasantkumar

Psychological and phenomenological anthropology

Human diversity includes variation in perception, experience, cognition, and basic psychological functions, including mental health. Macquarie University's Department of Anthropology is distinctive in Australia because of the concentration of researchers with psychological and phenomenological research interests, in a wide variety of settings. Please contact one of the following researchers if you are interested in the anthropological study of experience, emotion, perception, health, or cognition: Aaron Denham | Greg Downey | Gabriele Marranci | Kalpana Ram | Deborah VanHeekeren| Kevin Groark

HDR research project

Recent doctoral research submissions

Student NameThesis Title
SUMANT BADAMIThe Ant Knows its Way: Paniya negotiations with death, place and belonging
MUHAMMAD BILALAllah's Community: The Interplay of Islam and Everyday Life in Pakistan. An Ethnography of a Rawalpindi Urban Community.
GILLIAN BOWANPaying Guests: Between Kinship and Capital—An Ethnography of Boarding House Residents in Urban South India.
MONICA DALIDOWICZLearning Kathak: Apprenticeship in the Guru-Shishya Parampara
ANTON PIYARATHNE DEEGALLA DURAGEConstructing Commongrounds: Everyday Lifeworlds Beyond Politicised Ethnicities in Sri Lanka.
CAROLINE GRILLOTTrans-frontiers marriages between Vietnamese women and Chinese men.
NIPHATTRA HARITAVORNWhy do they call me Khiya?: Gender and identity construction amongst people injecting drugs in Thailand
JOHANES HERLIJANTOChinese Politics of Development in Post-Cold War Indonesia.
CHARLOTTE KESKIN-JOPPIENCulture of Everyday Politics - Politics of Everyday Culture. An Inquiry Into Municipal Politics in Konya and Eskisehir.
VICTORIA LOBLAYEmbodied Encounters with Reproductive Technologies: Constellations of sexual difference and the boundaries of knowledge in the clinic
YUNXIA LIA "Proper" Cultivation of Akha ?- A Study of Rubber Tree Plantation in China/Loas border area.
CASIMIR MACGREGORIdeologies of the Body: An Ethnography of Biotechnology Governance and Bioethics in Human Embryonic Stem Cell and Cloning Research in Australia.
PAUL MASONFighting for peace of mind: A cross-cultural survey of fight-dancing in Indonesia and Brazil
LINDY MCDOUGALLThe biomagical vulva: a 'clean slit'
DENG RUIDynamics of Social Change and HIV Vulnerability in SW China.
ANUPOM ROYBiomedicine and chronic illness: Insight into the experiences of Bangladeshi sufferers with chronic respiratory illness
DOUANGPHET SAYANOUSOChanging lives: Development and reproductive health amongst the Akha, an Ethnic minority group in Northwest Laos
NILA SHARMABorn to migrate:  South Asian women in Sydney and the convergence of marriage, migration and maternity in shaping their participation in the paid workforce
MICHAELA STOCKEY-BRIDGEFinding hope on the Transnational Surrogacy Trail from Australia to India.
GUY THRELFOThey don't look like refugees: The presentation of "refugeeness" among Liberians in exile
MERRIDEN VARRALLChinese Development Aid in Venezuela
MARISKE WESTENDORP“In the Eye of the Typhoon”: Aspirations of Buddhists and Catholics in Turbulent Hong Kong.
JUAN ZHANGParadoxical perceptions and inchoate identities: Chinese cross-border migration in the Greater-Mekong sub-region

Current doctoral research

Student NameThesis Title
Barr, PhillipaAtmospheres without limits
Bell, LaraBodies through the machines:An Ethnography of Prostrate Cancer and Robot-Assisted Surgery
Casbolt, LucindaBicycle-Body-City: Experiences of Urban Cycling in Copenhagen
Chao, SophieHungry for change: agribusiness land grabs and transformations in food practices and values in West Papua, Indonesia.
Costa, RobertoResistance and Happiness in Melanesian Religious Rituality
Craig, SandraCompleting senses of place: Island identity and negotiating a sustainable future on North Stradbroke Island.
Dabinet, AnmarieRecuperating the 'Disappeared'. Memories and Stories from Argentina and Spain in the Post Dictatorship Era.
Finis, KennethCambodia and intergenerational impact after trauma: The past and the present amongst the post-1979 generation.
Harwood, Max'Man Made': Kemalism, Islam and its effect on Turkish masculinity.
Irving, LisaSecret, shameful and risky pleasures: a comparative study of unmarried Muslims' sexuality and reproductive health in Singapore and Australia.
Keil, PaulHuman-Elephant Entanglements: An ethnographic analysis of mahout-elephant working units mediating human elephant conflict in Assam, North-East India
Lee, Ben(Re)Constructing Selves, (Re) Imagining Futures; Schizophrenia, Self-Narratives, and Theatre in Bangalore, India.
Montalvo Chaves, AngelesDecolonising Art and Media in Madrid and Sydney. The Articulation of political identities in the (in)formal resistance.
Rickson, JosephPractices Of Power And The Politics Of Difference: Jinghpaw Wunpawng (Essence)On The Thai/Burma Border
Scott, DavidPictures in an Exhibition: Art, Agency and the role of Exhibition in Generating Social Discourse
Scott, GwendolynCorporate Australian and Australian government policies regarding Muslim women employees
Wilkoszewski,TomasThe Uyghur Communities in Turkey: Pan-Turkism, Nationalism and Melancholia

Recent theses

Student Name Thesis Title
BOXALL, Fiona The New Age of Corporate Management: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine.'
COHEN, Anjalee Youth Culture in Northern Thailand
DEGER, Jennifer 'Shimmering Screens: Mimesis, Media and a Vision of a Yolngu Aboriginal Modernity'
EVERETT, Kristina 'Impossible Realities: Indigenous and Non-indigenous Relationships in a Sydney Aboriginal Community'
GIBSON, Lorraine Articulating Culture(s): Being Black in Wilcannia
HADDON, Malcolm The Nectar of Translation: Conversion, Mimesis and Cultural Translation in Krishna Consciousness'.
LYNCH, Tim Memories of Ritual Child Abuse in Satanic Cults in Australia
Maud, Jovan The Sacred Borderland: The State, a Buddhist Saint and Transnational Religion in Southern Thailand
MOLLAND, Sverre Economic pleasures and pleasure economies: purchasing sex along the Melcong
MONCHAMP, Anne Marie Memory, Categorization and Language: Cognition and Culture in Bilingual Wallpiri Aboriginal Children
ONNUDOTTIR, Helena Claiming Inheritance Aboriginal People, Native Title and Cultural Heritage: a Story from Dubbo New South Wales
Sakboon, Mukdawan Citizenship and Education as the Basis for National Integration of Ethic Minorities in Northern Thailand
SPENCER, Rochelle 'Encountering Development, Rethinking Tourism: The Convergence of Development and Tourism'
WARDELL, Martina Indigenous Education, Christianity, and Community at Woolaning Homeland Christian College
WISS, Rosemary Tryst Troppo sex, tourism, relationships (Puerto Galera, The Philippines)
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