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  • Level 2 North Wing
  • Australian Hearing Hub Macquarie University
  • NSW 2109
  • T: +61 (2) 9850 8077

Understand human life through many contexts

The Department of Anthropology sympathetically explores the issues concerning diverse peoples of this planet.

Anthropology at Macquarie can be thought of most generally as the study of humans' production of meanings, including those meanings produced by anthropologists themselves. This includes ethnographies of course, but also social theories.

graffiti of two fists on corrugated iron

Ultimately, the producers of meanings are people. However people also create powerful institutions, practices, religions, places, social relations, histories (stories) and technologies that in their own domains are similarly manufacturers of meaning. Like the sorcerer’s apprentice, humans are not necessarily in control of their own makings, nor obviously of the creations of others: they wrestle with them and the new worlds these creations themselves produce; they seek to speak back to them even as the things they make speak through them; they give their allegiance to their take on the world while insisting upon their own personal emphases.

The gleaning of meaning done by members of the department is necessarily a reflexive and political process. How does the ethnographer represent and position themself as the interpreter of other peoples’ meanings, even they are transformed through the fieldwork and research encounter?

Our staff research a range of challenging and exciting topics, including:

  • the use of new reproductive technologies in Egypt
  • how economic development and people migrating to find work in Southeast Asia affect disease transmission
  • the effects of Native Title on the Indigenous people who are left out
  • rural women’s experiences of life changes and motherhood in India
  • sufism and musical practice in Turkey
  • dreams and emotions in Mexico
  • money or the lack of it in Africa
  • novel developments in Christianity in the Solomon Islands
  • martial arts and their transformation of embodied perception
  • Muslim lives in Europe
  • urban activism in Istanbul
  • Marian pilgrimage in PNG.

These are just a few of staff research projects. See more detailed information about our people.

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Last updated: 17 Dec 2019