Anthropology at Newcastle University is a thriving group of colleagues working within a Sociology subject area and as part of the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology. Anthropology has a long history at Newcastle, taught and studied here since 1948, and today is a grouping of seven members of staff (Mwenza Blell, Emma Clavering, Cathrine Degnen, Anselma Gallinat, Grit Wesser, Sarah Winkler-Reid and Deniz Yonucu [joining us in September 2021]
Our work represents a wide slice of contemporary anthropological issues and perspectives, including social, cultural, historical, political and medical anthropology; and a wide array of empirical topics including belonging and identity; post-socialism; youth; older age; urban studies; capitalism, governance and nationalism; kinship and gender; health and data technologies; race and reproduction; counterinsurgency and policing.
We have clustered expertise around social memory, pasts, presents and futures (Gallinat, Wesser, Degnen, Yonucu); the life course and personhood (Degnen, Wesser, Winkler-Reid); genomics and genetics (Blell, Clavering, Degnen); and governance, control and resistance (Gallinat, Yonucu, Wesser). Many of us work in interdisciplinary ways, including across the fields of geography, social gerontology, sociology, science and technology studies, bioethics, public health, history, and memory studies. We have experience of ethnographic fieldwork with wide geographical reach, including the Anthropology of Europe with fieldsites in Britain, Finland, and Germany, as well as further afield in Latin America, South Asia, East Africa, and the Middle East.
Anthropology at Newcastle is taught across all three stages of the undergraduate Sociology and Politics and Sociology degree programmes, as well as being incorporated into PGT and PGR provision. Modules that we teach include a first-year introduction to Anthropology called Comparing Cultures, and a number of optional specialist modules in stages two and three including Making People on personhood and the life course, the urban anthropology module Anthropology in the City, the modules Consumer Cultures and the Anthropology of Eastern Europe. At MA level, we cover ethnography as methodology and text, and belonging and identity.
Current research projects include:
2018-2022 'Knowing the Secret Police: Secrecy and knowledge in East German society'. Funded by AHRC, Gallinat, PI.
2018-2022 ‘Frontlines of Value’. Funded by University of Bergen, the Bergen Research Foundation, and the Norwegian Government, Winkler-Reid, CI.
2019-2022 ‘Technology, Ethics and Reproduction: Controversy in the Era of Normalisation’. Funded by the Kone Foundation, Finland, Blell, CI and work package lead for 2 work packages.
2019-2024 ‘EUCAN-Connect: A federated FAIR platform enabling large-scale analysis of high-value cohort data connecting Europe and Canada in personalized health’. Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme, Blell, CI.
2020-2021 ‘Identity, Inequality and the Media in Brexit-Covid-19 Britain’ Funded by UKRI ESRC, Degnen, CI.