Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Elizabeth Hallam is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen, and a Research Associate in the School of Anthropology, University of Oxford. She joined the department in 2002 as a Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology. She has a BA and a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent and was Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex (1994-96). She joined the University of Aberdeen in 1996 as Lecturer in Cultural History and was Director of Cultural History (1998-2002). Her research and publications focus on anthropology and history; the historical anthropology of the body; death and dying; visual and material cultures; histories of collecting and museums; anthropology of anatomy. She has conducted archival and museum-based research and fieldwork in England and Scotland and is also involved in collaborative museum, exhibition and digital imaging projects.
Anthropology and history; textual and visual representations; historical anthropology of the body; death and dying; material and visual cultures; histories of collecting and museums; anthropology of anatomy.
Elizabeth Hallam's current research is in two main areas: the historical anthropology of the body; material and visual cultures. Developing research in these areas she is exploring museums, archives and other related settings as fieldsites, and tracing relationships between written texts, visual images and material objects.
Her work in this area has analysed perceptions of the body from the sixteenth century onwards in relation to death and dying, popular discourses of morality and transgression, processes of memory making and memorialisation. Her recent work is concerned with relationships between the human body and material artefacts in museums of anatomy and of anthropology.She is currently writing a cultural history of the body for Polity.
Her research in archives, museums and other collections has drawn upon written texts, printed images, photographs and material objects to explore cultural representations and bodily practices in various historical contexts.
Her current anthropological and historical research in anatomy museums explores the material and visual cultures of anatomy mainly from the nineteenth century to the present day. It traces the formation of collections and displays of the body; changing patterns of anatomical exhibiting; historical relationships between practices of anatomy and of anthropology; how anatomy museums inform the anatomical imagination; relationships between the tactile and the visual in contemporary uses of anatomy museums.
She is also devising and participating in collaborative museum, exhibition and web projects. These projects include:
Working with a photographer and anatomists, this project involves digital photography of anatomical models and the creation of a visual research website. It draws upon a collection of anatomical models, from c.1870 to the present day held in the Anatomy Museum, University of Aberdeen. The project analyses the social and cultural processes of modelling and making in anatomical practices since the mid-nineteenth century. It explores the rendering and visualisation of the body in the form of material models and two-dimensional images in historical and contemporary contexts.
This project explores relationships between visual images and material objects in processes of collecting and display associated with anthropology in the early twentieth century. The project will digitise stereoscopic photographs and create a website of related materials from Marischal Anthropological Museum, University of Aberdeen. The project is concerned with three-dimensional imaging in historical contexts and its potential in developing present-day understandings, interpretations and uses of anthropological collections.
Elizabeth Hallam was an academic partner in this collaborative project with art historians, historians of science, museum curators and a photographer. The project created a web accessible virtual museum and searchable database of material objects and images from Marischal Anthropological Museum, University of Aberdeen.
The ASA Conference 2005 was organised by Tim Ingold and Elizabeth Hallam, and the edited book on this theme was published by Berg, 2007.
An associated exhibition, 'Fieldnotes and Sketchbooks', curated by Wendy Gunn formed the basis of a collaborative book by the exhibition's contributors, published in 2009.