Research in Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology's research is of international quality and is funded by a wide range of external grants. We use collaborative ways of working and are committed to extending the scope of anthropological research in innovative ways. A coherent set of research themes underpin our work:

Anthropology of the North

Since its founding in 2003 the Department has been a focus internationally for the Anthropology of the North, involving the Nordic and Baltic countries, northern Russia, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and Alaska together with their links to north east Scotland.

Environment, creativity and perception

Our approach to environmental anthropology is varied and innovative, stretching from fundamental questions of perception and cross-species relations to the nitty-gritty of land rights, mobility, and environmental contestations. A key emphasis in our research is that people both live in and respond to their environments with creativity. 

Religion, politics and the state

The Department’s research in religion is wide-ranging, but has a particular focus on Buddhism, Islam, shamanism, and the theme of death, embodiment and the person. It also covers ritual theory, cosmology and myth, moral subjectivity, and evolutionary theories of religion.

Museums and histories of science

We carry out research in museum anthropology, historical anthropology, heritage studies, and histories of science and technology. The University's own ethnographic museum collections provide extensive research opportunities.

Anthropology of art and craft

Our anthropological studies of art and craft have developed through work in 'traditional' anthropological settings of indigenous art and also studies of - and with - digital media, contemporary art, and the revival of craft skills.

You can also view a list of research interests of individual members of staff.