Children take part in an introductory social anthropology class taught by Lorena Gibson at Talimi Haq School, Howrah | Photo by Lorena Gibson, January 2007
2018 Executive Committee
The Executive acts as the Ethics Committee of the Association.
Chairperson | Professor Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich
Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich is a lecturer in Cultural Anthropology and Head of the School of Social and Cultural Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. She specialises in Migration studies; the history of travel; popular culture and visual anthropology. Brigitte is currently working on a project on academic migration and the global knowledge economy. The project is based on narrative interviews with academic migrants and an analysis of the demands and ideology of a globally connected tertiary education system.
Brigitte is also our current WCAA Representative.
Secretary | Dr Nayantara Sheoran Appleton
Nayantara Sheoran Appleton is a lecturer in the Cultural Anthropology program at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research and teaching interests fall in the fields of anthropology (medical, feminist, and visual), cultural studies, feminist theories, and Science and Technology Studies. She is currently working on a book manuscript, which critically analyzes the implications of shifts in the politics of health and reproduction in liberalized India by focusing particularly on pharmaceutical contraceptives and their marketing to women (and men) within neo-liberal and neo-Malthusian frameworks. Her second project, which was part of her post-doctoral research, extends her engagement with bio-medically promoted regenerative medicine and burgeoning biotechnologies. In particular, she is interested in the ‘ethics of governance, and governance of ethics’ around stem cell research and therapies in India. Having worked in medical spaces, she’s interested in how anthropological methodologies are employed by social-scientists to generate data and a robust understanding of the culture(s) of contemporary medical sciences.
Treasurer | Dr Caroline Thomas
Caroline Thomas is semi-retired. Her speciality is the history of anthropology with a special focus on the development of anthropology as a discipline in New Zealand from 1860 to the present day. She is currently developing a bibliography of Social Anthropology theses at New Zealand Universities.
SITES: Chair of Editorial Board | Associate Professor Ruth Fitzgerald
Ruth Fitzgerald is a medical anthropologist and lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Otago. Her research interests are diverse but reflect her central interests: ideologies in health, care, inequalities in health care provision and moral reasoning. Her work draws its inspiration from a deep commitment to the study of health and illness in its social and political context.
Ethics Committee Chair | Associate Professor Jeffrey Sluka
Jeff Sluka is a political anthropologist and lecturer in Social Anthropology at Massey University, Palmerston North. Jeff has conducted extensive fieldwork in Northern Ireland. His PhD dissertation at Berkeley, subsequently published as a book in 1989, was on popular support for the Irish Republican Army and Irish National Liberation Army in Divis Flats, a Catholic-nationalist ghetto on the Falls Road in Belfast. Since then he has researched and written about various aspects of the cultures of state terror and anti-state resistance in Northern Ireland, including Loyalist death squads and the current the peace process. Jeff has written about losing hearts and minds in the 'wars on terror' in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond (including Aotearoa/New Zealand) and the civilian casualties caused by the use of unmanned aerial drones.
IUAES Representative | Dr Graeme MacRae
Graeme MacRae is a senior lecturer in Social Anthropology at Massey University's Albany campus. His research is at the intersections of human society/culture with environment/ecologies by way of technological interventions, such as architecture/urban design/landscape, agriculture, waste management, disaster recovery. He works mostly in Indonesia (especially Bali) but also in India.
Graeme is also our current Massey University (Albany) Campus Representative.
Kākano Fund Chairperson | Dr Barbara Andersen
Postgraduate Student Representative | Jacinta Forde
Jacinta Forde is a post-graduate student in the Anthropology programme at the University of Waikato. Her Masters looked at the contradictory effects that globalisation and ideas of development have on the people of Tonga, particularly in respect to their understandings of health and how they negotiate the relationship between tradition and modernity. In 2017 she started her PhD which relates to a larger environmental based research project on the influence of auhumoana tawhito (ancient aquaculture) on toheroa and explores the important role toheroa have today for Māori.
Anthropologists Outside Academia Representative | Dr Patricia Laing
Tricia Laing has worked in both the university and government sectors. She has published in the areas of Māori and Pacific traditional healing, health services research, social housing and research methods. In recent years she has worked as a senior research and evaluation analyst for Housing New Zealand Corporation, where she has designed, commissioned and managed evaluations of the Community Renewal, Healthy Housing and Rural Housing programmes, and the Housing Innovation Fund. Tricia has managed an Economic Analysis of Housing Interventions and the Future Scenarios of Social Housing project. Her most recent project involved leading a longitudinal study of Housing New Zealand applicants and tenants and participating in a cross-departmental research project on housing energy affordability.
Auckland University of Technology Campus Representative |
Associate Professor Sharyn Graham Davies
Sharyn Davies lectures in the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy at the Auckland University of Technology. As an Asian Studies scholar and anthropologist her most significant contribution to knowledge revolves around rethinking ways in which gender operates in the Indonesian archipelago, and she has published two monographs on this topic. Sharyn's recent research has incorporated surveillance, social media, and policing. Along with John Buttle and Adrianus Meliala, she is exploring police corruption, the influence of foreign donors on the police service, public perceptions of police, gender and policing, and the applicability of a procedural justice model of policing in Indonesia.
Massey University (Manawatu) Campus Representative |
Dr Trisia Farrelly
Trisia Farrelly is a senior lecturer in Social Anthropology at Massey University's Manawatu campus. Her research interests include community-based development; protected area management; conservation; Indigenous Fijian epistemologies and methodologies, development, indigenous Fijian micropolitics, governance, and entrepreneurship; socio-cultural analyses of waste minimisation; informal economies; collective memory work; Pacific Islands waste management.
Royal Society Representative | Dr Graeme Whimp
University of Auckland Campus Representative |
Associate Professor Susanna Trnka
Susanna Trnka is associate professor of anthropology at The University of Auckland. As a social and medical anthropologist, her primary research areas are the body, citizenship, and subjectivity. Her specific interests include embodiment; illness experience; new medical technologies; patient-doctor communication; political violence; history, memory, and the senses; and childhood. She has long-standing research interests in Fiji and in the Czech Republic and also conducts fieldwork in New Zealand. For the past five years, Susanna has been examining the politics of childhood asthma in New Zealand and the Czech Republic. Supported in part by a grant from the New Zealand Asthma Foundation, she has conducted a cross-cultural comparison of how neoliberal reforms are redefining patienthood - in particular, how we allocate personal and collective responsibility over health, care, and the environment - and the effects of these changes on children’s health and wellbeing. Her book on this topic, One Blue Child: Asthma, Responsibility, and the Politics of Global Health, was published by Stanford University Press in 2017. Now that this project has concluded, Susanna is embarking on two new lines of research: the first focuses on young people’s use of health apps and the second on air pollution, policy, and childhood respiratory health.
University of Canterbury Campus Representative |
Dr Piers Locke
Piers Locke is a social anthropologist interested in posthumanist philosophy, multispecies ethnography, and other forms of more-than-human research in the humanities and social sciences. He lectures in anthropology at the University of Canterbury. Piers has been conducting historical and ethnographic research on captive elephant management in Chitwan, Nepal since 2001. This research raises issues in; apprenticeship learning and expert knowledge, practice and identity in total institutions, human-animal intimacies and the ritual veneration of elephants, and the role of captive elephant management in nature tourism, protected area management and biodiversity conservation. Piers has also applied his interest in occupational communities to an additional research project on the career biographies of anthropologists and their changing experiences of academic life.
University of Otago Campus Representative |
Molly George is a Research Fellow at the University of Otago. She is currently working on the Moe Kitenga project which is investigating sleep in Māori whanau with children under 5. She graduates with her PhD from Otago’s social anthropology programme on 19 August 2017. Her PhD research focused on older New Zealanders’ responses to the significant increase in diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand during their lifetimes. Her research interests include: Ageing and the lifecourse, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, immigration and experiences of “home”.
University of Waikato Campus Representative |
Dr Fiona McCormack
Fiona McCormack is a lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Waikato. While she did her anthropology undergraduate studies in UCL, London, Fiona's graduate training is firmly grounded in New Zealand. Her research interests include economic and environmental anthropology, fisheries and indigeneity, though she recently branched out and published a reflective piece on Northern Ireland, her place of birth.
Victoria University of Wellington Campus Representative |
Dr Catherine Trundle
Catherine Trundle is a senior lecturer and Head of the Cultural Anthropology Programme at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research centres on the politics of inclusion and exclusion, citizenship and intersubjective ethics. She has interests in: medical anthropology and science and technology; charity, humanitarianism and volunteering; militarism; aging; the ethics of responsibility, compassion, and detachment; contested illness and environmental health; and political anthropology. Since 2009, she has been researching military veterans’ claims for healthcare and the politics of recognition and responsibility. Specifically, she is examining New Zealand and British nuclear test veterans who are currently seeking state recognition, increased healthcare entitlements, and compensation for ill health, which they attribute to radiation exposure. Through this project Catherine is engaging with medical anthropological ideas of contested illness, exposure, risk, proof, in/visibility and uncertainty. Thanks to a Royal Society Marsden grant, she is exploring the ideals and practices of Military Citizenship, a term she uses to encapsulate they ways in which veterans make claims on the state.
Social Media Manager | Dr Lorena Gibson
Lorena Gibson is a lecturer in Cultural Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington who specializes in the anthropology of development with an area focus on Melanesia and South Asia. Her research focuses on processes of development and social change, how social actors relate to the future, the politics of hope and agency in vulnerable urban spaces, gender relations, and creative artistic practices. Her current research explores the transformative potential of Sistema-inspired music education programmes operating in low decile schools in urban Wellington.