Children take part in an introductory social anthropology class taught by Lorena Gibson at Talimi Haq School, Howrah | Photo by Lorena Gibson, January 2007
2017 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 Royal Society 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 and WCAA 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 Benedicta Rousseau
Benedicta Rousseau is a lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Waikato. Her research has covered the areas of colonialism, development and memory; anthropology of roads/infrastructure; affect, personhood and economic engagement in the Pacific; indigeneity and kastom in Vanuatu; indigenous and state political leadership in the Pacific; elections and election campaigning; customary governance in Vanuatu; state and customary law. While Vanuatu remains her primary research site, Benedicta has maintained an interest in the anthropology of social and health policy in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and has published a co-authored article on Maori attitudes to assisted human reproduction. Her current research and writing includes work on mobility, tourism and governance on Malakula; discourses of “resilience” in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Pam; and ongoing considerations of state and indigenous leadership in Vanuatu. Since 2014, she has been involved in research for the Pacific Leadership Program, an initiative of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, conducted in association with La Trobe University.
Benedicta is also our current Waikato University Campus Representative.
Postgraduate Student Representative | Ms Nina Harding
Nina Harding is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at Massey University, Palmerston North. Her PhD explores the process by which the New Zealand Army turns civilians into soldiers. Nina was embedded with a group of new riflemen through the first year and a half of their military careers, from the first day of basic training to their first international peacekeeping deployment.
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.
University of Auckland Campus Representative |
Dr Christine Dureau
Christine Dureau is a senior lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland. She is a historical anthropologist with long-term research interests in religion - particularly Christianity, conversion, vernacularization and missionary culture - gender, memory and colonial cultures. Her research has been primarily focused on the cultural and religious history of the New Georgia Group, Western Solomon Islands and on the Australian and New Zealand Methodist Mission to the Western Solomons 1903-68.
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 |
Associate Professor Jacqui Leckie
Jacqui Leckie is a lecturer in Otago University's Department of Anthropology and Archaeology. Her research focuses on anthropology, history and development studies within the South Pacific and South Asia, especially gender, ethnicity, power, diaspora. Current research projects include the Indian diaspora to the South Pacific; ‘Mothers’ Darlings’ Children of indigenous women and World War Two American servicemen in New Zealand and South Pacific societies; and the history of ‘madness’ and colonial psychiatry in Fiji.
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.