I am an anthropologist trained in the UK and Canada. I earned my PhD and Mphil. in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and a BA (first class, joint honours) in Anthropology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from McGill University.
Prior to coming to Laurier in January 2014, I held Postdoctoral Fellowships in Anthropology at the University of Toronto and at the University of São Paulo. My fellowships were funded, respectively, by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).
My teaching has also been shaped by experience in the UK and Canada: I have previously held teaching appointments at the University of Cambridge, the University of Liverpool, Trent University and the University of Toronto.
My research focuses on how social, political and religious life is conditioned by secularity, which refers not to the absence of religion, but to the experience of living with religious pluralism including exclusive secular humanism. I am currently completing a monograph on these themes, titled After Impossibility: Christianity, Marxism and Secularity on a Brazilian Amazonian Frontier. The book draws on my ethnographic work among migrant workers to Brazilian Amazonia, whose popular Christian religiosity (including Afro-Brazilian Spiritist practices) animates and helps problematize their struggle for land, their engagement with secular Marxist politics, as well as their everyday relationships. This project has also resulted in a series of journal articles, both published and forthcoming.
I also maintain ongoing research in the history of anthropology and the study of religion. I have written on post-war British social anthropology and continue to explore its implications for the present-day anthropologies of religion and secularism. In addition, I have also edited a volume of essays in honour of Marilyn Strathern, one of anthropology’s most creative and celebrated scholars of science, law, kinship – and of conceptual and interpersonal relations more generally. This book project, titled Redescribing Relations: Strathernian Conversations on Ethnography, Knowledge and Politics, has inspired a number of articles and informs my ongoing investigations into the past and potential futures of anthropological and historical writing about religion, politics and sociality.
I am currently developing new ethnographic research on the politics of science, Christianity and secularity in Brazil’s Southeastern economic heartland, looking specifically at burgeoning networks of creationist activists and their opponents, especially anti-creationist scientists.
Although my regional specialty lies in Latin America, I welcome working with students interested in Christianity, secularity, African diaspora religions, and politics globally from ethnographic and historical perspectives.
Please follow this link to an up-to-date list of my publications.
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