Some information about me
- PhD in Social Anthropology (Cambridge University, 1981-1985), exploring ethnic relations and ideas about race in Colombia.
- Research Fellowship (Queens' College, Cambridge, 1985- 1988), focusing on black migrants from the Pacific coastal region of Colombia to the city of Medellín, Colombia.
- Lecturer in the University of Liverpool, jointly in the Department of Geography and the Institute of Latin American Studies, 1988-1995.
- Lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, 1995- 2002.
- Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, 2002-.
My interests are in race, ethnicity, nationality, popular culture (especially music), multiculturalism and racial-ethnic social movements. I have pursued these interests mostly in relation to Latin America (especially Colombia), but recently I have focused on more general theoretical discussions of interweaving idioms of nature and culture in racial discourse (Race, Nature and Culture: An Anthropological Perspective, Pluto Press, 2002).
My recent and current research has developed around the way that new genetic technologies mediate the formation of ethnic and racial identities and modes of governance related to such identities and practices and ideologies of multiculturalism.
From January 2010, I have been directing an ESRC-funded project on “Race, genomics and mestizaje (mixture) in Latin America: a comparative approach”, which explores how categories of race, ethnicity and nation become woven into biological research on the genetic bases of complex disorders. For more details, see http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/disciplines/socialanthropology/research/rgm/.
This project builds on my experience with an earlier project (2001-4) on: "Public Understanding of Genetics: a cross-cultural and ethnographic study of the relationship between 'new genetics' and social identity" (http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/pug/). This project examined how new developments in genetics and associated new knowledge about genetics are (or are not) shaping the ideas and practices of different publics with regard to kinship and reproduction, race/ethnicity/nation and food (especially GMOs). The project was directed from Manchester and involved teams in seven EU countries. I directed two sub-projects that focused on issues of race, ethnicity, nationality and genetics in Europe.
I have also worked recently on themes of race and sexuality in Latin America. I won a British Academy award which supported two bi-lateral international seminars (see http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/disciplines/socialanthropolog...) between Colombia (specifically the Universidad del Valle) and the UK (Manchester) which focused on this theme (and also involved Brazilian scholars). A volume arising from these seminars was published in Colombia in 2008, Raza, etnicidad y sexualidades: ciudadanía y multiculturalismo en América latina (co-edited with Fernando Urrea and Mara Viveros). I have also published a book called Race and Sex in Latin America (Pluto Press, 2009).
Refereed Journal Papers
Infrastructures of Social Change
This ESRC-funded project on “Race, genomics and mestizaje (mixture) in Latin America: a comparative approach” started in January 2010. It is a comparative analysis of how ideas of race and...