Christopher Davis

Christopher Davis is an anthropologist recently retired after many years teaching, first at the University of Michigan and then at SOAS. Her formative research was among the Tabwa living along Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has been the foundation for her perspectives on and teaching of both general and medical anthropology as well as her approach to social theory. Her book, Death in Abeyance, was based on this research and won the RAI’s Wellcome Medal for Anthropology as Applied to Medical Problems. Other projects have concerned the emergence of niche perfumery in the context of social media, and the complex interspecies relationships linking human beings and wolves.

For a number of years, she was also involved in the production of documentaries for television through her company, Blackstone Pictures. One film, “Rwanda – the Betrayal” won the Amnesty International UK Media award for best television documentary. More recently, she has been a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s flagship arts & cultural events programme, Saturday Review, and has also made occasional contributions to other BBC radio arts programmes.

Dolores Martinez

Departmental Lecturer for Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology

The research for my Oxford DPhil was with Japanese diving women (ama, women who dive for shellfish and seaweed) and fishermen in Mie Prefecture. Kuzaki, the village in which I worked, still functioned as a sacred guild (kambe) for Ise Shrine, the most sacred Shinto Shrine in Japan. This combination of occupation and religious life required me to begin thinking about religion in Japan as well as the broader context of religion in modern societies; while also considering the importance of age and gender in organising religious events and village life, all under the general umbrella of maritime anthropology! Kuzaki also was part of the domestic tourism boom that was important in 1980s Japan, and for several years I wrote about and taught the anthropology of tourism, as well as on Japanese culture and society, and general anthropological theory at SOAS.

Subsequent periods in Japan have been spent working on various aspects of Japanese popular culture. I have more recently published on various areas to do with the anthropology of mass media: Remaking Kurosawa in 2009; (as editor) Documenting the Beijing Olympics in 2010and (as co-editor) Football: from England to the World in 2009.  As well as continuing to write and publish on genderreligion and society,  I am hoping to take my media interest in different directions with new research on the anthropology of fear; feminism in science fiction films and thinking about the mediatization of science in the mass media.

Beate Engelbrecht

Beate Engelbrecht studied in anthropology, sociology and economics. She worked in the Museum der Kulturen Basel and taught anthropology at the universities of Basel and Göttingen. For 25 years she worked at the Institute for Scientific Film in Göttingen as a filmmaker, producer of films, and teacher of Visual Anthropology. For her films, she received several film award. She co-founded the German International Ethnographic Film Festival (GIEFF) in 1993 and the online journal AnthroVision in 2013 published by the Visual Anthropology Network of EASA. Nowadays she works freelance as filmmaker, director of AnthroVision and international coordinator of GIEFF.

Maria Mendonça

Is an ethnomusicologist who teaches in the anthropology and music departments at Kenyon College, OH. Her research interests include the circulation of Indonesian music (particularly gamelan traditions of Java and Bali), music and prisons, ethnographic film, music and cultural diplomacy, and ethnomusicology and the public sector. She is currently working on two film projects: Gamelan Encounters, on Javanese gamelan performance in England, and another on gong-making in Central Java, as well as developing and teaching the course Music, Film and Culture: Ethnographic Perspectives for undergraduate students at Kenyon. She has worked as an ethnomusicologist in a variety of settings in Britain and the US, including Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and several UK arts organizations.

Annie Menter

Annie is an independent creative producer, a curator of Taste the World, WOMAD and a director of Arts and Society. Previously a director of The WOMAD Foundation, a registered charity and the educational arm of WOMAD, her responsibilities included the strategic development of the Foundation, artist residencies, and devising and delivering innovative music and arts programmes for adults and young people. She has worked internationally in partnership with government institutions and universities and research projects have taken her to West Africa, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Spain. Early in her career she studied textiles specialising in the textiles of Southern Nigeria, curating a touring exhibition with an associated educational programme. She has lectured in ‘Art in Social Context’ at UWE, was a founder member of Vizibility and is a Fellow of the RSA.

Yasmin Fedda

Is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, and curator of films and film programs. Her films include “Ayouni” (2020); “Queens of Syria” (2014); “Steal from the Capitalists” (2015); “A Tale of Two Syrias” (2012); and “Breadmakers” (2007). Her films have been BAFTA-nominated and screened at numerous international festivals including Sundance. Yasmin is Lecturer in Film Practice at Queen Mary University, London where she is also the convenor for the Centre for Film & Ethics.

Christian Suhr

Christian Suhr is a filmmaker, associate professor, and coordinator of the Eye & Mind MSc-Track of Visual Anthropology at Aarhus University. The coming five years he will as PI dedicate his time to the ERC-project: “Heart Openings: The Experience and Cultivation of Love in Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam”. His previous research has focused on invisible spirits, psychiatric illnesses, demonic and divine forces, and how film can be used to approach unseen dimensions of human life. He has explored these topics during fieldwork projects in Egypt, Papua New Guinea, and Denmark.

He is the author of the recent book Descending with angels: Islamic exorcism and psychiatry, a film monograph (Manchester University Press 2019, www.descendingwithangels.com) based on a feature length film of the same title. In addition he is the director of Unity through culture (with Ton Otto, DER 2011), Ngat is dead (with Ton Otto and Steffen Dalsgaard, DER 2009) and Want a camel, yes? (with Mette Bahnsen, Persona Film 2005). Suhr’s edited work includes Transcultural montage (Berghahn 2013), When the media sets the agenda (DJØF 2021) and the special journal issue Camera as cultural critique (Visual Anthropology 31.4 2018).

Mike Poltorak

Dr Mike Poltorak is an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent.  Inspired by two years of  integrating video with medical anthropological research on traditional healing and strongly influenced by the vernacular use of video in Tonga, he celebrates the transformative relationship between filmmaker and subjects to creating films with integrity and community value. He led the visual anthropology programme at the University of Kent for ten years. His filmography includes ethnographic documentaries on Tongan comedy, volunteers in an intentional community in Sweden, and the dance form of contact improvisation. His most recent documentary- The Healer and Psychiatrist – has screened at international documentary film festivals and won the best feature film at the Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival 2020. 

Raminder Kaur

Raminder Kaur is professor of Anthropology and Cultural Studies in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. She is the author of Kudankulam: The Story of an Indo-Russian Nuclear Power Plant (2020); Atomic Mumbai: Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns (2013); and Performative Politics and the Cultures of Hinduism (2003/5). She is also co-author of Adventure Comics and Youth Cultures in India (with Saif Eqbal, 2018), Diaspora and Hybridity (with Virinder Kalra and John Hutnyk, 2005); and co-editor of several other books. Aside from her academic writing, she is a scriptwriter, theatre producer and filmmaker www.sohayavisions.com

K.P. Jayasankar

Dr. K.P. Jayasankar is a retired Professor, School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. He  is involved in media production, teaching and research. Jointly with Anjali Monteiro, he has made over forty documentaries and won several awards. Among their most recent awards are the Basil Wright Prize 2013 for So Heddan So Hoddan (Like Here Like There) and Jury’s commendation in the Intangible Culture category 2019 for A Delicate Weave at the Royal Anthropological Institute Festival, UK. Along with Monteiro, he was an invited artist at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018, where Saacha (The Loom) was showcased as an installation. Prof. Jayasankar is a cameraperson, editor and graphic designer. He has mentored many student and fellowship documentary film projects as commissioning editor. He has written in scholarly journals and co-authored two books. He is a recipient of several fellowships, including the DAAD scholarship at Heidelberg University, the Howard Thomas Memorial Commonwealth fellowship at Goldsmith’s College, London, the Erasmus Mundus scholarship at Lund University and the Key Technology Partner scholarship at University of Technology Sydney. More about his work at http://www.monteiro-jayasankar.com/