Dr Narmala Halstead
Reader in Anthropology;
Anthropology and Contemporary Worlds Research Group, Centre for Social Justice and Change
Narmala is a Reader in anthropology with expertise on migration and diaspora, state, and violence, social change, digital technology and empowerment. She has specialist interests in reflexive methodologies and practce.
Narmala Halstead is an anthropologist with regional expertise on Guyana, the Caribbean diaspora and migrant localities in New York. She has also conducted research on migrants in London and on Portuguese migrants in Wales, UK.
Her work intersects on (i) reflexive methodologies, practice and knowledge debates (ii) non-ethnicity, belonging and digital/media-informed transformations (iii) state, violence, citizenship and migration.
Her research explores migration, belonging, cultural change and violence, spanning everyday accounts as well as larger issues on global citizenship and the state. She is currently developing a project on cities, digital technologies, citizenship and belonging.
After completing her PhD (anthropology) at Brunel University, Narmala taught for a year at Brunel and for several years at Cardiff University. She held a university lectureship with Cardiff University.
Narmala teaches on the anthropology programme and have also taught the MRes module, Understanding Research Processes and Contexts. She recently convened the MSc Anthropology, Human Rights and Justice programme.
If you are interested in pursuing an MPhil or PhD on these and related issues and have an enquiry on suitability of your research idea/project and likely supervision, please also get in touch. Narmala would be interested in supervising students wishing to do PhD research on migration and diaspora, belonging, violence, citizenship, nationalism, ethnicity, modernity, media/digital anthropology, human rights, legal anthropology and related issues.
Thanges Paramsothy - Caste transformations in Sri Lanka and Diaspora - Director of Studies
Margaret Apwonyokwe: Acoli groups in Former displacement camps in Northern Uganda - Director of Studies
Ravjiv Jebodh: Law and post-colonial certainty in the Commonwealth Caribbean - 2nd Supervisor
• Chuensumon Ukritwiriya - Mobile phones and modernity in Bangkok.
• Muideen Akorede - Study of a Nigerian village and NGOs in relation to development and local knowledge.
• Diana Chimba - 'Women, Media and Democracy' in Zambia
Book and Journals:
2008 Knowing how to know. Fieldwork and the ethnographic present. Co-editors, Eric Hirsch and Judith Okely. Berghahn: Oxford (EASA edited volume series)
Journal of Legal Anthropology - 2008, 2010, 2013
2008 Special issue on Landscapes of violence. Social Anthropology, 16. Co-edited with Heather Horst
Articles in Refereed Journals
2012 East Indians as familiars and partial others in New York. History and Anthropology 23(1): 149-169
2012 Undoing Resistance. East Indians beyond the culture bound. South Asian Diaspora 10(2):123-135
2011 Gift practices in the East Indian Diaspora: status, equality and loss through inclusion. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 16(2): 278-295
2009 A landscape of respect relations. Television, status, houses Home Cultures 6 (1)
2008 Violence, past and present. 'Mati' and 'non-mati' people. History and Anthropology 19 (2): 115-129
2008 Victims and agents un-made. Routinising the Extraordinary. Social Anthropology , 16 (1): 119-133
Chapters in Books
2017 Relational persons of the home. Intimacy, transgressions and boundary-making. In Sexuality at Home. Brett Pilkey et al, eds. Bloomsbury: London, forthcoming
2016 Life-writing. Anthropological Knowledge, boundary-making and the experiential. In The Anthropologist as Writer, Helena Wulff, ed. Oxford:Berghahn
2008 Knowing through crisis. Experiencing the ethnographic present. In Knowing how to Know. Fieldwork and the Ethnographic Present. Narmala Halstead, Eric Hirsch and Judith Okely, eds. Pp.1-20. Oxford: Berghahn
2008a Knowledge as gifts of self and other. In Knowing how to know. Fieldwork and the Ethnographic Present, N. Halstead, E. Hirsch and J. Okely, eds. Oxford: Berghahn. Pp.92-109
2006 Others in and of the field.Anthropology and Knowledgeable persons. In Critical Journeys.The Making of Anthropologists. Geert de Neve and Maya Unithan-Kumar, eds. Pp. 47-66. UK: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
2005 Belonging and respect notions vis-à-vis modern East Indians. Hindi movies in the Guyanese East Indian Diaspora. In Bollyworld: Indian Cinema through a Transnational Lens. Raminder Kaur and Ajay Sinha, eds. New Delhi: Sage
Additional publications Include
2002 Branding ‘perfection’. Foreign as self; self as foreign-foreign. Journal of Material Culture. 7 (3): 273-93
2001 Ethnographic Encounters: Positionings within and outside the insider frame. Social Anthropology 9: 307-21
2000. Switching identities: Movements between ‘Indian’ and ‘non-Indian’ in Guyana. Anthropology in Action. 7 (1 -2). 22-32
2000. Television in Guyana: A Regulatory Nightmare in Sue Ralph et al (eds.) Is Regulation still an option in a digital universe? Luton: University of Luton Press
Guyana: culture, economy, government. World and its Peoples Encyclopaedia. London: Brown Reference Group
2001 Guyana: Media. Censorship: An International Encyclopedia. London: Fitzroy Dearbon. 1010-1011
Book Reviews include
Linger, Daniel Touro. 2005. Anthropology Through a Double Lens: Public and Personal Worlds in Human Theory. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Social Anthropology. 15:377-378.
Khan, Aisha. 2006. Callaloo nation: metaphors of race and religious identity among South Asians in Trinidad.(Book review). Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 13: 239-240
Knauft, Bruce M., ed. 2002 Critically Modern: Alternatives, Alterities, Anthropologies. Indiana: Indiana University Press. Anthropological Theory. 6:553
Lyn Harbottle. 2004. Food for Health, Food for Wealth: The Performance of Ethnic andGender identities by Iranian Settlers in Britain. Oxford: Berghahn . Anthropological Notebooks. 142-144
Machado-Borges, T. 2003. Only for You! Brazilians and the telenovela flow. Stockholm Studies in Social Anthropology. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International. Social Anthropology. 14: 287-288
Van der Veer, Peter. 2001. Imperial encounters. Religion and modernity in India and Britain. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Social Anthropology. 12:391
Recent and forthcoming
Invited Speaker:2013 Writing Home. Imagining and Experiencing Publics. Stockholm University Annual Anthropology Roundtable on 'Writing and Reading Across Borders
Invited Speaker: 2013 Travelling Objects, personhood and belonging. Caribbean Aesthetics Workshop, Open University
Invited Paper: 2013 Reconceptualising Knowledge-givers. Identities Seminar, University of Oxford
Invited Paper: 2013 Materialising Home. 112th American Anthropological Association Conference, Chicago, USA, on Future Publics, Current Engagements
Opening Plenary: 2010 Violence in the Field. Anthropology in London Conference, UCL
2010 Discussant: AAA panel - Brands, Counterfeiting, Authenticity, and Authority, American Anthropological Association Annual conference, New Orleans
Some current and past modules
AI5102 Landscapes of power, resistance and violence
AI6100 Thesis/Project for Anthropology (Urban anthropology fieldwork programme in London)
AI4102 Urban Anthropology
A12131: Anthropological Theory
AI2150 Knowing Humankinds. Anthropology of Difference and Diaspora
AI1124 Bodies and Persons
MSc AIM 211 Landscapes of Power and Rights
MSc AIM213 Anthropological Approaches
MSC AI205 Anthropology, Human Rights and Justice
MSc Anthropology, Human Rights and Justice - Programme Convenor
Royal Anthropological Institute, fellow and past elected member of the council; Member of the RAI Publications Committee
Member of American Anthropological Association, American Ethnologist Society, European Association of Social Anthropologists