News Flash



    The Anthropological Association of Ireland, and the Department of Anthropology, Maynooth University, Maynooth

    Round table Discussion

    Culture, the Body, and Autonomy


    21st of April, 2018 from 6pm-7pm

    MUSSI Seminar Room on the second floor of the IONTAS, North Campus, Maynooth University

    This event is open to the public.

    Chaired by Dr Máire Ní Mhórdha


    Discussants: Dr Thomas Strong, Dr Chandana Mathur and Dr Sinead Kennedy



    Thomas Strong lectures in the department of anthropology at Maynooth University. His publications include work on kinship, social theory, and the body.  His most recent research and writing focus on ideas and actions associated with witchcraft in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.  He has been an AIDS activist and advocate since the early 1990s.

    Chandana Mathur has been teaching at the Department of Anthropology at Maynooth University since 2003. She is the current Chair of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA). Drawing on the perspectives of anthropological political economy, her published work focuses on the contemporary United States, South Asia and the South Asian diaspora.

    Sinéad Kennedy teaches in the Department of English at Maynooth University. She is an activist and campaigner on wide range of social issues. She has written widely on abortion and cultural politics in Ireland and is co-editor of The Abortion Papers Ireland: Volume 2 (2015). She is a co-founder and the Secretary of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment and an Executive member of Together For Yes, the national civil society campaign to remove the 8th Amendment. 


    Máire Ní Mhórdha teaches in the Centre for Teaching and Learning, Maynooth University. She holds a PhD in social anthropology from the University of St Andrews. Her research interests include the anthropology of development, gender, and the body, with particular focus on traditional body modification practices such as female genital cutting. Her doctoral thesis was a critical ethnography of an American human rights NGO in West Africa. 





    Writing Worlds: Imagination and Fiction in Ethnographic Writing

    Kayla Rush (Queen’s University Belfast), Facilitator 


    ‘Imagine yourself suddenly set down surrounded by all your gear, alone on a tropical beach close to a native village, while the launch or dinghy which has brought you sails away out of sight’. So begins Bronislaw Malinowski’s famous ethnography Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922). It is not so very different from the opening of a novel, or a drama, or a film: in all of these genres, there is an introduction to the setting – a way of drawing the audience into the writer’s world through literary techniques, including words, maps, images, sounds, or movements.

    In his introduction to Writing Culture (1986), James Clifford tells us that all ethnographies are fictions ‘in the sense of “something made or fashioned”’, and in the sense of being ‘inherently partial’, seen and experienced through our own eyes and bodies as researchers in the field, and imagined into being for others through our own pens as writers. When we write ethnographies, we fashion these worlds for our readers, mediated through our own sensory experiences of those times and places. We imagine them, and we ask our readers to imagine them along with us, to follow our lead and enter into the worlds we have created.

    While this act of creation, this writing of worlds, is an element of all ethnographies, many ethnographers take this aspect of their work even further, by employing literary genres, such as poetry, memoir, drama, and narrative fiction, to communicate ethnographic knowledge. Sometimes these are included alongside more ‘traditional’ or ‘conventional’ academic prose in published scholarly works; at other times, they are disseminated through separate channels entirely, published in literary magazines or performed at poetry slams. Moreover, anthropological research and training has influenced the works of such well-known fiction writers as Zora Neale Hurston, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ursula K. Le Guin, such that the line between ‘fiction’ and ‘ethnography’ as distinct genres continues to blur.

    This workshop is an adventure. It embraces the fictional, imaginative aspects of ethnographic writing wholeheartedly, and encourages participants to reflect on how they themselves communicate worlds to readers. Workshop participants will share their own examples of writing worlds into being, and will receive constructive, supportive feedback from their peers.


    Those interested in taking part in this workshop are asked to register in advance. Participants from all modes of study or employment, and ethnographers from disciplines outside anthropology, are very welcome. Please bring with you a writing excerpt (maximum 1,000 words) that ‘writes the world’ of your ethnography. We especially encourage works that utilize experimental writing styles or genres not typically associated with academic writing.

    In order to register, please email the following details to workshop facilitator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by 31 August 2017:

         -       Your name and institutional affiliation

         -       A working title for the excerpt you will be sharing

         -       An indication of the genre in which the excerpt is written (poetry, fiction, narrative prose, autoethnography, memoir, etc.)

    Please email Kayla with any questions you might have. We look forward to seeing you there!



    Some online resources on this topic that you might find useful:


    Any vacancies for the Irish Journal of Anthropology will be listed here:

    Seeking Deputy Editor - closed

    Seeking Website Editor



    Seeking Website Editor for the Irish Journal of Anthropology


    Due to increased volume of submissions and activity within the Irish Journal of Anthropology we hereby invite applications for the role of Website Editor. This is a new position in a reformulated Editorial Team. Expressions of interest will be shortlisted and those shortlisted will receive an outline of the exact duties and requirements before interview. Interviews are likely to take place in Late August/ Early September '16 in Dublin but can be conducted via Skype to facilitate applicants who cannot travel to Dublin. Applications should include a short expression of interest together with a C.V. highlighting any editorial experience. Applications can be sent in confidence to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Job Description

    Website Editor [WE] maintains the Anthropological Association of Ireland website under the supervision of the Editor in Chief of the Irish Journal of Anthropology and the Social Media Coordinator of the Anthropological Association of Ireland.  The WE is a website specialist who will advise the journal and the association on any website requirements and prepares all material for uploading.

    S/He is the custodian of AAI and the Journal’s websites and will devise procedures for working with both. S/He is responsible for maintaining the website and digital archive of the Irish Journal of Anthropology.

    This is an unpaid position that requires 2/3 hours work per week during busy periods (twice a year).

    Person Specification

    The IJA is looking for someone with experience of the joomla (2.5) and website design (introductory training can be given and the existing website and procedures will be explained). The IJA will welcome new and innovative ideas from the Website Editor so this is a chance to make a mark on an international journal that is transitioning to a new place in the print and digital realms in a highly competitive environment.

    The Journal

    The Irish Journal of Anthropology is a biannual publication serving the Anthropological Association of Ireland and wider international community of anthropologists. The journal is undergoing a period of expansion both in print and digital formats. The journal commands an international audience with roughly 1/3 International, 1/3 UK and 1/3 Republic of Ireland. The journal is available free online with members receiving a print copy twice a year. The journal includes 4 regular sections – Comment, Articles, Interview and Book Reviews and offers an annual AAI conference issues and a general issue alternating with special issues each year.


     Quarterly Newsletters of the World Council of Anthropological Associations

    Please click on an issue and newsletter will open in a new window


    Issue 3 - Jan 2015


    Issue 2 - Dec 2015


    Issue 1 - Aug 15



  •  Anthropology at Queens gains international support

    International Organisations have come together in a show of support for continuing Anthropology at Queens University Belfast. Links to each of the issued letters are avaiable below:


    IUAES, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences Open Letter to QUB


    WCAA, World Council of Anthropological Associations Open Letter to QUB


    letters open in a new window