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Siobhan Magee

Siobhan Magee
Dr Siobhan Magee
Lecturer in Social Anthropology
4.16 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Kinship and relatedness, Marriage, History and Memory, Gender and Sexuality, Material Culture, United States, Poland, Political and economic anthropology, Legal anthropology

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Biographical statement

My main interest is in the ethnographic study of kinship and relatedness and, in particular, in learning about how people situate these topics in relation to global, national, and local histories. The main idioms through which I've tried to do this so far are material culture and generation (in my doctoral work on fur in Poland) and law and politics (in my current work on marriage in the US).

I am part of the European Research Council-funded project 'A Global Anthropology of Transforming Marriage' (AGATM, PI Professor Janet Carsten). In 2017 and 2018, I carried out research on some of the ideas, practices, and histories surrounding marriage in Virginia, USA.



2019. Material culture and kinship in Poland: An ethnography of fur and society. London and New York: Bloomsbury.

Selected Articles

2019 'Drawing the adult child: US graphic memoir and the anthropologies of kinship and personhood'. Anthropology and Humanism. Volume 44, issue 1, pages 88-111.

2019 '‘‘To be one’s own boss":  Exceptional entrepreneurs and products that sell themselves in urban Poland’. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology special issue ‘The Anthropology of Selling’.

2019  'Talking about kinship', with Janet Carsten, Hsiao-Chiao Chiu, Eirini Papadaki, and Koreen Reece. Anthropology of this Century, issue 25.

2017 'Catholic in Kraków? Fur, the ethic of attribution, and when non-religious things conform to religious aesthetics'. World Art special issue ‘Aesthetics and Ethics: Anthropological Perspectives’. Vol. 7, issue 2, pages 307-327.

2016  ‘An “excess of the normal”: luxury and difference in Polish fur critique.’ Journal of Material Culture. Vol 21. 1ssue 3, pages 277 – 295.

2015  ‘Of love and fur: grandmothers, class, and inheritance in a southern Polish  city’. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Vol. 21, issue 1, pages 66-85.

*Discussed on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed, 25 March 2015.

Book Chapters

2018 ‘Inheritance’ in H. Callan (ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 

2018 ‘Kinship: socio-cultural approaches: recent approaches’ in H. Callan (ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 

2018 ‘Relatedness’ in H. Callan (ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Book Reviews and Criticism

2019 'Go to the waves', on Laura Watts' Energy at the end of the world: An Orkney Islands saga. Times Literary Supplement, July 2.

2018 'Not your milk...', on Kathryn Gillespie's The cow with ear tag #1389 and Michael Taussig's Palma Africana. Times Literary Supplement, November 27.

2018 'The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 1, 2017). Created by Bruce Miller, based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood'. Reproductive Biomedicine and Society Online, 7: 44-46.

2017   ‘Agnieszka Pasieka’s Hierarchy and Pluralism: Living Religious Difference in Catholic Poland.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Vol. 23, Issue 1, pages 213-214.

2015 ‘Wendy Gunn, Ton Otto, and Rachel Charlotte Smith (eds.) Design Anthropology: Theory and Practice’. Journal of Design History Vol. 28, Issue 4, pages 453-455.

2015 ‘Yuson Jung, Jakob A. Klein, and Melissa L. Caldwell (eds.) Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World’. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Vol. 21, Issue 3, pages 691–692.

2015  ‘Tansy E. Hoskins’ Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion’. Allegra Laboratory. Published online 11/02/15.

2015 ‘Jessica Choate Robbins’ “Personhood in Places: Aging, Memory, and  Relatedness in Postsocialist Poland”’. Dissertation Reviews, No. 11135.

2014 ‘Jaz Hee-jeong Choi, Marcus Foth and Greg Hearn's Eat, Cook, Grow: Mixing Human-Computer Interactions with Human-Food Interactions’. The LSE Review of Books. Published online 18/11/14.

2014 ‘Kaori O’Connor’s The English Breakfast: The Biography of a National Meal. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 20, issue 4, pages 794–795.

2014  ‘Karen Tranberg Hansen and D. Soyini Madison (eds.) African Dress: Fashion, Agency, Performance. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 20, issue 4, pages 786­–787.

2014   ‘Helen Jefferson Lenskyj’s Sexual Diversity and the Sochi 2014 Olympics: No More Rainbows’. The LSE Review of Books. Published online 14/10/14. *Reposted on the Democratic Audit Blog 26/10/14,

2013  ‘Erica L. Tucker’s Remembering Occupied Warsaw, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 19, issue 2, pages 421–422.

Topics interested in supervising

I would be happy to discuss potential projects related to any of my research interests.

If you are interested in being supervised by Siobhan Magee, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Anthropology; MSc (R) Social Anthropology