As Head of School I will not be able to keep regular office hours in 2013, but I will be happy to see students by appointment whenever possible: to make an appointment to see me, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Spencer has carried out fieldwork in Sri Lanka since the early 1980s, concentrating at first on rural change and local politics, but writing more recently on ethnic conflict, political violence and political non-violence. He has recently published a book on the anthropology of 'the political' in South Asia, Anthropology, Politics, and the State (2007) and is preparing a new book, with colleagues from SOAS, Zurich and Peradeniya, on the work of religious organizations in war and peace in Sri Lanka. He is a series editor for Cambridge New Directions in Anthropology, and has been a member of the ESRC Training and Development Board.
2013 (with Sidharthan Maunaguru) 'Tigers, Temples and the Remaking of Tamil Society.' Religion and Society. 3.
2013 'A Certain Gesture: Reflections on the Murder of Sivaram.' Journal of Historical Sociology. Special Issue 'Counter-mapping the Self: Agency and History in South Asia' edited by Nayanika Mookherjee. 26 (1): 83-99.
2012 'Who is the enemy?' Anthropology of this Century 4, May 2012.
2012 (with Harini Amarasuriya) 'NGOs, the state, and "cultural values": imagining the global in Sri Lanka.' in J. Howell (ed.) Global Matters for Non-Governmental Public Action. London: Palgrave.
2012 (with Jennifer Curtis) 'Anthropology and the Political.' in R. Fardon et al., (eds) Sage Handbook of Social Anthropology. London: Sage. In press.
2012 'Performing Democracy and Violence, Agonism and Community, Politics and Not Politics in Sri Lanka.' Geoforum. Special Issue, Space, Contestation and the Political. In press.
2011 (ed. with Jonathan Goodhand and Benedikt Korf) Conflict and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka: Caught in the Peace Trap? London: Routledge.
2010 'The Perils of Engagement: A Space for Anthropology in the Age of Security?' Current Anthropology. 51 (S2): 289-99.
2009 (ed. with Alan Barnard) Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Second edition. London: Routledge.
2008 'A Nationalism without Politics? The Illiberal Consequences of Liberal Institutions in Sri Lanka.' Third World Quarterly. 29 (3): 611-629.
2007 Anthropology, Politics and the State: Democracy and Violence in South Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
2007 'Anthropological order and political disorder' in F. Pirie and B. von Benda-Beckman (eds) Order and Disorder. Oxford: Berghahn.
2003 'A nation 'living in different places': notes on the impossible work of purification in post-colonial Sri Lanka.' Contributions to Indian Sociology; reprinted in F. Osella and K. Gardner (eds) Migration, modernity and social transformation in South Asia Delhi: Sage.
2003 'Appalling fascination: the emerging anthropology of the political in post-colonial South Asia.' Journal des Anthropologues 92-3: 31-49.
2003 'Collective Violence.' in V. Das (ed) Oxford India Companion to Sociology and Social Anthropology. Delhi: Oxford University Press; reprinted in V. Das (ed.) Handbook of Sociology. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Topics interested in supervising
I am currently working with a number of students researching the politics, history and culture of Sri Lanka, including the wider Sri Lankan diaspora. I am also interested in working with students interested in the anthropology of democracy and the political history of social anthropology, on religion and politics, and on other issues in South and Southeast Asia.
This page was last published on 20 April 2013