School of Social and Political Science

John Harries

Job Title

More-Than-Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of Student Experience and Engagement (DSEE) for the School of Social and Political Science

Photo
John Harries photo

Room number

5.25

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

City (Address)

Edinburgh

Country (Address)

UK

Post code (Address)

EH8 9LD

Background

I received by PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh in 2002. Since then I have held teaching posts the Critchton Campus of the University of Glasgow in Dumfries, the Centre of Canadian Studies and the School of Health and Social Science at the University of Edinburgh and, since September 2013, as a senior teaching fellow in Social Anthropology at the School of Social and Political Science. Of late my research and teaching has focused on issues of memory, materiality and identity in the context of settler colonialism, with particular reference to the politics of belonging in Newfoundland, Canada.

Publications

Peer-reviewed chapters and articles

2020, with Tal Adler, 'Dead images: Facing the history, ethics and politics of European skull collections' + 'Reflexive photography and the transformation of shock - An interview', in M. Hamm & K. Schönberger (eds.), Contentious Heritages and Arts: A Critical Companion. Klagenfurt/Celovec, Austria: Wieser-Verlag.

2019, 'Disposing of dead images: reflections on contentious heritage as toxic waste', in A. Schneider (ed.), Art, Anthropology and Contested Heritage. London & New York: Bloomsbury., pp. 147-158.

2018, 'Human remains: rights and responsibilities', in H. Callan (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. New York: Wiley Blackwell.

2018, with L. Fibiger, T. Adler, J. Smith & A. Szöke, 'EXPOSURE: The ethics of makings, sharing and displaying photographs of human remains', Human Remains and Violence, vol. 4, no 1, pp. 3-24.

2018, 'A clearing with a view to the lake, the bones of a caribou and the sound of snow falling on dead leaves: sensing the presence of the past in the wilds of Newfoundland'. In F Polack (ed.), Traces of Ochre: Changing Perspectives on the Beothuk. University of Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 94-114.

2016, 'A stone that feels right in the hand: tactile memory, the abduction of agency and presence of the past' Journal of Material Culture, vol 22, no 1, pp. 110-130.

2016, 'Disarticulated bones' Journal of Techniques and Culture, special issue Fixing the World: Excess, Leftover and Innovation, number 65-66.

2016, 'A "Beothuck Indian" Skeleton (not) in a Glass Case: Rumours of Bones and the Remembrance of an Exterminated People in Newfoundland', in J.-M. Dreyfuss & E. Anstett (eds.) Human Remains in Society. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 220-248.

2015, with A. Cook & G. Huby, 'Education for integration: four pedagogical principles' Journal of Integrated Care, vol 23, no 6.

2015, 'A dog story from Newfoundland (revisited)' Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology, vol 5, no. 2, special Issue Doing Things with Stories, pp 37-51.

2014, 'Communicating your research and writing up', in N Konopinski (ed.), Doing anthropological research: a practical guide. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 118-143.

2014, with A. Cook, 'Zipping up or zipping down: reflections on integration at the front line' Journal of Integrated Care, vol 23, no. 3.

2013, with J. Fontein, 'The vitality and efficacy of human substances' Critical African Studies, vol 5, no. 3, pp. 115-126.

2012, with P. Filippucci, J. Fontein & C. Krmpotich, 'Encountering the past: Unearthing remnants of humans in archaeology and anthropology', in D. Shankland (ed.), Archaeology and Anthropology: Past, Present and Future: ASA Monographs 48. Berg, London, pp. 197–217.

2011, with G. Huby & S. Grant, 'Contributions of ethnography to the study of public services management' Public Management Review, vol 13, no. 2, pp. 209-225.

2010, 'Of bleeding skulls and the postcolonial uncanny: bones and the presence of Nonosabasut and Demasduit' Journal of Material Culture, vol 15, no. 4, pp. 403-421.

2010, with C. Krmpotich & J. Fontein, 'The substance of bones: The emotive materiality and affective presence of human remains' Journal of Material Culture, vol 15, no. 4, pp. 371-384.

1992, 'On the crossing of boundaries: the object of research and the researcher as object', in H. van’t Land & B. Rausch (eds.), Graduate Work in Canadian Studies in Europe, ACSN, Canadian Cahiers No. 7.

Reports

2010, with G. Huby,P. Warner, E. Donaghy, R. Lee, L. Williams, P. Huxley, S. Evans, C. Barker, J. White & S. Philpin, Supporting the reconfiguration of social care roles in the UK. London: Department of Health.

Art installations and events

January 17, 2019, with J. Smith, L. Fibiger, Disposal: Reflections on Human Remains as Hazardous Material, a performance lecture at MUDEC-Museo delle Culture, Milan, part of the TRACES final conference.

June 28 - August 25, 2018, with T. Adler (artist), A. Szöke, J. Smith, L. Fibiger, M. Teschler-Nicola, F. Lanz and J. Leveratto, DEAD IMAGES: Facing the history, ethics and politics of European skull collections, Edinburgh College of Art, part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival.

September 29, 2017, with J. Smith & T. Adler, Bringing to Light: The Dilemmas of Displaying Contentious Historical Material, a performance lecture at the Berlin Wall Museum, Berlin, part of CARMAH/CoHERE conference ‘Critical Heritages and Reflexive Europeanisation.’

October 24, 2015, Unearthings (a hastely abandoned explorer's tent, with an anonymous skull as speciman), an installation curated as part of Remains, Waste, Metonymy "a critical intervention into Arts/Scholarship", hosted by the BIEA, Nairobi, Kenya.

August 14 - November 14, 2014, with, Smith, J., Fibiger, L. & Black, E., Word of Mouth: talking about how we interpret skulls, a public exhibition at the Surgeons' Hall Museum, Edinburgh.

June 21, 2014, with J. Smith, J. Fontein, C. Douglas, J. Nowak, L. Fibiger, E. Kranioti, D. Zamora and J. Cheeseman. The Bones Beneath The Face, an interactive installation curated as a fringe event for meeting of the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA), Edinburgh.

Research interests

Research interests

Time and temporality, indigeneity and identity (particularly in postcolonial settler societies), matter and materiality, the senses and the environment, Canada, Newfoundland, the Beothuk, social memory, contentious heritage, Human-animal relationships, cats

Remembering the Beothuk

Over the last few years I have been conducting research concerning the ways in which the people of Newfoundland, Canada, remember the Beothuk, a native people of that island who became extinct (or were exterminated) in the early 19th century. Through this research I have been addressing the question of how we may theorise the presence of the past. This is particularly a concern with the material traces of past lives, be they human bones or scratches on stones, and how these traces are enfolded into the work of individual and collective memory, particularly in the context of settler colonialism.

The affective presence and emotive materiality of human remains

This concern with the material traces of the past and politics of heritage and commemoration has lead to an interest in human bones and specifically the techniques by which we constitute the "voice" of bones and how this "voice" speaks, or is made to speak, within contemporary politics of identity and recognition, particularly in the context of histories of violence and dispossession. This interest has led me to become  a founding member of the bones collective - a network of anthropologists, archaeologists, historians and artists who are concerned with the "emotive materiality" and "affective presence" of human remains. For more information see: The Bones Collective. Emerging from this collective have been a series of colloborative arts interventions including "The Bones Beneath the Face", "Word of Mouth", as well as the "Dead Images" project.

Human-animal relations and CATS (it may never happen)

Emerging from a long standing affection for, and entanglement with, my feline friends, I am imagining a project which explores the relationship between small cats and humans in the urban environment. The focus would be on emerging interspecies cosmopolitainisms, ontological otherness and the mircopolitics of cat-human socialbility in diverse ethnographic settings. Admittedly, this is at the moment an idea more than a reality, but maybe someday soon?

Projects

TRACES - Transmitting Contentious Cultural Heritages with the Arts

Funded by a EU Horizon 2020 grant, TRACES is a colloborative project, concluding in Spring 2019, involving multidisciplinary teams artists and academics across Europe. It focuses on the challenges and opportunities inherent in transmitting contentious cultural heritages in Europe, with a particular emphasis on the role of the arts and arts-based interventions in promoting collective self-reflection and a critical dialogue concerning the difficult pasts which haunt contemporary articulations of identity. My particular involvement is as part of the "Dead Images" project, one of five colloborative co-productions within TRACES. Working with a team of researchers ard artists - Linda Fibiger, Joan Smith , Tal Adler, Anna Szöke and Maria Teschler-Nicola - this project engages with the complex and contentious legacy of collections of human skulls kept by museums, universities and other public institutions in Europe.

The "Third Space"

The thirds space project is a collaboration between academics with the Schools of Social and Political Science, Health in Social Science and Education, Edinburgh Global and EUSA Global. It is "a new series of activities which wrap around students’ international experiences giving them the tools to explore, reflect, engage, and share culture during the different stages of their time away". In particular, I have been involved in the design of a "tool box" which, drawing inspiration from the techniques of ethnographic research, provides a series of provocations, suggestions and invitations designed to encourage students to seek out and enjoy new intercultural experiences. For more information see: The Third Space.

Topics interested in supervising

Indigeneity and the politics of identity in settler societies (particularly in Canada); social memory and contentious heritage; materiality and memory (particularly with reference to the unearthing, keeping and repatriation of human remains). Also, depending on how the cat thing goes, may be interested in supervising work about interspecies conviviality.

If you are interested in being supervised by John Harries, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information:

Staff Hours and Guidance

Tuesdays 15.30-17.00 or by appointment

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Huby G, Harries J. Bloody paperwork: Algorithmic governance and control in UK integrated health and social care settings. Journal of Extreme Anthropology. 2021 Apr 21;5(1):1-28. https://doi.org/10.5617/jea.8285
Harries J, Adler T, Kempinski A. Disposing of dead images: Reflections on contentious heritage as toxic waste. In Schneider A, editor, Art, Anthropology and Contested Heritage: Ethnographies of TRACES. 1 ed. Bloomsbury Academic. 2019
Harries J (Performer), Fibiger L (Developer), Smith J (Developer). Disposal: Reflections on Human Remains as Hazardous Material 2019.
Harries J. Human remains: rights and treatment. In Callan H, editor, International Encyclopedia for Anthropology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 2018 https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118924396.wbiea1521
Smith J (Developer), Harries J (Developer), Fibiger L (Developer), Adler T (Photographer), Szoke A (Developer), Teschler-Nicola M (Developer). Dead Images Edinburgh College of Art: . 2018.
Harries J. A clearing with a view to the lake, the bones of a caribou and the sound of snow falling on dead leaves: Sensing the presence of the past in the wilds of Newfoundland. In Polack F, editor, Tracing Ochre: Changing Perspectives on the Beothuk. Toronto : University of Toronto Press. 2018
Harries J, Fibiger L, Smith J, Adler T, Szöke A. Exposure: The ethics of making, sharing and displaying photographs of human remains. Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 2018 Apr 30;4(1):3-24. https://doi.org/10.7227/HRV.4.1.2
Smith J (Author), Harries J (Author), Adler T (Author). Bringing to light: The dilemmas of displaying contentious historical material 2017.
Harries J. A stone that feels right in the hand: Tactile memory, the abduction of agency and presence of the past. Journal of Material Culture. 2017 Mar 1;22(1):110-130. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359183516679187
Harries J. A Beothuk skeleton (not) in a glass case: rumours of bones and the remembrance of an exterminated people in Newfoundland - the emotive immateriality of human remains. In Dreyfus J-M, Anstett É, editors, Human remains in society: Curation and exhibition in the aftermath of genocide and mass-violence. Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press. 2016. 9. (Human Remains and Violence).
Harries J. Disarticulated bones. Techniques & Culture. 2016 Nov 14;65.
Smith J, Harries J, Fibiger L, Adler T, Szöke A, Teschler-Nicola M. This is not a snapshot: Dead Images. TRACES. 2016 Sep 22;1:14-15.
Harries J. Unearthings. 2015. Remains, Waste, Metonymy "a critical intervention into Arts/Scholarship", , Nairobi, Kenya.
Harries J, Cook A, Huby G. Education for collaboration: Four pedagogical principles. Journal of Integrated Care. 2015;23(6). https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-09-2015-0035
Georgiadou L, Willis A, Harries J, Holtan J. Opening up a third space: A pilot project to support and engage undergraduate exchange students. In International Conference on Enhancement and Innovation in Higher Education. Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. 2015
Harries J (Developer), Smith J (Developer), Fibiger L (Developer), Black E (Developer). Word of Mouth: Talking about how we interpret skulls Surgeons Hall Museum. 2014.
Smith J, Harries J, Fontein J, Fibiger L. The Bones Beneath the Face. In Association of Social Anthopologists. Edinburgh: Surgeons Hall Museum. 2014
Harries J. A dog story from Newfoundland (revisited). Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology. 2014;5(2).
Harries J, Cook A. Zipping up or zipping down: reflections on integration at the ‘front line’ . Journal of Integrated Care. 2014;22(3). https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-02-2014-0007
Harries J. Communicating your research and writing up. In Konopinski N, editor, Doing anthropological research: a practical guide. London: Routledge. 2013. p. 118-143
Harries J, Fontein J. Special Issue: The vitality and efficacy of human substances. 2013. https://doi.org/10.1080/21681392.2013.847660
Harries J, Fontein J. The vitality and efficacy of human substances. Critical African Studies. 2013;5(3):115-126. https://doi.org/10.1080/21681392.2013.847660
Harries J, Fontein J, Filippucci P. Encountering the past: Unearthing remnants of humans in archaeology and anthropology. In Shankland D, editor, Archaeology and Anthropology: Past, Present and Future: ASA Monographs 48. London: Berg. 2012. p. 197–217
Harries J, Huby G, Grant S. Contributions of ethnography to the study of public services management. Public Management Review. 2011;13(2):209-225.
Krmpotich C, Fontein J, Harries J. The substance of bones: The emotive materiality and affective presence of human remains. Journal of Material Culture. 2010 Dec 1;15(4):371-384. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359183510382965
Harries J. Of bleeding skulls and the postcolonial uncanny: bones and the presence of Nonosabasut and Demasduit. Journal of Material Culture. 2010;15(4):403-421. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359183510382962