School of Social and Political Science

Dr Juli Huang

Job Title

Lecturer in Anthropology of Development

Juli Huang's photo

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Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

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I am an economic anthropologist whose research focuses on social enterprise and the use of new technologies, data, and markets for poverty alleviation. I teach courses on the anthropology of development and economic anthropology.

As a Fellow at the Edinburgh Futures Institute (2019-22), I co-direct the design of the innovative MSc Data, Inequality & Society programme, part of the EFI 'Data Futures' portfolio of 12 postgraduate pathways to launch in 2022.

As a British Academy / Wolfson Foundation Fellow (2022-24), I am conducting a comparative and interdisciplinary research project on the everyday data practices of social enterprises in Bangladesh and Scotland in collaboration with data scientists and social enterprise practitioners and policy makers.

See also Centre for Data, Culture and Society research clusters Digital Global Development and Game Worlds.



2020. To Be an Entrepreneur: Social Enterprise and Disruptive Development in Bangladesh. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

2014 (2009) Tribeswomen of Iran: Weaving Memories among Qashqa’i Nomads. International Library of Iranian Studies, No. 15. London: I. B. Tauris. Latifeh Yarshater Award recipient for best book on women in Iran published in 2008 and 2009.

Peer-reviewed articles and chapters

n.d. ‘Uncomfortable Comparisons: Anthropology, Development, and Mixed Feelings’ (with Katy Gardner). In The Anthropology of Comparison. Mathijs Pelkmans and Harry Walker, eds.

2021 ‘A University Model of Social Finance: Reflections on the University of Edinburgh’s Social Investment Fund’ (with Dave Gorman). In Innovations in Social Finance, Thomas Walker, Jane McGaughey, Sherif Goubran, and Nadia Wagdy, eds., pp. 173-192. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

2021 ‘The Ambiguity of Mutuality: Discourse and Power in Corporate Value Regimes’ (with Catherine Dolan and Claire Gordon). Dialectical Anthropology 45(1): 9-27.

2020 ‘Transient Assemblages, Ephemeral Encounters, and the “Beautiful Story” of a Japanese Social Enterprise in Rural Bangladesh.’ Critique of Anthropology 40(1): 125-145.

2018 ‘Digital Aspirations: “Wrong-Number” Mobile-Phone Relationships and Experimental Ethics among Women Entrepreneurs in Rural Bangladesh.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 24(1): 107-125.

2017 ‘The Ambiguous Figures of Social Enterprise: Gendered Flexibility and Relational Work among the iAgents of Bangladesh.’ American Ethnologist 44(4): 603-616.

2011 ‘Risk and Resilience among Contemporary Pastoralists in Southwestern Iran’ (with Lois Beck). In Sustainable Lifeways: Cultural Persistence in an Ever-changing Environment. Naomi Miller et al., eds. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

2006 ‘Integration, Modernization, and Resistance: Qashqa’i Nomads in Iran Since the Revolution of 1978-1979.’ In Nomadic Societies in the Middle East and North Africa: Entering the 21st Century. Dawn Chatty, ed. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers.

2006 ‘Manipulating Private Lives and Public Spaces in Qashqa’i Society in Iran’ (with Lois Beck). In Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Duke University Press, 26(2): 303-325.

PhD Students Supervised

Silvia Pergetti (Writing up) - Charged: Imagined Futures and Distributed Generation in the Sundarbans, India

Kirsten Campbell (Link awaiting update) (Completed, 2020)- Impacts and Implications of Energy Access on Rural Communities in East India


Research interests

Research interests

Topics interested in supervising

Social enterprise, technology and development, data (big and small), anthropology of money, alternative currencies, economic anthropology, International development, South Asia, Bangladesh, Iran.

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

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Staff Hours and Guidance

Guidance and feedback hours by appointment.