School of Social and Political Science

Dr Lotte Segal

Job Title

Senior Lecturer

Lotte Segal photo
Mobile telephone number
07306 505666

Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

Ethnography, Political violence, Israel-Palestine, Anthropology of the Middle East, gender, Kinship and relatedness, Trauma, Anthropology of ethics, Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Scandinavia

Topics interested in supervising

Occupied Palestine, The Middle East, Trauma, Refugees, Violence, Subjectivity, Kinship, Knowledge, Ethics

If you are interested in being supervised by Lotte Buch Segal, please see the links below for more information:


Regional: Occupied Palestinian Territories, Denmark

Thematic Orientation: Violence, kinship, subjectivity, affect, trauma, ethics of doing ethnography in zones of conflict, distressing research

Empirically my early work centred on occupied Palestine. I have examined how those not so spectacular figures and relations in a conflict experience violent events as well as live with the uneventfulness of ongoing violence. For my PhD and early post doc research I did ethnographic fieldwork among family members to current and former Palestinian political detainees in Israeli aimed at documenting how they try to steer clear of the social stigma occurring with confinement.

My current work focuses on developing an anthropological vocabulary to speak about secondary trauma among kin as well as staff working with ameliorating the psychological effects of torture. The ethnographic work informing this aspiration rests on fieldwork in rehabilitation clinic for traumatised refugees in Denmark.

Between 2014 and 2017 I was the PI of a comparative study on the Scandinavian Welfare states and how they encounter Middle Eastern survivors of Violence. The project was termed ‘Slippery Suffering’. Emphasis is placed on the affective responses to stories of violence among representatives of the welfare states (funded by NOS-HS). Currently, the international team behind the project are working towards publishing the collective output from the project in a special issue of an international, peer-reviewed journal. The working title is 'Overwhelming Knowledge - Knowing and Writing Violence in Contemporary Anthropology'.

In sum, my research is animated by questions of violence, relatedness, everyday life, knowledge, as well as issues pertaining to gender and voice. My first book ‘No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine’ (, is an ethnographic monograph about the porous boundary between endurance and exhaustion and, importantly, how kinship is the site par se in which such exhaustion is felt. Methodological questions of how to do ethnography among people in precarious situations informs the ethical sensibility with which I approach ethnography and collaboration more broadly. Through my research I have worked closely with NGOs and academic colleagues in Palestine, about research projects as well as consultancy work. In Denmark, I have co-operated with Dignity- Danish Institute against Torture for more than 15 years. I relocated from the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark to the Department of Social Anthropology at University of Edinburgh early in 2019.

International Cooperation

Between 2016 and 2019 I was part of the French -American research endeavour IPEV- International Panel on Exiting Violence as a member of the working group Reconstruction of the Self headed by Professor Richard Rechtman, EHESS. From 2021 I am part of the Network Les sciences sociales confrontées à la violence extrême also headed by Professor Rechtman.

Since 2017 I have been part of an international group of anthropologists and philosophers, investigating the relationship between concepts and life, and more broadly finding common ground between anthropology and philosophy, including scholars from Sorbonne, France; Harvard and Johns Hopkins, US; University of Bern, Switzerland; as well as the University of Edinburgh.

Since 2014 I have served on the editorial board of the international journal Conflict and Society (Advances in Research, Berghahn) and Tidsskriftet Antropologi (Danish Journal of Anthropology). Together with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, I created the MAT Editorial Collective

Selected publications

(2021) In the Know: Being with the Pain of Others in a Torture Rehabilitation Clinic. In In the Grip of Reality. Eds. A. Brandel and M. Motta. New York: Fordham University Press.

(2018). Tattered Textures of Kinship: Living with Torture in Iraqi Families in Denmark. Medical Anthropology.

Segal, L. B. (2016). No Place For Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine. University of Pennsylvania Press. (Ethnography of Political Violence).

Segal, L. B. (2015). The burden of being exemplary: national sentiments, awkward witnessing, and womanhood in occupied Palestine. Royal Anthropological Institute. Journal, 21( Nr. Supplement S1).

Sega, L.B.: (2015)"Mourning, Grief, and the Loss of Politics in Palestine: The Unvoiced Effects of Military Occupation in the West Bank" In: Living and Dying in the Contemporary World: A Compendium. Eds. Veena Das and Clara Han. Berkeley: University of California Press


In Edinburgh I take great pleasure in teaching a variety of our core courses. I have convened Anthropological Theory and taught on Kinship: Structure and Process: Anthropology 1B Anthropology Matters; and Social Anthropology 2a: Key Concepts. I am also convening the course Culture and Mental Health in a Global Perspective, a programme that is part of the MSc in Global Mental Health and Society. 

Staff Hours and Guidance

On Sabbatical in the Autumn of 2021