- Bones, things, landscapes and the affective presence of the past¨
- The anthropology of time
- Senses, imagination and the environment
- Newfoundland, the Beothuk and the cultural politics of indigeneity in North America
- Qualitative methods and change-management in health and social care
- Formal and informal learning among public sector managers
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. This work is presently being prepared as a monograph entitled Beothuk Ghosts: Memory, Materiality and the Politics of Postcolonial Regret in Newfoundland.
This concern with the material traces of the past and politics of heritage and commemoration has lead 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: http://www.san.ed.ac.uk/research/bones_collective
Other research interests are associated with projects concerning the organisation and integration of health and social care services in the UK, and in particular the ways in which one may apply anthropological approaches to the understanding of "management" in these settings. This interest has lead me to be closely involved in the design and delivery of the postgraduate programme in Integrated Service Improvement, offered by the School of Health and Social Science. From this work some colleagues and I have initiated a project which will design and pilot a method of evaluate the organisational benefits of programmes of further training and continuous professional development offered to managers in the public and third sectors.
Finally, building upon my interest in the temporality of physical world and the sensuous presence of the past, I have been involved with Sawyer Seminar Series entitled "Embodied Values: Bringing the Sense Back to the Environment, which was hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh (see: http://www.iash.ed.ac.uk/Sawyer/Home.html). Additionally, I am developing, in collaboration with colleagues at the Edinburgh College of Art and elsewhere, a research network concerning "capital ruins", and the experience of time in sites of urban regeneration in Edinburgh and other cities. A pilot study, focusing on sites in Granton and Foutainbridge in Edinburgh, has been supported by the "Challenge Fund" of the University of Edinburgh and the research is presently under way.
- Beothuk ghosts: memory, materiality and the poetics of postcolonial guilt in Newfoundland. Montreal and Kingston:McGill-Queen's University Press. Contract issued, book in preparation.
Co-authored books / Special Issues of Journals
- 2010 with C. Krmpotich & J. Fontein (eds) The Substance of Bones: the emotive materiality and affective presence of human remains. Special issue of the Journal of Material Culture 15(4).
- with N. Konopinski, T. Kelly, L. Jeffrey, I. Harper & J. Fontein. Imagining Anthropological Research, London: Routledge. Contract issued, manuscript has been delivered to the publishers.
- with J. Fontein (ed), The vitality and affect of human substances. Special issue of Critical African Studies.
- with A. McLachlan & P. Travlou (eds), Reimagining ruins. Special Issue of City and Society.
Chapters / Journal Articles
- 2012 with P. Filipucci, J. Fontein & C. Krmpotich, Encountering the past: unearthing remnants of humans in archaeology and anthropology, in Archaeology and Anthropology: Past Present and Future, D. Shankland (ed.), Oxford: Berg.
- 2011 with G. Huby & S. Grant, Contributions of ethnography to the study of public services management, Public Management Review 12(1) January 2011.
- 2010 Of bleeding skulls and the postcolonial uncanny: bones and the presence of Nonosabasut and Demasduit, Journal of Material Culture 15(4).
- 2010 with C. Krmpotich & J. Fontein,The substance of bones: the emotive materiality and affective presence of human remains, Journal of Material Culture 15(4).
- Weeds: ruination, vitality and growth in the cracks of urban design, being prepared for submission as part of Reimagining Ruins, a special issue of City and Society.
- Touching the past: the feel of stone and the tactile presence of the absent other, being prepared for submission to the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
- With G. Huby, Bloody paperwork: alienation and audit cultures in integrated health and social care services, to be submitted to Work Employment and Society.
- In there somewhere: sensing the presence of the Beothuk in the wilds of Newfoundland, chapter being prepared for New directions in the study of the Beothuk, F. Polack (ed.), Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
- Still barren to the imagination as at the creation: the relationship between the study of Scottish rocks and the envisioning of the landscape of Newfoundland in the early 19th century, being revised for publication in Newfoundland and Labrador Studies.
- 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.