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Professor Stephen Nugent BA PhD

Position held:

+44 (0)20 7919 7805

s.nugent (

Department of Anthropology
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
SE14 6NW

Office hours:
Tuesday: 10am-12pm
Wednesday: 10am-12pm


I studied at Reed and at the London School of Economics. My research in Brazil has focused mainly on Amazonian societies, especially mestiço peasants of the Lower Amazon. I founded and continue to convene the MA in Visual Anthropology and edit the journal Critique of Anthropology.


Professor Stephen Nugent convenes the MA Visual Anthropology

He teaches the following courses:

Areas of supervision

Current MPhil/PhD students supervised:

  • Elaine Forde, Self sufficiency in Wales
  • Sarah Howard, Collective responsibility, collective shame? An ethnographic study of sanitation promotion in Amhara Region, Ethiopia
  • Clate Korsant, Environmental Education and the Aesthetics of Conservation in Costa Rica
  • Jesccia Sklair Correa, Philanthropic Identities: a comparative study of wealth, responsibility and the pursuit of social change among contemporary elites in Brazil and the UK
  • Johannes Wilm, Nicaragua, back from the dead? An anthropological study of Sandinismo


Research interests

I studied at Reed and at the London School of Economics and before coming to Goldsmiths taught at UCL. My research in Brazil, in the Lower Amazon, has mainly focused on aspects of peasant economy and particularly historical peasant societies transformed by the ‘national integration’ policies associated with the construction of the Transamazon Highway. Publications based on my work in Amazonia include Big Mouth: the Amazon Speaks (1990), Amazonian Caboclo Society (1994), Some Other Amazonians: Perspectives on Modern Amazonia (2004 – co-edited with Mark Harris), and Scoping the Amazon: Image Icon Ethnography (2007). A documentary film about musicians of the Sonora Desert (Waila: the Music of the Tohono O’odham) was released in 2009 and Faux Vintage: a Social History of the Electric Guitar has just been completed. I have taught a range of courses in the Department, but currently I am mainly responsible for theory and practice aspects of the MA in Visual Anthropology. I am co-editor of the journal Critique of Anthropology.

Selected publications

Scoping the Amazon: image, icon, ethnography, to be published 1 February by Berg

'Some reflections on anthropological structural Marxism', in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13(2), June 2007

Some Other Amazonians: Perspectives on Modern Amazonia (edited with Mark Harris), 2004.

‘Ecologism as an idiom in Amazonian Anthropology’ in D. Anderson and E. Berglund (eds) Ethnographies of Conservation: Environmentalism and the Distibution of Privilege, 2003.

‘ “Clubbed to death”: anthropology, the Yanomami, Science and Ethics’ in P. Caplan (ed.) The Ethics of Anthropology: Debates and Dilemmas. London: Routledge. 2003

‘Whither o campesinato? Historical peasantries of Brazilian Amazonia', The Journal of Peasant Studies 29:3/4 2002.

Elite Cultures: Anthropological Perspectives. S. Nugent and C. Shore (eds), 2002.

Where’s the Rabbi? Jewish Communities of the Lower Amazon (ethnographic film), 2001.

Amazonian Caboclo Society: An Essay on Invisibility and Peasant Economy, 1993.

‘ Anthropology, Science, Culture: ‘he Yanomai Science Ethics’, in Anthropology Today. June 2001.

‘Good Risk, Bad Risk: Reflexive Modernisation and Amazonia’, in Risk Revisited. pp 226-248. Pat Caplan (ed). Pluto Press: London. 2000

Where’s the Rabbi? Jewish Communities in the Lower Amazon’ , an ethnographic film. 2000

Verging on the Marginal: Modern Amazonian Peasantries, in Lilies of the Field: Marginal People who Live for the Moment: Studies in the Ethnographic Imagination. pp 179-195. S Day, M Stewart & E Papataxiarchis (eds) Westview Press: Oxford. 1999

The Co-ordinates of identity in Amazonia: At Play in the Fields of Culture’, in Critique of Anthropology. 17(1): 33-51. 1997

Amazonian Indians and Peasants: Coping in the Age of Development’, in Green Guerrillas. Latin American Books: London. 1996

Big Mouth: The Amazon Speaks. Brown Trout Press: San Francisco. 1994

Amazonian Caboclo Society: An Essay in Invisibility and Peasant Economy. Berg: Oxford. 1993

Content last modified: 13 Jan 2015

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