Current MPhil/PhD students

In this section


Details of the departments current MPhil/PhD students and their research

Expand each section below to see what our research students are up to.

Alena Oaka

Supervisors: Frances Pine, Les Back

Amy Tapsfield

Supervisor: Dr. Gavin Weston

Consent to Violence and The Violence of Consent: Martial Arts Training Amongst the Tokyo Police

Martial arts are an integral part of police training in modern Tokyo, a city which enjoys unusually low rates of violent crime considering it's size, population density, and economic standing. Having spent 11 months training in Yoshinkan Aikido together with ten police officers, and then a further 7 months as an instructor, my research focusses on the embodied practices and ritualistic habitus of the specialised training that takes place within the dojo. Focusing on embodied forms of communication within strict hierarchies and ritualistic constructions of space, my project looks at how actions of controlled violence are performed, consented to, and balanced with a situation of care.


  • June 2019: Anthropology in London Day 2019: ‘Turbulence’. SOAS, University of London. Paper Title: "Unspoken Negotiations: Pain and Consent in a Japanese Aikido Dojo"

Anna Wilson

Supervisors: Stephen Nugent, Massimiliano Mollona

The economic impact of the international copper commodity trade on local mining populations in Peru.

My research explores the economic impact of the global copper commodity trade on high Andean communities local to a multinational mine in Peru. The study examines the changes to subsistence, wage-labour and trade patterns brought by large mines to local populations. Further, through the analysis of international copper trade flows and mining company structures, I examine potential linkages between actions and effects at different points in the commodity chain thereby linking the experience of copper extraction in Andean communities to the global trade in copper.

Avery Delany

Supervisors: Elena Gonzalez-Polledro & Gavin Weston 

Become Human: Affective Personhood and the Emergent Body in Single-Player Video Games

My thesis explores how ideas of what it means to be “human” come to be created, expressed and experienced. I focus specifically on single-player science fiction video games, primarily Detroit: Become Human (Quantic Dream, 2018), as a site where this occurs and am particularly interested in: how ideas of human/non-humanness are co-created between video game players and developers; what cultural, historical and social narratives of personhood are drawn upon, reinforced and/or reimagined through these games; and what kinds of ideas about personhood, the body and futures are co-produced, by who and for who.

SeNSS ESRC Doctoral Studentship

I am the co-founder and co-convener of the Decolonising Anthropology reading group within the department, alongside Dr Gabriel Dattatreyan and Dr Julia Sauma, and part of the editorial collective for Decol Anth @ Goldsmiths. Additionally, I am a co-director of the London Science Fiction Research Community, member of the Beyond Gender collective, and social media officer for the European Network for Queer Anthropologists (EASA).

Forthcoming Publications

  • Moments: Diversity Work, Exhaustion and the Remaking of Anthropology (article) in the "Rethinking Diversity" special issue of Teaching Anthropology
  • The Digital and Queer Potential of Feminist Science Fiction (co-written chapter) in Technologies of Feminist Speculative Fiction edited collection

Conference Papers

  • Ethics of Care to Self as Anthropologist, Doing Ethnography Ethically in the Digital Age (roundtable), EASA, July 2020
  • Gendered Android Labor in Detroit: Become Human, International Conference on Gender Studies, February 2020
  • Disrupting Methodologies: Anthropological Research in an Increasingly Digital World, Anthropology in London Day, June 2019

Caterina Sartori

Supervisors: Isaac Marrero-Guillamon and Chris Wright

Living Room: dwelling, demolition and displacement on a South London housing estate

Housing estate regeneration and demolition is a widespread phenomenon in contemporary Britain. Demolition often results in the displacement of housing estate residents, many of whom cannot afford to remain in the area once regeneration is complete. In my research I work in collaboration with residents of one estate in South London, both tenants and homeowners, to understand how dwelling within demolition works. In particular I focus on how regimes of expertise, infrastructure and temporality structure life within a demolition landscape.


  • 2019 ASA "Contested spaces, unequal knowledge"
  • 2018 Society for Cultural Anthropology and the Society for Visual Anthropology Displacements Conference "Return to Sender: Your Building doesn't Exist"


  • 2019 Athens Ethnographic Film Festival "Living Room" (2019, 8', UK)

Catherine Nugent

Supervisors: Massimiliano Mollona and Sophie Day

Title: tbc

Government, industry and experts claim ultra-fast fibre optic telecommunications are essential to deliver the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution of big data applications, cloud computing, the “Internet of Things” and automation of work. Yet at the heart of the upgrade is an intricate task for engineers working in a congested urban landscape — replacing copper wiring, and threading fibre optic cables under pavements and roads.

This ethnographic research will follow the changing conditions, livelihoods and material complexities of the work for London engineers involved in upgrading broadband to “ultrafast”. The research will examine what these infrastructure workers produce, how they produce it, the perspectives they have on bringing connectivity to society.

The research will also investigate a micro-urban context for these installations — the uses, desires, and relationships that are being reshaped by the advent of ultrafast.

SeNSS ERSC studentship

Catrina Schwendener

Supervisors: Massimilano Mollona; Victoria Goddard

Carrying the old in the new: Economic reforms and livelihoods in the Chinese steel industry.

My research focuses on the lives of steel workers and their families in a steel town in China. The steel industry's history bears economic but also symbolic and political importance for China's economic development and has been cruicial for China's position today as the biggest steel producer in the world. As China is adapting to a 'new normal' growth level and shifting its focus away from manufacturing and heavy industry the Chinese steel sector has seen changes in industrial policies which have affected workers and their families. Within this context my research looks at the ways in which workers and their families devise socially, economically and culturally valued livelihoods, and what expectations of the future they hold.

Claire Calvagna

Supervisors: Gavin Weston; Helen Cornish

Fent camí (making way): walking tours, pilgrim trails, excursionisme (hiking) and the cercavila (parade / procession) in Catalonia (working title)

An exploration of structured routes and guided walking as the site of memory production and identity construction through narratives of the past (re)articulated within the current political climate and the context of building a future Catalan nation.

Elena Liber

Supervisors: Frances Pine; Emma Tarlo 

“And that’s how it was”: Small stories of big histories in post-Soviet Ukraine

My research investigates the transmission of alternative histories and memory in post-Maidan Ukraine. I carried out three periods of ethnographic fieldwork in Lviv, Ukraine, collecting life histories and examining the role of storytelling, material objects and landscape in the way the past is articulated.

CHASE AHRC Doctoral Studentship

Conference Papers

  • (2018) - "To the eternal memory of the event": Walking as a methodology for exploring the silent histories of Lviv, Ukraine. Elena Liber. EASA 2018: Staying Moving Settling. Stockholm, Sweden. 
  • (2019)  “It didn’t happen here or happen now but it happened to us”: How young people activate the memory of the Holodomor through fasting in Lviv, Ukraine. Anthropology in London Day 2019: Turbulence, UCL, University of London.
  • (2019) Generous Engagements: Towards an ethics of generosity in the classroom and beyond. ASA 2019: Anthropological Perspectives on Global Challenges, University of East Anglia. 
  • (2019) Mobilising the past: The presence of history and memory in the political lives of young people in L'viv, Ukraine. AAA/CASCA 2019: Changing Climates. Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Convening Panel

  • (2019) Generosity and Analysis. ASA 2019: Anthropological Perspectives on Global Challenges, University of East Anglia.



Flora Bartlett

Supervisors: Dr. Chris WrightDr. Pauline von Hellerman 

Landscape, climate change and scales of environmentalism in northern Sweden 

My research explores landscape and scales of environmentalism in a small community in northern Sweden, examining how climate change discourses are received or rejected as they are seen as further environmental meddling from the out-of-touch urban south. Focus is given instead to local concerns such as recycling and the negative impacts of the national hydroelectric project. This research explores therefore how scales are both created and collapsed across environmental issues such as climate change, and the tensions that can emerge across such scales.


Conference presentations and publications:

  • Language and the Media Conference 2013 - ‘Rude on Reddit: Building and Breaking Social Identities Online’ (BA Dissertation)
  • Queen Mary, University of London’s English Language and Linguistics Postgraduate Conference 2013 - ‘Rude on Reddit: Building and Breaking Social Identities Online’ (BA Dissertation)
  • Uses of Aesthetics conference at Karlstad University, September 2019, as part of the Photography and the Method of Art panel - 'Experimental photography in explorations of experienced landscapes'
  • Anthropology in London Day, UCL 2019 - 'The threat of climate change discourses in northern Sweden'
  • Futures of the Real: Goldsmiths Postgraduate Conference 2019 - 'Experimental photography in explorations of non-human landscapes'
  • Directed a short film as part of the 'Arktis: medan isen smälter' exhibition at Nordiska Museet, Stockholm (opening October 2019) and contributed a piece entitled 'Interactions on Ice' to the exhibition's publication and a visual epilogue (in press).
  • Bartlett, Flora Mary. 2018. 'Alternative Photography as an Ethnographic Method' - Brief Encounters Vol. 2 No. 1 (Jan 2018), pp. 93-102
  • CHASE Encounters 2017 - 'Alternative photography as ethnographic practice'

Florian Carl

Supervisors: Jason Hickel; Martyn Wemyss

Indigenous-Settler Relations in Sápmi: Community Organizing at the Verge of Dystopian Realities and Anti-Colonial Futures.

This Action Research (Smith 1999) supports anti-colonial relations and decolonization processes, providing a critical engagement of community organizing at the intersection of relations between Indigenous Sámi and people or groups from colonial majority societies in Northern Europe.

With this research, I recognize that reciprocal relations with people, lands, waters and more-than-human relatives must be central to the ways that visions of just and sustainable futures guide present actions (Whyte 2018b). In practice, this means that a meaningful transformation away from current dystopias (Whyte 2018a) must be grounded in transparent relations based on consensuality, trust, and reciprocity (Betasamosake Simpson 2017).

I aim to support Indigenous resurgence, Indigenous futurism, and making kin, to transcend and dismantle Western worldviews, traditions of oppression, and systems of power. Consequently, this project also provides a broader reflection on issues surrounding the “ally-industrial complex” and “green colonialism”.

My research approach emphasizes the work by BIPOC and LGBTQI2+ communities. I thereby utilize "ethnographies of encounter" (Faier & Rofel 2014), "thick relationality" (Briggs 2020), and methods from Visual Anthropology to generate insights based on multi-species fieldwork, workshops, artivist interventions as well as collaborative campaigning. Through this, I also hope to co-create reciprocal pedagogical moments with Sámi and conspirators or accomplices, nurturing emergent strategies (Brown 2017) to support multi-front anti-colonial struggles.


Betasamosake Simpson, L., 2017. As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Brown, A. M., 2017. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. California: AK Press.

Faier, L., and Rofel, L., 2014. Ethnographies of Encounter. Annual Review of Anthropology, 43, pp. 363-377.

Smith, L. T., 1999. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books.

Whyte, K. P., 2018a. Indigenous science (fiction) for the Anthropocene: Ancestral dystopias and fantasies of climate change crises. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 1 (1-2), pp. 224-242.

Whyte, K. P., 2018b. White Allies, Let’s Be Honest About Decolonization. yes!. [article] 3 April. Available at: [Accessed 10 August 2020].

Henrike Neuhaus

Supervisors: Prof Victoria Goddard, Dr Chris Wright

Supervisors: Victoria Goddard; Chris Wright

Practices of care: exploring Asian martial arts in urban settings of Buenos Aires.

I explore the Asian martial art Taekwondo in Argentina. Through visual anthropological methods, the scope reaches beyond aspects of teaching and apprenticeship. Analysing the material, I ask questions such as: What does of care mean and how does it affect and signify forms of circulation and appropriation of urban spaces? What kind of obligations and demands spark from caring relationships?

Accordingly, I scrutinise how practices of care unfold in different urban settings of the megacity Buenos Aires. The project aims to examine care through the lens of gender, age and moving bodies in relation to class identities and ethnicity in particular.

Producing an installation of a map that is linked to several short films, the aim is also to create an audio-visual-counter gift and an exhibition that describes the practices of care and evokes a sensation of the different urban spaces.

Goldsmiths Graduate School and Anthropology Department, Wenner Gren

Publications, conferences and work


  • Paper: “Move like in the movies – motivation to learn an Asian combat system” Days of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna.
  • Paper: “Becoming a hero (masculinity and idols for learning martial arts)” Masculinities and Mobilities workshop, Goldsmiths University of London
  • Work: Research Assistant, School of Anthropology and Museum of ethnography University of Oxford


  • Paper: “Creating cultures of equality through Taekwondo” In: Martial Arts and Society. Zur gesellschaftlichen Bedeutung von Kampfkunst, Kampfsport und Selbstverteidigung 6. Jahrestagung der dvs-Kommission »Kampfkunst und Kampfsport« vom 6.–8. Oktober 2016 in Köln. Swen Körner and Leo Istas eds., Hamburg: Czwalina 2017: 111-121.
  • ADLAF Congress, FES Berlin Poster: “Fighting inequalities through martial arts” Violence and inequality



  • ADLAF Congress, FES Berlin Poster: “Fighting inequalities through martial arts” Violence and inequality



  • Work: Research Assistant, CEDESI (Centre for studies of inequalities, subjects and Institutions) of the University of San Martín, Argentina
  • Guest Lecture: “Entrevista en el documental” [The Interview in Documentary film], at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism (FADU) at University of Buenos Aires
  • Review: Bussi, E., Mantiñán, M., Bonilla Muñoz, M., Nievas, A., Machado, M., Pignataro, G., Pregliasco, M., Ojeda, M., Armella, J., Dafunchio, S., Langer, E.,Schwamberger, C. (2018), Silencios que gritan 2 - relatos urbanos en primera persona. Edited by Silvia Grinberg and Yanina Carpintieri, Córdoba: Baéz Ediciones. In: Revista Latinoamericana de Políticasy Administración de la Educación 5 (8):110-112.


  • HE-Teaching: Associate Lecturer Goldsmiths (Anthropological Methods 1 UG y. 1, Anthropology and the Visual 1 UG y. 2) Academic Practice: Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) and completing the PG-Cert to become a Fellow of the HE Academy.
  • Paper: “’You Could Make a Documentary Based on My Life History’- Interrogating Consent.” Anthropology in London Day
  • Paper: “Self-defence practices in Buenos Aires: Contesting urban inequalities through participatory methods.” Co-author: Cintia Schwamberger. ASA Norwich
  • Paper: “Dimensions of Consent: Life stories and questioning constellations of power within a group.” ASA Norwich


  • HE-Teaching: Associate Lecturer Goldsmiths (Digital, visual and media anthropology, Foundation year, Anthropology of a selected region 1 and 2)
  • Panel: “Moving Bodies: mapping mobility and practices of sport, martial arts and dance in urban spaces.” RAI2020 London
  • Panel: “Thinking about other ways of telling the world: the necessity of activist/engaged anthropology in a global world.” RAI2020 London
  • Paper: “The Spiritual and Martial Body: Catholicism and Taekwondo in Urban Argentina.” Martial Arts Research Network Annual Conference.

Outlook 2021

  • Panel: "Moving bodies: visualising physical activities and capturing (e)motional landscapes of the researcher and researched." RAI Film Festival 2021
  • Panel: "Between academic theory-building and social engagement: Discussing creative workshops and participatory video making." RAI Film Festival 2021

Organising online events:

  • Beyond the Quarantine in Latin America (Latin America is Moving Collective)
  • Departmental Seminar Series Autumn 2020 (Anthropology PGR)
  • Anthropology of Sport Working Group (co-hosted by Ben Hildred, Durham)

Visual Material

  • Taekwondo related:
  • Other productions:

Most videos are password protected, please do not hesitate to contact h.neuhaus (

Websites ;

Iliana Tsankova

Supervisors: Frances PineVictoria Goddard

The interplay of gender and religion in the case of Bulgarian Roma women

Katya Lachowicz

Supervisors: Isaac Marrero-Guillamon

Politics of Matter: Constellations of Landscape, Utopianism and Value in Southern Spain

My research investigates the construction of political imaginaries across two points of tension in the south of Spain: the first is the site of a neoliberal greenhouse model on the coastline of Almería and the other a series of self-sufficient communities perched on the mountains above.
Understanding both as components of a constellational puzzle, the research aims to answer how these two models have developed political imaginaries dependent on specific interconnections between landscape, utopianism, value and matter. How does the past echoes into the present, and what this mean for the construction of potential futures?


  • Rethinking Crisis, Resistance and Strategy
    Historical Materialism Conference, Panteion University, Athens, Greece,
    2nd-5th May 2019
  • The Fourth International Conference on Visual Representations of the Other
    Institute of Ethnology and Folklore, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2nd-5th December 2015
  • SIEF2015: Utopias, Realities, Heritages: Ethnographies for the 21st Century,
    Zagreb, Croatia, 21st - 25th June 2015
  • Contextualizing Changes: Migrations, Shifting Borders and New Identities in Eastern Europe, Dom na Uchenia, Sofia, Bulgaria,
    8th - 10th October 2014


  • 'Community-Led Politics during the Kurdish Rebellion 1979', Chinese Journal of Turkish Studies [Chinese], Winter Quarter 2020
  • 'Scrub Hub an Autonomous Mutual Aid Response to Covid-19' Anarchist Studies Blog, June 2020:
  • 'The Gourmet Nazi: Nationalism's Base in Privilege over Poverty' in (eds.) D'Urbano, A., Wildi Merino, I., Cultural Clash Nomade, International Neighborhood Verlag, (forthcoming)
  • 'Nouvelles d'Iran', Agitation Autonome [French], August 2019:
  • 'The Cultivation of Image in the Multimedial Landscape of the Polish Film Chronicle' in (eds.) Demski D., Kassabova, A., Kristóf I., Laineste L., Baraniecka-Olszewska K., The Multimedialized Other: The Construction of Reality in East-Central Europe 1945-1980, L'Harmattan, 2017, pp.198-213


Larisa Carranza

Supervisors: Dr Alice Elliot and Dr Martyn Wemyss

San Romero: mapping memories, stories and bodies in contemporary El Salvador (working title)

Malte Gembus

Supervisors: Dr. Gavin Weston, Dr. Mark Johnson

Between Being & Belonging, Remembering & Aspiring, Leaving and Performing - Young People and Agency in the Guatemalan Diaspora in Southern Mexico  

My research project focuses on the performative registers of self among young people in the Guatemalan diaspora in Chiapas Mexico. I am a youth worker and my way of engaging with research participants was mostly through facilitating workshops and creative sessions, exploring topics that are important to them and more specifically the development of a postmemorial theatre project. Considerations from ethnographic research as well as creative, participatory and performance-oriented youth work have shaped the project's methodology. My writing focuses mostly on agency, memory, migration and performance.


Manuel Alvarez

Supervisors: Victoria Goddard, Frances Pine 

Migration, Health and Emotion in London: HIV Prevention among Latin American Men Who Have Sex with Men

Ethnographic study exploring how emotions interact with other socio-cultural and political factors to shape Latin American MSM’s everyday lives to provide a better understanding of their migratory process and experience and its relation to HIV prevention.

Robert Deakin

Supervisors: Isaac Marrero-Guillamón; Chris Wright

Poplar stories: Place, heritage and the affective infrastructure of urban regeneration in the former docklands of east London.

My research explores the entanglements of urban regeneration and heritage in Poplar, in the former docklands of east London. I am interested in the ways contested and submerged histories of place, race and class are sensed, navigated and negotiated by various actors amid the dramatic remaking of Poplar's urban landscape. I work through multimodal methods, including collaborative film making.

CHASE AHRC Doctoral Studentship


  • “Motorcycle in Repose”: 4 Images of the Pre-Regenerated Aberfeldy Estate, delivered to the round-table discussion “The Anticipation of Place” at the Royal Anthropological Institute Conference. September 2020.
  • “’Save Our Historical market’: Urban Regeneration and Contested Forms of Heritage-Making at Chrisp Street Market”, delivered to the panel “Researching Marketplaces across Disciplinary and Geographical Divides”, Royal Geographical Society Conference. August 2019.
  • “On the Idea of a Brutalist Ethics”, delivered to the CHASE symposium, “On the Social in Architecture, hosted by the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. June 2018


  • Motorcycle in Repose: 4 Images of the Pre-Regenerated Aberfeldy Estate, part of the online exhibition, “The Anticipation of Place” at the Royal Anthropological Institute conference. September 2020. (With James Watters).
  • ‘Jimmy’s Archive’, at the Tommy Flowers Pub, Poplar, East London. December 2019 (With James Watters). View the project webpage here:

Social media research platform

Safa Daud

Supervisors: Julia Sauma; Jason Hickel

Cultural Genocide: Climate induced genocide in the North Western Amazonia of Brazil.

This research project seeks to understand the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on indigenous peoples lives and livelihoods in the Brazilian Amazon, and whether turning a blind eye on the destruction of indigenous people’s livelihoods can be recognised as an act of modern-day cultural genocide.

In order to understand this, this research will consider the debate over whether the Brazilian government can be held responsible for the destruction of indigenous people’s habitats’ and whether the charge of cultural genocide can be brought against the government.

Sofia Yu

Supervisors: Julia Sauma; Chris Wright

Resisting civilisation: The Mbyá Guarani in urban Brazil.

My PhD research examines the Indigenous resistance to the civilising process in Brazil. More specifically, It focuses on the Mbyá Guarani struggle for sovereign over Jaraguá territory in the city of São Paulo. This investigation adopts a collaborative-participatory approach and is primarily conducted  through photography.

Thomas Fearon

Supervisors: Emma Tarlo and Gabriel Dattatreyan

Making Space for God: Mediation and Aspiration among young Christians in London (working title)

Current doctoral research investigates the experiences, formations, and expressions of Christian faith for young people, particularly students, in London. My specific interest is in the role of global Pentecostal-Charismatic movements in the formation of identity and aspiration in the contemporary African diaspora, working through the dynamics of materials, media and the body, to think about how subjectivities and spaces are made for God.



  • May 2019: AAA Society for the Anthropology of Religion (SAR): ‘Politics of Religious Knowledge and Ignorance’. University of Toronto. Paper title: "Between worldly and divine: Transformation and embodied knowledge in anthropological fieldwork"
  • June 2019: Anthropology in London Day 2019: ‘Turbulence’. SOAS, University of London. Paper Title: "Hot, cold, and lukewarm: Between Christianity and non-Christianity"

Yathukulan Yogarajah

Supervisors: Rebecca Cassidy; Massimiliano Mollona

Uncertainty and Possibility in the World of Cryptocurrencies.

My research looks at how uncertainties and possibilities unfurl at the interface of cryptocurrencies and finance in London. I’m more broadly interested in thinking through uncertainty, money, race, storytelling, scams, gambling, amongst other things.

I have carried out extensive fieldwork within the cryptocurrency community in London – a place where people from the financial and enterprise world interact with people who have made their millions from their bedrooms, resulting in a ‘hoodie-wearing’ finance culture. I have also carried out digital ethnography looking at the cryptocurrency community at a more global level.

SeNSS ESRC Doctoral Studentship


(2020) ‘Storytelling in the World of Cryptocurrencies’ – EASA 2020 Lisbon. Panel: Digital encounters, cashless cultures: Ethnographic perspectives on the impact of digital finance on economic communities

(2019) ‘The Disruptive Gift of Crypto’ – AAA, Changing Climates Vancouver, BC, Canada. Panel: Actors, Movements and Transactions in Economic Networks.

(2019) ‘Doing anthropology at home; collapsing of the desk and field’ – ASA 2019: Anthropological Perspectives on Global Challenges, University of East Anglia. Panel: Generosity and Analysis Panel.

(2019) ‘Uncertainty; Anthropological practices in the Blockchain World.’ Anthropology in London Day 2019: Turbulence, UCL, University of London.


Teachouts Summer 2020, Goldsmiths.

Twitter: @YatuYoga