Dr Chris Wright MA, PhD

Staff details

Dr Chris Wright MA, PhD


Senior Lecturer & Exams Officer




c.wright (@gold.ac.uk)

I'm a visual anthropologist and an artist and I'm interested in creatively bringing those two fields together...

I originally trained as an artist and continue to work in painting, drawing, photography, video, and sound. During my earlier role as Photographic Officer at the Royal Anthropological Institute in London I spent time returning collections of 19th century anthropological photographs to their original communities in Sikkim, Himalayas; New Mexico, USA; and the Solomon Islands, South Pacific. I have curated exhibitions – such as The Impossible Science of Being at the Photographer’s Gallery in 1995 – and organised conferences - Beyond Text? Synaesthetic and Sensory Practices in Anthropology, University of Manchester 2007.
I teach visual anthropology – both theoretical and practice-based modules – and am concerned with helping students explore a really wide range of creative possibilities for using audiovisual media within an anthropological framework, and in collaborating with them as they develop their own working practices.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD Social Anthropology, University College London 2002

Research interests

I am interested in the practical and theoretical connections between anthropology and contemporary art.
To explore these overlaps I have collaborated and worked with artists – such as Dave Lewis (http://www.focaalblog.com/2015/08/03/dave-lewis-field-work/ ) – initiated conferences - such as Fieldworks: dialogues between art and anthropology, Tate Modern, London, 2003;– and published co-edited volumes – Contemporary Art and Anthropology (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Contemporary-Art-Anthropology-Arnd-Schneider/dp/1845201035 ); Anthropology and Art Practice (https://www.bloomsburycollections.com/book/anthropology-and-art-practice/); Between Art and Anthropology (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Between-Anthropology-Contemporary-Ethnographic-Practice/dp/1847885004 )
I am currently working on completing a book based on my recent three-year Leverhulme research fellowship – A Life More Photographic (looking at everyday photographic practices in the UK) - as well as continuing a project on artificial glaciers and environment, and providing ‘internet-in-a-box’ to communities in Ladakh, northern India.
In terms of audiovisual work I continue to experiment with the possibilities of using digital video, sound, drawing, animation, and photography within anthropology.

Grants and awards

2015: A Life More Photographic: mediated presence and photography’s possible futures
Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship

Publications and research outputs


Wright, Chris. 2013. "The Echo of Things": The Lives of Photographs in the Solomon Islands. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-5510-6

Edited Book

Cox, Rupert; Irving, Andrew and Wright, Chris, eds. 2016. Beyond text?: Critical practices and sensory anthropology. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719085055

Schneider, Arnd and Wright, Chris, eds. 2010. Between Art and Anthropology: Contemporary Ethnographic Practice. Oxford: Berg. ISBN 9781847885012

Schneider, Arnd and Wright, Chris, eds. 2005. Contemporary Art and Anthropology. Oxford: Berg. ISBN 1845201035

Book Section

Wright, Christopher. 2023. Resonance: engaging with the more-than-human through Ladakhi soundworlds. In: Phillip Vannini, ed. The Routledge International Handbook of Sensory Ethnography. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 287-299. ISBN 9781032328737

Wright, Chris. 2020. The New Art of Ethnographic Filmmaking. In: Phillip Vannini, ed. The Routledge International Handbook of Ethnographic Film and Video. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 49-60. ISBN 9780367185824

Wright, Chris. 2018. Photo-Ethnography. In: Hilary Callan, ed. International Encyclopaedia of Anthropology. London: Wiley. ISBN 9781118924396


Wright, Chris. 2018. Uncertain Realities : Art, Anthropology, and Activism. FIELD: A Journal of Socially-Engaged Art Criticism(11), pp. 1-11. ISSN 2694-0094

Wright, Chris. 2008. “A Devil's Engine”: Photography and Spirits in the Western Solomon Islands. Visual Anthropology, 21(4), pp. 364-380. ISSN 0894-9468

Wright, Chris. 2004. Material and Memory: photography in the western Solomon Islands. Journal of Material Culture, 9(1), pp. 73-85. ISSN 13591835


Wright, Chris. 2003. Presence.. In: "Presence", Leighton House, 1/14/2003 - 3/2/2003.