Dr Gavin Weston

Staff details

Position Lecturer and Undergraduate Admissions Tutor
Department Anthropology
Email g.weston (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7780
Dr Gavin Weston

My doctoral research was on Guatemalan vigilantism, and while I still consider the anthropology of violence my primary field of research, since completing my PhD at Sussex in 2008 I have written and researched on topics as spanning from the Antiques Roadshow through to gambling advertising. My most recent book (with Natalie Djohari) explores the history of anthropology through controversies, aiming to introduce those new to anthropology to its history without glossing over the more problematic areas. In 2021 I will be conducting research for the British Academy/Leverhulme funded project 'Watching the Coast'. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Editor of the Royal Anthropological Institute's Teaching Anthropology journal. I am also Admissions Tutor, Convenor of the BA Anthropology, and I run the Anthropology Department’s summer school.

Academic qualifications

  • DPhil Anthropology - University of Sussex 2008
  • MSc Social Research Methods 2002
  • BA Anthropology 2001
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 2019

Teaching and Supervision

Research interests

I have two primary areas of research: the first is anthropology of violence and vigilantism, having explored Guatemalan lynchings for my PhD I am now exploring digital vigilantism globally. I am interested in the intersections between anthropology, popular culture and violence and the relationship between state and non-state groups in the use and regulation of violence. My second area of interest is staff/student collaborative research which so far has involved the Antiques Roadshow, anthropologists bookshelves and children/gambling advertising - with new projects on mudlarking and boardgames in development.



Weston, Gavin and Djohari, Natalie. 2020. Anthropological Controversies: The ‘Crimes’ and Misdemeanors that Shaped a Discipline. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781138616721

Weston, Gavin. 2019. Guatemalan Vigilantism and the Global(Re)Production of Collective Violence: A Tale of Two Lynchings. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780367784218

Book Section

Weston, Gavin and Burrell, Jennifer. 2007. Lynchings and Post-War Complexities in Guatemala. In: David Pratten and Sen Atrevee, eds. Global Vigilantes. London: Hurst & Company, pp. 371-392. ISBN 978-1850658382


Weston, Gavin; Liber, Elena; Urdea, Alexandra and Cornish, Helen. 2022. Queue-munity engagement: Collaborative Event Ethnography at the Antiques Roadshow in Kent. Ethnography, 23(1), pp. 130-150. ISSN 1466-1381

Djohari, Natalie; Weston, Gavin; Cassidy, Rebecca and Kulas-Reid, Ivana. 2021. The visibility of gambling sponsorship in football related products marketed directly to children. Soccer & Society, 22(7), pp. 769-777. ISSN 1466-0970

Weston, Gavin; Woodman, Justin; Cornish, Helen and Djohari, Natalie. 2019. Spectral cities: Death and living memories in the dark tourism of British ghost walks. Urbanities, 9(2), pp. 36-51. ISSN 2239-5725

Djohari, Natalie; Weston, Gavin; Cassidy, Rebecca; Wemyss, Martyn and Thomas, Samantha. 2019. Recall and awareness of gambling advertising and sponsorship in sport in the UK: a study of young people and adults. Harm Reduction Journal, 16(24), pp. 1-12.

Weston, Gavin; Santos, Dominique; Tantam, William and Fenby-Hulse, Kieran. 2019. The Fieldwork Playlist - Editorial. Suomen Antropologi, 43(2), pp. 53-57. ISSN 0355-3930

Weston, Gavin. 2019. Fieldwork Playlist: Song featuring lyrics ‘Oh Senor…’ quite a lot’: Mayan Evangelical Singer. Suomen Antropologi, 43(2), pp. 67-70. ISSN 0355-3930

Weston, Gavin and Djohari, Natalie. 2018. Student/staff ‘Collaborative Event Ethnography’ at the Antiques Roadshow. Journal Of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change, 4(1), pp. 1-7.

Weston, Gavin; Lawson, Jamie F; Blell, Mwenza and Hayton, John. 2015. Anthropologists in Films: “The Horror! The Horror!”. American Anthropologist, 117(2), pp. 316-328. ISSN 0002-7294

Weston, Gavin. 2013. Superheroes and Comic Book Vigilantes Versus Real Life Vigilantes: An Anthropological Answer to the Kick-Ass Paradox. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 4(2), pp. 223-234. ISSN 2150-4857

Weston, Gavin. 2012. On the Pedagogical Strengths of Teaching Controversy. Teaching Anthropology, 2(1), ISSN 1537-1751

Weston, Gavin and Djohari, Natalie. 2012. The Ship of Theseus and the Problem of 'Post-War' Answers to Contemporary Guatemalan Problems. History and Anthropology, 23(4), pp. 405-424. ISSN 0275-7206

Weston, Gavin; Ruiter, Jan Peter and Lyon, Stephen M. 2011. Dunbar's Number: Group Size and Brain Physiology in Humans Reexamined. American Anthropologist, 113(4), pp. 557-568. ISSN 0002-7294

Weston, Gavin. 2011. (Un)Imagining the State: Guatemalan Lynching and the Erosion of the State's Monopoly of Violence. Etnofoor, 23(2), pp. 79-98.

Further profile content

Professional projects

Editor of Teaching Anthropology: https://www.teachinganthropology.org/

Media engagements

2020: BBC's Match of the Day children's football magazine features a gambling firm's logo on every other page, study finds - despite betting firms being ban
Daily Mail article covering research on gambling advertising in children's magazines, stickers and cards.

2019: New Scientist 'Feedback - The Very British Ethnography of Queuing'
Research with Goldsmiths staff and students covered in New Scientist

2019: Ghost Stories Can Inspire Teaching Tricks
Times Higher Education blog for Halloween on ghost walks and teaching

2019: Slate 'Midsommar’s Real Villains Aren’t Murderous Pagans. They’re Grad Students.'
Our article on fictional anthropologists in films gets discussed in relation to Midsommar.

2019: Daily Mail – 'Eight in ten children remember seeing gambling adverts on TV - despite it being illegal to target them’
Article by Tom Witherow discussing findings from research on the impact of gambling advertising on children.

2015: ‘Anthropologists do well in films – indigenous people – not so much’
Article by Piers Kelly elaborating on finding from Weston, Lawson, Blell & Hayton (2015) ‘Anthropologists in Film: ‘The Horror! The Horror!’

2013: Huffington Post ‘Vigilante archetypes and the spread of real life superheroes’
Article by Gavin Weston on the rise of real life superhero movement.

2013: Should you do postgrad in one of the social sciences?
Guardian piece on why to undertake postgrad study

PhD Supervision

Dr William Tantam (2016), Dr Charlotte Livingstone (2019), Cy Elliott Smith, Amy Tapsfield, Malte Gembus, Claire Calvagna & Avery Delaney.
Happy to supervise anything interesting - but especially interested in proposals on violence/media/justice.

Articles related to Dr Gavin Weston