Dr Brian Callan

Staff details

In examining the the social and psychic life we must ask; might these not be the same things?

I’m an anthropologist by training and inclination but my work draws upon various disciplines from neurobiology, psychology, cognitive sciences a smattering of political philosophies. My research interests often focus on community, civil society, political engagement and social movements. In this I try to understand the lived experience; the emotions, ideas tensions and the subtle social interactions which carry us through life.

I'm a lecturer on the BA Psyschosocial Studies, where I teach sociological and anthropological theory and how these models intersect with notions of the self, belonging, hope and failure.

I also convene the department's Post Graduate Research Design & Methodology module, which draws on the faculty's diverse skills sets and seeks to innovate forms of knowledge.

I am interested in supervising PhD projects relating to civil society, community activism and ethnographic approaches to research.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Social Science, Loughborough University 2015
  • MA Anthropological Research, University of Manchester 2010
  • BA Comparative Religion & Social Anthropology, University of Manchester 2009

Teaching and supervision

Tutoring & Supervision hours: Laban Annex, F11. Tuesdays 3-5pm & on Teams at other times

Research interests

Things that occupy my mind: affect, phenomenology, critical theory, epistemology, community research, dissent, power & morality

Publications and research outputs

Edited Journal

Callan, Brian, ed. 2016. Civil Society and Uncivil Times, Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, 4(1-2). 2572-7184

Travaglino, Giovanni and Callan, Brian, eds. 2013. Research and Methods in the Study of Social Protest: Dialogues on Disciplines, Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, 1(2). 2572-7184

Book Section

Callan, Brian. 2015. Something's wrong here: transnational dissent and the unimagined community. In: Giovanni Travaglino, ed. Protest, Movements, and Dissent in the Social Sciences: A multidisciplinary perspective. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 106-120. ISBN 9781138924543


Callan, Brian. 2024. WEIRD: Political feeling and the emergence of dissent in Israeli Solidarity Activists. Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, ISSN 2572-7184

Abrams, Benjamin; Travaglino, Giovanni A.; Gardner, Peter R. and Callan, Brian. 2022. The Meaning of Contention. Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, 10(2), pp. 83-101. ISSN 2572-7184

Callan, Brian. 2017. Review - Marranci, Gabriel. Wars of Terror, 130 pp. London: Bloomsbury, 2016. [Book Review]. Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia, 4(1), ISSN 2211-5730


Callan, Brian. 2015. From Village Protest to Transnational Solidarity. Green Olive Tours.

Professional projects

Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest

Member of UNHCR's Global Academic Network for the Global Compact on Refugees