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John Gledhill FAcSS, FBA
Emeritus Professor
of Social Anthropology
Photograph of John Gledhill  
 Social Anthropology ||  University Homepage |  Latin American and Caribbean Studies Centre

I studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics as an undergraduate, and Social Anthropology as a postgraduate, at Oxford University. After teaching for twenty years at University College London, I joined the Manchester department in September 1996, and served as its Head from 1997 to 2001. I retired from the University in August 2014, but retain a link with the department as Emeritus Professor.

I was Chair of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth from April 2005 to April 2009. From July 2009 to August 2013, I was a Vice-President of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, responsible for organizing the 17th IUAES World Congress, which was hosted by Manchester. Click here to watch videos of the keynote lectures and other plenary sessions of the congress.

I was elected a member of the Academy for Social Sciences in 2001, and a Fellow of the British Academy in 2010.

In December 2009 the Leverhulme Trust awarded me a three year Major Research Fellowship, starting in October 2010, to do new research on the consequences of securitization. I did fieldwork in Brazil on new public security policies for low income neighbourhoods in Salvador, Bahia, the third largest metropolitan city in Brazil, exploring arguments that see hidden agendas in these policies and asking whether policies orientated towards "citizen security" are compatible with the broader concept of achieving "human security". But I also kept track of developments in Mexico, where the approach to security of the administration of President Felipe Calderón proved particularly controversial, and new kinds of issues emerged under the current administration of the Party of the Institutional Revolution as a result of the emergence of armed local self-defence forces in some regions of the country, especially Michoacán state, where the rule of mafias had become especially pronounced. Click here for a discussion of some of the issues that I explored in my Brazilian and Mexican research in a paper that I presented in a panel on security issues that I organized in the Society for Latin American Studies conference in Manchester in April 2013 (the document will open in a new window). Further publications from this project are listed on my publications page. A full-length book on this research entitled The New Wars Against the Poor: Social Justice and Securitization in Latin America is in production with Zed Books.

I am a specialist on Latin America. My thematic interests are in political, economic and historical anthropology. I am co-managing editor of the journal Critique of Anthropology, member of the editorial boards of American Ethnologist, Anthropological Theory, Development Studies Research, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, The Journal of Power, The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, and Urbanities: The Journal of the IUAES Commission on Urban Anthropology, and on the International Advisory Boards of Dialectical Anthropology, the Argentine journal Revista Publicar, the Brazilian journal Vibrant (which is published in English) and the Canadian journal New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry. I maintain close contacts with a number of universities and anthropological research centres in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

Prior to my Leverhulme-funded research leave I was Co-Director of the university's inter-disciplinary Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and I resumed that role for a final year in 2013-2014 before retiring from Manchester. Autumn 2008 saw the completion of an AHRC-funded research project that I directed with Patience Schell under the auspices of CLACS, which brought together a group of scholars from universities in Brazil, Mexico, the UK and the USA, Rethinking Histories of Resistance in Brazil and Mexico. The book based on this project, New Perspectives on Resistance in Brazil and Mexico, was published by Duke University Press in 2012.


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Last Updated:
August 30, 2014 7:03 PM