Dr Méadhbh McIvor

Lecturer in Social Anthropology

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Contact: meadhbh.mcivor[at]manchester.ac.uk

I am a social anthropologist whose research focuses on human rights, religious activism, and the legal regulation of religion in Europe and the United States. My work investigates the state’s shaping of, response to, and interaction with religious practice.

I received my PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, where I explored conservative Christian activism and the politicisation of rights-based law in the UK. The book based on this research, Representing God: Christian Legal Activism in Contemporary England, was recently published by Princeton University Press. This research has also appeared in American Anthropologist, Ethnos and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion

While my previous work focused on socially conservative religious movements and their mobilisation of rights-based law, I have more recently become interested in the way progressive religious communities in polarised political spaces understand the relationship between faith and civic engagement. My current research investigates the (religiously-motivated) pursuit of justice among liberal religious actors in southern Arizona, USA, with a particular focus on the provision of humanitarian aid to migrants and refugees; LGBTQ+ inclusion; and racial justice. You can read about the beginnings of this project here.

Prior to joining Manchester's Department of Social Anthropology in autumn 2021, I held a Junior Research Fellowship at Pembroke College, Oxford, and taught anthropology and religious studies at University College London and the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

I am always inspired by students’ creativity, enthusiasm, and commitment, and have learnt a great deal from those I have been privileged to lecture, supervise, and work with. If you are a former student, please don’t hesitate to get in touch—it's always lovely to hear from you!

You can reach me via email at meadhbh.mcivor[at]manchester.ac.uk and can find my publications here

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