I received my MA and PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh, finishing in 1998. I have had fellowships with the Royal Asiatic Society and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, grants from the British Academy, Japan Foundation, Economic and Social Research Council Toyota and Wellcome Trust; taught at Edinburgh, Oxford Brookes and London University (SOAS) and held research fellow positions at Kyoto University and Okinawa Coillege of Technology.
I am interested in intersections between art and science and anthropology and innovative forms of public engagement.i currently work on the anthropology of sound, investigating questions about the politics of noise from perspectives of acoustic science, sound studies and sound art, and focus on projects in Japan. I have written books on the idea of the Zen Arts, Copying Culture and Material Heritage in Japan for Routledge Press and about forms of representation that lie ‘Beyond Text’ in anthropology for Manchester University Press and Wiley Press.
At doctoral level, I have supervised 11 students to successful completion of their PhD's and am currently supervising seven students who are undertaking practice based PhD’s and using audio and visual media practices in a variety of ways. To give you two examples: One student is using film to investigate the forms of visualisation particular to Tibetan Buddhist meditation and painting practices and another is using drawing to engage with the experiences of 'Age Friendly' initiatives in Manchester city. These two students are among four of this cohort to have full grant funding from the AHRC and ESRC. As part of this funding one of these students is also benefittng from a placement at a neuroimaging lab at Harvard University.