About this Fellow
Michael has been guided throughout by the frisson of discovering how different, yet entirely rational, other people's perspectives and moralities can be. He was first able to explore these matters at length during fieldwork with Buddhist forest monks in Sri Lanka, and later in trying to understand the deep history of Buddhism and the Buddha himself. He then met more extreme practices and rationalities while working with Digambar Jain and Digambar ascetics in India. More recently Michael has studied the senses of justice that different Germans have applied to a common and difficult past, both that of the former German Democratic Republic and that of the Nazi dictatorship. Michael has also turned to questioning the evolutionary heritage which enables the production of such differing and mutually contradictory forms of life across human history. And he has taken as objects of study even anthropology and allied social sciences themselves, for these too are cultural performances embodying distinctive reasons and practices which are needful of explication. Since 2002 Michael has been participating in the international Rhetoric Culture Project, which seeks to illuminate how people use their cultural repertoires to create versions of reality.
- Professor of Anthropology, Durham University
Chimpanzee social ecology; primate and human behaviour in a comparative framework, including influences of diet, violence and culture; self-domestication and the evolution of reduced aggression; primate conservation
Anthropology and sociology of music, media and digital cultures; anthropological theory; the social, the material, and time; cultural production, cultural institutions and creative industries; music in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries; interdisciplinarity; AI and culture; digital humanities and digital methods
Geographies of health and health care; socio-geographical conditions and processes associated with health inequalities and risks for physical and mental health
The philosophy, methods and twentieth-century history of economic geography; mathematical modelling; and the resource economy and creative industries of contemporary Canada