Andrew Beatty

Senior Lecturer in Anthropology
Social Anthropology

Room: Marie Jahoda Room 141
Brunel University
Uxbridge, UB8 3PH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1895 265943



  • DPhil Anthropology (Oxford)
  • MSc Anthropology (Oxford)
  • English Literature (York)

Personal Biography

I became interested in anthropology after spending a couple of years travelling in Asia; conducted several years’ fieldwork in Indonesia in two contrasting settings: tribal Nias and Muslim Java; British Academy Postdoc 1990-3; worked at Brunel since 1998; in 2007 launched the first Masters in psychological anthropology outside the USA.


Research Overview

Like many anthropologists who have worked in tribal societies, I started as a generalist, covering kinship, religion, ritual, and politics. Fieldwork in Java developed interests in Islam, syncretism, mysticism and tolerance. I also have a longstanding interest in emotion: what is it? does anthropology have any special contribution? how should we write about it?

Recent work has explored narrative ethnography and literary techniques of presentation within a broadly humanistic agenda. The aim is twofold: to render the flow of experience more precisely and to capture a wider audience for anthropology.


Current Projects

Anthropology of emotion (Cambridge University Press)

‘After the Ancestors’, a narrative ethnography of Nias, Indonesia


Recently Completed Projects

British Academy (R30062)
Emotion in two Indonesian societies
March - May 2011
Andrew Beatty (PI)


PhD Supervision

Ana Mourao: Space and identity in a migrant settlement in Lisbon

Adnan Khan: Pukhtun sorrows and joys, NW Pakistan


Undergraduate Programmes

Module convenor

  • Contemporary Theory in Anthropology
  • Kinship and New Directions in Anthropology
  • Themes in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology

Module contributor

  • Fieldword Encounters

Postgraduate Programmes

Programme convenor

  • MSc Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology

Module convenor

  • Themes in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
  • Ethnographic Research Methods 2


  • Director PG studies
  • LSUG
  • Library Rep
  • Departmental REF co-ordinator

External Activity

  • External examiner, BSc Human Sciences, Oxford
  • Member RAI, AAA



Journal Papers

(2013) Beatty, A., Current emotion research in anthropology: Reporting the field, Emotion Review 5 (4) : 414- 422

(2012) Beatty, AW., Return to the field, Anthropology of This Century (4)

(2012) Beatty, A., Kala defanged: Managing power in Java away from the centre, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 168 (2/3) : 173- 194 Download publication

(2012) Beatty, A., The tell-tale heart: conversion and emotion in Nias, Ethnos 77 (3) : 1- 26

(2011) Beatty, A., Fieldwork's fictions, Anthropology of This Century (2)

(2010) Beatty, A., Debate, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 166 (2&3) : 299- 303

(2010) Beatty, A., How did it feel for you: Emotion, narrative, and the limits of ethnography, American Anthropologist 112 (3) : 430- 443

(2006) Beatty, A., The Pope in Mexico: syncretism in public ritual, American Anthropologist 108 (2) : 324- 335

(2005) Beatty, A., Aid in faraway places: the context of an earthquake, Anthropology Today 21 (4) : 5- 7

(2005) Beatty, A., Emotions in the field: what are we talking about?, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 11 (1) : 17- 37

(2005) Beatty, A., Feeling your way in Java: an essay on society and emotion, Ethnos 70 (1) : 53- 78

(2002) Beatty, A., Changing places: relatives and relativism in Java, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 8 (3) : 469- 491

(1996) Beatty, A., Adam and Eve and Vishnu: syncretism in the Javanese slametan, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 2 271- 288

(1992) Beatty, A., Variations in Nias Kinship: a View from the Centre, Anthropos 87 1- 7

(1990) Beatty, A., Asymmetric Alliance in Nias, Indonesia, Man,JRAI 25 454- 471

(1990) Beatty, A., Ovasa: Feasts of merit in Nias, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 147 216- 235

Book Chapters

(2009) Beatty, A., Emotion. In: Barnard, A. and Spencer, J. eds. Encyclopedia of Cultural and Social Anthropology. Routledge 223- 226

(2005) Beatty, A., Javanese Shamanism. In: Shamanism. Berkshire, US : ABC-Clio

(2004) Beatty, A., Javanese. In: Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals and festivals. London : Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

(2004) Beatty, A., Nias. In: Encyclopedia of the Southeast Asian Ethnography: Communities and Tribes. Delhi : Global Visions Publishing House

(2004) Beatty, A., Ritual. In: Encyclopedia of Social Sciences. Routledge/Taylor and Francis

(2000) Beatty, A., Quoting God: Islamic and non-Islamic prayer in Java. In: Inside and outside the mosque: Muslim prayer across the Indian Ocean. Richmond, Surrey : Curzon Press

(1999) Beatty, A., On ethnographic experience: the formative and informative. In: Being There:fieldwork in anthropology. London : Pluto Press

(1990) Beatty, A., Nias. In: Encyclopedia of World Cultures. Yale, US : Human Relations Area Files


(2009) Beatty, A., A shadow falls: in the heart of Java. Faber and Faber Ltd

(2001) Beatty, A., Variasi agama di Jawa: suatu pendekatan antropologi. Murai Kencana

(1999) Beatty, A., Varieties of Javanese religion: an anthropological account. Cambridge University Press

(1992) Beatty, A., Society and exchange in Nias. Oxford University Press

Page last updated: Friday 08 March 2013