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Dr Eric Hirsch

Dr Eric Hirsch
Reader - Anthropology

Marie Jahoda 134

Research area(s)

  • Historicity and landscape
  • Myth, personhood and ritual
  • Power and property relations
  • Papua New Guinea, Britain

Research Interests

My long-standing interest in the ethnography and history of PNG has led me to focus on issues of historicity, landscape, power and property relations. My research in Britain has led to my interest in the connections between new kinds of technologies and new social forms. These diverse ethnographic research projects have also led me to appreciate the ways in which ethnography is linked to specific knowledge conventions and the implications this has for the understandings we produce as anthropologists.

Research supervision

Benjamin Bowles: 1st supervisor (Narrowboats, Southern England)

Adnan Khan: 1st supervisor (“Paktunwali”, Pakistan)

Brigida Marovelli: 1st supervisor (Catania Market, Sicily)

Audrey Callum: 2nd supervisor (Cultural variations of diabetes, Caribbean)

Julie Hastings: 2nd supervisor (Foreign drug treatment programmes, Kenya)

Ditte Sass: 2nd supervisor (Schooling and welfare, Denmark)


Research project(s) and grant(s)

The Politics of Alterity and Values of Symmetry in Fuyuge Myths and Ritual (Papua New Guinea)


I have recently completed a number of studies that examine conceptions and representations of the past and ‘history’ in Melanesian societies. This is part of a larger project, first developed with Charles Stewart (UCL) that explores the concept of historicity and how it is studied ethnographically.