Project Team

Annelin Eriksen

Annelin Eriksen is currently Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen and the Gender and Pentecostalism project leader. She has worked since 1995 in Vanuatu, first on Ambrym and later also in Port Vila. Her work deals with social and cultural change, Christianity and gender relations. Her most recent research project “Christianity, Gender, and the Dynamics of Community beyond the State: A Study of Urban Christian Movements in Vanuatu,” was funded by the Norwegian Research Council from 2006 until 2011. Her publications include Gender, Christianity and Change in Vanuatu: An Analysis of Social Movements in North Ambrym (2008), “New Life: Pentecostalism as Social Critique in Vanuatu” (2009) and Contemporary Religiosities: Emergent Socialities and the Post-Nation State (co-edited with Bruce Kapferer and Kari Telle; Berghahn, 2010).

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Ruy Blanes

Ruy Llera Blanes (PhD 2007, Lisbon) is a Spanish anthropologist and newly appointed postdoctoral researcher on the Gender and Pentecostalism project. He has been postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon and Visiting Fellow at Leiden University (2007-2010) and London School of Economics and Political Science (2007-2013). He has worked on the anthropology of religion, identity, politics, mobility and temporality. His current research site is Angola, where he explores the topics of religion, mobility (diasporas, transnationalism, the Atlantic), politics (leadership, charisma, repression, resistance), temporalities (historicity, memory, heritage, expectations) and knowledge. He has published articles in several international journals and edited volumes on the corporeality in religious contexts (Berghahn, 2011, with Anna Fedele) and on spirits and the agency of intangibles (Univ. Chicago Press, forthcoming, with Diana EspĂ­rito Santo). He is forthcoming on a book on ‘Prophetic Trajectories’ (Berghahn). He is also board member the APA (Portuguese Anthropological Association) and co-Editor of the journal Advances in Research: Religion and Society, edited by Berghahn (as of issue 3, 2013).

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Michelle MacCarthy

Michelle MacCarthy has newly been appointed as a postdoctoral fellow as part of the GenPent project team. Michelle has recently completed her PhD in social anthropology at the University of Auckland. Her geographical area of interest is Melanesia, and specifically the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea, where she carried out 18 months of doctoral field research. It is to this ‘sacred place’ in anthropology that she will return to carry out additional field research as part of the GenPent project, on the role of recently arrived evangelical churches (which comprise a second wave of conversion in the region, which has a long history with Methodist and Catholic missions) on women’s production and exchange of banana leaf textiles, which underpin the complex exchange relationships between Trobriand clans after the death of a family member. Michelle will examine how the push from some churches to eradicate these practices has implications for Trobriand sociality and gendered personhood.

Michelle is the author of several articles including recently published works in the International Journal of Heritage Studies and Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment (an article which was awarded the 2011 Netting Prize by the Culture and Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association) and The Journal of Culture & Agriculture.

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