Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology


PhD in Anthropology, University of Adelaide, South Australia.
Dissertation title: ‘Social Constructions of the Past and Their Significance in the Bulgarian Socialist State’.

Honours in Anthropology, University of Adelaide, South Australia.
Dissertation title: An analysis of the media campaign for UN designated ‘International Year of Disabled Persons 1981’

Bachelor of Arts, University of Adelaide, South Australia

Professional Positions

Lead researcher (with Frances Pine), on project funded by Volkswagen Foundation, titled: Political, Economic and Social Inclusion and Exclusion in Poland and Bulgaria.

Senior research fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany

Post-doctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, UK

Visiting Research Fellow, King's College, Cambridge, UK


Founding partner and senior consultant of Anthropological Consultancy.

For CEI Countries in Transition Project, Supported by Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Community & Municipality of Bologna, Co-ordinators: University of Bologna, Italy. The work involved giving presentations and offering advice to those carrying out the main research.

For Refugee Legal Centre (UN funded organisation), London, as well as a variety of private legal firms throughout the UK working with asylum seekers. Work included written reports for Judicial Reviews concerning asylum cases and/or verbal advice.

Teaching Experience

PhD Supervisor at Max Planck Institute

Casual lecturing for postsocialist course and for first year anthropology undergraduates, University of Cambridge, UK.
Supervision of MPhil students. University of Cambridge, UK.
Tutor for first year anthropology students, University of Adelaide, South Australia.

Reasearch Awards

Volkswagen Foundation Grant for project on ‘Political, Economic and Social Inclusion and Exclusion in Bulgaria and Poland’.

Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Richard Carley Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship, U.S.A.

Nuffield Small Grant in the Social Sciences, U.K.

George Murray Scholarship for Post-doctoral Research,
University of Adelaide.

Australian Academy of the Humanities travel grant,

Commonwealth Postgraduate Research Award.


Field Research in Bulgaria

I have lived both in urban and rural areas of the country amounting to a period of almost 4 years since 1986, including: 1986-1988, 1992-1993 and almost every year since 1993. My most recent trip was April-July 2005.
Topics researched: local politics and the past, post socialist reforms - especially rural land and market reforms, property relations, emerging ethnic conflicts, newly emerging political elite, urban-rural migration, political and economic exclusion of disadvantaged groups (including minority groups), urban poverty and unemployment.

Field Research in Ukraine

I have lived over one year in both rural and urban contexts in southern Ukraine ( Odessa province) since 2000, returning to the country on a yearly basis. The most recent trip was: November 2003-February 2004.
Topics researched: post socialist reforms, role of western development projects, cultural property.

Field Research in Georgia

I spent a short period (two weeks in 2002) in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of conducting further fieldwork in the country. Topic researched: land reforms


  • fluent in English and Bulgarian
  • good comprehension of Macedonian
  • working knowledge of Russian
  • intermediate German

Professional Associations and Activities

  • founding member, International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA)
  • member, European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)
  • member, Australian Anthropological Association
  • member, Europe and the Balkans International Network (co-ordinated by the University of Bologna, Italy)
  • member of Editorial Board, Ethnologia Balkanica, Journal for Southeast European Anthropology

Recent Conferences

I have participated in a large number of conferences across Europe and the USA since the early 1990s. In more recent years I have convened panels at conferences. I have also organised several conferences that included scholars from around the world.

Conference Organiser (jointly with Monica Heintz) of conference titled: Emerging Citizenship and Contested Identities between the Dniester, Prut and Danube Rivers. I also presented the opening paper at the event.

Invited participant at British Council project titled ‘Conversations with Russia’, Moscow. Meeting theme: the economy.

Paper presenter at InEASA conference on: Urban Life and Culture in Southeast Europe, Belgrade. Paper title: Properties for Sale: British Migration to Bulgaria and EU Integration.

Poster presentation at 8 th Biennial EASA conference on: Face to Face: Connecting Distance and Proximity, Vienna. Poster title: The life and death of a western funded project in rural Ukraine.

Paper presentation at 5 th Decennial Conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth, conference on ‘Anthropology and Science’, Manchester. Paper title: The Science of Governance and Local Bulgarian Responses.

Paper presentation at the AAA, New Orleans. Title of paper: (with B. Cellarius) The ‘unfairness’ of reform: property and inequality in postsocialist Bulgaria and Ukraine.

Convener of panel at 7th Biennial EASA conference on ‘Engaging the World: Theoretical, Methodological and Political Challenges for a 21st Century Anthropology’, Copenhagen. Panel titled: Engaging with/in the Postsocialist World: Property and Anthropology.

Conference Organiser (jointly with E. Kasten) of conference titled: A World of Cultures: Culture as Property in Anthropological Perspective. Halle, MPI. Also paper presentation: Culture for Sale:Rural Ukraine Identity and the Production of Cultural Objects.

Conference Organiser of the inaugral InASEA conference. Sofia. Also, paper presentation: Researching property relations in post-socialist states.

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