School of Anthropology & Conservation

Excellence in diversity Global in reach

Dr Matt Hodges

Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology


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School roles and responsibilities

Deputy Director for Research Programmes, Anthropology

Academic background

I took my doctorate at Goldsmiths, where I was subsequently a Lecturer and Visiting Fellow. Prior to coming to Kent, I was based in the Department of Sociology and Philosophy, University of Exeter. I have also worked at the Royal Anthropological Institute, and taught creative writing and photography at the University of East Anglia.

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Recent publications

Immanent Anthropology: A Comparative Anthropology of ‘Process’ in Contemporary France. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Vol. 20, Special Issue Supplement. Special Issue on ‘Doubt, Conflict and Mediation: The Anthropology of Modern Time’, L. Bear (ed). 2014. Link

Illuminating Vestige: Amateur Archaeology and the Emergence of Historical Consciousness in Rural France. Comparative Studies in Society and History Vol. 55, No. 2, 2013. Link

The Politics of Emergence: Public-Private Partnerships and the Conflictive Timescapes of Apomixis Technology Development. BioSocieties Vol. 7, No. 1: 23–49, 2012. Link

Disciplinary Anthropology: Amateur Ethnography and the Production of ‘Heritage’ in Rural France. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology Vol. 73, No.3: 348–374, 2011. Link

The Time of the Interval: Historicity, Modernity, and Epoch in Rural France. American Ethnologist Vol. 37, No. 1: 115–131, 2010. Link

Disciplining Memory: Heritage Tourism and the Temporalisation of the Built Environment in Rural France. International Journal of Heritage Studies Vol. 15, No. 1: 76–99, 2009. Link

Rethinking Time’s Arrow: Bergson, Deleuze and the Anthropology of Time. Anthropological Theory Vol. 8, No. 4: 399–429, 2008. Link


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I currently teach on the following modules:

Postgraduate Teaching:

SE805 Theory and Ethnography in Social Anthropology II (Convenor)


Undergraduate Teaching:

SE597 Theoretical Topics in Social Anthropology (Convenor)

SE601 European Societies (Convenor)


Previous Teaching:

SE307 Thinkers and Theories

SE534 Special Project in Social Anthropology

SE555 Project in Visual Anthropology – Photography Stream (Convenor)

SE586 Ethnographies I

SE588 Advanced Social Anthropology I (Convenor)

SE589 Advanced Social Anthropology II – Political Anthropology

SE591 Southern Mediterranean Societies (Convenor)

Plus courses on anthropological methods; religion, morals and symbolic systems; STS and biotechnology; ethnographic film; philosophical and methodological issues in the social sciences; photography and the arts; creative writing.

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I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students interested in working on any area of Europe, and in particular, France, Euskadi, Spain, and the UK. Contact me at, and we can discuss your plans.

I am happy to consider supervision of fieldwork in other regions, and multi-sited fieldwork, if your interests overlap with these themes: anthropology of history, memory, historical consciousness, heritage; time and temporality; modernity, social transformation, cultural rupture, crisis; tourism; science and technology (including ag-biotech, environmental themes); public anthropology; photography; anthropology and literature.

I am also interested in supervising cross-disciplinary research with DICE (see below).

PhD Supervisions

Tony Knight: (ESRC South-East DTC Studentship) (Im)possible cohabitation: Re-wilding and Pastoralism in a Contested French Mountain ‘Wilderness’. PhD in Social Anthropology, co-supervised with Dr Joseph Tzanopoulos (DICE).

Abraham Heinemann: (ESRC South-East DTC 1+3 Studentship) Hunting: A Multidimensional In-depth Comparative Study. PhD in Social Anthropology, co-supervised with Dr Joseph Tzanopoulos (DICE).



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Research Interests: France, Euskadi, Europe; time, historical consciousness, modernity, rural social transformation, cultural and heritage tourism; science and technology; continental philosophy; public anthropology, creative writing

My research focuses on themes of modernity, social transformation, and cultural rupture in rural Western Europe, primarily on the coastal lagoons of Mediterranean France, although I have also conducted long-term fieldwork in Gernika (‘Guernica’) and the Urdaibai Biosphere in the Basque Country. Spurred by the work of E.P. Thompson, John Berger, and Paul Strand, among others, I am interested in cultural formations that lie ‘adjacent’ to dominant cultures and economic systems, how these more—or less—successfully resist assimilation, and the implications for rural sustainability and policy.

One focus is how ‘indigenous’ communities in rural Europe respond to the impact of globalisation and political economic restructuring, and the commoditisation of their ‘intangible cultural heritage’ by the tourist industry. Key to understanding such developments, I have argued, is the need to develop new, sophisticated ways of conceptualising relations with the past (historicity), and our experience of time (temporality). This research is linked to growing international interest in the anthropology of time, and has led to publications in journals such as American Ethnologist and Anthropological Theory informed by the work of Bergson, Deleuze, and Hannah Arendt. I was also a member of the core working group for the ESRC Seminar Series ‘Conflicts in Time: Rethinking Contemporary “Globalisation”’, based at the Dept. of Anthropology, LSE.

I also work on the anthropology of science and technology, exploring the hidden infrastructures which shape rural societies. I conducted research with the ESRC Genomics Network on agricultural biotechnology development at French and Mexican research centres (ORSTOM, IRD and CIMMYT), within the secretive world of corporate ‘gene giants’ Syngenta and Pioneer Hi-Bred, and in the CGIAR system, dissecting corporate influence over public sector research for resource-poor farmers. This research is part of a wider interest in the impact of science and medicine on society.

Finally, I have a background in literary writing, and long-standing interest in how anthropology can be communicated to diverse audiences. I was previously AHRC Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at the acclaimed School of Creative Writing at UEA, where I worked on a Public Anthropology project developing literary fiction from my fieldwork in France.

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Last Updated: 05/02/2015