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Dr. Christopher Wright


Goldsmiths, University of London

Department of Anthropology


My research interests centre around visual anthropology, including photography, visual culture, aesthetics, film, material culture, contemporary art, and the relation of visual images to ethno-history.

I have been involved in various projects to return collections of anthropological photographs to local communities in New Mexico, Sikkim, and the Solomon Islands and curate exhibitions in those locations. These involved a wide range of strategies for ‘returning’ photographs to individuals and groups, from photographs hung on strings in people’s houses, to major permanent exhibitions.

I have carried out fieldwork in the Solomon Islands, South Pacific in 1998 and in 2000-2001, focusing on links between photography, material culture, and memory, and this formed the basis of my PhD.

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I am also currently working on the practical and theoretical connections between anthropology and contemporary art, particularly in relation to the anthropology of the senses. In 2003 I was the co-initiator and co-organiser of Fieldworks: dialogues between art and anthropology, a major 3-day international conference held at Tate Modern, London.



  • 1995 The Impossible Science of Being: dialogues between anthropology and photography Co-author and co-editor. The Photographers’ Gallery, London ISBN 0907879470
  • 1996 Tricky Positions Anthropology Today 12 (2) pp.12-16 ISSN 03076776
  • 1997 An Unsuitable Man: the photographs of Francis R. Barton Pacific Arts 15/16 pp.42-60 (refereed) ISSN 0184552
  • 1998 The Third Subject: perspectives on visual anthropology Anthropology Today 14 (4) pp.16-22 (refereed) ISSN 03076776
  • 2003 Supple Bodies in Photography’s Other Histories Christopher Pinney and Nic Petersen (eds). Duke University Press pp.146-169 ISBN 0822331136
  • 2004 Material and Memory: photography in the western Solomon Islands Journal of Material Culture Vol.9 (1) pp.73-85 (refereed) ISSN 13591835 (DOI 10.1177/1359183504041090)
  • 2005 Contemporary Art and Anthropology Co-author and co-editor with Arnd Schneider. Featuring 12 contributions from other authors. Berg. ISBN 1845201035
Berlin Southern Theory Lecture