Dr Brian Campbell
Lecturer in Anthropology
School of Humanities and Performing Arts (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)
The Doctoral Phase
I obtained my BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Malta in 2009, and an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent the following year, in 2010. Funded by the RAI Emslie-Horniman Research Grant, my doctoral project - also hosted by Kent - explored how the Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus that inhabit the Spanish enclave of Ceuta were using the notion of convivencia (cohabitation) to revise strongly held models of Spanish national identity and manage the enclave's mounting ethno-religious tensions in the face of economic recession and migration crisis. Ceuta's model of convivencia, which rested on an elaborate system of patronage and public ritual was full of contradictions (namely, its failure to address socio-economic inequalities between Muslims and Christians), and the goal of my dissertation was to find out how it survived and reproduced itself as the town's only viable model of colloquial citizenship and identification.
In 2014, l was appointed to a Lectureship in Social Anthropology at the University of Kent, where I taught lectures and seminars on a diverse set of modules related to Kinship and Economics, Gender and Sexuality, Ethnographic Writing, the History of Anthropological Theory, Conflict and Violence, and Medical Anthropology. This period was an especially fulfilling one, particularly since my students nominated me twice for Kent's Teaching Awards. I have also been invited to lecture at a number of European institutions, including Radboud University (Netherlands), the University of Malta, and the Martin Luther University (Germany), where I taught a module on Anthropology of/in Europe and the Mediterranean.
What about postdoctoral research?
But I also have continued doing research in Ceuta. Between 2016 and 2019, I held a Research Fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, where I was part of a muldisciplinary project entitled 'Convivencias: Iberian to Global Dimensions'. Directing anthropological contributions into the project, my team ethnographically explored how imaginations of medieval coexistence inspire efforts at peaceful multiculturalism in both contemporary Spain and Europe in general. The project additionally injected existing debates on convivencia with fresh anthropological toolsets, concepts and questions. In this respect, he encouraged dialogue not only between academic disciplines, but also between emic and etic users of convivencia as an analytical and political tool.
Ethnographically, my research in the enclave of Ceuta took a darker turn. Ceuta's migration crisis intensified, the informal trading at its gates - once a source for dreamy, hopeful, wealthy, cosmopolitan Ceuta - had devolved into patterns of quasi-slavery for many Moroccan traders, Ceuta's Muslims had organised themselves into a strong political movement critical of the establishment's model of convivencia, and a popular movement lobbying against crime in the city had evolved into a fully-fledged right-wing Christian party, openly hostile to sub-Saharan migrants and suspicious of the enclave's Muslim minority. Where once I studied the resilience of convivencia, I was now documenting how the safety nets that helped the system bounce back and kept the enclave's minorities in line were breaking one by one.
I also conduct multidisciplinary research on the politics of conservation and the destructive conflict between bird-hunters and NGO activists in Malta and consults projects of marine conservation in Malta.
Would you like to do postgraduate research with me?
I currently supervise a number of MA students, and am very happy to supervise anyone interested in postgraduate research (MA or PhD) related to my expertise! For more info on the topics I work on, please click my research tabs... and do not hesitate to write me an email if you wish to discuss project ideas and funding opportunities!
PhD in Social Anthropology (2014)
Dissertation title: Enacting Trust: Migration, Multiculturalism and informal economic relationships in a Spanish town in Morocco
University: University of Kent, School of Anthropology and Conservation
Supervisor: Dr. Glenn Bowman
Examiners: Professor João de Pina-Cabral (internal); Dr. Dionigi Albera (external).
MA in Social Anthropology (2010)
Dissertation title: Everywhere and Nowhere: Spiritual Kinship, Honour, Trust and the Morality of Exchange in Malta
University: University of Kent, School of Anthropology and Conservation
Supervisor: Professor Roger Just
Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology) (2009)
Dissertation title: Enacting Hospitality: A Study of Business and Morality amongst Host-Families in Malta
University: University of Malta, Institute of Mediterranean Studies, Faculty of Arts
Supervisor(s): Dr. David Zammit, Professor Paul Clough
At the School of Humanities and Performing Arts of the University of Plymouth, I currently teach a range of practical and theoretical modules:
- ANTH 401 - Introduction to Anthropology
- ANTH 403 - Fieldwork and Ethnography
- ANTH 404 - Understanding oneself and others through intercultural communication
- ANTH 503 - Applying Anthropology
- ANTH 504 - Ethics and Ethnography
- ANTH 505 - Different ways of Knowing
I am primarily an ethnographer of the dynamics of inter-religious coexistence in Europe, and most of my research involves describing daily life in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. In order to do so, I have developed a keen interest in a number of topics, including:
- Migration and borders,
- Informal labour, contract and trust
- Caricature and Humour, particularly in times of traumatic recession or multicultural crisis.
- Carnival and the Carnivalesque
- The relationship between stereotypes and risk-management.
- Ritual and Ritual Error (particularly in the construction of religious coexistence and multicultural landscapes).
My secondary research involves studying ways to resolve the destructive and unsustainable conflict between Environmental NGOS, Bird-Hunters, and the government in Malta. This project has also led me to develop an interest in:
- Multidisciplinary research, particularly between social anthropology and conservation biology
- Surveillance and Policing
- The Militarization of Conservation
- The dynamics of conflict and conflict resolution
- Civil society and representation
- Environmental Anthropology, namely the ownership of natural resources.
2018. “Ceuta (un)chained: Anxiety, Nostalgia, and Irony on the Spanish border with Morocco”. In Canessa, Andrew (ed.). Barrier and Bridge: Spanish and Gibraltarian Perspectives on Their Border. Eastbourne: Sussex University Press, pp. 44-74.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Published journal articles:
2019. “Africa Starts at the Pyrenees: Humour, Laughter and Financial Recession in a Spanish Enclave in Morocco”. Anthropological Quarterly, 92(1): 143-172.
2019. “Having Faith in Ceuta: Error and Ethics in Rituals of/for Convivencia in a Spanish Enclave in Northern Africa.” The Journal of Ritual Studies, 32(2): 27-42.
2018. “Caradura! Migration, informal labour and the problem of enacting trust in a Spanish Enclave in Morocco”. Political and Legal Anthropology Review [PoLAR], Volume 41, No. 1, pps. 160-176. DOI: 10.1111/plar.12246.
Said, Alicia. 2018. “Crossroads at Sea: Escalating conflict in a Marine Protected Area in Malta”. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Available online: 26th April 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2018.04.01.
2017. “The Gods of the Hunt: Risk-taking and the stereotypical construction of the Other in a Spanish enclave in Morocco”. Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, Volume 26, No. 2, pps. 127-151. DOI: 10.3167/ajec.2017.260209.
2016. “Of Chicks, Lice and Mackerel: Carnival and Transgression in a Cosmopolitan Spanish Enclave in Morocco.” Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, Volume 81, No. 3, pps. 448-477. DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2014.976238
Verissimo. Diogo. 2015. “Understanding stakeholder conflict between conservation and hunting in Malta” Biological Conservation, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.07.018
Verissimo, Diogo. 2015. “Black Stork Down: Military Discourses in Bird Conservation in Malta”. Human Ecology, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp. 79-92. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-015-9724-6
Verissimo, Diogo. 2014. “Bye, bye Cacopardo! Revisiting Factionalism through the Hunting Scene in Malta”. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Volume 23, Number 2, pps. 203-224.
Tunaker Carin, Bennett Caroline, Peirano Maria-Paz 2013. ‘Frontiers and migrations in Anthropology: 2nd RAI Postgraduate Conference, University of Kent, UK.’ Anthropology Today, Volume 30, Issue 3, pps. 27-302012. ‘Enacting Trust: Contract, Law and Informal economic relationships in a Spanish border enclave in Morocco.’ Compaso Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology, volume 3, No.2, pps17-25
Published book Reviews:
2018. “Review of Rogozen-Soltar, Mikaela. (2017). Spain Unmoored: Migration, Conversion and the Politics of Islam. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.” The Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Vol 26, Issue 2, pp. 1-3.
2016. “Review of Andersson, Ruben. (2014). Illegality Inc: Clandestine Migration and the Business of Bordering Europe.” The Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Vol 24, Issue 1, pp. 255-256.
2015. “Review of Boissevain, Jeremy. (2013). Factions, Friends and Feasts: Anthropological Perspectives on the Mediterranean”. The Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Vol 23, Issue 1, pp. 125-6.
2015. “Review of Albera, Dionigi & Couroucli, Maria (eds), (2012). Sharing Sacred Spaces in the Mediterranean: Christians, Muslims and Jews at Shrines and Sanctuaries”. The Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Vol. 23, Issue 1, pp. 126-7.
2012. “Review of Small, Mario-Luis. (2009). Unanticipated Gains: Origins of Network Inequality in Everyday Life”. The Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford online, New Series, Vol. 4, No. 1 pp. 115-8
2012. “Review of Malhotra, Rajiv. (2011). Being different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism” The Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford online, New Series, Vol. 4, No.2 pp. 222-225
2010. “Review of Gopal, Guru (ed.). (2009). Humiliation: Claims and Context”. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford online, New Series, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 92-4
Papers given at International Conferences:
Laheij, Christian. 2019. “Urban Precarity: Key Questions”. Urban Precarity: Cities as Sites of Disruption, Exclusion and Creativity. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale). 27th – 29th March 2019.
2018. “Toreando en la plaza”: Reacciones al mito del Al-Andalus y presentación del proyecto “Convivencias: Iberian to Global Dynamics”. Multiculturalismo, Integración y Conflicto. Hacia una comprensión de la convivencia en Ceuta, una ciudad pluricultural en el Norte de África. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia Ceuta, Ceuta (Spain). 20-22nd September 2018.
Monica Colominas. 2018. “Docere et Delectare: An interdisciplinary exploration of two Social Institutions of Learning in pre-Modern and Modern Spain”. Discussant: Dr. Carlos Rontome (UNED). Multiculturalismo, Integración y Conflicto. Hacia una comprensión de la convivencia en Ceuta, una ciudad pluricultural en el Norte de África. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia Ceuta, Ceuta (Spain). 20-22nd September 2018.
Sureau, Timm and Kartveit, Maria. 2018. “Facilitating Anthropological Outreach: A Database?”. EASA 2018, Staying, Moving, Settling. Special Panel. Stockholm University, 14th-17th August, 2018.
2018. “Convivencia and the ethics of knowledge: towards a multidisciplinary contribution to the field”. Discussants: Dr. David Nirenberg (University of Chicago), Dr. Gerhard Wolff (Max Planck Institute for History of Science), Dr. Gunther Schlee (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology). Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, Germany. 27th June 2018.
Foblets, Marie-Claire. 2018. “Is the EU ready for the Demographic Turn? Some answers from the Spanish Enclave of Ceuta”. European Population Conference 2018: Population, Diversity, Inequality. Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 6-9th June, 2018.
2018. “Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition: Agonism, Social Drama, and Patronage in a multicultural Spanish enclave in Northern Africa”. Knowledge, Translation, Adaptation: Convivencia in the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, Germany. 19th – 20th March 2018.
2018. “From Convivencia to Connivencia (and back again?): Racialised Austerity and (the return of) political-ethnicity in a Spanish enclave in Northern Africa”. Ten Years of Crisis: The Etnhography of Austerity (convenors: João de Pina Cabral; Susana Narotzky; Antónia Lima; Ana Luísa Micaelo). University of Lisbon, 10th -12th January, 2018.
2017. “Winds of change, will winds of fortune bring? Patronage and the political management of ethnicity in a Spanish enclave in Northern Africa”. 2017 MedNet Workshop. Wind of Change: Politics, Economy and Ethnicity in the Mediterranean. University of Lisbon, 2nd – 4th November, 2017.
2017. “Navigating Scylla and Charybdis: Myth and the ethical dilemmas of writing ethnographies of convivencia in multicultural Spanish enclave in Northern Africa”. Convivencia: Iberian Peninsula to Global Dynamics (500-1750). University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, 25-29th June, 2017.
2017. “Having Faith in Ceuta: Representations of/for convivencia in a Spanish Enclave in North Africa”. Open Access to convivencia: people and their representation, meeting of the Convivencias Research Group. Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, Germany. 9th – 10th March 2017.
2017. “How far apart did Hercules push those Pillars, really? Nationalism, coexistence and hospitality in a multicultural Spanish enclave in Morocco.” Borders and Identities: Languages and Ethnicities in Gibraltar and the Mediterranean World in the 20th Century, Final Conference of the Bordering on Britishness Project. Gibraltar Garrison Library, Gibraltar, U.K. 23rd - 25th February 2017.
2017. “Lord Ganesha’s Flamenco! Rituals of/for convivencia in a Spanish Enclave in Morocco.” Convivencia Today: Reflections on a Historical Concept. Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Germany, Frankfurt, 3rd February 2017.
2016. “Lord Ganesha’s Flamenco: economy, belief and rituals of/for convivencia in Ceuta, a multicultural Spanish enclave in Morocco” EASA 2016, Anthropological legacies and human futures. Unity in diversity? Anthropological reflections on interreligious devotion and dialogue in Europe [Anthropology of Religion Network]. University of Milano-Bicocca, 20-23rd July 2016.
2016. “Convivencia, Coexistencia and Personhood in Ceuta, a Multicultural Spanish Enclave in Morocco.” Convivencia: From Iberian Peninsula to Global Dynamics (500-1750). Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 23rd May 2016.
2016. “Views from Anthropology.” Convivencia: From Iberian Peninsula to Global Dynamics (500-1750). Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 24th May 2016.
2016. “Humour, Laughter and Suffering: Lessons from a Spanish Enclave in Morocco.” ESRC Advanced Training Workshop: Ethnography & Social Crisis. School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, United Kingdom, 4th March 2016.
2013. “Africa starts at the Pyrenees. Again’: The economic crisis, national identity and European imaginaries in a Spanish enclave in Morocco.” 6th MEDNET Scientific workshop (Connecting spaces, Constructing places, Constituting Memories). Institute of Mediterranean Studies, Malta. 31st October 2013.
2012. “Enemigas Intimas: Carnival and Transgression in a Multicultural Spanish Town in Morocco.” 2nd RAI Postgraduate Conference (Frontiers and migrations in Anthropology). University of Kent, UK 13th September 2012.
2012. “Silent Uncertainties: Trust, Law and Integration amongst migrants, academics and citizens in the Spanish enclaves of Morocco.” EASA 2012 Uncertainty and Disquiet in the Mediterranean. Nanterre University, France, 11th July 2012.
2011. “Enacting Trust: Confianza, Convivencia and the ‘Human Dimension’ of Migration in Ceuta.” Border Securities, Human Experiences. Faculty of Law, University of Malta, 28th October 2011.
2011. “Enacting Trust: Law and Migration in a Spanish Enclave in Morocco”. 1st RAI Postgraduate Conference. University of Durham, UK. 20th September 2011.
Papers given in Departmental Seminars/Meetings:
2018. “English teachers, or teachers of English? Social, Economic and Cultural capital amongst British and Irish migrants in a Spanish enclave in North Africa.” Department ‘Integration and Conflict’ Research Colloquium. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 6th November 2018.
2017. “No one expects the Spanish inquisition! Patronage and the political management of ethnicity in a Spanish enclave in Northern Africa”. Department ‘Integration and Conflict’ Research Colloquium. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 8th November 2017.
2017. ‘Ceuta, convivencia, conflict, and integration’ Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 16th October 2017.
2017. ‘Having Faith in Ceuta: Error and Ethics in Rituals of/for Convivencia in a Spanish Enclave in Northern Africa’. 2017 Annual Departmental retreat of the Integration and Conflict Department of the Max Planck Institute. Schloss Pütnitz, Germany, 4th – 8th September 2017.
2016. ‘Africa Starts at the Pyrenees: Africa Starts at the Pyrenees: Humour, Laughter and Financial Recession in a Spanish Enclave in Morocco’. Department ‘Integration and Conflict’ Research Colloquium. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 18th May 2016.
2016. ‘What is Convivencia? An Anthropological Approach’. Werkstatt Work-in-Progress Seminars. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 3rd May 2016.
2016. ‘What is Convivencia? Legacies and Directions’ Meeting of the Research Assembly. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle(Saale), Germany. 23rd April 2016.
2016. ‘Caradura! Migration, informal labour and the problem of enacting trust in a Spanish Enclave in Morocco.” Brunel Anthropology Seminars, Spring Term 2016. College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences, Brunel University, United Kingdom. 19th January 2016.
David Zammit. 2015. ‘Where has the Humour Gone? Hospitality, Humanitarianism and Hostility in Malta.” Senior Research Seminar Series. Department of Anthropological Sciences, University of Malta, Malta. 13th November 2015.
Upcoming papers at International Conferences:
2019. “They don’t look like they’re Dying of Hunger! Violence, Populism and Symmetrical Schizmogenesis at the Gates of Fortress Europe”. Anthropological Work in Progress Seminars, Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta, 21st October.
2017. “Convivencias: Iberian to Global Dynamics”. Exhibited in Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 16th October 2017.