Professor Linda Connor
Chair of Department
+61 2 9351 6678
I was born in Sydney and completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1974 with majors in Anthropology and Psychology, and Honours in Anthropology. I went on to complete a PhD in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney in 1982, undertaking fieldwork in Indonesia, on transformations in Balinese religion and ritual, healing and spirit possession.
A year as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco in 1982 was followed by three years at the East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, where I worked on various projects including a curriculum development project to incorporate health social sciences into tertiary medical education in Indonesia. During the years 1979-1991 I undertook further field research in Bali and worked intensively with ethnographic filmmakers Timothy and Patsy Asch at the Australian National University and the University of Southern California to produce a number of ethnographic films on healing and cremation in Bali, as well as an ethnographic film monograph, first published in 1986 (Jero Tapakan: Balinese Healer. An Ethnographic Film Monograph. L. Connor, P. Asch and T. Asch, Cambridge University Press), and revised in a second edition in 1996. In 1985 I took up an academic position at the University of Newcastle, where I contributed extensively to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, new degree programs and curriculum development, and research student supervision. I was part of the team that developed the joint Newcastle-Wollongong Masters Degree in Social Change and Development Studies and also participated in the development of the Bachelor of Development Studies at the University of Newcastle. From 1998 to 2008 I was a research associate of the ARC Key Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies (CAPSTRANS) a research centre based jointly at the University of Wollongong and the University of Newcastle. I was Director of the University of Newcastle node of CAPSTRANS from 2005 – 2008, and President of the Academic Senate at the University of Newcastle from 2002 – 2008. In 2008 I was appointed to the position of Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney.
I served a three-year term as a member of the Australian Research Council Panel of Experts, and was Chair of the Humanities and Creative Arts panel in 2005-6. I am a member of the editorial committee of the journals Oceania and Medical Anthropology, and was co-editor of the Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs from 1996-2003. I was President of the Australian Anthropological Society from 2008 – 2010 (www.aas.asn.au)
I have worked in several countries and continents as researcher and academic, pursuing interests in development, religion and ritual, shamanism and healing, and environmental change. These interests have converged in recent years in the study of anthropogenic climate change, culture and place, with research undertaken and supervised in Hunter Valley NSW, Indonesia, and Nepal.
In Indonesia, I have researched and published on the transformations wrought by nationally promoted tourist development in Bali, and more recently on notions of citizenship, decentralisation and local communities in the post-Suharto era. In North India in the mid-1990s, I was part of an Australian Research Council-funded team that investigated questions of displacement, identity, and the global context of cultural innovation, through a study of healing in diasporic Tibetan communities. Nine of my completed PhD students have also taken up related questions in various Southeast and South Asian fieldwork contexts, and current students are carrying out research that extends these questions in various ways, in Australia and Asia.
Through my own research and supervision of PhD students, I have fostered a strong agenda of ethnographic research in the Asia-Pacific region including Australia. This work provides an invaluable comparative perspective for studies of development and change in the Hunter Valley of NSW, and I am currently an investigator on an Australian Research Council-funded project on Climate Change, Place and Community: A Regional Ethnography of the Hunter Valley (see Recent Publications below).
Major publications that are an outcome of these research interests are Staying Local in the Global Village: Bali in the Twentieth Century (edited with Raechelle Rubinstein, University of Hawaii Press 1999) and Healing Powers and Modernity: Shamanism, Science and Traditional Medicine in Asian Societies (edited with Geoffrey Samuel, Bergin and Garvey 2001). I am also interested in the application of ethnographic and qualitative approaches to the study of health and healing in Australia. The book Health Social Science: A Transdisciplinary and Complexity Perspective (Oxford U.P. 2001), co-authored with Nick Higginbotham and Glenn Albrecht, outlines our transdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to teaching and research in the social sciences.
- Anthropological study of environmental change
- Approaches to ethnography in urban and rural Australia
- The contribution of anthropology to interdisciplinary research in social science, humanities, creative arts, health and environmental sciences.
- Ethnomedicine and medical anthropology
- Anthropological research on development in contemporary societies of Bali, Indonesia, South and Southeast Asia
- Visual anthropology and ethnographic film
- Job, S. and Connor, L. (eds.) 2010. Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds. Online Refereed Conference Proceedings. Sydney: University of Sydney.
- Peace, A., Connor, L. and Trigger, D. (eds.) 2012. “Environmental Contests, Anthropological Perspectives.” Special Issue, Oceania, 82(3).
- 2008 Albrecht, G., Higginbotham, N., Connor, L. and Freeman, S. “Social and Cultural Perspectives on Eco-Health”. In Heggenhougen, K. and Quah, S. (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Public Health, Vol. 6, San Diego CA: Academic Press, pp. 57-63.
- McManus, P. and Connor, L. 2013. “What's Mine Is Mine(d): Contests Over Marginalisation Of Rural Life In The Upper Hunter, NSW.” Rural Society 22(2), 166-183.
- Connor, L. 2012. “Experimental publics: Activist culture and political intelligibility of climate change action in the Hunter Valley, Southeast Australia”. Oceania 82(3):228-249
- Peace, A., Connor, L., Trigger, D. 2012. Environmentalism, Culture, Ethnography.” Oceania 82(3): 217-227.
- 2011 Connor, L. “Anthropogenic Climate Change and Cultural Crisis: An Anthropological Perspective.” Australian Journal of Political Economy, no. 66, pp. 247-267.
- 2010 Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Connor, L. and Albrecht, G. “Environmental Injustice and Air Pollution in Coal Affected Communities, Hunter Valley, Australia”. Health and Place 16, pp. 259-266.
- 2009 Connor, L., Higginbotham, N. and Freeman, S. “Not Just a Coalmine: Shifting Grounds of Community Opposition to Coalmining in Southeastern Australia”. Ethnos,74(4), pp. 490-513.
- 2008 Connor, L. “Jero Tapakan: Stories and Friends, Telling and Being”. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 9(3), September 2008, pp. 177-188.
- 2008 Connor, L., Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S. and Albrecht, G. “Watercourses and Discourses: Coal Mining in the Hunter Valley, NSW.” Oceania 78(1), pp. 76-90.
- 2010 Connor, L. “Climate Change and the Challenge of Immortality: Faith, denial and intimations of eternity.” Online proceedings of the symposium Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds, edited by Sebastian Job and Linda Connor. Sydney: University of Sydney 25-26 March 2010.