Professor Linda Connor

Chair of Department

A26 - R.C. Mills Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 6678

Website Contact details

Biographical details

I have worked in several countries and continents as researcher and academic, pursuing interests in development, religion and ritual, ethnomedicine, 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 program 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.

Major publications that are an outcome of these research interests Include a series of works on culture, power and social transformation in relation to ritual and healing, citizenship, activism and self-identity in Australian and Asian societies, and a more recent group of writings based on anthropological approaches to the cultural interpretation of climate change and environmentalism, based on ethnographic research in Southeast Australia. Books include 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. A forthcoming book (Climate Change and the Anthropos: Planet, People and Places), based on my Hunter Valley research, will be published by Routledge/Earthscan in 2014.

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, taking up the position in January 2009.

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), and President Emeritus from 2010 – 2011.

Research interests

  • 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

Publications

Books and Edited Volumes

2014 Connor, L. Climate Change and the Anthropos: Planet, People and Places. London: Routledge/Earthscan. Accepted March 2013.

2012 Peace, A., Connor, L. and Trigger, D. ‘Environmentalism, Culture, Ethnography’. Special issue of Oceania, 82(3).

2010 Job, S. and Connor, L. Online refereed proceedings of the symposium Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds, Sydney: University of Sydney http://anthroendsofworlds.wordpress.com

2001 Higginbotham, N., Albrecht, G. and Connor, L. Health Social Science: A Trandisciplinary and Complexity Perspective. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 382pp.

2001 Connor, L. and Samuel, G. Healing Powers and Modernity: Shamanism, Science and Traditional Medicine in Asian Societies. Edited by L. Connor and G. Samuel. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey. 283pp.

1999 Rubinstein, R. and Connor, L. Staying Local in the Global Village: Bali in the Twentieth Century. Edited by R. Rubinstein and L. Connor. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 353pp.

1996 Connor, L., Asch, P., and Asch, T. Jero Tapakan, Balinese Healer: An Ethnographic Film Monograph. 2nd Edition, Fully Revised. Los Angeles: Ethnographics Press. 267pp.

1986 Connor, L., Asch, P., and Asch, T. Jero Tapakan, Balinese Healer: An Ethnographic Film Monograph. New York: Cambridge University Press. 284pp.

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2014

  • The Coal Rush and Beyond: Climate Change, Coal Reliance and Contested Futures; Goodman J, Connor L, Rosewarne S; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2013

  • Climate change attitudes and behaviours in the Hunter region of NSW; Connor L, Berry H; University of Canberra/Consultancy.

2009

  • Climate Change, place and community: An ethnographic study of the Hunter Valley, New South Wales; Connor L, Higginbotham N, Albrecht G; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Connor, L. (2015). Climate Change and the Anthropos: Planet, People and Places. London, UK: Routledge.

Book Chapters

  • Connor, L., Asch, P. (2003). Subjects, images, voices: representations of gender in the films of Timothy Asch. In E. D. Lewis (Eds.), Timothy Asch and Ethnographic Film, (pp. 163-184). London, New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

Journals

  • Higginbotham, N., Connor, L., Baker, F. (2014). Subregional differences in Australian climate risk perceptions: coastal versus agricultural areas of the Hunter Valley, NSW. Regional Environmental Change, 14(2), 699-712. [More Information]
  • Connor, L., Higginbotham, N. (2013). "Natural Cycles" in lay understandings of climate change. Global Environmental Change, 23(6), 1852-1861. [More Information]
  • Peace, A., Connor, L., Trigger, D. (2012). Environmentalism, Culture, Ethnography. Oceania, 82(3), 217-227.
  • 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.
  • Connor, L. (2010). Anthroprogenic Climate Change and Cultural Crisis: An Anthropological Perspective. Journal of Australian Political Economy, 66, 247-267.
  • Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Connor, L., Albrecht, G. (2010). Environmental injustice and air pollution in coal affected communities, Hunter Valley, Australia. Health and Place, 16(2), 259-266. [More Information]
  • Connor, L., Freeman, S., Higginbotham, N. (2009). Not just a coalmine: Shifting grounds of community opposition to coal mining in Southeastern Australia. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, 74(4), 490-513. [More Information]
  • Connor, L. (2008). Jero Tapakan and Other Teachers: Stories, Friendship and Ethnographic Practice. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 9(3), 177-188. [More Information]
  • Connor, L., Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Albrecht, G. (2008). Watercourses and Discourses: Coalmining in the Upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales. Oceania, 78, 76-90.
  • Albrecht, G., Sartore, G., Connor, L., Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Kelly, B., Stain, H., Tonna, A., Pollard, G. (2007). Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental change. Australasian Psychiatry, 15(Supp 1), S95-S98.
  • Everingham, C., Heading, G., Connor, L. (2006). Couples' experiences of postnatal depression: A framing analysis of cultural identity, gender and communication. Social Science and Medicine, 62(7), 1745-1756.
  • Higginbotham, N., Connor, L., Albrecht, G., Freeman, S., Agho, K. (2006). Validation of an environmental distress scale. EcoHealth, 3, 245-254.
  • Harris, G., Connor, L., Bisits, A., Higginbotham, N. (2004). "Seeing the Baby": Pleasures and Dilemmas of Ultrasound Technologies for Primiparous Australian Women. Medical Anthropology Quarterly: international journal for the cultural and social analysis of health, 18(1), 23-47.
  • Connor, L., Albrecht, G., Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Smith, W. (2004). Environmental Change and Human Health in Upper Hunter Communities of New South Wales, Australia. EcoHealth, 1(Suppl. 2), 47-58.
  • Connor, L. (2004). Relief, risk and renewal: mixed therapy regimens in an Australian suburb. Social Science and Medicine, 59, 1695-1705.
  • Connor, L., Vickers, A. (2003). Crisis, citizenship and cosmopolitanism: living in a local and global risk society in Bali. Indonesia, 75(April 2003), 153-180.

Conferences

  • Connor, L. (2010). Climate Change and the Challenge of Immortality: Faith, denial and intimations of eternity. Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds, Sydney: WordPress.
  • Higginbotham, N., Connor, L., Albrecht, G., Freeman, S. (2005). Environmental Distress and Human Well-Being. The International Forum for Social Sciences & Health (IFSS) World Congress: Health Challenges of the Third Millennium 2005.
  • Connor, L., Albrecht, G., Higginbotham, N., Smith, W., Freeman, S. (2003). Environmental change and human health: A pilot study in Upper Hunter Valley communities. Airs, Waters, Places Transdisciplinary Conference on Ecosystem Health in Australia, Australia: University of Newcastle.

Reference Works

  • Albrecht, G., Higginbotham, N., Connor, L., Freeman, S. (2008). Social and Cultural Perspectives on Eco-Health. In Stella Quah, Kristian Heggenhougen (Eds.), INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PUBLIC HEALTH, SIX-VOLUME SET, 1-6. (pp. 57-63). USA: Academic Press.

2015

  • Connor, L. (2015). Climate Change and the Anthropos: Planet, People and Places. London, UK: Routledge.

2014

  • Higginbotham, N., Connor, L., Baker, F. (2014). Subregional differences in Australian climate risk perceptions: coastal versus agricultural areas of the Hunter Valley, NSW. Regional Environmental Change, 14(2), 699-712. [More Information]

2013

  • Connor, L., Higginbotham, N. (2013). "Natural Cycles" in lay understandings of climate change. Global Environmental Change, 23(6), 1852-1861. [More Information]

2012

  • Peace, A., Connor, L., Trigger, D. (2012). Environmentalism, Culture, Ethnography. Oceania, 82(3), 217-227.
  • 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.

2010

  • Connor, L. (2010). Anthroprogenic Climate Change and Cultural Crisis: An Anthropological Perspective. Journal of Australian Political Economy, 66, 247-267.
  • Connor, L. (2010). Climate Change and the Challenge of Immortality: Faith, denial and intimations of eternity. Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds, Sydney: WordPress.
  • Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Connor, L., Albrecht, G. (2010). Environmental injustice and air pollution in coal affected communities, Hunter Valley, Australia. Health and Place, 16(2), 259-266. [More Information]

2009

  • Connor, L., Freeman, S., Higginbotham, N. (2009). Not just a coalmine: Shifting grounds of community opposition to coal mining in Southeastern Australia. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, 74(4), 490-513. [More Information]

2008

  • Connor, L. (2008). Jero Tapakan and Other Teachers: Stories, Friendship and Ethnographic Practice. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 9(3), 177-188. [More Information]
  • Albrecht, G., Higginbotham, N., Connor, L., Freeman, S. (2008). Social and Cultural Perspectives on Eco-Health. In Stella Quah, Kristian Heggenhougen (Eds.), INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PUBLIC HEALTH, SIX-VOLUME SET, 1-6. (pp. 57-63). USA: Academic Press.
  • Connor, L., Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Albrecht, G. (2008). Watercourses and Discourses: Coalmining in the Upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales. Oceania, 78, 76-90.

2007

  • Albrecht, G., Sartore, G., Connor, L., Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Kelly, B., Stain, H., Tonna, A., Pollard, G. (2007). Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental change. Australasian Psychiatry, 15(Supp 1), S95-S98.

2006

  • Everingham, C., Heading, G., Connor, L. (2006). Couples' experiences of postnatal depression: A framing analysis of cultural identity, gender and communication. Social Science and Medicine, 62(7), 1745-1756.
  • Higginbotham, N., Connor, L., Albrecht, G., Freeman, S., Agho, K. (2006). Validation of an environmental distress scale. EcoHealth, 3, 245-254.

2005

  • Higginbotham, N., Connor, L., Albrecht, G., Freeman, S. (2005). Environmental Distress and Human Well-Being. The International Forum for Social Sciences & Health (IFSS) World Congress: Health Challenges of the Third Millennium 2005.

2004

  • Harris, G., Connor, L., Bisits, A., Higginbotham, N. (2004). "Seeing the Baby": Pleasures and Dilemmas of Ultrasound Technologies for Primiparous Australian Women. Medical Anthropology Quarterly: international journal for the cultural and social analysis of health, 18(1), 23-47.
  • Connor, L., Albrecht, G., Higginbotham, N., Freeman, S., Smith, W. (2004). Environmental Change and Human Health in Upper Hunter Communities of New South Wales, Australia. EcoHealth, 1(Suppl. 2), 47-58.
  • Connor, L. (2004). Relief, risk and renewal: mixed therapy regimens in an Australian suburb. Social Science and Medicine, 59, 1695-1705.

2003

  • Connor, L., Vickers, A. (2003). Crisis, citizenship and cosmopolitanism: living in a local and global risk society in Bali. Indonesia, 75(April 2003), 153-180.
  • Connor, L., Albrecht, G., Higginbotham, N., Smith, W., Freeman, S. (2003). Environmental change and human health: A pilot study in Upper Hunter Valley communities. Airs, Waters, Places Transdisciplinary Conference on Ecosystem Health in Australia, Australia: University of Newcastle.
  • Connor, L., Asch, P. (2003). Subjects, images, voices: representations of gender in the films of Timothy Asch. In E. D. Lewis (Eds.), Timothy Asch and Ethnographic Film, (pp. 163-184). London, New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

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