Jonathan Spencer

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Jonathan Spencer is a social anthropologist from the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh and currently Head of Subject. He is also a professor of the Anthropology of South Asia. His field of interest include nationalism, politics, violence, Buddhism and Sri Lanka. He has published many works on politics of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan civil war.[1][2]

Jonathan Spencer has also made significant contributions to the history and theory of anthropology. Together with his University of Edinburgh colleague, Alan Barnard, the two have produced a history of anthropological theory which continues to be a widely used textbook at institutions of higher education.

Notable publications[edit]

  • A Sinhala Village in a Time of Trouble: Politics and Change in Rural Sri Lanka (1990) - Oxford University Press
  • Post-colonialism and the Political Imagination (1997)
  • Fatima and the Enchanted Toffees: An Essay on Contingency, Narrative and Therap (1997)
  • On Not Becoming a Terrorist: Problems of Memory, Agency and Community in the Sri Lankan Conflict (2000) - University of California Press
  • British Social Anthropology: A Retrospective
  • Anthropology, Politics and the State: Democracy and Violence in South Asia (2007) - Cambridge University Press


  1. ^ The University of Edinburgh. "Staff profile:Jonathan Spencer". Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  2. ^ "Anthropology, Politics, and the State". Retrieved 2008-08-09.