British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh EH8 9LD
Home address: 5/4 Bruntsfield Gardens, Edinburgh EH10 4DX
2004-2008 Cambridge University. Ph.D. Social Anthropology
The doctoral dissertation, based on 20 months of ethnographic fieldwork, is entitled Dangerous Fortunes: Wealth and Patriarchy in the Mongolian Informal Gold Mining Economy.
Subject areas: transitional economies, industrial labour, landscape, illegality and Inner Asia.
Examiners: Dr. Hildegaard Diemberger and Prof. Jonathan Parry (Passed without corrections)
2004 National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. Diploma in Mongolian Studies
3 months of intensive coursework in Mongolian language, history, politics and archaeology.
2003-2004 Cambridge University. MPhil Social Anthropological Research
Dissertation entitled Golden Ambiguities: A study of gold mining in Mongolia through history (Distinction).
Subject areas: Soviet industrialisation, socialist policy and reforms, gold mining, Mongolia.
1999-2002 London School of Economics and Political Science.
BSc Anthropology (upper 2:1, average 68)
Dissertation entitled Landscapes in the Making: Re-Conceptualising People and Places (Distinction).
Major Research Grants
2009-2013 British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship
2003-2008 ESRC PhD Studentship
2005-2006 Wenner-Gren Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Scholarships, Awards and Prizes
2012 Residential Fellowship, Centro Incontri Umani, Switzerland (fellowship to write book manuscript)
2008 Meyer Fortes Award (towards publication of foreign language manuscript), Cambridge University
2008 Sigrid Rausing Award (towards translation of book manuscript), Cambridge
2008 Radcliffe-Brown Trust Fund of the Royal Anthropological Institute
2007-2008 William Wyse Fund of Trinity College (4th year studentship)
2003-2008 King’s College Studentship (maintenance scholarship)
2003-2006 Cambridge European Trust Bursary
2003-2004 Henry Ling Roth Scholarship (departmental scholarship)
University Teaching Appointments
2009-2013 Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics/Edinburgh University
(current) British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow
Jan 2011-Jan 2012 Maternity Leave
In addition to carrying out a new research project, my current appointment involves lecturing an undergraduate and postgraduate course in the anthropology of religion and teaching various MPhil seminars.
2008-2009 Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics. LSE Fellow
I tutored first and second year undergraduates, lectured a course in economic anthropology and contributed to the teaching of other departmental courses.
2008 Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London. Guest Lecturer
I lectured on illegality for a postgraduate course in anthropological theory.
2007 Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University. Seminar Teacher
I taught a postgraduate course on anthropological methods.
2007 King’s College, Cambridge University. Supervisor (small group teaching)
I taught a first year undergraduate core course in small group tutorials.
(In preparation) Fear and Fortune: Spirit Worlds and Emerging Economies in the Mongolian Gold Rush. Stanford University Press has expressed interest
2010. Аюултай Xишиг: Монголын албан бус алтны уурхайн эдийн засаг дахь хөрөнгө ба эцэгчлэл (Dangerous Fortunes: An Anthropological Study of the Mongolian Informal Gold Mining Economy). Preface by Prof. Sendenzhavyn Dulam and Foreword by Prof. Caroline Humphrey, transl. by Bum-Ochir Dulam. Admon Press: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
(In press) Polluted Money, Polluted Wealth: Emerging Regimes of Value in the Mongolian Gold Rush. American Ethnologist.
(In press) Cosmologies of Freedom and Buddhist Self-Transformation in the Mongolian Gold Rush. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
2010 (with J. Schlesinger). Rulers and Rascals: The Politics of Gold Mining in Mongolian Qing History. Central Asian Survey 29(3): 289 – 304.
2008. Wealth and Envy in the Mongolian Gold Mines. Cambridge Anthropology 27(3): 1 – 19.
(Forthcoming) Human Predation and Animal Sociality: The Transformational Agency of ‘Wolf People’ in Mongolia. In Animals Out of Place: Cryptozoology in Anthropological Perspective, Hurn, S. (ed.).
2013. Believing in Spirits, Doubting the Cosmos: Religious Reflexivity in the Mongolian Gold Mines. In Ethnographies of Doubt: Faith and Uncertainty in Contemporary Societies, Pelkmans, M. (ed). London: I.B.Tauris.
2012. The Cultural Logics of Illegality: Living Outside the Law in the Mongolian Gold Mines. In Change in Democratic Mongolia: Social Relations, Health, Mobile Pastoralism, and Mining, Dierkes, J. (ed.). Pp. 249-270. Leiden: Brill Publishers.
(In press) M.A. Pedersen (2011). Not Quite Shamans: Spirit Worlds and Political Lives in Northern Mongolia. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. In Religion and Society: Advances in Research
(Forthcoming) K. Swancutt (2012) Fortune and the Cursed: The Sliding Scale of Time in Mongolian Divination. Oxford: Berghahn. In Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
Conference Organising and Roles
2010. I was discussant at a workshop entitled City Waterscapes and Uncertainty, at LSE, 6 June.
2009. I was discussant at a workshop entitled Conflicts in Time, at Edinburgh University, 21– 22 March.
2009. I co-organised a conference entitled Mining Across Generations, at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge University, 15 – 17 January.
2008. I organised and chaired a double-session panel entitled The Sociality of Drinking: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Alcohol and Personhood at the AAA’s conference in San Francisco, 19 – 23 November.
Selected Research Paper Presentations
2012. Cosmologies of Freedom and Buddhist Self-Transformation. Presented for the Social Anthropology Department’s Seminars. Department of Social Anthropology, University of St. Andrews.
2012. The Black Footprints of Gold: Invisible Beings and Human Traces in the Mongolian Mining Landscape. Presented at the AAA conference in San Francisco.
2012. Trading in Pollution: Value and Cosmoeconomies in the Mongolian Gold Rush. Invited lecture at University of Zurich.
2012. ‘Freedom isn’t Free’: Notes on Postsocialism and Buddhist Self-Transformation. Presented at the Freedom, Creativity and Decision conference in honour of Caroline Humphrey, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge.
2011. Polluted Money: Emerging Regimes of Value in the Mongolian Gold Rush. Presented for the Social Anthropology Seminar Series, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh.
2010. Mongolian Alter-Biographies and Spirit Worlds. Presented at the AAA conference in New Orleans.
2009. Living with Spirits: Fear and Fortune in the Mongolian Gold Rush. Presented for the Research Seminar on Anthropological Theory, Department of Anthropology, LSE.
2009. Doubting the Cosmos: Spirituality and Emerging Economies. Presented at the workshop Ethnographies of Doubt, held at Centro Incontri Umani Ascona, Switzerland.
2008. Evil Spirits: The Sociality of Mongolian Drinking. Presented at AAA conference in San Francisco.
2008. Living Outside the Law in the Mongolian Gold Mines. Presented at the conference Contemporary Mongolia, held at University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
2008. Wolves, Spirits and Humans in the Mongolian Gold Mines. Presented at the conference La Notion de Personne en Amazonie et Sibérie, held at Musée du Quai Branly, Paris.
2008. The Burden of Patriarchy in Anthropology and Beyond. Presented at the Gender Seminar, LSE.
Mother tongue is Danish. I am fluent in English, proficient in Mongolian, French and Spanish.
Employment and Volunteer Experience
2012 BBC Two, Toughest Place to be a…Miner. Series 3. (Winner of BANFF: Documentary-Style Reality Programmes Award, 2012). Senior Researcher. I authored storyline and facilitated contacts for a 1-hour documentary about ninja mining in Mongolia.
2005-2006 The Ong River Movement, Mongolia. Executive Board Member. I carried out interviews and conducted environmental surveys in areas affected by mining.
2005 The Asia Foundation, Mongolia. Visiting Researcher. I submitted a report on the relationship between the formal and informal mining sectors in Mongolia.
2001 The International Labour Organisation (UN), Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Internship. I supervised development projects on child prostitution and child labour in Mongolia’s illegal coal mines.