Dr Claudia Merli, BA, MA (Rome 'La Sapienza'), PhD (Uppsala)
(email at email@example.com)
Claudia Merli obtained a Laurea in Literature and Philosophy (BA, MA in Literature and Philosophy, Summa cum Laude) from the University of Rome "La Sapienza", with a dissertation in Cultural Anthropology on the colonial and postcolonial perceptions of two gender-specific Malay culture-bound syndromes, amok and latah. Her PhD research and dissertation (2008) in Cultural Anthropology at Uppsala University focused on reproductive health and bodily practices of Muslim women in Southern Thailand, and is published by Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. The book has been reviewed in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 2010 and she was invited to present it at the Royal Anthropological Institute's prestigious seminar series 'Reviewer Meets Reviewed' held at the British Museum (October 2011). She has a broad research interest in the Southeast Asian region and Thailand, and is conducting research in Southern Thailand on male and female genital cutting, gendered bodily practices related to reproduction, Buddhist and Muslim female spirit mediums, ethno-religious conflict in Southern Thailand, and theological discourses in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Theoretically, her main interest lies in exploring the possibilities offered by the intersections between Foucauldian biopower, biopolitics, governmentality, and phenomenological perspectives on the body.
During her undergraduate studies she also obtained a Diploma of Piano from the Conservatory of Perugia, and attended the Experimental School of Chamber Music at “S. Cecilia” Conservatory in Rome. Her passion for music has recently translated into joining the vibrant activity of the Durham Gamelan Society, where she is learning Javanese gamelan music.
She is General Editor of the Durham Anthropology Journal.
Department of Anthropology
- Medical anthropology
- Reproductive health
- Gender, embodiment
- Thailand, Muslim minority
- Female genital cutting
- Male circumcision
- Culture-bound syndromes
- Natural hazards and religion, tsunami
- Merli, Claudia. (2008). Bodily Practices and Medical Identities in Southern Thailand. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.
- Merli, Claudia. (2010). Review of the book Divided over Thaksin: Thailand’s coup and problematic transition edited by John Funston. Aseasuk News: Newsletter of the Association of Southeast Asian Studies in the United Kingdom 48: 17–20.
- Merli, Claudia. (2009). Review of the book The Practice of War: Production, Reproduction, and Communication of Armed Violence edited by Aparna Rao, Michael Bollig, and Monika Böck. Ethos 37(2).
- Merli, Claudia. (2012). Negotiating female genital cutting (sunat) in Southern Thailand. In Self-Determination and Women's Rights in Muslim Societies. Raghavan, Chitra & Levine, James. Brandeis University Press. 169-187.
- Merli, Claudia. (2012). Religion and disaster in anthropological research. In Critical Risk Research: Practices, Politics and Ethics. Kearnes, Matthew, Klauser, Francisco & Lane, Stuart. Wiley-Blackwell. 43-58.
Edited works: contributions
- Merli, C. (2013). Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. Oxford University Press.
Journal papers: academic
- Merli, Claudia. (2011). Patrescence in Southern Thailand: Cosmological and social dimensions of fatherhood among the Malay-Muslims. Culture, Health and Sexuality 13(S2): 235-248.
- Merli, Claudia. (2010). Context-bound Islamic theodicies: The tsunami as supernatural retribution versus natural catastrophe in Southern Thailand. Religion 40(2): 104-111.
- Merli, Claudia. (2010). Male and female genital cutting among Southern Thailand’s Muslims: rituals, biomedical practices, and local discourses. Culture, Health and Sexuality 12(7): 725-738.
- Merli, Claudia. (2010). Muslim midwives between traditions and modernity: Being and becoming a bidan kampung in Satun province, Southern Thailand. Moussons 15: 121-135.
- Merli, Claudia. (2008). Sunat for girls in southern Thailand: Its relation to traditional midwifery, male circumcision and other obstetrical practices. Finnish Journal of Ethnicity and Migration 3(2): 32-41.
- Merli, Claudia. (2005). Religious interpretations of Tsunami in Satun province, Southern Thailand: Reflections on ethnographic and visual materials. Svensk Religionshistorisk Årsskrift 14: 154-181.
- Merli, Claudia. (1999). The Amok Runner: From the gallant warrior to the hospitalised madman. Changes in the view of a Malay cultural phenomenon transformed into a psychiatric syndrome. AM. Rivista della Società italiana di antropologia medica 7-8: 209-250.
Available for media contact about:
- Conflict and resolution: Thailand, ethno-religious conflict in Southern Thailand
- Religion: Religion and natural hazard, local communities' recovery
- Infant and child health: Male and female genital cutting