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Durham University

Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Prof Catherine Alexander

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41622
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41615
Room number: D106B

(email at catherine.alexander@durham.ac.uk)

I read English Literature at Durham, later moving to social anthropology at Cambridge University. Inbetween I worked for a number of central government departments in Britain and Turkey. I moved to the Durham Anthropology Department in 2012 after ten years in Goldsmiths.

I’ve carried out fieldwork in Turkey, Kazakhstan and Britain. Most of that has been on changing relations between state, market and the third sector, the built environment, local and central bureaucracy, migration, and various forms of waste and recycling (repair, reuse, recovery etc). My last period of fieldwork explored how formerly elite closed ‘nuclear’ towns in Kazakhstan were trying to re-connect to broader economies.

I’m currently on a Leverhulme Trust research fellowship (2019-2022) thinking about how different forms and fears of failure affect complex organisations, such as large science collaborations, and how they are experienced by the people who work within them.

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Economic and political anthropology
  • Changing property regimes
  • Privatisation
  • Third / voluntary sector
  • Wastes (including recycling)
  • Bureaucracy
  • Indeterminacy
  • Failure
  • Inequalities
  • Migration
  • Urban anthropology
  • Social/public housing
  • Post-socialism
  • Middle East (Turkey)
  • Central Asia (Kazakhstan)
  • Britain

Publications

Authored book

Edited book

Edited Journal

  • Alexander, C & O'Hare, Patrick (2020). Technologies of unknowing waste: displacement, depoliticisation and disappearance. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, Taylor &Francis.
  • Alexander, Catherine, , Hojer Bruun, Maja, & Koch, Insa (2018). Moral Economies of Housing. Critique of Anthropology, 38 (2): Sage Publications Ltd.

Chapter in book

  • Alexander, Catherine & Sosna, Daniel (2022). Thrift, Anti-thrift, Scale and Paradox. In Thrift and its Paradoxes: From Domestic to Political Economy. Alexander, Catherine & Sosna, Daniel Berghahn Books. 10.
  • Alexander, C & Reno, J.O (2020). Global Entanglements of Recycling Policy and Practice. In Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Anthropology. Aldenderfer, M Oxford Oxford University Press.
  • Duckworth, C, Wilson, A, Van Oyen, A, Alexander, C, Evans, J, Green, C & Mattingley, D (2020). When the Statue is both Marble and Lime. In Recycling and Reuse in the Roman Economy. Duckworth, C & Wilson, A Oxford: Oxford University Press. 449-460.
  • Alexander, C. (2019). Indeterminate classifications: being ‘more than kin’ in Kazakhstan. In Indeterminacy: waste, value, and the Imagination. Alexander, C. & Sanchez, A. New York Oxford: Berghahn Books. 7: 134-160.
  • Alexander, C. & Sanchez, A. (2019). Introduction: The Values of Indeterminacy. In Indeterminacy: waste, value, and the Imagination. Alexander, C. & Sanchez, A. New York Oxford: Berghahn Books. 7: 1-30.
  • Alexander, C. (2018). Charity and philanthropy. In International Encyclopaedia of Anthropology: Anthropology Beyond Text. Callan, H. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Alexander, C. (2015). Central Asia, Anthropology of. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition). Wright, J. Elsevier. 3: 316-322.
  • Alexander, C., Gregson, N. & Gille, Z. (2013). Food waste. In The Handbook of Food Research. Murcott, A., Belasco, W. & Jackson, P. Bloomsbury. 471-485.
  • Alexander, C (2013). Soviet and Post-Soviet Planning in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In Public Sector Reform. Massey, A Sage Publications Ltd. 3: 165-181.
  • Alexander, C. (2013). The Garden as Occasional Domestic Space. In The Domestic Space Reader. Briganti, C. & Mezei, K. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Alexander, C. (2012). Economic valuations and environmental policy (Updated). In A Handbook of Economic Anthropology. Carrier, J. Edward Elgar. 451-468.
  • Alexander, C. & Reno, J. (2012). Introduction. In Economies of recycling: the global transformation of materials, values and social relations. Alexander, C. & Reno, J. London New York: Zed Books. 1-34.
  • Alexander, C. (2012). Remont: works in progress. In Economies of recycling: the global transformation of materials, values and social relations. Alexander, C. & Reno, J. Zed Books. 255-275.
  • Alexander, C. (2010). The Third Sector. In The Human Economy: a citizen's guide. Hart, K., Laville, J-L. & Cattani A. Polity Press. 213-224.
  • Alexander, C. (2009). Illusions of freedom: Polanyi and the third sector. In Market and society: The Great Transformation today. Hann, C. & Hart, K. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 221-239.
  • Alexander, C. (2009). Privatization: jokes, scandal and absurdity in a time of rapid change. In Ethnographies of moral reasoning: living paradoxes of a global age. Sykes, K. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 43-65.
  • Alexander, C. (2008). Waste under socialism and after: a case-study from Almaty. In Enduring Socialism: Explorations of Revolution and Transformation, Restoration and Continuation. West, H. & Raman, P. Berghahn Books. 148-168.
  • Alexander, C. (2007). Almaty: rethinking the public sector. In Urban life in post-Soviet Asia. Alexander, C., Buchli, V. & Humphrey, C. UCL Press (Routledge). 70-101.
  • Alexander, C. & Buchli, V. (2007). Introduction. In Urban Life in post-Soviet Asia. Alexander, C., Buchli, V. & Humphrey, C. UCL Press (Routledge). 1-39.
  • Alexander, C (2005). Value: Economic Valuations and Environmental Policy. In A Handbook of Economic Anthropology. Carrier, J Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Alexander, C. (2004). Values, Relations and Changing Bodies: Industrial Privatisation in Kazakhstan. In Property in Question: appropriation, recognition and value transformation in the global economy. Humphrey, C. & Verdery, K. Berghahn Books.

Journal Article

Report

  • Gregson, N & Alexander, C (2017). What is Waste?. Government Office for Science.

Supervises