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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Michael Crawley

Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology

Contact Dr Michael Crawley (email at

I am a social anthropologist specialising in the study of sport, development and self-tracking. 

My doctoral thesis is the first ever ethnographic account of the emic regimes of subjectification adopted by Ethiopian runners. Its overall argument is that an awareness of the energetic quality of human existence can give rise to distinct ways of relating to oneself and others. 

My first book, Out of Thin Air: Running Wisdom and Magic From Above the Clouds in Ethiopia (Bloomsbury, 2020) was longlisted for the Ondaatje Prize. 

Research Interests

  • Co-operation
  • Competition
  • Economic Anthropology
  • Energy
  • Ethiopia
  • Migration
  • Running
  • Sport


Authored book

Chapter in book

Journal Article


Indicators of Esteem

  • : 'Out of Thin Air' nominated for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize.