Anthropology Staff

Anthropology Program Academics: L-R James Barry, Antje Missbach, Andrea Whittaker, Sara Niner and Julian Millie

Anthropology Program Academics: L-R James Barry, Antje Missbach, Andrea Whittaker, Sara Niner and Julian Millie

Dr. James Barry

James Barry earned his PhD degree at Monash University in 2013 for his thesis ‘Armenian Christian Identity in the Islamic Republic of Iran’. He has carried out fieldwork in Iran and Armenia, and speaks Persian-Farsi, Armenian and some Russian. His current research focus is the intersection of linguistic and ethnic identities in Iran and the Caucasus, and the part these play in both conflict and coexistence.

James’ work seeks to shed light on the cultural and religious complexity of the Middle East, and to explain the durability of diversity. James is currently examining the role of stereotyping in ethnic identity formation, and the social meanings of regional and ethnic accents in the Persian language.

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Dr Julian Millie

Julian commenced at Monash in 2006 after being awarded his doctoral degree at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Julian’s research has focussed on Islamic practice and observance in Indonesia, especially on ritual performance and religious communication. His research seeks wider meanings for these against changing Indonesian religious and social backgrounds.

Julian is currently pursuing two research projects. One is about subnational Islamic forms, collectives and identities in Indonesia. The other is about religious communication, and specifically preaching, and its meanings as embodied as well as discursive practice in Islamic West Java.

Julian has published many articles in journals and edited collections, and reviews articles for journals in the fields of anthropology and Indonesian studies. His writings include:

  • 2014 (In press) w/ Greg Barton, Linda Hindasah, Mikihiro Moriyama, ‘Post-authoritarian diversity in Indonesia’s state-owned mosques: A manakiban case study’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 45:2 (June 2014).
  • 2013 ‘The situated listener as problem: ‘Modern’ and ‘traditional’ subjects in Muslim Indonesia’, International Journal of Cultural Studies 16:3, 271 – 288.

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Dr Antje Missbach

Antje studied Southeast Asian Studies and European Ethnology at Humboldt University in Berlin and obtained her PhD from the Australian National University, Canberra in 2010. Her previous research concentrated on the long-distance politics of the Acehnese Diaspora, and resulted in a book on Politics and Conflict in Indonesia: The Role of the Acehnese Diaspora was published in 2011 by Routledge and translated into Indonesian in 2012.

Her current research concentrates on transit migration and people smuggling in Indonesia. In particular, she is interested in how conflict-generated refugees and asylum seekers deal with being stuck in limbo – unable to return to their countries of origin, integrate into temporary host societies or relocate to permanent resettlement countries. She has already published a number of articles on this, for example

  • 2013  “Waiting on the islands of ‘stuckedness’: Managing asylum seekers in island detention camps in Indonesia: late 1970s to the early 2000s”, Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 6, 2, 2013: 281-306.
  • 2013  Missbach, Antje and Melissa Crouch: “The criminalisation of people smuggling: legal insights from Indonesia, Australian Journal of Asian Law 14(2): 1­19.

Before coming to Monash University, she has held positions as post-doctoral fellow at the Melbourne Law School, the Berlin Graduate School for Muslim Cultures and Societies and as lecturer at the Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg.

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Dr. Sara Niner

Sara Niner is an interdisciplinary researcher and lecturer in Anthropology with the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. She teaches the ATS 2378 Anthropology of International Development, which provides a broad critique of aid and development internationally from an anthropological perspective and ATS2625/3625 – Mobile worlds: Migrants, refugees and the politics of belonging which explores socially and culturally diverse forms of migrant experience.

As a regional gender expert, Dr. Niner has often worked and reported on gender issues in S. E. Asia for local and international development agencies. She has recently undertaken a study into young men in Timor-Leste and their attitudes to gender roles, relationships and violence which will inform a gender-based violence prevention campaign. She has also recently worked with UN Women in Dili to develop a strategic plan and gender curriculum with the new Gender Studies Research Centre—Sentro Estudo Jeneru (SEJ)— at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL). She has published her research findings in top-rated international journals, such as International Feminist Journal of Politics, Feminist Media Studies and Medical Anthropology, along with the publication of three monographs on politics and leadership in East Timor with scholarly publishers.

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Associate Professor Andrea Whittaker

Andrea Whittaker is ARC Future Fellow and Associate Professor in Anthropology at SoSS.  She is a medical anthropologist working primarily in the fields of reproductive health, biotechnologies and medical mobility and travel with a special interest on Thailand and SE Asia.  She is currently undertaking research on several ARC grants, including a Discovery Project on medical travel in Thailand and Malaysia, an ARC Linkage on contraceptive use among CALD women in Victoria and an ARC Linkage which involves a longitudinal study of people living with HIV in rural and regional Queensland.  Her Future Fellowship studies the reproductive travel in Thailand and the region for sex selection and surrogacy. She received her PhD from the University of Qld in 1995. Her major publications include Intimate Knowledge: Women and their Health in Northeast Thailand (2000), Women’s Health in Mainland South-east Asia ed. (2002), Abortion, Sin and the State in Thailand (2004) and  Abortion in Asia: Local dilemmas, global politics ed. (2010). She has another book entitled Thai in vitro: Assisted reproduction in Thailand forthcoming in 2014 with Berghahn Books.

Andrea Whittaker joined the Anthropology Program from Monash Psychology and Psychiatry in Semester 1 2014

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