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Timothy A Carroll

Timothy Carroll

Email: t.carroll [at]


Teaching Fellow in Anthropology and Material Culture
Editorial Assistant, Journal of Material Culture

PhD in Anthropology (UCL)
MA in Material Culture and Visual Anthropology (UCL)
BA in Linguistic Anthropology (Biola University)

Research Interests

My research focuses on art, religion, and material culture. I am interested in the properties of materials as they are taken up in the, quite often, creative production of religious subjects. My doctoral research was conducted amongst Antiochian and Greek Orthodox Christians in London and Mt Athos, Greece. The thesis addresses the Orthodox Christian use of fabric and other mundane materials in the production of sacred spaces and in the, often intertwined, production of themselves as ‘becoming’ Orthodox. Drawing upon the anthropological literature on artful production, I argued that Orthodox Christians capitalise on the qualities inherent in materials in order to craft themselves as art-like subjects. I am currently revising my doctoral work into a monograph of ‘Becoming Orthodox’.

Before returning to academia I worked as a tailor and fabric artist, and also have experience in costume design. As such, I have a strong interest in clothing, fabric, and other personal accoutrements of personal development and display.

I also work with UCL’s Ethnographic Collection and have helped curated exhibitions in the Anthropology Dept. Most recently this includes a show working with the local London community group the Seething Villagers. I am editing a catalogue from this exhibition.

Currently I am working on research concerning ethico-religious commitments to the body, looking at how these commitments impact decision-making processes involving the body. This ranges from aesthetic augmentation of the body to issues of wellbeing. Because of the theological emphasis in Orthodox Christianity on the body as part of the person (rather than a Cartesian site of minded location), I am also looking at the transition through death and mortuary practices as well as post-mortem care of the person, which, in Orthodoxy, also includes the veneration of relics.

Course Taught

  • Anthropology of Art and Design
  • Anthropologies of Religion
  • Introduction to Material and Visual Culture
  • Being Human

Selected Publications:

[Forthcoming] When Things Do Wrong: Anthropologies of Material Failure, co-edited with David Jeevendrampillai, Aaron Parkhurst and Julie Shackelford. Under review with Bloomsbury.

2016 ‘Im/material objects: The substance of the immaterial’ in T. Hutchings and J. McKenzie (eds) Religion and Material Culture. Ashgate.

2015 ‘An ancient modernity: Icons and the revitalisation of Britain’ in Jones and Matthews-Jones (eds) The Spirit of Things: Material Religion in Modern Britain. Palgrave Macmillan.

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