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Alice Elliot

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Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow

Pegasus Marie Curie Fellow (2013-2014), University of Leuven
PhD in Social Anthropology (2012), UCL
MRes in Anthropology (2008), UCL

Research Interests

  • Morocco & Tunisia / Middles East & North Africa
  • Cosmologies of migration & movement
  • Anthropology of Islam
  • Anthropology of predestination & destiny
  • Economic crisis & alternative economies
  • Revolution & political imagination
  • Gender & personhood
  • Anthropological & ethnographic theory

Research Project

My current project explores how the conjuncture of economic crisis in Europe and political turmoil in North Africa is generating novel ways of imagining theological, political, and intimate futures in countries characterised by decades-long emigration towards Europe. Taking post-revolutionary Tunisia as a case study, I am working on a fresh theorisation of migration that establishes the imagination of existential, revolutionary, theological possibility as key determinants of transnational movement, tracing the ways in which local experiences of major historical events – crises abroad, revolutions at home – inflect these migration imaginaries. The project builds on my doctoral research (Reckoning with the outside: emigration and the imagination of life in Central Morocco, UCL 2012) where I explore how the spectre of migration penetrates towns, neighbourhoods, households and people in rural Central Morocco.


Elliot, A. 2016. Gender. In N.B. Salazar and K. Jayaram, eds. Keywords of mobility: critical engagements. Oxford: Berghahn.

Elliot, A. 2015. Paused subjects: waiting for migration in North Africa. Time & Society

Elliot, A. 2013. Translation (from the Italian): Valerio Valeri, Marcel Mauss and the New Anthropology. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 3(1):262-286

Elliot, A. 2013. Review of H. Lucht, Darkness before Daybreak: African Migrants Living on the Margins in Southern Italy Today (2011, University of California Press). Anthropological Quarterly 86(4):1165-1168

Elliot, A. 2012. Les effets de l’émigration masculine sur la situation des femmes au Sénégal: renforcement ou ébranlement des équilibres traditionnels? (with N. Mondain, S. Randall and A. Diagne) Autrepart: revue de sciences sociales au Sud 61:81-98

Elliot, A. 2012. Review of D. Crawford, Moroccan households in the world economy: labour and inequality in a Berber village (2008, Louisiana). Africa 82(2): 509-510

Elliot, A. 2011. E per fortuna o purtroppo lo sono: percorsi identitari e appartenenze plurime di giovani di origine marocchina e albanese . Una ricerca etnografica. In C. Volpato (ed.) Nuovi cittadini: i giovani immigrati tra accoglienza e rifiuto. Milan: Edizioni Unicopoli, 47-83

Elliot, A. 2009. Legal, social and intimate belonging: Moroccan and Albanian second generation migrants in Italy. UCL Anthropology Working Papers Series, Working Paper No. 05/2009

Panels, Workshops & Events Organised

Destiny, fate, predestination: ethnographies of changing forms of political and intimate life. Panel organized (with L. Menin) at Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), Tallinn, Estonia. (July 2014)

Islamic predestination in changing worlds: interdisciplinary perspectives. Symposium organized (with L. Menin) at Annual Conference of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES), Sussex, UK. (June 2014)

Generating movement, generating people: ethnographic reflections on movement and personhood. Panel organised (with C. Tesar) at 10th Annual Conference of the Romanian Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Sibiu, Romania. (Oct 2013)

Fielding challenges, challenging the field: the methodologies of mobility. EASA Anthropology and Mobility Network International Workshop (convened with R. Norum and J. Coates). COMPAS & Oxford University, UK. (Sept 2013)

Cosmologies of borders and crossings. Panel organised at 111th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), San Francisco. (Nov 2012)

Moving scales and scales of movement. Cosmology, Religion, Ontology and Culture (CROC) Research Group International Workshop (convened with T. Farnetti, A. Macdonald, A. Walford), UCL Anthropology. (June 2012)

Love in the Time of the Frontier: Three short films on migrations, detentions and expulsions across the Mediterranean. Screening and Q&A with film-makers, UCL Anthropology. (May 2012)

Selected Seminar, Conference, and Workshop Papers

Mosques, cigarettes and incommensurability: consuming the outside in emigrant rural Morocco. Paper in panel on 'Rural Remigration and Consumption in Africa.' FUTURE AFRICA, Conference of the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD), Bayreuth, Germany (June 2014)

Anthropology of mobility keyword: Gender. Paper in panel on ‘Critical anthropological engagements with mobility: the keywords.’ 112th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), Chicago, USA (Nov 2013)

The make-up of destiny: intimate action and predetermined futures in a Moroccan town. Paper given at the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains (Lamc), Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium (Nov 2013)

The gender of the crossing: movement and precarious masculinity in Central Morocco. Paper in panel on ‘Generating movement, generating people: ethnographic reflections on movement and personhood.’ 10th Annual Conference of the Romanian Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Sibiu, Romania (Oct 2013)

Reckoning with crises, watching revolutions: re-imagining migration in a Moroccan emigrant community. Paper in panel on ‘Migration as Expectation and Memory.’ Still in Search of Europe? The Possible in Arts, Ideologies and Travel from Africa and the Middle East, International workshop at Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin (March 2013)

A life of waiting: the threatening uneventful in Central Morocco. Paper in panel on ‘Waiting for Godot & Co: modes and moods of the uneventful.’ European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Conference, Nanterre University (July 2012)

A methodological shift towards idiocy: three ethnographic ambiguities tripping each other up (with J. Sauma & A. Walford). Paper in panel on ‘Trickster anthropology: theorizing ontological ambiguity, transgression and transformation.’ European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Conference, Nanterre University (July 2012)

On gender and scale: migration and stillness in a Moroccan town. Paper in workshop on ‘Moving scales and scales of movement: cosmologies of borders and crossings’. CROC, Department of Anthropology, UCL (June 2012)

A punctuated time: emigration and temporal intrusion in Central Morocco. Paper at International Conference on Migration, Human Rights and the Politics of Identity in a Globalised World, University Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco (April 2012)


Honorary Research Fellow, Interculturalism Migration and Minorities Research Centre, Anthropology Section, University of Leuven


  • Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (2014-2017)
  • European Commission & Research Foundation Flanders Pegasus Marie Curie Fellowship (2013-2014)
  • UK Economic and Social Research Council Studentship (2008-2012)

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