XClose

UCL Anthropology

Home
Menu

Alex Pillen

Alex Pillen
 

Associate Professor, Linguistic Anthropology

E-mail: a.pillen@ucl.ac.uk
Skype name: alex pillen

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • The architecture of language
  • Linguistic edgework in times of war
  • The anthropological study of Kurdish (Kurmanci - Northern Kurdish)

PRESS RELEASE: STRETCHING LANGUAGE TO ITS LIMIT (click here)

UPCOMING TALK

  • November 5th 2021, 'The Architecture of Language: An Exploration in 3D’, ISCA seminar, University of Oxford.
  • November 2022, Paper for panel 'Producing Power and Participation: Papers in Honor of Don Brenneis', organised by Ilana Gershon, Conference of the American Anthropological Association, Seattle WA. 

    TEACHING

    • Linguistic Anthropology (ANTH0028 UG & PG))
    • The Anthropology of War (ANTH0193 UG & PG)
    • Module of Being Human (ANTH0015)

    NEW SERIES: TRANSDISCIPLINARY TRAUMA STUDIES (click here)

    RECENT TALKS:

    WORK-IN-PROGRESS

    1. Paper entitled Parametric design to model and print natural language in D in collaboration with Emma-Kate Matthews, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, and Chaitanya Kanchan, Department of History, UCL.

    2. Chapter entitled The language of dangerous events for the New Wiley Blackwell Companion to Linguistic Anthropology, co-edited by Alessandro Duranti, Rachel George, and Robin Conley Riner.  

    3. Preparation of a book manuscript provisionally entitled Speaking Kurdish: The Pursuit of Humanity.

    SELECTED PUBLICATIONS 

    2019 The Chagga word between brackets. First Book Symposium. Social Analysis, 63(1):113-116.

    2017 The space that will never be filled. Sharp communication and the simultaneity of opposites. Current Anthropology 58(6): 718-738.

    2016  Language, translation, trauma. Annual Review of Anthropology 45: 95-111. (click on the title for free access to this article)

    2015 Atrocity and nonsense: The ethnographic study of dehumanization. In Genocide and Mass Violence. Memory, Symptom, and Recovery. Devon E Hinton and Alexander L. Hinton (eds.), pp. 342- 358. Cambridge University Press.

    2013 (ebook), 2003 Masking Terror. How Women Contain Violence in Southern Sri Lanka. (Pennsylvania University Press, Ethnography of Political Violence Series, 2003). 

    2010. The fear of the sorcerer: Finding a peaceful moment for a sacrifice in Southern Sri Lanka. In Axel Michaels (Ed.) Ritual Dynamics and the Science of Ritual: State, power, and violence. (pp. 105-131). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

    2007 Obvious pretence: For fun or for real? Cross-cousin and international relations in Sri Lanka. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 13(2): 313-329.

    RECENT PROJECT

    Team member for Small lodgings architectural competition, Royal Commision of Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, final shortlist 'Sculpting Spaces' (see submission by AY architects + Ajlan Gharem studio), and exhibit at the seventh edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts, January 28–April 18, 2020.

    LANGUAGES: Flemish, Kurdish (Kurmanci), Modern Standard Arabic (Intermediate), Spanish, Sinhalese, English, French.

    CURRENT PHD STUDENT

    • Joseph Buckley (Wolfson Scholarship)

    POST-DOCTORAL SCHOLARS

    • Aeron O'Connor (ESRC 2020-2021)
    • Alice Rudge (Leverhulme 2020-2023)

    COMPLETED PHD DISSERTATIONS

    • Ania Witeska (UCL Graduate School Fellowship)
    • Besim Can Zihr (University of Ankara Fellowship)
    • Qi Xiaoguang (China Scholarship Council Fellowship)
    • Shema Tariq (Medical Research Council Fellowship)
    • Juliano Spyer (ERC Project 2011-AdG-295486 SocNet)
    • Kanchan Chaitanya (ESRC/AHRC Fellowship)
    • Liz Fox (ESRC Fellowship)
    • Aeron O'Connor (LAHP Fellowship)
    • Giulia Cavicchioli (LAHP Fellowship)
    • Izzy Gibbin (LAHP Fellowship)

    ADMIN

    • Pathway leader LAHP (Term 1 & 2)
    • Pathway leader ESRC (Term 2)

    APPLICATIONS TO PHD PROGRAM

    As a homegrown member of the team, I welcome PhD applications that are theoretically engaged, and grounded in the study of language practices.