UCL Anthropology


Annamaria Dall'Anese

Photo Annamaria DallAnese

UCL Emailucsadal@ucl.ac.uk
Year of Start: 2016
Supervisors: Principal supervisor: Professor Joe Calabrese; secondary supervisor: Professor Christopher Pinney
Subject: Medical Anthropology
Fieldsite: England

PhD Research

The Work of the Visually Impaired: An Ethnography of Visually Impaired People in an English Metropolitan City

One of the main difficulties encountered by people with a disability is gaining and maintaining employment, which has severe repercussions on their personal sphere. This problem is particularly acute in Britain, where unemployment is equated with failure. In my qualitative study I present how a very diverse sample of people in an English metropolitan city cope when their professional opportunities are jeopardised by visual impairment. I also explore the different ways in which their sight loss and the employment crisis it often entails trigger a reshaping of their moral, as well as professional, trajectories.

Through participant observation I look at the therapeutic value of employment at a factory employing primarily visually impaired people. Moreover, drawing on the personal histories of blind and partially sighted people from different social classes and educational backgrounds, I show how sight loss, whether adventitious or congenital, can be ‘emplotted’: far from being solely a source of distress, it may open the door to a more meaningful existence.

Research interests

  • Anthropology of work, in particular the therapeutic value of employment
  • Anthropology of disability
  • Anthropology of Britain



Material World Blog:

Presentations & Conferences

9th May 2018: Poster presentation at UCL’s first interdisciplinary conference on disability

Education History

2014-16 Master in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University College London. Dissertation: The Effects of the Adoption of Information and Communication Technology on Merchant Marines’ Health-Seeking Practices. Supervisor: Professor Charles Stewart.

Honours, Awards & Funding

2016-present: London Arts and Humanities Research Council

Additional Information

  • 2016-17 I founded and conducted a reading and research group on the anthropology of writing.
  • I am a qualified life-coach working with academics, researchers and postgraduate students. Visit Linkedin profile to learn more.