UCL Anthropology


Johanna Perez

Johanna Perez

UCL Email: johanna.gomez.15@ucl.ac.uk
Year of Start: 2015
Supervisors: Lucia Michelutti and Martin Holbraad
Subject: Social Anthropology
Fieldsite: Colombian Eastern Plains

PhD Research

The spirits' power: Violence and magic in Colombia Eastern Plains region

In the Eastern Plains region of Colombia, stories about paramilitary groups resorting to witches to become invincible are fairly popular. This research aims to get to the heart of these stories, which entails unravelling wide spread beliefs in the spirits´power. The nature of spirits and the relationships people establish with them are a matter of dispute among religious authorities, priests, pastors, sorceress and healers. Nonetheless, spirits presence and power are constantly affirmed in the everyday. What is at stake in these forms of sociality between spirits and people? How does it turn into magical warfare of armed right-wing groups? What does it say about the forms of authority and morals in one of the most violent regions of Colombia?

Research Interests

  • Anthropology and Politics
  • Anthropology of Morality
  • Ethnographic Methods
  • Colombian Armed Conflict

Education History

  • PhD Candidate, Social Anthropology - University College London (2015-present)
  • MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics (Distinction) - Goldsmiths, University of London (2013)
  • BA in Anthropology (1rs) National University of Colombia (2009).

Teaching Experience

Aug 2014-June 2015, University of Meta. Villavicencio, Colombia.
Lecturer in Anthropology and Qualitative Research Methods, Social Work Programme, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences.

Presentations & Conferences

  • "Latin American Activists in London: Migration, Autonomy and Citizenship". III Caribbean Latin American and Congress of Social Sciences, FLACSO, Ecuador, 26 to 28 of August 2015. Conference paper (Extract of the dissertation with the same title, MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics at Goldsmiths University of London 2013). Print.
  • "The Assessment of Anthropological Knowledge: A Case of Intervention with Guayabero Families" First International Congress of Social Work: The Contribution of Social Sciences in Forensic Expert Advice, Villavicencio, Colombia, 22 to 23 of October 2014. Conference paper. University Corporation of Meta, Colombia. Print. 
  • "Inventory of Intangible Heritage in two Guayabero Indigenous Reservation". XIII Congress of Anthropology in Colombia: Anthropology and New Social Experiences, University of the Andes, 30-3 September and October 2009. Conference paper (Extract of the dissertation with the same title, BA in Anthropology at The National University of Colombia, Bogotá, 2009) Print.

Awards & Funding

  • UK Economic and Social Research Council +3 studentship (2016-2019)
  • Colciencias, Colombian Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, Funding Scheme for Doctoral Students Abroad (2016-2019)
  • Goldsmiths International Postgraduate Scholarship 2012/2013.