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Natalie Camille Morningstar

Natalie Camille Morningstar

Affiliated Lecturer and Teaching Associate


My research is broadly concerned with activism and the political subject, as well as with conceptions of freedom in the context of political economic transition. I conducted my most recent period of fieldwork with artist-activists in Dublin critical of gentrification, urban renewal, and the influx of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and American finance capitalism into the Irish state post-recession. My PhD dissertation examines how they mobilise the word “neoliberalism” as a contemporary political claim expressing a lack of trust in liberal democratic governance, and of the consequences of this ethnographic case for anthropological approaches to politics and facticity. My future research tracks the relationships between post-factualism, racism, and nationalism in liberal democratic contexts, as well as the intersection between political movements and the shifting characteristics of contemporary capitalism.

Previously, my research interests were focused on minority language politics and the aesthetics of traditional (sean-nós) singing in the west of Ireland and in the Irish diaspora in London. Prior to my Social Anthropology degrees (MPhil, PhD) at Cambridge, I completed my liberal arts BA with a major in four-field Anthropology at Yale University, and a concentration in linguistic and biological anthropology. I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the evolutionary genetics of colour vision in owl monkeys (Aotus) and conducted research on the impact of taxonomic designations of biodiversity among treeshrews (Scandentia) in the Malay Peninsula. The results of both of these projects have been published in Frontiers in Zoology, the Journal of Mammalogy, and the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Research Interests

(neo)liberalism; critique; political movements; capitalism; socialism; imperialism; alternative community-building; architecture and infrastructure; (ethno-)nationalism


Undergraduate Supervision

SAN1 – Social Anthropology: The Comparative Perspective

SAN2 – The Foundations of Social Life

SAN3 – Anthropological Theory and Methods

SAN5 – Ethical Life and the Anthropology of the Subject

SAN12 – Anthropology of Cities and Space

Undergraduate Teaching

SAN9 – Science and Society

Postgraduate Teaching

MPhil Paper 1 – Production and Reproduction

MPhil Paper 2 – Systems of Power and Knowledge

Fieldwork and Research Methodology