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Portrait of Grégory Delaplace

 

As a social anthropologist, my research activities fall into two distinct albeit partially overlapping registers: regionalist on the one hand, rooted in Mongolia and Inner Asia; and comparatist on the other, centered around phenomena of apparitions across human societies. In Mongolia, I have been working on various aspects of people’s relations to “invisible things” (üzegdehgüi yum in Mongolian): chance encounters with ghosts and spirits, the revival of shamanism, modes of engagement with an animated landscape (nutag); but also what these “invisible things” might reveal about the political or economic situation (e.g. the relationship with their Chinese neighbor, issues surrounding mining activities, etc.). Elsewhere, my lecturing activities in the Department of Anthropology at Paris Nanterre University, together with various collective projects both there and at the University of Cambridge, where I held a postdoctoral fellowship (2007–2011), have led me to work on a wide range of topics, including the ethnographic uses of photography, funerary protocols and the anthropology of death, the economies and politics of North Asian borders, and scientific investigations inside British haunted houses during the 1930s and 1940s.