Dr Penny Dransart M.St. D.Phil.(Oxford), F.S.A., F.S.A. Scotland
Contact DetailsSchool of Archaeology, History and Anthropology
Tel: 01570 424792
Reader in Anthropology and Archaeology
Role in the University
Reader in Anthropology and Archaeology
Penny’s research and teaching interests are interdisciplinary, at the intersections of cultural/social anthropology, world art and heritage. She approaches teaching and research in a framework grounded in anthropological theory for the study of societies in the present and of the past.
Her research interest fall into three broad themes:
1) the sustainability of human-herd animal interactions,
2) material culture and the history of anthropology and
3) heritage and community archaeology
Under the first and second themes, she has addressed the qualitative dimensions of pastoralism in the owning and exploiting of herd animals (and the making of textiles from fleece) as well as the role of water in different cross-cultural contexts. Much of this research has been conducted since the mid 1980s in Isluga, a bilingual Aymara-Spanish speaking community in the Chilean Andes.
Her interests also extend under the third theme to the conceptualisation of heritage, whether of archaeological sites, working with community groups, or museum artefacts. This research includes participant observation in heritage projects with a community involvement in Aberdeenshire since 1995 as part of the Scottish Episcopal Palaces Project.
In 2007, Penny was Visiting Fellow at the Sainsbury Research Unit, University of East Anglia and in 2009 she was Visiting Fellow at CRASSH and Wolfson College, University of Cambridge.
In recent years she has been external examiner for PhD theses at the Universities of Cambridge, East Anglia, Essex, Kent and University College London.
For four years she was external examiner for the BA in Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and currently serves in the same capacity in the BA in World Art at the University of East Anglia. She has also served as external examiner for the M.St in Anthropological Archaeology at the University of Oxford and the MA in Art History at the University of Essex.
Penny is an advisory panel member of a Leverhulme funded project at the British Museum, entitled ‘Andean textiles: organic colourants, biological sources and dyeing technologies’.
Areas of postgraduate supervision
Penny has supervised research degrees in the following general areas: pastoralism, material culture, museum studies, social archaeology, and the anthropological study of concepts of fairness and belonging.
Main Research Interests:
The main geographical areas of this research are:
The Andes (northern Chile, highland Bolivia and southern Peru)
2011 Textiles from the Andes. British Museum Press: Fabric Folios. (Text by P. Dransart, textile conservation by H. Wolfe)
2002 Earth, Water, Fleece and Fabric: an Ethnography and Archaeology of Andean Camelid Herding. London: Routledge.
1995 Elemental Meanings: Symbolic Expression in Inka Miniature Figurines. London: University of London, Institute of Latin American Studies Research Papers.
2006 Kay Pacha: Cultivating Earth and Water in the Andes, editor. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports S1478. 245 pp.
1995 Andean Art: Visual Expression and its Relation to Andean Beliefs and Values, editor. Aldershot, Hampshire: Avebury (Worldwide Archaeology Series). 317 pp.
1992 Basketmakers: Meaning and Form in Native American Basketry, co-editor (L. Mowat, H. Morphy and P. Dransart, eds). Oxford: Pitt Rivers Museum. 182 pp.
Journal articles and papers published in series
A selection of articles:
2008 ‘Prospect and excavation of moated sites: Scottish earthwork castles and house societies in the late twelfth to fourteenth centuries’, Château Gaillard 23: 115-128.
2007 ‘Mysteries of the cloaked body: analogy and metaphor in concepts of weaving and body tissues’, Trivium 37, 161-187. (Special issue: The Nature and Culture of the Human Body)
2004 (and N.Q. Bogdan) ‘The material culture of recusancy at Fetternear: kin and religion in post-Reformation Scotland’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 134, 457-470.
2002 ‘Concepts of spiritual nourishment in the Andes and Europe: a study of rosaries in cross-cultural contexts’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 8(1), 1-21.
1999 ‘La domesticación de los camélidos en los Andes centro-sur. Una reconsideración’, Relaciones de la Sociedad Argentina de Antropología 24 (1999), 125-138.
1996 ‘Las flores de los rebaños en Isluga: la vida cultural de los ganaderos y camélidos en el norte de Chile’, Nuevo Texto Crítico Year 9, No 18 (1996), 29-39.
1991 ‘Llamas, herders and the exploitation of raw materials in the Atacama Desert’, World Archaeology 22, 304-2319.
Chapters in edited volumes
Penny Dransart has a considerable body of published chapters in books. Among those published since 2000 are:
2012 ‘Representing gender and homosociality: hierarchy and clerical investments in Medieval Scotland’. In Dress and Identity, M. Harlow, ed., 95-107. Oxford: Archaeopress.
2011 ‘Social principles of camelid pastoralism and archaeological interpretations’. In Ethnzoooarchaeology: The Present and Past of Human-animal Relationships U. Albarella and A. Trentacoste, eds, 123-130.Oxford: Oxbow.
2010 ‘Animals and their possessions: properties of herd animals in the Andes and Europe’. In Animals and Science: Anthropological Approaches, M. Bolton and C. Degnen, eds., 84-104. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
2008 ‘William Bennet Stevenson’. In Guide to Documentary Sources for Andean Studies 1530-1900, J. Pillsbury, ed. University of Oklahoma Press, Vol III, 656-659.
2006 ‘Introduction: terrains of significance in the Andes’. In Kay Pacha: Cultivating Earth and Water in the Andes, P. Dransart, ed., 1-18. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports S1478.
2003 ‘Saints, stones and shrines: the cults of Sts Moluag and Gerardine in Pictland’. Celtic Hagiography and Saints’ Cults, J. Cartwright, ed., 232-248, figures 13.1-13.5, bibliography 285-318. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
2002 ‘Coloured knowledges: vision and the dissemination of knowledge in Isluga, northern Chile’. Knowledge and Learning in the Andes, H. Stobart and R. Howard, eds, 56-78. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
2000 ‘Clothed metal and the iconography of human form among the Inkas’. In Pre-Columbian Gold: Technology, Style and Iconography, C. McEwan, ed, 76-91. London: British Museum Press.
2000 ‘Vestirse en los períodos tardíos del centro-sur andino’, Actas de la Primera Jornada Internacional sobre Textiles Precolombinos, V. Solanilla i Demestre, ed, 127-153. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
2000 ‘Cultural tourism in an interconnected world: tensions and aspirations in Latin America’. Indigenous Cultures in an Interconnected World, C. Smith and G. Ward, eds, 145-164, 199, references 201-220. St Leonards, Australia: Unwin Hyman.
Current research projects
Penny Dransart is currently Director of the Scottish Episcopal Palaces Project.
She is conducting research into museum collecting practices, textiles, dress and gender.
For Penny’s academia.edu page see: http://lamp.academia.edu/PennyDransart/About