A/PROF Tamara Kohn

A/PROF Tamara Kohn




  • I am a social anthropologist with extensive fieldwork experience in the Scottish Hebrides, the eastern hills of Nepal, and more recently Japan.  I've held research and teaching positions in England (Oxford and Durham) and now here at the University of Melbourne. I'm interested in identity, the study of trans-cultural communities of practice (from caring practices to sports and other embodied arts), mobility (migration, intermarriage, leisure/travel), death studies, and the anthropology of the senses.

    I am a Chief Investigator on two ARC Discovery Grants, one on Sonic Practice in Japan (2013-2015 with Carolyn Stevens and Richard Chenhall) and the other on Digital Commemoration (2014-2016 with Michael Arnold, Martin Gibbs, and Bjorn Nansen). I coordinate and teach subjects at all levels (but not all in every year), including: Anthropology: Studying Human Diversity (Year 1) Keeping the Body in Mind (Year 2) Theory and the Anthropological Imagination (Year 3 Capstone) Philosophy and Scope of Anthropology (Year 4 Honours compulsory). I supervise a range of RHD students in my areas of interest (see supervision link for details on current student projects and recent thesis completions).   


Member of

  • Australian Anthropological Society. participating member of the AAS 2006 -
  • European Association of Social Anthropologists. participating member of the EASA 1992 -
  • Association of Social Anthropologists. participating member of this ASA in the UK and Commonwealth 1988 -
  • American Anthropological Association. participating member of the AAA 1983 -


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • D.Phil, University of Oxford 1988
  • M.A., University of Pennsylvania 1984
  • A.B. (Hons), University of California - Berkeley 1982

Awards and honors

  • G.E.M. Scott Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Melbourne, 2010


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I am currently interested in supervising topics relating to:
    Anthropology and:
    • The Body (including Sport, Martial Arts and other body practices)
    • Senses, Emotions, and Memory
    • Food and Consumption
    • Death, Dying and Commemoration
    • Mobilities and Identities
    • Methods, Ethics and Ethnographic Writing

    Current Primary Supervisions
    Robert Swinburn (PhD) The Stories of Wine: The rhetoric of the winemaker
    Aaron Smith (PhD) Examining Impairment through the Relational Experiences of Fathers
    Mythili Meher (PhD) Conceptions of a Suffering Mind and the Culture of Inclusion
    Hannah Harewood Gould (PhD) Dying Differently: The Material Culture of Death in Contemporary Japan
    Current Co-Supervisions (50%)
    Diego Mendez (PhD) The Lettered Body: a reading of I, a foreign body, in your imaginary nation
    Melinda Herron (PhD) Living, Belonging & Getting Along: the lives of teens in a culturally diverse, low socioeconomic school community
    Naomi Robinson (MA) Video Content in Popular Culture
    Recent RHD Completions (since 2011):
    Brigitte Lewis (PhD 2011) Epistemological Blind Spots and the Story of I
    Daniel Ooi (PhD 2012) Sandinista statecraft and the nation-building project in Ermita de Dolores, Nicaragua 1979-2005
    Ruth Oliphant (MA 2013) Stitching Spear-Grass, Sinew, and Skin: Crafting New Social Memories and the Koorie Heritage Trust
    Zoya Gill (MA 2013) Inside/Outside: Migrants’ Construction of Home in the Domestic Kitchen
    Mayuko Maekawa (PhD 2013) Reconsidering Orientalism/Occidentalism: representations of a Japanese martial art in Melbourne
    Yoko Demelius (PhD 2014) A Creative Pursuit as a ‘Vocation’: An Anthropological Study of a Ballet World at Work
    Kim Neylon (PhD 2015) Authenticity, place and consumption at Victorian Farmers Markets