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The Australian National University

Dr Hannah Bulloch

PhD in Anthropology, PGDip in Development Studies, BA in Social Anthropology
ARC Fellow in Anthropology
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 2 6125 2902

Areas of expertise

  • Social And Cultural Anthropology 160104
  • Anthropology Of Development 160101
  • Studies Of Asian Society 169903
  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality 200205

Research interests

Narratives of development, gender, youth, personhood, governmentality, intimate relationships, rural livelihoods, Scottish diaspora, Philippines.


Hannah holds a PhD in anthropology from the ANU. She is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) and her dissertation was awarded the Australian Anthropological Society prize for Best PhD Thesis. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Studies from Massey University, and recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University of Wellington. Hannah has worked in research and teaching capacities at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) in Brighton, ANU’s Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the ANU, Massey University’s School of People, Environment and Planning, and the Royal Society of New Zealand. She is a Director of the Australian Anthropological Society.

Researcher's projects

Multiple Meanings of Development
Hannah is the author of In Pursuit of Progress: Narratives on Development on a Philippine Island, to be published by University of Hawai‘i in January 2017. The book explores how meta-narratives of development become entangled in people’s identities and life trajectories; how they inhabit people’s histories, their understandings of their place in the world, and their dreams for the future. The idea of development has been scrutinised as a ‘Western’ metaphor ordering global difference and as a banner under which diverse schemes for societal improvement find legitimacy and common purpose. But how is development assimilated into the worldviews of development’s subjects?

Drawing on a decade of ethnographic research on the Philippine island of Siquijor, In Pursuit of Progress  explores myths, meanings and practices of development and its counterparts, progress and modernisation. It considers development not just as a collective project but recognises that, as a cognitive tool for organising relationships between people, it is personal. The book offers fresh insights to debates in anthropology, sociology and development studies regarding the ways in which discourses of development act upon local and global power relations.

For more information visit the University of Hawai‘i Press website:

Womanhood in the Philippines
Hannah received an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for her ongoing work on gender and intergenerational change in the Philippines. This project explores the pressures facing Filipino women as they strive to make a success of their lives and help their families ‘get ahead’ in an age of mobility and rapid economic transformation. Focusing on the life narratives of a number of key women, the project deals with issues of education, employment, migration, individualism and the bonds of family.

A Dunedin family’s journey to Skye
In what has been termed ‘intimate ethnography’, Hannah has been writing a book-length work of historical, narrative nonfiction that tells the story of her grandparents and their six children. The MacLeods were a farming family who in 1963 travelled the world in a bespoke caravan made from the chassis of a World War II armoured scout car, the engine of a Bren Gun Carrier, and the cab of a city bus. The family of eight boarded a Singapore-bound ship with their vehicle as cargo, then drove through Malaya, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Western Europe, on their way to their ancestral home on Scotland’s Isle of Skye. To the Isle Bound situates this unusual journey in relation to the MacLeods’ broader lives and the national and international contexts of the era.



Projects and Grants

Grants are drawn from ARIES. To add Projects or Grants please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  27 May 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers