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The Australian National University

Dr Hannah Bulloch

PhD in Anthropology, MA in Creative Writing, PGDip in Development Studies, BA in Social Anthropology
Other ANU Non-College Academic

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, 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 of Development Studies (IDS) in Sussex, ANU’s Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, 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 (2017University of Hawai‘i Press). 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:

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.

Available student projects

Hannah is currently unavailable to supervise new students.


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  25 April 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers