BA (Sydney), PhD (Manchester)

Professor Bruce Kapferer is Professor of Anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway. Professor Kapferer specialises in social and political processes among communities in South Asia, Southern Africa, and Australia. He is currently expanding his research into state mythologies and their relation to the production of ethnic and political violence. Part of this interest involves (with Judith Kapferer) are study of the state and its current crisis in Australia in the context of globalisation. He is directing a major new project into the interconnections between changes in state political structures, new formations of poverty and the role of corporate institutions in the alleviation of poverty and state organization redirections. This is supported by the HF Guggenheim Foundation. The foregoing research has since been expanded in consequence of Professor Kapfer directing a major new project funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The project (extending initially over four years 2004 to 2009) supports at present 15 researchers who are engaged in field projects in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The project addresses explicitly state-restructing as well as organizations that challenge or bypass state controls. Stress is on forms of resistance, new patterns of violence, trans-national religious and social organizations. Professor Kapferer is also playing a major role in establishing new publication series of an anthropological and cross-disciplinary nature.

Other major areas of expertise include:

  • traditional healing systems
  • contemporary transitions in cosmological and ritual processes
  • peasant and urban political economies
  • anthropological theory and ethnographic methods.
  • Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University College London (currently Honorary Professor, University College London)
  • Foundation Professor of Anthropology, James Cook University. Most recently Professor Kapferer has been appointed Fellow, National Humanities Center, North Carolina.
  • He is also currently a Trustee of the Sutasoma Foundation.

Memberships / Fellowships

  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioural Sciences, Palo Alto, California
  • Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies
  • Fellow, National Humanities Center, North Carolina
  • Bruce Kapferer (ed) (2004) State, Sovereignty, War. Oxford, New York: Berghahn.
  • Bruce Kapferer (2003) Injustice, Suffering and the State, Bulletin of Royal Institute of Inter-Faith Studies vol 4, no 2.
  • Bruce Kapferer and Barry Morris (2003) Egalitarian Ideologies and Exclusionary Practice in Australia, Social Analysis volume 47 no. 2.
  • Bruce Kapferer (2002) Sorcery and the Shapes of Globalization, Disjunctions and Continuities: The Case of Sri Lanka, In Globalization, The State, and Violence. Jonathan Friedman (eds.). Oxford: Altamira.
  • Bruce Kapferer (ed) (2002) Beyond Rationalism. Oxford, New York: Berghahn.
  • Bruce Kapferer (2001) Ethnic Nationalism and the Discourses of Violence in Sri Lanka, Communal/Plural, 4.
  • Bruce Kapferer (2000) The Sorcery of Consciousness: A Sinhala Buddhist Ritual Discourse on the Dynamics of Consciousness, Communication and Cognition, 33(1/2):97-120.
  • Bruce Kapferer (2000) Sexuality and the Art of Seduction in Sinhalese Exorcism, Ethnos 65(1):5-32.
  • Bruce Kapferer (1998) Legends of People, Myths of State. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Bruce Kapferer (1997) The Feast of the Sorcerer: Practices of Consciousness and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Bruce Kapferer (1991) A Celebration of Demons. Oxford and Washington: Berg Press/Smithsonian Institution Press.