Jonathan Skinner

Dr Jonathan Skinner

Reader in the Anthropology of Events
+44 (0)1483 684481
53 AP 02



Research interests




Skinner, J., F. Murphy and E. Heffernan (eds) (2021) Collaborations: Anthropology in a Neoliberal Age, London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-35000-226-5 (Hardback)

Skinner, J. and A. Gronseth (eds) (2021) Mobilities of Wellbeing: Migration, the State and Medical Knowledge, Durham NC: Carolina Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-5310-2031-6 (Paperback)

Skinner, J. and J. Feldman (2018) Tour Guides as Cultural Mediators – Special Issue of Ethnologia Europaea /Journal of European Ethnology and volume published by Museum Tusculanum Press, 48(2): 5-120. ISBN 978-87-635-46478 / ISSN 0425-4597.

Skinner, J. and A. Kaul (eds) (2018) Leisure and Death: Lively Encounters with Risk, Death, and Dying, Boulder, Co: University of Colorado Press. ISBN: 978-1-60732-728-8 (Paperback)

** 2018 US Public Radio recommended Summer reading (Natural History & Sustainability) **

** 2020 Ed Bruner Book Prize **

Skinner, J. and L. Jolliffe (eds) (2017) Visiting Murals: Politics, Heritage and Identity, London: Routledge. ISBN 9781472461438 (Hardback)

Skinner, J., A. Wilford and P. Antick (eds) (2016) Terror on Tour - Special Issue, Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, 12(5), ISSN: 1557-2935 (Online)

Skinner, J. and D. Bryan (eds) (2015) Consuming St Patrick’s Day, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-7631-5 (Hardback)

Skinner, J. (Ed.) (2014) ‘Applied and Social Anthropology, Arts and Health’ (Special Issue)Anthropology in Action: Journal for Applied Anthropology in Policy and Practice 21(1): 2-42. ISSN 0967-201X

Skinner, J. (Ed.) (2012) The Interview: An Ethnographic Approach, Oxford: Berg Publications. ISBN 9781847889409 (Paperback)

Skinner, J. (Ed.) (2012) Writing The Dark Side of Travel, Oxford: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-0-85745-341-9 (Paperback)

Skinner, J. and H. Neveu-Kringelbach (eds) (2012) Dancing Cultures: Globalization, Tourism and Identity in the Anthropology of Dance, Oxford: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-0-85745-575-8 (Hardback)

Skinner, J. (Ed.) (2012) Interviewing Ireland: North and South, Irish Journal of Anthropology, Special Edition, 15(1): 5-46. ISSN: 1393-8592 (Print)

Skinner, J. and D. Theodossopoulos (eds) (2011) Great Expectations: Imagination, Anticipation, and Enchantment in Tourism, Oxford: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-0-85745-277-1 (Hardback)

Skinner, J. (Ed.) (2010) The Dark Side of Travel, Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing, Special Edition, 11(1): 1-177. ISSN: 1465-2609 (Print)

Skinner, J. and M. Hills (eds) (2006) Managing Island Life: Social, Economic and Political Dimensions of Formality and Informality in ‘Island’ Communities, Dundee: University of Abertay Press. ISBN 1-899796-14-2 (Paperback)

Skinner, J. (Ed.) (2005) Special Edition: Embodiment and Teaching and Learning in Anthropology, Anthropology in Action, 12(2), pp.1-82. ISSN 0967-201X (Print)

Skinner, J. (2004) Before the Volcano: Reverberations of Identity on Montserrat, Kingston, Jamaica: Arawak Publications. ISBN 976-189-21-5 (Paperback)

Skinner, J. (Ed.) (2002) Special Edition: Managing Island Life, Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, 8(2), pp.205-320. ISSN 1350-4630 (Print)

Skinner, J. and C. Di Domenico and A. Law and M. Smith (eds) (2001)Boundaries and Identities: Nation, Politics and Culture in Scotland,Dundee: University of Abertay Dundee Press. ISBN 1-899796-0808 (Paperback)

Jonathan Skinner (2024)Witness to the Exchange, In: The Routledge Companion to Ecopoeticspp. 250-259 Routledge

This essay offers a genealogy for the renewed practice of documentary poetry as a genre registering and responding to the slow violence of the Anthropocene. While the documentary impulse reaches back as far as Virgil's Georgics, a farmers' manual for urbanites, in Western poetry the environmental documentary poem emerges with John Clare, who documents the effects of enclosure on the lives, ecologies, and microclimates of the fields. William Carlos Williams's technique of documentary juxtaposition, as manifested in his long poem Paterson, or Ezra Pound's shaped texts, influence the twentieth-century environmental poem, locating forms that bring tension to news, data, and description. In Muriel Rukeyser's The Book of the Dead , the same characteristics that marginalize poetry, its nonlinear mode of thinking, suit it to an act of witness implicated in investigation, documenting the complex connections between environmental cause and effect, and aimed at a transfer of energy. Objectivist poetry brings a quantum twist to this documentary practice, the words of the poem themselves among its "historical and contemporary particulars." Following Charles Olson's site-specific "composition by field," as a counterfactual practice of history tracking marginalia, Susan Howe exposes how "poetry shelters other voices." The page also shelters paralinguistic features of performance, such as tone, gesture, and silence, eradicated by written history but sounded in the renewed attention given oral literatures by ethnopoetics. For poets such as M Nourbese Philip or Cecilia Vicuña, "the knot is witness to the exchange," where documentary poetry becomes a site-specific, multi-media practice of witness, recovery, and resistance. This chapter offers a genealogy for the renewed practice of documentary poetry as a genre registering and responding to the slow violence of the Anthropocene. Darwin's publication of his argument for the historicity and intrinsic value of the "entangled bank" of planetary biodiversity would coincide with the development of a machinery and regime of fossil capital capable of environmental destruction on a scale still difficult to grasp. A principal challenge for documentary poetry, in working with topical content, is to locate a form that brings tension to the materials, a container or pattern for their thematic charge. The form of the documentary poem is an extension of its materials, and an implication of them, since its materials inevitably include its own words. The documentary environmental poetry that emerges half a century later is unthinkable without Olson's spatial poetics. Running footnotes contain the struck-through text of testimony Perez delivered to a United Nations special political and decolonization committee.

Jonathan Skinner (2024)EXISTENTIALISM AND TANGO SOCIAL DANCE The Anthropology of (Moving) Events, In: The Routledge International Handbook of Existential Human Sciencepp. 150-163 Routledge
Emma Heffernan, Fiona Murphy, Jonathan Skinner (2021)Collaborations Routledge

Collaborations responds to the growing pressure on the humanities and social sciences to justify their impact and utility after cuts in public spending, and the introduction of neoliberal values into academia. Arguing in defense of' anthropology, the editors demonstrate the continued importance of the discipline and reveal how it contributes towards solving major problems in contemporary society. They also illustrate how anthropology can not only survive but thrive under these conditions. Moreover, Collaborations shows that collaboration with other disciplines is the key to anthropology's long-term sustainability and survival, and explores the challenges that interdisciplinary work presents. The book is divided into two parts: Anthropology and Academia, and Anthropology in Practice. The first part features examples from anthropologists working in academic settings which range from the life, behavioural and social sciences to the humanities, arts and business. The second part highlights detailed ethnographic contributions on topics such as peace negotiations, asylum seekers, prostitution and autism. Collaborations is an important read for students, scholars and professional and applied anthropologists as it explores how anthropology can remain relevant in the contemporary world and how to prevent it from becoming an increasingly isolated and marginalized discipline.

Jonathan Skinner (2007)Leading Questions, In: Anthropology news (Arlington, Va.)48(2)pp. 17-18 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Jonathan Skinner (2010)Suffering Syndromes and the (Anti-)Social Body, In: Anthropology in action (London, England : 1994)17(1)pp. 66-72
Jonathan Skinner (2007)When "Big Men" Don't See Eye-to-Eye: Consequences for Natives and Tourists on Montserrat, In: Practicing anthropology29(3)pp. 40-42

Traditionally, when North American tourists arrive to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Montserrat, they find an island bedecked in shamrock green colors. Traces of Irishry appear in various symbols and are deployed about the island; these include Irish names, Irish music, and even Irish patois, generally known as "the brogue."

Magdalena Banaszkiewicz, Jonathan Skinner (2022)Exclusion Tourism: Sci- Fi Stalkers and Subjunctive Plays in Apocalyptic Destinations from Chernobyl to Plymouth, Montserrat, In: Yeoman, U McMahon-Beattie, M Sigala (eds.), Science Fiction, Disruption and Tourismpp. 213-233 Channel View Publications
Jonathan Skinner (2008)The text and the tale: differences between scientific reports and scientists' reportings on the eruption of Mount Chance, Montserrat, In: Journal of risk research11(1-2)pp. 255-267 Taylor & Francis

This article looks at the difference between scientists' written reports and their oral accounts, explanations and stories. The subject of these discourses is the eruption of Mount Chance on Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory in the Eastern Caribbean, and its continued monitoring and reporting. Scientific notions of risk and uncertainty which feature in these texts and tales will subsequently be examined and critiqued. Further to this, this article will end by pointing out that, ironically, the latter - the tale - can in some cases be a more effective and approximate mode of communication with the public than the former - the text.

This article assesses the experimental teaching and learning of an anthropology module on 'modem dance'. It reviews the teaching and learning of the modem dances (lecture, observation, embodied practice, guest interview), paying attention to the triangulation of investigation methods (learning journal, examination, self-esteem survey, focus group interview). Our findings suggest that-in keeping with contemporary participatory educational approaches-students prefer guest interviews and 'performances of understanding' for teaching and learning, and that focus groups and learning journals were the preferred research methods for illuminating the students' teaching and learning experience.

Jonathan Skinner, Gerard J. Gormley (2016)Point of view filming and the elicitation interview, In: Perspectives on medical education5(4)pp. 235-239 Springer Nature

Face-to-face interviews are a fundamental research tool in qualitative research. Whilst this form of data collection can provide many valuable insights, it can often fall short of providing a complete picture of a research subject's experiences. Point of view (PoV) interviewing is an elicitation technique used in the social sciences as a means of enriching data obtained from research interviews. Recording research subjects' first person perspectives, for example by wearing digital video glasses, can afford deeper insights into their experiences. PoV interviewing can promote making visible the unverbalizable and does not rely as much on memory as the traditional interview. The use of such relatively inexpensive technology is gaining interest in health profession educational research and pedagogy, such as dynamic simulation-based learning and research activities. In this interview, Dr Gerry Gormley (a medical education researcher) talks to Dr Jonathan Skinner (an anthropologist with an interest in PoV interviewing), exploring some of the many crossover implications with PoV interviewing for medical education research and practice.

Jonathan Skinner (2006)Trading On and Off Risk, In: Anthropology in action (London, England : 1994)13(1-2)pp. 99-103 Berghahn Journals
Jonathan Skinner (2018)Plymouth, Montserrat: apocalyptic dark tourism at the Pompeii of the Caribbean, In: International journal of tourism cities4(1)pp. 123-139 Emerald Group Publishing

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present contrasting approaches to the descriptive case study of tourism to the buried city of Plymouth, Montserrat, an example of the marketing and burying - the supply and demand - of apocalyptic dark tourism on the island. Design/methodology/approach - A case study mixed-methods methodology is adopted, and findings are derived from tour guiding fieldwork, guide and tourist interviews, and an analysis of travel writing and tourism marketing campaigns. Findings - Dark tourism is viewed as a contentious and problematic concept: it attracts and repels tourism to the former capital Plymouth, Montserrat. After 20 years of the volcano crisis, the islanders, government and Tourist Board are commemorating resilience living with the volcano and regeneration in a disaster scenario. Marketing and consumption approaches to dark tourism elucidate different facets to the case study of "the buried city" of Plymouth, Montserrat, and the Montserrat Springs Hotel overlooking Plymouth. The disjunct between these two types of approach to dark tourism, as well as the different criteria attached to working definitions of dark tourism - and the range of interests in apocalyptic dark tourism into the city and its surrounds - show some of the problems and limitations with theoretical and scalar discussions on dark tourism. Research limitations/implications - The paper's implications are that both supply and demand approaches to dark tourism are needed to fully understand a dark tourism destination and to reconcile the disjunct between these two approaches and the perspectives of tourist industry and tourism users. Originality/value - This is a descriptive dark tourism case study of a former capital city examined from both supply and demand perspectives. It introduces the apocalyptic to dark tourism destination analysis.

Jonathan Skinner (2007)THE SALSA CLASS: A COMPLEXITY OF GLOBALIZATION, COSMOPOLITANS AND EMOTIONS, In: Identities (Yverdon, Switzerland)14(4)pp. 485-506 Taylor & Francis Group

This article is about the salsa dance: how it is taught; and how, why, and where it is learned. This modern social leisure pursuit has gained in popularity such that it can be found practiced throughout the world. Its social nature makes it an attractive activity for cosmopolitan citizens seeking to connect with others through a portable "decontextualised" skill that they can acquire. Despite the similarity of salsa classes and salsa dancing in many major cities of the world, there are differences in meaning and intent for the participants. This article examines salsa dancing in several major cities and shows that the city is reflected in the salsa as-respectively-segregated (Belfast), multicultural (Hamburg), and cosmopolitan (Sacramento). In other words, the globalization of salsa has not resulted in its homogenization. Local particularities and individual reactions, particularly in terms of dancers' emotions, are how this global export is being received.

Jonathan Skinner (2020)Intimacy, Zoom Tango and the COVID-19 Pandemic, In: Anthropology in action (London, England : 1994)27(2)pp. 87-92 Berghahn Journals

This is a personal reflection reacting and responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the domestication and on-lining of physical leisure pursuit. In Anthony Giddens 'The Transformation of Intimacy, there is the suggestion that the condition of the plastic is one 'decentred' and 'freed from the needs of reproduction'. Giddens was writing generally about sexuality and the physical labour of reproduction, but this suggestion warrants wider exploration, particularly when Giddens concludes his argument with the suggestion that intimacy and democracy are ideally implicated in each other: autonomy of the self and open conditions of association as preconditions for establishing his reflexive project of the self. This personal reflection develops this suggestion by looking at two creative responses to the pandemic lockdown as socially distanced tennis and Zoom tango become tactics for living with the unexpected, for coping with isolation, for retaining and returning to an everyday.

This article uses the personalised political tour of the Falls Road as a case study with which to unpack the debate on political tourism in Northern Ireland. It shows how significant the walking mode of tourist transport is to the tourist experience and how integrated and effective it is in the context of explaining the Troubles and extending the Republican ideology. Within this contentious narrative of movement, the tour guide develops an ambivalence that intrigues, repulses and propels the tourist through the tour.

L. M. Soanes, J. Johnson, K. Eckert, K. Gumbs, L. G. Halsey, G. Hughes, K. Levasseur, J. Quattro, R. Richardson, J. P. Skinner, S. Wynne, F. Mukhida (2022)Saving the sea turtles of Anguilla: Combining scientific data with community perspectives to inform policy decisions, In: Biological Conservation268109493 Elsevier

Historic over-exploitation and the more recent threats caused by fisheries by-catch, disease and climate change have left sea turtle populations in the Wider Caribbean at risk of extinction. In 1995, following regional declines in nesting and foraging populations, the island of Anguilla implemented a moratorium on the hunting of turtles. At the request of the Government of Anguilla for scientific data to either support or remove the moratorium, comprehensive population estimates were obtained, and foraging, nesting and migratory movements were examined. In addition, community perspectives on turtles and their protection were assessed. Between 2015 and 18 surveys of 30 nesting beaches estimated low nesting activity with a maximum of 41 hawksbill, 15 green, and 1–2 leatherback turtles nesting in Anguilla annually. The inter-nesting range of hawksbills exhibited high levels of geographic overlap and occurred within 1.5 km of nesting beaches. Migratory tracks of hawksbill turtles traversed through seven exclusive economic zones, two of which allow a legal turtle fishery. Site fidelity was observed in foraging areas of green turtles and genetic analysis revealed population differentiation between green turtle foraging sites in Anguilla and between hawksbill rookeries in Anguilla compared to other Leeward Islands, indicating the individual importance of each foraging and nesting site. The Anguillan public (n = 302) overwhelmingly agreed with the current ban on harvesting sea turtles and considered turtles important for ecotourism. Our work provides a case-study, that can be applied globally, of how scientific research combined with community perspectives can effectively inform policy and ultimately protect endangered species, and highlights that local Governments provided with high quality data in a timely fashion for their policy making timetable are more likely to integrate findings into their decision-making process.

Additional publications