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Rachel   Smith

University of Aberdeen (United Kingdom)
I speak in the following language(s): Bislama, Lamenu

Member of
European Society for Oceanists (ESfO)
Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO)
Geographic administrative areas
Geographic places
Port Vila
Shepherd Islands
Espiritu Santo
Fiji Islands
Historical periods
The Colonial time
20th century
21st century
Ancestral Oceania
Indigenous languages
Lamenu, Bislama
  • PhD Research (2011 to 2016)
    The Goal of the Good House: Seasonal Work and Seeking a Good Life in Lamen and Lamen Bay, Epi, Vanuatu — University of Manchester/ESRC (UK)
    This thesis is an ethnographic study of a rural community in central Vanuatu, many of whom have been engaged as seasonal workers in New Zealand and Australia’s horticultural industries since 2008. Based on sixteen months’ ethnographic fieldwork divided between Lamen Island and Lamen Bay, Epi, I examine why people choose to leave their home to engage in often-difficult work and seasonal absences, in order to build a ‘good house’ and ‘good life’ at home.This thesis contributes to the regional anthropology of kinship and ritual, as well as wider understandings of temporary migration and development theory and policy.
  • Collaborative Project (2016 to 2018)
    'Mind and Spirit' project — Stanford University (Templeton Funded)
    9 months' field research in Vanuatu (Port Vila, Tongoa, S. Pentecost). This research was conducted as part of the Mind and Spirit project; a Templeton funded, Stanford-based comparative and interdisciplinary project under the direction of TM Luhrmann. The project asks whether different understandings of “mind”, broadly construed, might shape or be related to the ways that people attend to and interpret experiences they deem spiritual or supernatural.
  • Academic Position (2018 to 2021)
    Green Gold: ethics and economics of kava production and distribution — Max Planck-Cambridge Centre for the Study of Ethics, Economy and Social Change
    Current research project on kava in Vanuatu's domestic and export markets
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    Some figures...

    The database of experts counts today 1241 profiles, of which 596 are publicly accessible, while 645 have chosen to remain private.

    These persons have defined 750 unique keywords in which they situate their research interests and expertise.

    They have also defined and described 650 'experiences' (research and teaching activities, consulting work, or applied projects) in which they have contributed.