Illustrated Research

Illustrations can captivate. They can show rather than tell. They can resonate powerfully, bringing imagination and emotion to the fore. I am excited by the possibilities that illustration opens up for anthropological research and publishing. 

These are illustrations I have produced for my forthcoming book, Ageing with Smartphones in Japan, to be published by UCL Press in 2024. My current project, Feeling at Home in a Digital World, will result in an even more visually-focused book that combines participant images with my own graphic narratives, examining how older people create spaces of wellbeing at home, in their neighbourhoods, and online.

A series of short comics I produced about my research participants' experiences of the pandemic in Japan. 

A discussion of several comics on the findings of the Anthropology of Smartphones and Smart Ageing (ASSA) project, illustrated by John Cei Douglas and scripted by myself and Georgiana Murariu.

I led a collaboration with artist John Cei Douglas to produce a zine about the key findings of the ASSA project. Designed for use in teaching, the zine features ten comics with stories from across the project's field sites.

Book Covers

I designed and illustrated the cover for 'The Good Enough Life' by Daniel Miller. Published by Polity 2023

I illustrated the cover for 'What are Exhibitions for? An Anthropological Approach' by Inge Daniels. Published by Bloomsbury 2019. The book also contains several of my illustrations, based on research I conducted mapping visitor behaviour within an exhibition space.

I illustrated the cover for 'Introduction to educational anthropology: A textbook' (Einfuehrung in die Bildungsanthropologie: Ein Lehrbuch) edited by Christa Markom and Jelena Tošić. Published by New Academic Press 2022. (In German).


In 2020 I co-curated the exhibition Illustrating Anthropology with Dr Jennifer Cearns and with the support of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, where we were Leach/RAI Fellows in Public Anthropology. The exhibition has received over 20,000 visitors and has generated a lively Instagram community.

The exhibition explores human lives around the world through comics, drawings, and paintings of anthropological research. From those who use illustration as a fieldwork method, to others who partner with artists and research participants to tell stories, this exhibition draws together a wide range of ways that contemporary anthropologists are illustrating anthropology. 

A selection of work was shown at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool as part of Being Human – the UK’s national festival of the humanities.

In 2022 I curated a 'special theme' of the multimodal journal Trajectoria, published by the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan. The issue, titled "Ethno-graphic Collaborations: Crossing Borders with Multimodal Illustration," presents four different modes of anthropological collaboration through illustration. This online exhibition features two artist-researcher collaborations, and two other pieces that expand the meaning and remit of collaboration through graphic ethnography across space and time. In the video discussions that follow the artistic pieces I explore with the contributors what effects interdisciplinary collaboration through illustration might have on the way anthropology is conceptualised as a discipline, and on its wider impact in the world.