Dr Timothy Heffernan
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Timothy Heffernan

Ph.D. Social Science (Anthropology); Bachelor of Arts & Social Sciences (Hons, Class 1)

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Built Environment

I am an anthropologist living and working on Gadigal Country. I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Built Environment, UNSW ADA and work with communities in Australia and Europe affected by event-based hardship, such as environmental disasters and political and economic crises. My work examines the connection between a community's experience of crisis or disaster and the ways they build recovery pathways, noting this is never easy or straightforward.

Understanding crisis experience:

My current book project, based on my Ph.D. research, is an ethnographic study of the lived experience of crisis and recovery in Iceland in the decade following the 2008 global financial crisis. With reference to contemporary kinship studies, affect studies and the anthropology of politics and social movements, the book examines Icelanders' efforts to recast community belonging after the government "failed" to avoid and adequately address economic crisis. The books looks to the importance of kinship bonds and affective resilience-building strategies after crisis as forms of bridging and bonding capital.

Interrogating Recovery and resilience:

My research also looks at the framing and utility of language as its relates to event-based hardship, particularly "crisis", "recovery" and "resilience". My research asks "How are these terms used", "How are they defined?" by elites and by communities themselves, and "What happens," socio-culturally, when a community labels themselves (or is labeled by others) as resilient?

My forthcoming co-edited volume is The anthropology of ambiguity: Theory, praxis and critique (Manchester UP)

Room 4002, Anita B. Lawrence Centre
  • Book Chapters | 2022
    2022, 'Economic Anthropology in View of the Global Financial Crisis', in The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Human Sciences, Springer Nature Singapore, pp. 457 - 481, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-7255-2_14
  • Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Crisis and belonging: Protest voices and empathic solidarity in post-economic collapse iceland', Religions, 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rel11010022
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Crisis futures: The affects and temporalities of economic collapse in Iceland', History and Anthropology, 31, pp. 314 - 330, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02757206.2020.1762589
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, '“Where Is the New Constitution?” Public Protest and Community-Building in Post–Economic Collapse Iceland', Conflict and Society, 6, pp. 236 - 254, http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/arcs.2020.060114
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Messy Europe: crisis, race, and nation-state in a postcolonial world', SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 27, pp. 122 - 124, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1469-8676.12618
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, '“Gambling Debt: Iceland’s Rise and Fall in the Global Economy” E. Paul Durrenberger and Gísli Pálsson Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2014', Student Anthropologist, 6, pp. 82 - 83, https://studentanthropologist.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/heffernan.-book-review.-sa-2019.pdf
  • Reports | 2022
    2022, Local links and learning: Resilience in regional, rural and remote schools. Fostering community ties and harnessing learning opportunities to boost resilience, The James Martin Institute for Public Policy, Sydney
    Reports | 2022
    2022, Mental health, wellbeing and resilience after the 2019-20 bushfires: The Australian national bushfire health and wellbeing survey—A preliminary report, Research School of Psychology, ANU College of Health and Medicine, Canberra, http://dx.doi.org/10.25911/AG7D-7574, https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/281404
    Reports | 2016
    2016, Livelihood values in Indigenous cultural fishing: Report of a meeting with Indigenous cultural fishers on the south coast of NSW, Canberra, ACT
    Reports | 2015
    2015, Implementing native title: Indigenous leadership in land and water livelihoods, AIATSIS, Canberra, https://aiatsis.gov.au/publication/35072

2020 Fellow, Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies