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    Dr Anja Reid
    BA (Anthropology First Class Hons); BA Fine Art; PhD


    About me

    I am an anthropologist with expertise in historical ethnography.  My research interests intersect political and cultural anthropology, especially shifts in ideological boundaries of identities associated with senses of place, belief and value systems, gender, and cultural ecology.  Much of my research relates to the Asian region.  Specific issues include the complex dialogic tensions between cultural politics and symbolic representation.  My ongoing research into the philatelic archive broadly concerns stamps as an important, legitimate resource for short term and longitudinal research into agendas underlying symbolic appropriation for the purpose of visual sustainability of states’ and nations’ society, culture, politics and economy.  My publications reflect these links in a Mongolian context.

    I am particularly interested in becoming involved in ethnographic film-making.

    Hobbies: Playing classical piano; sculpting limestone and found wood; painting; growing vegies; cooking (and eating); reading; crosswords.

    Teaching area

    Asian Studies Programme:

    Women in Asian Societies

    Society, Culture and Ecology in Asia

    Culture and Religion in Asia

    Current projects

    I am currently undertaking research into the relationship between power and gendered philatelic symbolism in the Asian context.

    Completion of 2 books / proposals:

    Art, Cultural Politics and Identity: An Historical Ethnography of Mongolian Philatelic Representation 1924-2007

    Mongolia’s Twentieth Century Roller-coaster: A Philatelic Chronology


    Events and speaking engagements

    2014 To Russia, with love: postal imagery, commemoration, social drama and cultural politics in the Mongolian People’s Republic (MPR; 1924-1991). Murdoch School of Arts Research Seminar

    2012-2013  Interpretive Methodologies: ethnographic strategies.  Postgraduate Research Skills Seminar

    2011  Interpretive Methodologies. With A/Prof Bobbie Oliver, Candidacy Workshop, ORGS Research Skills Seminar

    2011  Imaging Revolutionary Progress: The Land of the Five Snouts; Centre for the Advanced Studies in Australia, Asia and the Pacific Seminar Series

    2010   Doing fieldwork, Postgraduate Open Door Society (PODS)

    2010 Philately, cultural patina and ethnography: using the past to evaluate the present and contemplate the future, paper accepted for Inaugural Ethnography Hui at Waikato University, New Zealand (unable to attend)

     2010 The cultural patina of Asian identity(s) and the philatelic imag(inary): locating an alternative framework, Paper at In the Image of Asia Conference, ANU

    2009  Interpretive Methodologies. With A/Prof Bobbie Oliver, Candidacy Workshop, Humanities Graduate Studies Office Research Skills Seminar

    2009  Cultural patina, diplomacy and symbolic appropriation: philatelically negotiating identity(s), Paper at Creative Margins Conference, Curtin Humanities

    2009  Interrogating the cultural patina of Hong Kong Identity(s) through philatelic representations, Paper at China Conference, Faculty of Arts: Asia Institute, University of Melbourne (unable to attend)

    2009 Preservation and Continuity of the Cosmopolitan Barbarian: The 800th Anniversary of the Great Mongolian State.  Paper at Griffith University, Centre for Public Culture and Ideas Conference, Creative Communities: Sustainable Solutions to Social Inclusion

    2009 Chinggis Khaan, Citizen of the World: Transnational Other and the Global Gaze. Curtin Humanities Social Sciences and Asian Languages Work-in-progress Research Seminar Series.

    2009  Guest Lecture. Philatelic Symbolism and Imperialism. SSAL, Curtin Humanities.

    2008    Mongolian Art Under Socialism: Speaking on Behalf of the People. Paper at Curtin University 9th Humanities Graduate Research Conference: Engaging Place(s)/ Engaging Culture(s)

    2008  Turning a Conference Presentation into a Paper. Humanities Graduate Research Career Workshop.

    2008 Working With Your Supervisor. Humanities Graduate Research Workshop.

    2006  Guest lecture. Cultural Representation: Social Enactment and Social Organisation. Guest lecture

    2006 Postage Stamps Are Important!: Peripatetic Personalities. Humanities Research Seminar Series

    2005    Dis-orientation: how to organise research materials. Research Skills Workshop. Humanities Divisional Graduate Studies Office

    2005  Mongolian Conceptual Division of Space: Social Enactment and Social Organisation. Curtin University Annual Ethics Lecture

    2005  Cultural Assumptions and Layered Ambiguities in Mongolian Philatelic Symbolism. Paper at the Chinese Studies Graduate Summer School held in conjunction with Asia Pacific Week. Australian National University and China Australia Council Scholarship

    2004  The Use of Postage Stamps as a Research Project: an innovative approach. Presentation for Humanities Research Seminar Series

    2004  Cultural representations in Mongolia: layered ambiguity in Mongolian philately. Paper presented at Curtin University Asian Studies Research Seminar, Faculty of Media, Society and Culture

    2004  Promissory Notes of Modernity?: Mongolian Philately and Cultural Representation. Paper at Harvard Central Eurasian Studies Society conference, hosted by Indiana University, USA

    2004  Philatelic Palimpsests: Othering the Other in Mongolian philately. Paper at Curtin University 8th Humanities Graduate Research Conference: Palimpsests: TransForming Communities

    2004  Philatelic Palimpsests: layered ambiguities and cultural assumptions in Mongolian philately.Presentation for Humanities Research Seminar Series

    2002    Mongolia: Nomadism and Symbolic Collective Identification. Paper delivered at Curtin University 6th Humanities Graduate Research Conference


    Professional and community service

    2004  Blue Mongolia. Exhibition in support of Motor Neuron Disease Awareness Week

    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    Supervision / co-supervision

    Ashagi Harahap

    Janelle May

    Joshua Bader

    Riri Amandaria

    Joydeep Sakar

    Karen Oborn

    Seldon Wangmo

    Darmanto Darmanto

    Tim Hilton



    In progress:

    2014. Review: Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia. Manduhai Buyandelger (2013). Chicago & London: Chicago University Press.

    2013. Postage Stamps as Official travel/ing documents: controversies in reimag(in)ing the mighty Mongols. Chapter in The Poetics of Travel, eds Garth Lean, Russell Staiff and Emma Waterton. Berghahn Books.


    2013. Review:

    2009. Mongolian Art Under Socialism: Speaking on behalf of the People.

    2005. “Cultural Representations, the Soyombo, and Difference in Mongolian Philately.” Palimpsests: TransForming Communities. Alex Gerbaz & Robyn Mayes (eds). Perth, WA: Black Swan Press. Pp. 31-44.

    2003. “Mongolia: Nomadism and Symbolic Collective Identification”. Liveable Communities. Janis Haswell & Diana MacCallum (eds). Perth, WA: Black Swan Press. Pp. 69-84.

    “Fire and Water”, mixed media on canvas. SofA02, Western Australian Art No: 8, 98 Western Australian Artists. Perth: Visual Culture Research Unit, School of Art, Curtin University of Technology, 2002. P. 62.

    2002. Folk-history, Knowledge, and Collective Consciousness: Unveiling the Sacred in Mongolian Symbols of Identity. Dissertation as partial requirement for Honours. Curtin University of Technology, Perth. WA. Australia.