Oxford welcomes two Pierce Visiting Scholars

The Pierce Visiting Scholar program is an exchange between Oxford College and Oxford University. This year, Oxford welcomes anthropologists David Gellner and Dolores "DP" Martinez to campus as the 2018 scholars.

David GellnereGellner is professor of social anthropology and a fellow of All Souls College at the University of Oxford. Martinez is an associate of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford and emeritus reader at SOAS University of London. These two scholars shared their expertise with students the week of March 19.

Martinez and Gellner were chosen to represent the University of Oxford in this faculty exchange program between the “two Oxfords.” A professor from each institution has been invited annually to spend a week presenting at the “other Oxford” across the pond for the past 13 years.

Alicia DeNicola, associate professor of anthropologycoordinated their visit and will host them at Oxford College and Emory University for the week. DeNicola will likely travel to the United Kingdom in 2019 to be hosted as the designated Pierce Scholar faculty member from Oxford College.

“Seven years ago, I came to Oxford, Georgia, from London where I was living and working as a research associate at the University College London at the time,” DeNicola recalls. “I haven’t been back since and I'm very much looking forward to the trip.”

While Gellner’s research overlaps with DeNicola’s own work on South Asia, they hadn’t met prior to his trip to Georgia. He's the author of Monk, Householder, and Tantric Priest: Newar Buddhism and its Hierarchy of Ritual and The Anthropology of Buddhism and Hinduism: Weberian Themes. His most recent edited volumes are Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia and Religion, Secularism, and Ethnicity in Contemporary Nepal.

DP MartinezMartinez’s research focuses on film and anime—a topic that interests many Oxford students. Her current focus explores the relationship between the Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and modern western film directors. Her many books include Identity and Ritual in a Japanese Diving Village, The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture, and Remaking Kurosawa: Translations and Permutations in Global Cinema.

David B. Gowler, the Pierce Professor of Religion, has directed the Pierce Visiting Scholar program since its launch in 2005. He worked with professor Christopher Rowland of the University of Oxford to found the program. They developed the idea to formalize an exchange program for scholars from the two institutions.

The exchange program requires at least one public speaking engagement along with several additional, more informal visits with students, faculty, staff, and classes.

Gellner and Martinez spent the first part of their trip talking to Oxford classes. Gellner visited Eve Mullen’s class on “Introduction to Asian Religious Traditions.” Martinez spoke to David Resha's “Introduction to Film” class. They spent the last part of their trip at Emory College in Atlanta with Gellner giving a talk sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Workshop in Colonial & Post-Colonial Studies.    

Presentations by Gellner and Martinez included:

  • Monday, March 19: Martinez Oxford Studies Lecture on “Hollywood Versions of Anime Heroines,” Oxford College
  • Tuesday, March 20: Gellner Oxford Studies Lecture on "What is Religion? A View from South Asia," Oxford Colleg
  • Wednesday, March 21: Gellner on "Caste, Class, and Culture in Contemporary Nepal: Applying Bourdieu in Rural Nepal,” Atlanta campus