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Dr Theresia Hofer

Dr Theresia Hofer

Dr Theresia Hofer
Mag(Vienna), MSc(Brun.), PhD(Lond.)

Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

43 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1UU
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 7073



I am a social and medical anthropologist with research expertise in linguistic anthropology. I have worked and published widely on rural primary health care, Tibetan medicine and memories of Communist reforms in Central Tibet, and been the curator of the Bodies in Balance – The Art of Tibetan Medicine exhibition in New York, among others. I held a Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Actions International Fellowship at the University of Oslo, working on gender and healthcare in Tibet. My focus then shifted to the intersections of language and society, with a Wellcome Trust-funded research project on how the use of Tibetan Sign Language among deaf Tibetans in Lhasa fosters new kinds of social and ethnic belongings. Most recently, I have expanded my regional focus from the Tibetan areas of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the wider Himalayan and South Asian region, to Japan, with a project on 'Universal Museum Design in Anthropology', in collaboration with Minpaku National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka.


Past and current courses taught

> Introduction to Medical Anthropology

> Anthropology of Disability and Difference

> Language and Anthropology

> Language-focused Methods

> Anthropological Methods


Regional specialisation

> Tibet

> Himalayan Regions, including Nepal and Bhutan

> People’s Republic of China

> Japan


  • anthropology of disability and difference
  • critical global health
  • Asian medicines
  • gender
  • nationalism
  • ethnicity and identity
  • deaf anthropology
  • sign linguistics and language-focused methods
  • oral history
  • museum anthropology
  • collaborative applied and visual research methodologies



Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Academics by department

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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