Dr Denis Regnier

Dr Denis Regnier

Visiting fellow

Department of Anthropology

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About me

Dr Denis Regnier is a Lecturer at the University of French Polynesia. He has a background in philosophy, a subject he has taught for several years in French secondary schools before returning to university to undertake anthropological research. He came to the LSE with the aim of conducting fieldwork in Madagascar, hence drawing and building on the Department of Anthropology’s research tradition on the island.

He received his PhD from the LSE in 2012, with a dissertation on the condition of slave descendants in the southern Betsileo highlands.

He has subsequently worked with Maurice Bloch as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow on an interdisciplinary project at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, for which he carried out further fieldwork in Madagascar. He is currently working on new research projects in French Polynesia. 


Madagascar; Borneo; East Africa; Indian Ocean; Austronesian world; slavery and post-slavery; kinship and marriage; memory and identity; learning and cognition; religion; death and funerary practices; healing; naming; ethnohistory; environment

Selected publications

Parker Pearson, M. & Regnier, D. (Forthcoming). 'Collective and single burial in Madagascar'. In A. Schmitt, S. Déderix & I. Crevecoeur (eds.), Gathered in Death: Archaeological and Ethnological Perspectives on Collective Burial and Social Organisation. Louvain-La-Neuve: Presses Universitaires de Louvain.

Regnier, D. (Forthcoming). 'La fondation d'une nouvelle terre ancestrale dans le Sud Betsileo (Madagascar): dilemme, transformation, rupture'. In P. Gervais-Lambony, F. Hurlet & I. Rivoal (eds.), (Re)fonder. Modalités du recommencement dans le temps et l'espace. Paris: Editions de Boccard.

Sheskin, M., Chevallier, C., Adachi, K., Berniunas, R., Castelain, T. Hulin, M., Lenfesty, H., Regnier, D., Sebesteny, A. & Baumard, N. (Forthcoming). 'The needs of the many do not outweigh the needs of the few: the limits of individual sacrifice across diverse cultures'. Journal of Cognition and Culture.

Regnier, D & Somda, D. (Forthcoming). ‘Slavery and postslavery in Madagascar: an overview’ (with Dominique Somda) ‘ In T. Falola, D. Porter-Sanchez & J. Parrott (eds.), African Islands: Leading Edges of Empire and Globalization

Regnier, D. 2016. ‘Naming and name changing in postcolonial Madagascar’, Pacific Studies 39(1-2): 201-215

Regnier, D. 2015. ‘Tombes ancestrales et super mariages à Madagascar’, in G. Delaplace and F. Valentin, eds., Le funéraire. Mémoire, protocoles, monuments. Paris: de Boccard. Pp. 117-124.

Regnier, D. & Astuti, R. 2015. ‘Introduction: taking up the cognitive challenge’, Social Anthropology 23(2): 131-134.

Regnier, D. & Astuti, R. (eds.) 2015. ‘Special Issue: The Cognitive Challenge’, Social Anthropology 23(2).

Regnier, D. 2015. ‘Clean people, unclean people: the essentialisation of ‘slaves’ among the southern Betsileo of Madagascar’, Social Anthropology 23(2): 152-168. 

Regnier, D. 2014. ‘Les esclaves morts et leur invocation dans les rituels du Sud Betsileo’. Études Océan Indien 51-52: 253-276.

Regnier, D. 2014. ‘Pourquoi ne pas les épouser? L’évitement du mariage avec les descendants d’esclaves dans le Sud Betsileo (Madagascar)’. Études Rurales 194: 103-122.