Dr Meghanne Barker is LSE Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE.
Dr Barker works on animation, childhood, and film culture in postsocialist Eastern Europe and Eurasia. She has been especially keen to foster greater dialogue between linguistic anthropologists and interdisciplinary scholars of visual culture. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Throw Your Voice: Suspended Animations in Kazakhstani Childhood. Moving between government institutions of childhood in Kazakhstan, this ethnographic monograph shows how children (and puppets, as their proxies) participate in animating ideologies of childhood as the site of a hopeful future. It argues that vulnerable children, such as those growing up in institutional care, must work especially hard to show themselves worthy of inclusion in optimistic projections.
Dr Barker has published her research in Anthropological Quarterly and Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. She has been a guest co-editor for two special issues in Semiotic Review, one on “Blank Faces” (2019) and another, in preparation, on the “Semiotics of the Image.” Ongoing research projects include transmediality in early Soviet children’s culture, World Expositions as media events, generic conventions of online personals ads, and the politics of amateurism among postsocialist film clubs.
Before arriving at the LSE, Dr Barker was a Collegiate Assistant Professor in Social Sciences and Harper-Schmidt Fellow, with an affiliation in the Department of Anthropology, at the University of Chicago. She finished her PhD in linguistic anthropology at the University of Michigan.
Courses taught: MC408, MC418, MC4M1 and MC499.
- Barker, M. 2019. “Intersubjective Traps over Tricks on the Kazakhstani Puppet Stage: Animation as Dicentization.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 29 (3): 375–96. https://doi.org/10.1111/jola.12227.
- Barker, M. 2019. “Dancing Dolls: Animating Childhood in a Contemporary Kazakhstani Institution.” Anthropological Quarterly 92 (2): 311–43.
- Co-editor. 2019. Special Issue of Semiotic Review: Blank Faces. Vol. 7