Amy Penfield

Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology 

Amy’s research explores economic subjectivities in lowland South America, specifically how broader economic forms interweave with personhood, morality, sociality and religion in daily life. Her doctoral research looked at how the Sanema of Venezuelan Amazonia understood subject formation and ethical personhood within complex patchworks of overlapping economies, including an oil economy, a socialist revolution, an informal gold mine and the animist cosmos.  

Since completing her PhD, she has continued to explore different forms of economic livelihoods in Amazonia – both indigenous and non-indigenous – through a Marie Curie post-doctoral project entitled ‘Wildcat Economics’, which explores small-scale gold mining in forested regions of Peru. The project investigates how capitalism is shaped at the global margins, bringing these broader themes into dialogue with studies of materiality, morality, kinship and cosmology. She has recently been awarded a British Academy grant on energy resilience in Brazilian Amazonia. 

Recent publications: 

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