John Erik Åndahl

john erik andahl

DPhil Student

St Antony's College

Project title (working title): Translators of Knowledge, Mediators of Perspectives: Examining Positionality among Bilingual Ese Ejja Schoolteachers in the Bolivian Amazon

Research summary: My research examines transforming indigenous concepts of identity/alterity to explore intensified contact with non-indigenous actors among indigenous Amazonians, specifically the Ese Ejja of Bolivia. I utilise the experiences of indigenous bilingual schoolteachers as a heuristic lens for exploring this topic. I look at processes of identification and their implications for relation-making between indigenous persons and between indigenous and non-indigenous social actors, with particular attention to the friendship idiom. My project further focuses on ontology, the importance of knowledge hierarchies and the role of the state in native Amazonia.

Research interests: Amazonia and Lowland South America; identity/alterity; friendship studies; ontology and cosmology; perspectivism/animism; materiality and goods; the anthropologies of the state and bureaucracy; the sociologies of education and nationalism; structuralist and post-/neo-structuralist theory; ethnohistory.

Previous education

Master of Science (MSc) in Social Anthropology, The London School of Economics and Political Science (2021)
Master of Science (MSc) in Comparative Social Change (sociology), Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin (jointly conferred) (2020)
Bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology, University of Bergen (2019)



I welcome contact with students and scholars whose fields of interest overlap with mine, preferably by email.