Dr. Elisa Tamburo


Dr. Elisa Tamburo

Institutional Affiliation:

Research Associate in Social Anthropology, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King's College London




Dr. Elisa Tamburo is currently Research Associate in Social Anthropology at King’s College London working on ERC funded 6-year project titled “Cosmological Visionaries: Shamans, Scientists, and Climate Change at the Ethnic Borderlands of China and Russia” (COSMOVIS). On the project she will be researching how Nuosu animistic persons envision climate change in Sichuan, Southwest China. Elisa’s area of interest is social anthropology, with a specialism in urban and environmental anthropology in Greater China. Themes emerging from her work include displacement, resettlement, and belonging; the political economy of planning, housing, and infrastructure; time, futurity, and the politics of history; ritual and place-making. 

Elisa completed her PhD in Social Anthropology at SOAS, University of London, with a dissertation titled ‘Moving house: place, identity and the politics of relocation in urban Taiwan’. The project was awarded the CCKF-ERCCT Resident Fellowship the CCKF Dissertation Fellowship. Based on 18 months of immersive ethnographic fieldwork, it investigated the relocation of a historical, diasporic settlement built by the Chinese Nationalist government after its exile to Taiwan in 1949 – a military dependents’ village (juancun) – to high-rise apartment blocks and explored the ways in which three generations of Mainlanders negotiate their political identity, belonging, and practices of everyday life in the aftermath of urban displacement.

Previous publications include ‘High-rise Social Failures: Regulating Technologies, Authority, and Aesthetics in the Resettlement of Taipei Military Villages’ in Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology (2020) and ‘Authoritarianism in the Living Room: Everyday Disciplines, Senses and Morality in Taiwan’s Military Villages’ in Journal of Current Chinese Affairs (2018).