Eric Miller’s application of an anthropological training to TIHR work

Eric Miller’s application of an anthropological training to TIHR work

The evolution of Eric Miller’s methodology

Dr Elizabeth Cory-Pearce’s talk outlined a new book project which will trace the career of Eric Miller (TIHR) to uncover a post-war ‘expansive moment’ when (some) anthropologists were directly applying their skills to understanding industrial working conditions and urban living conditions, with the express purpose of making improvements.

By drawing upon fresh TIHR archival material in the Wellcome Library, Elizabeth Cory-Pearce outlined how the book will document the evolution of Miller’s methodology as he transforms from academic to anthropologist-consultant, working internally to two textile manufacturers; to TIHR researcher and consultant, working across multiple client projects. To delineate the influence of an anthropological training on Miller’s approach, the archival research focuses on two key project areas: Miller’s work on textiles production; and on infrastructure development in Mexico. Taken together these projects span Miller’s career, alongside his role in Group Relations conferences.

The archival research will generate original material for a monograph that will rethink and re-frame Miller’s methods as a model by which (academic) anthropologists might ‘teach to practice’. This research is at an early stage, so the purpose of this talk was to foreshadow the book project and to frame it within the context of my own anthropological biography.

Recording of the talk

Dr Elizabeth Cory-Pearce is a Researcher and Consultant at TIHR with a background in academic anthropology including fieldwork in New Zealand, Canada and Australia on the emergence of indigenous heritage industries, and historical research on museum collections, archives and historical photographs. Currently, she works on a range of consultancy and evaluation projects in the areas of health, education and employment.

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