Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Dr Marina Marouda

Key information

Department of Anthropology and Sociology Research Associate
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address


Marina Marouda obtained a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh. Her ESRC-funded doctoral research was concerned with Buddhist-influenced ideas and practices relating to death and the dead as enacted in contemporary Huế, the capital of imperial and colonial Việt Nam. Her RAI/Sutasoma-Award thesis looks at the historically shifting entanglements of the living and the dead and traces the significance of these entanglements for understanding social and political life in contemporary Việt Nam, charting the significance of the dead in the affective lives of ordinary peoples in their capacities as kin and citizens.

Her subsequent research explores issues relating to death, life and wellbeing in relation to innovative biomedical technologies. She undertook ERC-funded research on stem cell practices in Việt Nam, focusing in particular on experiments conducted in laboratories and hospitals with the aim to develop biomedical commodities and markets.

Most recently, she turned her attention to diasporic Vietnamese settled in Eastern Europe, looking at how these diasporas contribute to assembling global commodity networks and markets. Working as part of an ERC-funded team study, she conducted research in Warsaw and Odessa with Vietnamese commodity traders and small-scale financiers, looking not only at Vietnamese migratory paths and diasporic connections, but also into the integral role such traders play in facilitating the flow of Chinese-made commodities into national, regional and EU markets.

She has previously held postdoctoral fellowships at SOAS, University of London (ESRC fellowship) and IIAS (International Institute for Asian Studies), Leiden, and has worked at the University of Oxford and the University of Sussex.

Research interests

My research spans three interrelated thematic areas, death and life potentialities, biomedical practices and processes of assembling composite technoeconomic networks.  I have explored these issues in scientific as well as in ritual milieux. My area of specialisation is Việt Nam and Southeast Asia, but in recent years I have taken my ethnographic inquiries to Europe, looking at Vietnamese trading diasporas and the constitution of transnational marketspaces in Eastern Europe.  

My ERSC-funded doctoral research is concerned with ways in which the dead are made to be intimately connected to the living, in ritual as well as in everyday settings, and considers the significance of these connections for the articulation of kinship and the ongoing making of the state in contemporary Việt Nam.

I have recently undertaken new research as part of two ERC-funded collaborative projects. As part of the first project, I carried out research on stem cell practises, science-based entrepreneurship and emerging biomedical markets in Viet Nam. The second project examines the constitution of extensive market networks linking China and Eastern Europe as mediated by diasporic Vietnamese. 

Research expertise
Anthropology of death and life; religion and ritual; Buddhism; social study of life sciences; anthropology of biomedicine; innovative technologies and science-based entrepreneurship; market and exchange circuits; global markets and entrepreneurial diasporas; Việt Nam; Southeast Asia; Vietnamese diasporas in Eastern Europe.

Contact Marina