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Hannah Bulloch imageContact

Room 5C24
Tel +64 3 479 8995

Research interests

  • Discourses, practices and theories of international and community development
  • Family livelihood strategies, including migration, remittances and gender roles
  • Wellbeing and notions of the 'good life'
  • Community-driven healthcare
  • Relationality and personhood over the life course
  • Transitions to adulthood in the Majority World
  • 'Vernacular' religion and religious syncretism
  • Narrative nonfiction and ethnographic writing
  • Southeast Asia (especially the Philippines), Australia, New Zealand



Hannah has a background in social anthropology, development studies and narrative nonfiction writing. She has extensive experience in qualitative (particularly ethnographic) research and writing.

Her doctoral and post-doctoral work focused on local notions of development in the Philippines. Outputs from this included In Pursuit of Progress: Narratives of Development on a Philippine Island, published in 2017 by University of Hawaii Press. This book explores how meta-narratives of development have shaped identities and life trajectories on the Philippine island of Siquijor.

Hannah has also published on wellbeing, livelihoods, migration, foetal personhood, religion, postcolonial identity, Indigenous freshwater rights and bilateral poverty policy. Now, among other projects, she is in the latter stages of writing a book about an extraordinary journey her family undertook in 1963, from Singapore to Scotland overland.

In 2013, Hannah received an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. As part of this major grant, she held a three-year fellowship at the Australian National University's School of Archaeology and Anthropology, where she researched the pressures facing Filipino women as they strive to improve their lives and help their families 'get ahead' in an age of mobility and rapid economic transformation.

She has also been a Research Fellow at the ANU's National Centre for Indigenous Studies, where she investigated community-based approaches to Australian Aboriginal healthcare, and a research assistant at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. She has worked at the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex, UK) on health and governance projects. Finally, for over two years at the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Hannah coordinated the social sciences and humanities research funding areas of the Marsden Fund.

Hannah holds a PhD in social anthropology from the Australian National University, awarded the 2010 Australian Anthropological Society Best Thesis Prize, an MA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from Victoria University's acclaimed International Institute of Modern Letters, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Studies from Massey University. She has been a visiting researcher at Ateneo de Manila University, the University of Hawai'I, and the International Institute of Asian Studies in the Netherlands. She has held office as a Director of the Australian Anthropological Society.

Current projects

Overland to the Island

This sole-authored narrative non-fiction book is a revisionist history of the MacLeod family's 1963 pilgrimage from Dunedin to Scotland, largely overland. Drawing on interviews, diaries, photos, newspaper articles and more, Hannah is critically probing themes of New Zealand-Scottish diasporic identity and post-war gendered agency.

Discourses of Development and Intergenerational Aspirations in Asia

Drawing together papers from ethnographers working across Asia, this special issue of a journal asks how imaginaries of 'development' shape and reflect familial aspirations and intergenerational expectations.


Bulloch, H. (2023). Magic, luck, and permeable personhood in the Philippines. Asian Anthropology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/1683478X.2023.2221147 Journal - Research Article

Alam, A., Nel, E., Hill, D., & Bulloch, H. (2023). Settling in New Zealand’s small towns: Experiences of minority ethnic immigrants. Journal of International Migration & Integration. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12134-023-01044-6 Journal - Research Article

Bulloch, H. C. M. (Ed.). (2021). Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 22(5) [Special Issue: Development, gender and intergenerational aspirations in Asia]. [Guest Editor]. Other - Edited Journal

Bulloch, H. C. M. (2021). Personifying progress: Negotiating autonomy, obligation and intergenerational aspirations in the Philippines. Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 22(5), 414-433. doi: 10.1080/14442213.2021.1967437 Journal - Research Article

Bulloch, H. C. M. (2021). Intergenerational aspirations across the life course in Asia [Introduction]. Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 22(5), 363-379. doi: 10.1080/14442213.2021.1974079 Journal - Research Other

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