Christopher Howard

Doctor of Philosophy, (Social Anthropology)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Himalayan journeys: A mobile ethnography and philosophical anthropology

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Meaning and movement are central to the human experience. Mr Howard focused on contemporary journeys in the Himalayan region. Using ethnographic methods, he explored journeys by Western travellers as forms of pilgrimage, as well as nature-based, cultural, and wellness tourism. He paid special attention to the role of imagination, the body, mobile technologies, authenticity, and spirituality. Beyond the experiences of individual travellers, he demonstrated how such travel reveals a commentary on contemporary society. His research has contributed to the anthropological and philosophical understandings of travel in two central respects. First,Mr Howard unfolded the complex relationships among imaginary, virtual, and corporeal mobility, showing that travel experiences go beyond their temporal boundaries. Second, he has radicalised the notion of travel as an embodied event by probing deeper into the affective and sensual dimensions of travel, and shown how digital technologies alter perceptions and experiences of place, space, and time.

Professor Kathryn Rountree
Dr Graeme MacRae