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A note on names

It's the personal cross to bear of anyone named Kirsten that their name is consistently misread as one they have come to loathe above all others.


Please observe the spelling of my name. That's right, I am NOT Kristen Bell (my namesis*). Therefore, if you somehow stumbled across this website after doing a Google search on “Veronica Mars breasts” then you are going to be sorely disappointed.

Kirsten Bell headshot.png

*Namesis: someone famous with the same or a similar name who destroys your ability to do Google searches on yourself.





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I received my PhD in social anthropology in 2000 from James Cook University in North Queensland, Australia. I have held academic appointments in anthropology programmes at the University of Northern Colorado, Macquarie University in Australia, the University of British Columbia in Canada, and the University of Roehampton in the UK, where I was Professor of Social Anthropology until August 2022. I am currently Senior Research Fellow in Anthropology at Imperial College.  

My academic scholarship has focused broadly on the anthropology of health and medicine—a far cry from Korean new religion, where I originally started out. I also have a strong interest in processes affecting academic knowledge production, especially institutional ethics review and the commercialisation of scholarly publishing.


I have also published various pieces for a wider audience, including ruminations on topics I find interesting but don't actually know all that much about (a grand internet tradition) and academic satire. Silent but Deadly is my first book-length venture into popular anthropology, where I pander to my longstanding obsession with bodily effluvia and other topics considered too trivial for academic attention. I now have a free Substack where I post articles on similar topics. If you're interested in my thoughts on all manner of inane, mundane and profane topics, you can use the sign up form below.

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