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Greg Downey

Professor, Department of Anthropology, Macquarie University

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (1998–2000)

Headshot of Greg Downey

Greg Downey is Head of Department and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Macquarie University, in Sydney, Australia, where he teaches about human evolution, human rights, and economic anthropology. He is currently working on a proposed curriculum for the University’s new PACE Initiative — Participation and Community Engagement — the academic context for student participation projects and service-learning in Australia and internationally. Greg also is the Departmental Director of Higher Degrees Research, the program that includes doctoral students and MPhil candidates.

Greg is author of Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art (Oxford, 2005) and co-editor with Melissa Fisher of the collection, Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy (Duke, 2006). His work has been published in American Anthropology, the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Ethnomusicology, and Social Studies of Science, as well as in collected volumes.

Greg is currently working on a book, The Athletic Animal: Sport and Human Potential, exploring the malleability of the human body and nervous system. His sports research interests involve a range of sports and physical education, including the Afro-Brazilian martial art, capoeira, ‘no-holds-barred’ fighting, Latin dancing, and rugby in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Online, Greg’s presence is probably greatest through, the online arena he created with Dr. Daniel Lende (University of Notre Dame). Greg and Daniel have organized a specialized conference on neuroanthropology, panels on the emerging field, and are currently organizing an edited volume on this emerging area of research.