Professor Vassos Argyrou

Professor of Social Anthropology and Cultural Theory

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

+44 (0) 1482 466305

Professor Vassos Argyrou taught for several years in the United States and Cyprus before coming to the University of Hull.

His undergraduate degree was in Economics and he went on to obtain an MSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Anthropology from Indiana University.



Research Interests

  • Social and cultural theory
  • Postcolonialism
  • The natural in Western culture
  • Ethnography

Research groups

  • Research has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • Visiting appointments at Ghent University, Belgium, and the University of Cyprus


Tradition and Modernity in the Mediterranean: The Wedding as Symbolic Struggle, Cambridge University Press (1996)

Anthropology and the Will to Meaning: A Postcolonial Critique, Pluto Press (2002)

The Logic of Environmentalism: Anthropology, Ecology and Postcoloniality, Berghahn Books (2005)

The Gift of European Thought and the Cost of Living, Berghahn Books (2013)

Full list



Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list


  • Magic, Ritual and Myth
  • History and theory in anthropology
  • Contemporary social theory


  • Philosophies of Social Science

Research PhDs

Professor Argyrou welcomes queries from students interested in any area of social and cultural theory, cultural politics, postcolonialism, Mediterranean ethnography, nature and the environment.

Completed PhDs

  • Emma Hoskins: Embodying ‘modernity’: Migrant experience, materiality and social change in Istanbul (completed in 2016)
  • Evi Eftychiou: Power and tourism: negotiating identity in rural Cyprus (completed in 2013)
  • Michaela Benson: There’s ‘more’ to life: British migration to rural France (completed in 2007)
  • Jeff Smith: Earning or learning? Class, culture and identity in contemporary schooling: an ethnography from northern England and southern Ireland (completed in 2007)
  • Denise Carter: Living in virtual communities: an ethnography of life online (completed in 2005)

Current PhD supervisions

  • Enrico Tomarchi: Docs, mega-events and urban development in European port cities
  • Thaenphan Buamai: Local resistance to development projects in Thailand 

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BSc Applied Economics
  • MSc in Social Anthropology
  • PhD in Anthropology

External roles

  • ERC external referee for Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants (2016- )
  • Member of the International Advisory Board, The Cyprus Review (2002- )
  • Reviewer for the Research Foundation of Flanders, Belgium
  • Reviewer for the Research Foundation, Ministry of Education, Greece
  • Member of external evaluation panel for the Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University, Athens, Greece. Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency (2-6 December 2013)

Awards and accolades

  • 2008 Arts and Humanities Research Council, Research Grant: Spiritualism in contemporary funerals (with M. Holloway, P. Draper and D. Mariau)
  • 2006 The Leverhulme Trust, Research Fellowship: The neo-orthodox in Cyprus: Religious purism and cultural pluralism
  • 2004 British Academy, Overseas Conference Grant
  • 1996 Colgate Research Council Grant, Colgate University, USA
  • 1993 Esther L Kinsley PhD Dissertation Award, Indiana University, USA
  • 1990 David C Skomp Fund award, Indiana University, USA

Professional highlights

  • Visiting Professor, Department of Social and Political Science, University of Cyprus (2009-11)
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Comparative Sciences of Culture, University of Gent, Belgium, (2006-07)