Research Fellow and Director of Studies in Archaeology and Anthropology

Telephone: 01223 338258

Maja Petrović-Šteger is a Research Fellow at Peterhouse, and member of the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.  She also directs studies in Archaeology and Anthropology for Peterhouse students.

Her research explores various contexts where bodies – whether living, dead, or in the form of medically usable remains – become the sites of economic, legal, political, scientific and artistic attention.

Currently she is writing a monograph "Measure of the Dead Body" that examines a range of material practices and rhetorical strategies constructed around human remains in postconflict Serbia and Tasmania.  Drawing on fieldwork carried out in 2003/04 and since, she explores how narratives of conflict, enacted through human remains and their evidentiary traces, play themselves out in postconflict practices of intervention, including the collection and classification of dead bodies.  By way of detailed and richly layered case studies, the analysis demonstrates how different knowledge practices both rely upon, and are put to work to read and generate, the human materials that are the object of their attention.

Dr Petrović-Šteger has lectured on and taught various subjects (the Anthropology of Europe, Anthropology of Law, Symbolic Anthropology, the Anthropology of Death, Medical Anthropology) at the University of Cambridge and University of Ljubljana.

Dr Petrović-Šteger convenes the Peterhouse Theory Group jointly with Jennifer Wallace and Morgan Barense.

She also translates works of poetry and drama from Serbian into Slovenian.

Recent publications

2009    Accounting for Remains: Potential and Loss in the Repatriation of Tasmanian Body Parts. Submitted to The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (under revision)

2008    Anatomising Conflict – Accommodating Human Remains. In Social Bodies (eds. Maryon McDonald and Lambert Helen). Berghahn: London (in press).

2008    Afterword: O odnosnostih v antropološki vednosti. In Pisanje Antropologije (Slovenian edition of 'Partial Connections' by Marilyn Strathern). Ljubljana: Koda, Študentska založba.

2008    Anatomizacija konflikta i telesnih ostataka kao strategija izmirenja? In Reč. Beograd: Fabrika Knjiga. 76 (22): 119-153.

2005    'Producing Bodies - Reproducing Persons: Thinking Human Remains in Postconflict Serbia'. In Cambridge Anthropology 2005/2006 Vol. XXV (3)

2005    'Afterword: Srebreniška morišča in metini travniki: Vloga znanja in dokazov v rekonstrukciji preteklosti'. In Srebrenica: dokumenti-pričevanja-haaški proces. Koda: Ljubljana.

2003    'Practices of Justice and Conceptions of Truth: Truth and Reconciliation Commissions'. Available at:

2003    'New Reproductive Technologies and the Ideology of the Body in Slovenia'. In Časopis za Kritiko Znanosti, Ljubljana, XXXI(211):272-297.

2002    'The Body between Life and Death (Telo med življenjem in smrtjo)'. Poligrafi, Ljubljana, 7(27/28):157- 180.