Penny Harvey is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. She took up her first academic post at the University of Liverpool in 1985, where she held a Lectureship in Latin American Studies before moving to the Manchester Department of Social Anthropology in 1991.
She was Head of Department from 2000-2003 and from 2006-2017 she was a Director of the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC). CRESC provided a rich and exciting research environment and a strong inter-disciplinary research group, known within CRESC simply as ‘theme 4’, worked closely together on the politics of value, on topology, on big data and on infrastructures of social change. Supported by CRESC’s interests in dynamic material and social transformations Penny returned to Peru to do ethnographic research on road construction together with Hannah Knox. This work was strongly influenced by her involvement in CRESC, where both Hannah Knox and Penny worked for 10 years. Penny continues to edit the CRESC/Routledge book series ‘Culture, Economy and the Social’ with Professor Tony Bennett.
Now fully back in the Department of Anthropology the focus on infrastructure continues with a project on Regional Government and Decentralisation in Peru (with Deborah Poole), and on Nuclear Decommissioning in the UK (with colleagues from The Beam).