Prof. N. Besnier (b. 1958) has been appointed professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA).
In his research Niko Besnier focuses on the way in which people in small-scale communities organise their lives, in relation to globalisation and modernity. He is particularly interested in the way in which modernity, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism offer several opportunities as well as limitations for the various population layers of society. In his earlier research Besnier focused on gender and sexuality, political organisation, extents of learning, gossip and emotions, among other things. At the department of Anthropology and sociology of the UvA Besnier intends to contribute to the construction of modernity and several characteristics of modernity, such as transnational movements. He furthermore hopes to develop a research programme focusing on Japan.
Besnier has taught at the University of Illinois, Yale University, Victoria University of Wellington and UCLA. He has besides been working at Kagoshima University, University of Auckland and University of Hawaii as visiting lecturer.