Iain Edgar

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Iain Edgar (1948-2021)

Dreams formed the bedrock of three decades of anthropological research from Dr Iain Ross Edgar (1948-2021). From 1995, Iain taught anthropology at the University of Durham Anthropology Department. He conducted field research in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Pakistan, Turkey and the UK. His focus on dreams provided an important stepping stone to an area hitherto neglected in the anthropology of Islamic studies. Dr Edgar’s great innovation was not only to regard dreams as the subject of social research in Islam, anthropology, and the caring professions, but in addition to recommend dreams as an interpretive method in ethnographic research, where the social researcher records their dreams as an integral part of the overall findings. Before he passed away Iain was commencing important research with Dr Nada Al-Hudaid to research the dream record of Osama Bin Laden. Iain will be greatly missed in the university and anthropological community. His seminars on shamanic dream interpretation were a popular addition to social anthropology conferences, where he would tap a drum for an hour to assist participants as they partnered up to enter and explore one another’s dreams. This loss is not only hard on the academic community but also his family and friends, and significant others, especially, Dr Gwynned de Looijer. Dr Edgar had two children, Nick and Sophie, and was grandfather to Sally, Morris, Oliver, and Luke.

Andrew Russell has published an obituary in The Guardian which is available at the following link: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/aug/19/iain-edgar-obituary.

David Henig and Stephen M. Lyon published an obituary in Anthropology Today 3(4), August 2021.


To cite this article:

FARRER, DS & AL-HUDAID, NADA. 2021 ‘Iain Edgar (1948-2021)’. Obituaries. Royal Anthropological Institute, September 2021. (available on-line: https://therai.org.uk/archives-and-manuscripts/obituaries/iain-edgar)