Curriculum Vitae

Scott MacLochlainn is currently a Post-doctoral Fellow with the Department of Religion, where he is also a Research Affiliate with the Max Planck-Cambridge Centre for Ethics, Economy, and Social Change. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, having completed his undergraduate studies in anthropology and history at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. With a particular interest in language and semiotics, his research examines media, legal, and religious transformation in the Philippines. His first book, The Copy Generic (forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press), describes the increasing importance of cultural replication and reproduction. Everywhere and nowhere, discarded as the copy, the knock-off, the old and over-generalized, this book argues that the generic is instead remarkably neglected as a cornerstone of contemporary media, language, and ethical formations. Ethnographically and historically situated in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia, this book moves between a number of spaces, including those of colonial urban planning, sign language, branding and copyright law, Christianity, and the politics of indigeneity. He is currently undertaking a Wenner-Gren and Max Planck Institute funded research project on how the logistics and adjudication of death have emerged as critical sites of ethical transformation in the Philippines. He has convened the EASA Network for Ethnographic Theory and runs the WriteLab Workshop at the Max Planck Institute.

Research projects

Selected Publications


The Copy Generic. University of Chicago Press. (Forthcoming)

Articles and Book Chapters

2020   “For God and State: Collaboration and Complicity, and the Work of ‘Intention’ in Duterte’s Philippines” in Collaboration in the Neoliberal Age, edited by Fiona Murphy and Emma Heffernan. Routledge Press.

2019    “Brand Displaced: Trademarking, Unmarking and Making the Generic,” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Vol. 9, No. 3.

2019    “Of Congregations and Corporations: Schism, Transcendence, and the Religious Incorporate in the Philippines,” Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 92, No. 4.

2018    “Learning the Code of Plural” as part of a Review Symposium on Jayeel Cornelio’s “Being Catholic in the Contemporary Philippines,” Journal of World Christianity, Vol. 8, No. 2 (2018).

2015   “Divinely Generic: Bible Translation and the Semiotics of Circulation,” Signs and Society, Vol 3, No. 2. (2015).


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