elites, and the dust

Marella Hoffman has worked from Cambridge, England since the 1990s, first at Cambridge University and then at the city's political institutions. After writing a PhD thesis on French literature, she lectured at several universities. During a fellowship at Cambridge University, she moved across disciplines to work in social and political science, first as an academic and then with government agencies on policy.

Now a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, her work keeps a footing in poorer communities - in the dust and graffiti - among those Frantz Fanon called the wretched of the Earth.  From Baudelaire to the Blasket Islanders, French shepherds to the unemployed underclass hidden away in Cambridge, her research reveals many of them to be dirt-poor, time-rich deep thinkers. Her long-term work with the poor and excluded shows they have at least as much to tell us about the world as elites do, especially in terms of solutions for the crises we face today. The poor are, after all, the world's great majority...

Parisian Boy, oils on photo-montage by HOFFMAN

Parisian Boy, oils on photo-montage by HOFFMAN

major financial awards

  • Year-long funding award from the French government, for work on poetry

  • Year-long funding from the Swiss government, for work on the culture of the city

  • Two-year funding award from the National University of Ireland, for cultural studies

  • Two-year funding award from the British government, for building democratic participation in grassroots communities

Research fellowships AT...

King’s College, Cambridge University; Notre Dame University USA; University of Paris; University of Geneva; University of Nice; University College Dublin; National University of Ireland

guest lectures at...

Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education; Boston College University USA; London Metropolitan University; University of East Anglia; University of Hertfordshire; University College Cork; British Royal Literary and Scientific Institution; British Government Homes & Communities Department; British Chartered Institute of Housing



Above, right, is the garden at The Eyrie, Hoffman's writing base in Southern France. The Eyrie is for sale! Have a tour of this beautiful home & garden here... (The Big Picture office is moving to offer a larger retreat for writers in the vineyard region of Bordeaux. )