Department of Anthropology
Old Main 330, University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Phone: (479) 575-2508
Fax: (479) 575-6595

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Jonathan S. Marion

Jonathan Marion

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. University of California San Diego 2006

Activity-based cultures
Translocal communities
Psychological anthropology
Visual anthropology


Dr. Marion received his Ph.D. in psychological and cultural anthropology from the University of California San Diego in 2006. He conducted his research among competitive ballroom dancers across North America and Western Europe. His dissertation, “Dance as Self, Culture, and Community: The Construction of Personal and Collective Meaning and Identity in Competitive Ballroom and Salsa”, focused on how participation in this expressive, performative, and aesthetic activity shaped personal and collective constructions of deeply gendered meanings and identities. Dr. Marion’s ongoing research continues to explore the interrelationships between performance, embodiment, and identity, and he also researches, presents, and writes about visual ethics, theory, and method in social research.

Selected Publications

Ballroom Dancing


  • Visual Research: A Concise introduction to Thinking Visually. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.
  • Ballroom:Culture and Costume in Competitive Dance (Dress, Body, Culture). Oxford: Berg, 2008.

Articles & Chapters

  • “Circulation as Destination: Considerations from the Translocal Culture of Competitive Ballroom Dance”, Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement 17(2), 2012.
  • “Introduction to Photographing an Emotion”, In Dance With Me: Ballroom Dancing and the Promise of Instant Intimacy. Julia Ericksen. New York: New York University Press, 2011
  • “State of the Ethics in Visual Anthropology?”, (w/Sara Perry) Visual Anthropology Review 26(2): 96-104, 2010.
  • “Photography as Ethnographic Passport”, Visual Anthropology Review 26(1): 24-30, 2010.
  •  “Which Way to the Ballroom?”, Suomen Antropologi (Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society) 32 (2): 110-123, 2007.
  • “Beyond Ballroom: Activity as Performance, Embodiment, and Identity”, Human Mosaic 36(2): 7-16, 2006.