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UCL Anthropology

"The most scientific of the humanities, the most humanistic of the sciences"

UCL Anthropology studies humanity in all its aspects: from our evolution as a species, to our relationship with the material world, and our vast variety of social practices and cultural forms.

Our department is one of only a few broad based anthropology departments in the UK comprised of four sub-sections including Biological Anthropology, Social Anthropology, Material Culture and Medical Anthropology. Our teaching and research reflects the breadth and depth of this cross and interdisciplinary approach.

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News and Events


Cosmologies of destiny: One-day workshop on the ethnography of predestination, temporality & freedom

What does it mean to live a life that has already been written? How does one understand the past and prepare for the future when superior forces mingle with human agency? Distinctly from notions of fortune and coincidence, ‘destiny’ evokes conceptions of human lives and futures that are pre-determined: be it by high political powers, cosmic forces, or transcendental entities.

Published: May 26, 2015 2:47:56 PM

Subjectivity and Mental Health

The Subjectivity of the Body in Mental Health: An Anthropological Workshop

In recent years there has been a lot of debate about subjectivities and mental health. The forming of the self through techniques has subsequently given new angles on research of the formation of selves through bodily and mental practices. Some of those studies, however, tend towards a hidden essentialism – body and mind as the instruments that are used to act upon an assumed self. On the other side of the spectrum, studies of subjectivity assume that the subject is ephemeral, immaterial, a thing of the law, language or the mind alone. If we do not challenge this assumption, we might easily fall into the trap Foucault cautioned against when he called the soul a prison of the body. More...

Published: May 20, 2015 12:35:37 PM

Material Culture Research Day

Material Culture Research Day

Please join us for a series of informal talks on current research by PhD students, Postdocs, Visitors and Material Culture Staff from the UCL Department.

Published: May 18, 2015 2:47:50 PM

Current Vacancies

Research Associate Vacancy

The successful candidate will be a promising ethnomusicologist familiar with methods in comparative ethnomusicology. The main focus of the post will be to make a comparison of the music and musicking practices of egalitarian hunter-gatherers societies from across the world, and publish the results. The primary research focus will be on hunter-gatherers in Africa and South-East Asia. More...

Published: May 12, 2015 3:23:22 PM

The War of the Worlds

The War of Worlds: Self and Society in Social Movements

This two-day international conference at UCL brings together ethnographers who have worked with activists across several continents, to explore the shape and significance of social movements today.

Published: May 11, 2015 10:07:03 AM

Media Highlight

Andrea Migliano and Mark Dyble explain the findings of their research published in Science recently.

Anthropology Blogs

Congo Great Lakes Initiative/Session 4 – First steps towards exhibition

Wed, 20 May 2015 17:07:41 +0000

Written by Carys Wilkins, MA Material and Visual Culture, UCL Anthropology The aim of this session included data collection from the participants’ fieldwork diaries and revising the process involved in object documentation, as well as beginning to think about staging an exhibition. Session four began with presentations and feedback on the fieldwork diaries produced by […]


‘The Night That Changed Their Lives’: Hope and Expectation Among Young Mongolian Contortionists

Mon, 18 May 2015 10:49:34 +0000

This post was written by Liz Fox, a UCL ESRC-funded anthropology PhD student affiliated to the Emerging Subjects project.  Liz is currently in Mongolia carrying out research examining the lives of young urban women in Mongolia, such as contortionists and cashmere factory workers. Her research aims to explore how young women’s aspirations for their futures articulate with national […]


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