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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

"Making Nature: How we see animals" – Wellcome Trust Exhibition with Marcus Coates and Volker Sommer

Kicking off a year-long exploration into our relationship with nature, this major exhibition examines what we think, feel and value about other species and the consequences this has for the world around us. It brings together over 100 fascinating objects from literature, film, taxidermy and photography. Organised around four themes – ‘Ordering’, ‘Displaying’, ‘Observing’ and ‘Making’ – the event charts the changing fashions of museum displays, examines the search for an authentic encounter with nature, and looks at how humans have intentionally altered other organisms.

Published: Feb 27, 2017 2:06:37 PM

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Anthropology Blogs

Young curators’ club – week 2: Preserving time

Thursday, 09 March 2017

Written by Shosha Adie and James O’Donoghue, photos by James O’Donoghue The second week of the Young Curator’s programme saw our students learn about the importance and methods of conserving museum collections. Joining Delphine Mercier this week was Susi Pancaldo-Senior Conservator of UCL’s three public museums. With expert knowledge on how to “prolong the life […]

“Shakhaanii Business”: Shared Debt, Privatization of Profit, and (Re-)Emergent Corruption Discourses in Mongolia

Thursday, 02 March 2017

By Marissa J. Smith Marissa J. Smith obtained her PhD from Princeton University’s department of anthropology in 2015, after defending a dissertation about Erdenet and its position in local, national, regional, and international contexts. She currently teaches at De Anza College in Cupertino, California.    With presidential elections on the horizon, as the Parliament called its fall session […]

Our Lives with Electric Things: Call for Contributions

Friday, 03 February 2017

Jamie Cross, University of Edinburgh

Call for Contributions (max 300 words)
In: Cultural Anthropology / Theorizing the Contemporary

Our lives with electric things are positively charged with meaning. Our bodies are electric, our hearts and minds pulsing with electrical activity. Electric things have hope and anxiety, possibility and danger. Our electric attachments are sacred and profane, personal and political. Electrically powered things mediate human sociality across time and space just as they mediate our ecological and inter-species relationships. At the beginning of the 21st century, in an epoch (the electrocene, perhaps) defined simultaneously by the global abundance and unevenness of electricity supply, our electric things simultaneously shock us into action and insulate us from change. Just as electrically powered goods, devices and appliances have transformed our possibilities for reproducing, nurturing and sustaining life (coming to define ideas of the good life) so too have they created new possibilities for controlling, managing, exploiting and ending life.

Performing sustainable agriculture in the Peruvian Amazon

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Agathe Faure MRes Social Anthropology University College London I conducted ethnographic fieldwork from May to July 2015 in villages of cacao farmers along the river of Alto Huayabamba, Peruvian Amazonia. Employed by an international company providing environmental services, I was to observe environmental programmes through their local implementation in the area. I quickly realised that … Continue reading Performing sustainable agriculture in the Peruvian Amazon

Media Highlight

Migliano et al. developed a technology to map proximity networks in hunter-gatherers, and show that their social networks exhibit increased efficiency for information exchange due to a few strong ‘friendship’ ties connecting unrelated families. Such friendships are more important than family ties in predicting knowledge sharing. See Migliano et al. 1, 0043 (2017).