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Previous Seminar Series

Research Seminars in Social Anthropology, Material and Digital Culture

18th May – Lane DeNicola
BeiDou, GLONASS, Gallileo: Locating the subject in satellite cultures

25th May – Danny Miller
Why Denim?

1st June – Cressida Jervis Reed
“Indira built this place”: Narratives of “emplacement” in a Delhi neighbourhood

8th June – Luke Freeman
Silence about slavery in highland Madagascar

Convenors: Chris Tilley ( & Michael Stewart (

Biological Anthropology Seminars

Tuesdays 4.30-6.00pm (tea from 4.00 pm)
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building,
14 Taviton St, Off Gordon Sq
(Drinks in departmental commons rooms after the talks)

Spring 2012

Jan 17: Björn Schulte-Herbruggen (United Nations Environment Programme, World Conservation Monitoring System; UCL; ZSL)
Rats – an important Ecosystem Service for cocoa farmers living in a seasonal environment

Jan 24: Thomas Currie (UCL)
Mode and Tempo in the Evolution of Socio-Political Organization

Jan 31: Daniel Nettle (Newcastle University)
Studying social behaviour across different neighbourhoods of Newcastle upon Tyne

Feb 7: Sara Randall (UCL)
Inaugural Lecture: Where have all the nomads gone?

* - 6:30 pm Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, Wilkins Building.

Feb 14: READING WEEK – no seminar

Feb 21: Bram Tucker (University of Georgia)
The behavioral ecology of subsistence risk among farmers, foragers, and fishers of SW Madagascar:  Judgment, choice, action, and narrative

Feb 28: Julia Jones (Bangor University)
'How much do you collect/fish/hunt?': quantifying legal and illegal natural resource use

Mar 6: Rachel Kendall (Durham University)
Social learning strategies and cumulative culture in human and non-human primates

Mar 13: John McNamara (University of Bristol)
The importance of individual differences for evolutionary game theory and the evolution of cooperation

Mar 20: Tracey Kivell (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
The hand of Australopithecus sediba: Handier than Homo habilis?

Contact David Lawson ( or Shakti Lamba ( for any further information

Autumn 2011

October 4: Charles Efferson (University of Zurich)
The evolution of shared delusions

October 11: Aidan Keane (UCL)
Learning about rule-breaking and enforcement in wildlife conservation

October 18: Marius Warg Næss (Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research - Olso)
Pastoral herding strategies: risk management among reindeer herders in Norway

October 25: Anna Goodman (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Reproductive success and descendant quality across 6 generations: results from a Swedish birth cohort

November 1: Dieter Lukas (University of Cambridge)
The evolution of helping behaviour in mammals: Cooperative breeding, monogamy and polytocy

November 8: reading week

November 15: Kim Hill (Arizona State University)
Major evolutionary transitions and complex sociality in humans: from informal to formal institutions 

November 22: Sarah Keogh (UCL)
The impact of HIV diagnosis on reproductive behaviour in Northern Tanzania

November 29: Kristin Snopkowski (Durham University)
Evaluating theories of the demographic transition in San Borja, Bolivia

December 6: Matthew Skinner (UCL)
Breathing new life into old fossils: how hidden internal structures can improve our understanding of human evolution


Oct 5 Andrea Migliano - UCL Department of Anthropology
"Convergent Evolution of African, Asian and Melanesian pygmies"

Oct 12 Jeroen Smaers - UCL Department of Anthropology
"Brains, behaviour, and how to link them across millions of years: the evolution of functionally specialized neural circuits in primates"

Oct 19 Andrew King - Structure and Motion Laboratory, Royal Veterinary College, University of London
"Living on the edge: How social relationships define baboon success in the Namib Desert"

Oct 26 Lisa Debruine - University of Aberdeen School of Psychology
"Evoked culture and mate preferences: How regional differences in women's masculinity preferences relate to variation in health and male- male competition"

Nov 2 Dave Begun - University of California at Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology
"Hominine origins in Europe: Encephalization and orthogrady"

Nov 9 READING WEEK - no seminar

Nov 16 Asifa Majid - Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
"Celebrity and the Environment: Fame, Wealth and Power in Conservation."

Nov 23 Chris Sandbrook - Cambridge University Department of Geography
"Power, politics and public-private partnerships: investigating a new approach to nature-based tourism in Uganda"

Nov 30 Rebecca Drury - Fauna & Flora International
"Hungry for success: the social drivers of urban demand for wild animals in Vietnam"

Dec 7 Nichola Raihani - Zoological Society of London
"Crime and punishment: insights from a non-human model system"

Brian Villmoare for any further information.

Department of Anthropology
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

Medical Anthropology Seminars

Spring 2012

19 January - Yasunobu Ito (UCL/Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
Ingenuity Sub Rosa: Medical information, technology and work practice in a Japanese hospital

26 January - Sjaak van de Geest (University of Amsterdam)
Feces, faces and contexts

2 February - Anne Fox (Imperial College London/Galahad SMS)
Homo Ebrius: The origins of drunkenness

9 February - Mona Schrempf (Humboldt University of Berlin)
The spider and the soul: Spirit matters in the Eastern Himalayas

16 February - Reading week - No seminar

23 February - Gloria Durà-Vilà (UCL/ Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS)
Integration of sexual trauma in a religious narrative: Transformation, resolution and growth among contemplative nuns

1 March - David Napier (University College London)
Bodies and boundaries in the life sciences

8 March - Alison Macdonald (University College London)
Breast cancer survivorship among middle-class women in charitable organisations in urban India

15 March - Richard Rechtman (l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)
An introduction to the political anthropology of trauma

Inquiries to Joseph Calabrese (

Autumn 2011

6 October - Roland Littlewood (University College London)
'Islamic Fatalism' and the Bengali Response to Illness

13 October - Aaron Parkhurst (University College London)
Genes and Djinni in the Arabian Gulf: 'Islamic Fatalism' in Everyday Life

20 October - Joe Calabrese (Oxford U.and University College London)
Initial Reflections on Clinical Ethnographic Fieldwork in Bhutan

27 October - Simon Dein (Durham U. and University College London)
Jewish Guilt: an Anthropological Approach

3 November - Ellie Reynolds (University College London)
Embodied Forms of Control: Substance and Energy in an Orgasmic Cult

10 November - Reading Week - No Seminar

17 November - Francesca Zanatta (University College London)
"You Negroes in Jamaica Pray Too Much": The Role of Religion in Shaping Child Identity in Jamaica

24 November - Mohammad Rashed (University College London)
Meaning, Distress and Psychosis in the Western Desert of Egypt

1 December - Anne Fox (Imperial College London)
The Military Horde and the Hunting Hypothesis [Provisional Title]

8 December - David Orr (Sussex University)
Andean Idioms of Madness: Sociality, Poverty and the Person among Quechua-speaking peasants in Peru

15 December - Brian Anderson (Stamford University)
Psychiatric Ontologies of Ayahuasca: Psychosis or Spiritual Cure?

Please send all enquiries to


7 October Roland Littlewood (University College London)
The 'Seligman Error' and the Origins of Schizophrenia

14 October Sharon Kaufman (University of California at San Francisco)
Making Longevity in an Aging Society: Linking Technology, Policy, Ethics

21 October Sahra Gibbon (University College London)
Cancer Genetics, Ancestry and Miscigenação in Southern Brazil; Constituting Populations and Clinical Need

28 October Jennifer Randall (University College London)
The Hope of Anthropology: An Anthropology of Hope

4 November Rodney Reynolds (University College London)
Panama's Black Christ: Spreading the Gospel of the Miracle Cure

11 November READING WEEK - no seminar

18 November Katia Fabrii (University College London)
The Doctor and the Anthropologist: Reflections on Teaching and Practice

25 November Khaldoon Ahmed (University College London)
Narratives of Psychosis in British Bangladeshis

2 December David Napier (University College London)
Non-self Help: Immunology as Philosophical Inquiry

9 December Paul Clough (University of Malta)
Neo-liberal Thinking and New Accounts of Cell Theory: A Response to David Napier

Week 12 READING WEEK - no seminar

Enquiries to:

David Napier
Department of Anthropology UCL
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

Tel: +44 20 7679 8647
Fax: +44 20 7679 8632

Material, Visual and Digital Culture Research Seminars


Mondays 5 pm- 6.30 pm, followed by drinks
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, 2nd floor, 14 Taviton St. 

January 16: Tom McDonald (UCL)
Karaoke Migrations: tranquillising homes, relocating pleasures in a south-west Chinese town

January 23: Razvan Nicolescu (UCL)
Boredom and Anxiety in Rural Romania

January 30: David Frohlich (Univ. Surrey)
Is the Family Album Dead?

February 6: Sonia Livingstone (LSE)
Mapping digital and social learning networks among a class of British school children

February 20: Thomas Malaby (Univ. Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
The Technoliberal Gambit: Architecting the Digital through Game Design

February 27: Mathew Engelke (LSE)
The stuff of funerals: Material culture and commemoration for the non-religious of London

March 5: Martijn Oosterban (Univ. Utrecht)
`Thou Shall Not Use that Social Network Site’ New Media Disciplines, Sociability and Pentecostalism

March 12: Caroline Humphrey (Univ. Cambridge)
The political logic of Buryat national outrage: a movement on the Russian internet

March 19: Jean-François Blanchette (Univ. California LA)
Heavy Clouds: Steps Towards a Material Analysis of Computing

For further information contact


3 October:  Graeme Were (University of Queensland)
“Curl Lecture” On the Materials of Mats: thinking through design in a Pacific society NOTE In the British Museum’s Clore Centre

10 October: Nicholas Thomas (Cambridge)
Artist of PNG': Mathias Kauage, Melanesian, and other modernisms

17 October: Josh Reno (Goldsmiths)
Green Markets and Theories of the Economic 

24 October: Perig Pitrou (Laboratoire d’anthropologie social, Paris/UCL)
The Power between Display and Concealment: Analyses of political rituals in a Mixe Indians community of Oaxaca, Mexico

31 October: Aristóteles Barcelos Neto (UEA)
Arakuni: the serpent with his body covered in songs 

7 November: reading week – no seminar

14 November: Adam Drazin (UCL)
The Social Life of Concepts in Design Anthropology

21 November:   Pauline Garvey (NUIM – National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Democratic Design and the Ikea Flatpack

28 November: Sue Hamilton (UCL) – Colin Richards ( Manchester)
Rethinking the Archaeology of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) 

5 December:  Anne-Christine Taylor (Musée de quai Branly, Paris)
On Amazonian Iconophobia. Lowland Indian relations to figurative images

Enquries to


4th October
Stephen Eisenman (Northwestern)
"Meat Modernism: An Introduction"

11th October Emma Tarlo (Goldsmiths)
"Distant Intimacy and Virtual Materiality: Re-considering visibly Muslim dress practices in Britain"

18th October Rupert Cox (Manchester)
"Pencil of the Sun: tracking the reverberations of war memory in Okinawa"

25th October Erhard Schüttpelz (Siegen)
"Trance Mediums and New Media in the long 19th century. The heritage of a European Term"

1st November Ludovic Coupaye (UCL)
"Knowing What has been Done: Approaching Ritual Display of Yams through cognition"

8th November READING WEEK - no seminar

15th November Chris Tilley (UCL)
"The East Devon Pebblebed Project"

22nd November Johannes Fabian (Amsterdam)
"Katanga popular Painters and the virtual archive"

29th November Tamar Garb (UCL)
"The Fragility of the Figural: Some Thoughts on Contemporary South African Photography"

6th December Simon Schaffer (Cambridge)
"Soft Matters"

Enquiries to:

Christopher Pinney
Department of Anthropology
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

Seminars in Anthropological Theory

Wednesdays 11.00-13.00pm - DFSR


6 October
Paloma Gay y Blaso (University of St Andrews)
Claudia's Story: Singular Lives, the Gypsy/Roma Metonym, and the Reach of the 'Gitano Law'

13 October Richard Irvine (Cambridge)
"When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free": freedom and constraint in the anthropology of Christianity

20 October Magnus Course (Edinburgh)
The Birth of the Word: language, force, and Mapuche ritual hierarchy

27 October Soumhya Venkatesaran (Manchester)
Cages and solids: a theory of materiality and aliveness in Hindu south India

3 November Clare Loussouarn (Goldsmith's College, University of London)
Beyond the narrative of a unidirectional time: rhythms of Chinese casino players in London


17 November Olivier Morin (Central European University, Budapest)
When does Psychology drive culture?

24 November Vlad Naumescu (Central European University)
Temporality, ritual and belief among the Old Believers - issues of religious transmission

1 December Trevor Marchand (SOAS)
Hand and Tool: the story of an intimate relationship

8 December David Berliner (Universite Libre, Bruxelles)
The Politics of Loss and Nostalgia in Luang Prabang (Lao PDR)

Enquiries to:

Michael Stewart
Department of Anthropology
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

West Africa Seminar

Fridays at 4.30 pm in the Daryll Forde Seminar Room,
UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton St


October 15 Krijn Peters [Swansea]
People's Courts & Jungle Justice: How the RUF's popular justice failed to address structural social injustices for the underclass of youth in Sierra Leone

October 22 No Seminar

October 29 Katrin Schulze [SOAS]
The State and Development of Contemporary Art in Northern Nigeria [title tbc]

November 5 Ozioma Onuzulike [Leventis fellow]
Before and After Michael Cardew: Modern Nigerian Ceramics Since 1904

Reading Week

November 19 Katrin Maier [Sussex]
Gender and Authority among Nigerian Pentecostal Christians in London

November 26 Gunnar Weimann [Amsterdam]
Islamic Criminal Law in Northern Nigeria: politics, religion, judicial practice

December 3 TBA

December 10 Bronwen Manby
Nationality laws in Africa

Enquiries to:

Dr Barrie Sharpe
Department of Anthropology
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

Tel: +44 20 7679 8649
Fax: +44 20 7380 8632

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UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8633