SCI | Extending the imagination

Photo by Wim Durang

A Word of Welcome:

UCL Anthropology’s  research platform on Subjectivity and the Cultural Imagination (SCI) brings together anthropologists working on the role of the imagination in diverse social and cultural scales – from the intimate arenas of subjective experience to the most encompassing vistas of cosmological contemplation. Rooted in rigorous ethnographic research in settings across the globe, we explore comparatively the imaginative and intimate dimensions of history, politics, law, economy, religion, and cosmology. Using ethnographically-based insights we seek to refigure the ways in which we, as social scientists, imagine the social and cultural world, and ultimately to extend the anthropological imagination itself.

A hub for versatile anthropological research, activities and events, SCI promotes empirically driven thinking and a readiness to experiment with novel themes and contemporary theoretical frameworks. Our research activities range from informal, student-led reading groups and workshops to major internationally funded research programmes and networks. Combining the knowledge and skills of academic staff and research students at UCL and beyond, our research clusters around five core themes:

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Alternative Economies


Cosmology, Religion, Ontology and Culture (CROC)


Historical Consciousness


Images of Democracy and Revolution


Inner Worlds

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News and Events

Art of Non Fic

Open City Documentary Festival 2018: Programme Revealed

We’ll open with Juliana Antunes’ Baronesa and close with Cyril Aris’ The Swing, amongst a programme that includes: 75+ films from more than 30 different countries; 30+ UK Premieres; a true variety of form, region and subject; and an equal balance between male and female identified directors in the film programme. More...

Published: Jul 30, 2018 8:28:57 AM

Open City Docs Scholarships 2018

Part-Scholarships Available for Open City Docs MA Ethnographic & Documentary Film for 2018/19 Academic Year

Open City Docs School is delighted to announce a number of scholarships (in the form of partial fee waivers) for places on any of the four pathways on the UCL MA Ethnographic & Documentary Film. More...

Published: Jun 26, 2018 10:11:58 AM

One World Media Award 2018

Open City Docs / UCL graduate announced as winner of One World Media Award for Best Student Film for third year in a row

[London, 19th June 2018] Open City Docs School is delighted to announce 2017 MA Ethnographic & Documentary Film graduate Paul Zhou as the winner of this year’s Student Award at the 2018 One World Media Awards for his graduation film China In Ethiopia. More...

Published: Jun 20, 2018 10:03:20 AM


ExCiteS Wins Provost's Public Engagement Award 2018

The Extreme Citizen Science Research Group (ExCiteS) directed by Muki Haklay (Geography) and Jerome Lewis (Anthropology) collectively won the Provosts’ Award for Public Engagement the ‘Institutional Leadership award 2018' at last night’s ceremony celebrating 10 years of the Public Engagement Unit at UCL. More...

Published: Jun 7, 2018 12:01:05 PM

Caroline Humphrey

Mary Douglas Memorial Lecture 2018

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Mary Douglas Memorial Lecture will be presented by Professor Dame Caroline Humphrey, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, on Wednesday 23 May at 6pm in the Archaeology Lecture Theatre, UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW.  More...

Published: Apr 23, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Copyright Notice: Header pictures by Wim Durang

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