LabUK | Ethnographies of Britain


A Word of Welcome:

The Laboratory for the Ethnography of the UK (LabUK) is a research platform for the study of contemporary British society and culture through an anthropological lens. Along with other post-industrial societies, Britain is an implicit reference point in much anthropological thinking, imagined primarily as an exemplar of ‘the West’. But what does Britain look like as a subject of ethnographic enquiry? And what value does its study add to anthropology and broader public debates about contemporary British society and culture and their future?

LabUK provides a home for versatile ethnographic research, exploring cultural, political, ethnic, medical, visual and material aspects of living in Britain. A hub of diverse intellectual and research activities and events, LabUK promotes empirically driven thinking, comparison, ethnographic reflexivity, and readiness to experiment with unconventional themes and creative interdisciplinary methodologies.

Combining the knowledge and skills of academic staff and research students at UCL and beyond our research clusters around five core themes:

A C D D B Studio of Material Life
Everyday Citizens Imagination, Body and Performance Fashioning Material Britain Organic and Built Landscape Health care, living and dying Studio of Material Life
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News and Events

PTA 2015 - Lucio Vinicius

Provost’s Teaching Awards 2015

Congratulations to Dr Lucio Vinicius who has won this year's Provost's Teaching Awards. More...

Published: Jun 25, 2015 11:15:27 AM

Current Issue

The latest issue of ANTHROPOLITAN is available online

The academic year 2014/15 has ended well for staff and students alike. It was certainly a very busy year during which two ERC-funded research groups commenced their preparatory research work in the department as part of a total number of 27 post-doctoral research staff. On the other hand, we were very sad to have to say goodbye to our esteemed colleague Dr Matthew Skinner, who joins his partner at the University of Kent, but have welcomed two new teaching staff,  Dr Kimberly Chong and Dr Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, who both joined us for a period of three years. We were also successful in appointing two new permanent lecturers, Dr Emily Woodhouse to Human Ecology and Dr María Martinón-Torres to Paleoanthropology. To our delight, our other Teaching Fellows are staying with us for a further academic year. More...

Published: Jun 24, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Open Day

Postgraduate Open Day

The Department of Anthropology at UCL invites all prospective candidates to the Postgraduate Open Day on Wednesday, 24th June, 14 Taviton Street, London. More...

Published: Jun 10, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Emerging subjects workshop

Figuring out the Future Emerging subjects and the flux of the economic present

Workshop, 9th June 2015
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW More...

Published: Jun 2, 2015 11:10:00 AM


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