UoA 42: Anthropology

UCL Anthropology is distinctive for its particular combination of natural and social sciences approaches to the study of humankind. We pursue comparative social and biosocial analyses in all contexts from remote environments to western industrial societies, and investigate evolutionary continuities and contrasts between human and non-human primates, past and present.  This broad-based vision embraces Biological Anthropology, Social Anthropology and Material Culture, seeking to address key questions and issues through innovative interdisciplinary collaborations. During the assessment period we have increasingly worked towards the goal of bringing social and natural sciences and approaches from the humanities into new and productive interaction, while aiming to maintain core strengths in established fields and to preserve the disciplinary excellence and identity of each research culture. Our research strategy thus balances a strong tradition of individual scholarship with collaborative work, set both within and across four longstanding research groups, while also reaching beyond Anthropology to develop interdisciplinary initiatives. We seek to attract top-quality staff and research students by offering an excellent research environment, facilities, support and career development, fostering both theoretical research and applied engagement, through our strong commitment to working with local communities, NGOs, governments, industry and international agencies, as advisors on policy and practice.

Since 2001, our 26.5 staff FTEs (including 7.5FTE early career researcher ECRs) have been awarded £2.69million in research funding. We produced 18 sole-authored, 5 co-authored, 10 edited and 14 co-edited books, 154 book chapters and 164 journal articles; edited 5 whole-journal issues, managed 3 international journal editorships, and were senior/associate/sub-editors or on editorial boards of 27 other refereed journals and 7 book series. 93 PhDs and 58 Research Masters’ degrees were awarded. 30 of our PhDs went on to highly competitive university lectureships (including Oxford, LSE, ANU, NYU) in 14 countries. Staff gave over 60 keynote and high-profile named public lectures/lecture series, including two Linacre Lectures (Homewood 2003, Tilley 2007), the Weiner Memorial and Gulbenkian State of the World Lectures (Miller, 2006, 2007), the Panizzi Lectures (Pinney 2006) and Barbara Ward Memorial Lecture (Banerjee 2007). Staff organised or contributed to organising 22 international conferences, workshops and lecture series, held visiting fellowships/professorships at 21 different universities/research institutes internationally, and won 14 competitively-awarded fellowships (including 5 Leverhulmes; British Academy, Getty, Guggenheim, among others; and 3 Leverhulme or BA fellowships/professorships for overseas visitors). Honours include the RAI Curl Lecture and Prize (Mace, 2003), the AAA William Douglas Book Prize in Europeanist Anthropology (Tilley 2005), a D.Litt. and D.Sc. (Littlewood 2003, 2005), and the Timber Trade Journal Environmental Innovation Award (ECR Lewis).

Our research is organised within four main groups, each maintaining strong continuities with RAE2001. Human evolution has long been a key component of our research, and the Evolutionary Anthropology group centres on palaeoanthropology, while pioneering applications of evolutionary theory to human behaviour, and expanding field primatology. Human Ecology forges interdisciplinary integration of natural and social science approaches to ecology, demography and development.  Social and Cultural Anthropology focuses on established interests in political cultures, historical representations and medical anthropology, with new departures in the cultural context of genomics, and religious practice. Material Culture studies objects in global commodity chains, textile and communications technologies, landscapes and museums heritage, and visual forms in political conflict.

Download full text of the RA5a statement for Anthropology (pdf 212Kb)

Staff names below link to submitted publications:

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