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21 November 2014

Current Issue

The academic year 2014/15 has started well for staff and students alike. The department now hosts 27 postdoctoral research staff, the majority of whom are seated in a lovely room on the 5th floor of Wolfson House, joined by advanced doctoral students who have given up their desks in the department for our first year MPhil/PhD students. We were very sad to have to say goodbye to our esteemed lecturer Dr Matthew Skinner, who joins his partner at the University of Kent. Meanwhile we have welcomed two new teaching staff, Dr Kimberly Chong and Dr Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, who both join us for a period of three years.

With six large and numerous smaller research teams operating from the department, the sharing of research work across the department’s internal sectional divisions is more important than ever. To meet this demand we have created two new annual memorial lectures, the Dame Mary Douglas Memorial Lecture, delivered by Professor Paul Richards from Njala University in Sierra Leone and the Daryll Forde Memorial lecture, to be delivered by Professor Bruno Latour in February. To take a break from our usual weekly section-based seminars we are holding, during the month of November, special all-department seminars, with international speakers and three of our own European Research Council grant holders. In addition, a series of workshops organised by staff and students out of the department’s numerous Research and Reading Groups are keeping everybody busy.

The range of our new activities is extended to students. In addition to the Anthropology in the Professional World occasional lecture series, we are now also organising two alumni gatherings per academic year to which we invite our former graduates to speak about their work and careers. At the end of the spring term we will hold a 3rd year dissertation conference to which all staff and students will be invited. We are continuing with our acclaimed new 2nd year compulsory module Being Human, taught in an Oxbridge style tutorial system, enabling our students to discuss readings with staff in small groups. This innovation in teaching has been praised as a model to be followed by other departments within the Faculty.

My thanks to PhD student Jesse Bia, who gave six hours of lectures to A Level Anthropology students at Bradford College, commencing a new initiative in Widening

And finally, my congratulations to Michael Stewart, who has been promoted to Professor, and who will give his inaugural lecture on 5th May 2014 entitled ‘The Porous University: Creating Partnerships in a Global City’.

Fun, intellectual rigour and collective aspiration are the trademarks of our department and we are looking forward to a very successful year for our staff and students.

Professor Susanne Kuechler
Head of Department

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