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Social Anthropology Seminar Series

Seminars are a mix of online and F2F sessions, as well as 11am/ 3pm/ 4pm start times. Please see the programme for details of each seminar (including online booking link).

In-person / F2F seminars will be held in the Daryll Forde Seminar Room (DFSR) at UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London (no booking required).

Convenor: Alex Pillen


Spring Term 2022

12 January (11am-1pm, online & in-person) - Dr Luke de Noronha (Sarah Parker Remond Centre, UCL) 
Deporting Black Britons: An Ethnography of Expulsion

He is the author of Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of Deportation to Jamaica (Manchester University Press, 2020, British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize) and co-author of Empire’s End Game: Racism and the British State (Pluto Press, 2021).

19 January (11am-1pm, online & in-person) - Dr Amelia Odida (Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS)
Decolonising Policy, Analysis, Research

Her PhD thesis applies decolonial strategies to the analysis of the UN policy of constitutional assistance (UCL Department of Political Science, September 2021). She works with theories of decoloniality and coloniality developed by scholars such as Walter Mignolo and Anibal Quijano, and teaches Decolonising World Politics. In this talk she will depict Decolonising as a Research Method and present the various strategies we can use.

26 January (4-6 pm, online) - Prof Janet McIntosh (Professor of Anthropology, Brandeis University)
Necropolitical head games: Twisted language and 'misbehavior' in the US military

She is the author of The Edge of Islam: Power, Personhood, and Ethnoreligious Boundaries on the Kenya Coast (Duke University Press, 2009, Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion) and Unsettled: Denial and Belonging among White Kenyans (University of California Press, 2016, Honorable Mention in the 2018 American Ethnological Society's Senior Book Prize, and Honorable Mention in the 2017 Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing). In this talk she will present new material and push some provisional ideas forward.

2 February (3-5pm, online) - Prof Elisabeth Povinelli (Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, Columbia University in the City of New York)
Heritability and the Ancestral Present - A New Project

She is the author of Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism (Duke University Press 2016, Lionel Trilling Book Award) and The Cunning of Recognition: Indigenous Alterities and the Making of Australian Multiculturalism (Duke University Press, 2002, Art Forum Best Book of the Year).  She will talk about a project she is just beginning to work on.

9 February (4-6pm, online) - Prof Christina Leza (Associate Professor in Anthropology, Colorado College)
Centering Anti-Racism in our Curriculum: Critical Race Studies and Black Feminism in Anthropological Theory

She is an anthropologist and Yoeme-Chicana activist scholar, author of Divided Peoples: Policy, Activism and Indigenous Identities on the U.S.-Mexico Border (University of Arizona Press, 2019) and co-author of the Handbook on Indigenous People's Border Crossing Rights Between the United States and Mexico, an online community resource, 2019. She is currently experimenting with centering critical race theory and Black feminist anthropology in teaching her department's core anthropological theory class. Her presentation will draw from both classroom experience and her recent discourse-focused research on Critical Race Theory debates to discuss the benefits and challenges to this anti-racist work.

23 February (11am-1pm, hybrid/online) - Dr Izzy Gibbin (Researcher, Social Life, London)
Barbicanos and their Bullshit

Their PhD thesis  explained the persistence of social inequalities in the British arts sector, using the anthropology of value, language, ritual, and urban space (UCL Department of Anthropology, March 2021).  They were recruited by Social Life in August 2021 and work with community groups and residents at sites across London to understand the relationship between the built environment and social cohesion. They will talk about the usefulness of 'value' to the theory and method of ethnographers working with elites.

! Seminar cancelled due to the strike action! 2 March (11am-1pm, online) - Prof Patrice Maniglier (Département de philosophie, Université Paris Nanterre)
The 'Geological Turn': The Practical and Epistemological Refoundation of Anthropology in the Context of the Emergence of the 'Terrestrial' as a Central Question

He is Maître de Conférences in the Philosophy Department at the Université Paris Nanterre, a philosopher and public intellectual. He has written on Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, Badiou, Latour. He is the author of La Vie énigmatique des signes: Saussure et la naissance du structuralisme (Paris: Léo Scheer, 2006), La Perspective du Diable, Figurations de l'espace et philosophie, de la Renaissance à Rosemary's Baby (Arles: Actes Sud, 2010), Foucault va au cinéma (Paris: Bayard, 2011).

9 March (11am-1pm, hybrid/online) - Dr Rosalie Allain (ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford)
Generativity and Technicity on a Cameroonian Resource Frontier

Her PhD thesis explores practices and conceptions of generativity in a situation of scarcity through an examination of artisanal mining amongst Gbaya-speaking people in the East Region of Cameroon (UCL Department of Anthropology, February 2021). She is a founding member of the new Centre for the Anthropology of Technics and Technodiversity at UCL and is a member of the Anthropologie de la Vie research group at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale in Paris. She will present aspects of her current post-doctoral research.

16 March (11am-1pm, hybrid/online) - Prof Danny Miller (Department of Anthropology, UCL)
The Irish and the Philosophers

What should the relationship be between anthropology and philosophy? This talk suggests that the way anthropologists have tended to look up to philosophy may be detrimental to the discipline of anthropology and suggests an alternative more sideways relationship. The argument is made through a summary of a book currently being developed - The Irish and the Philosophers, in which each chapter of an ethnography set in Ireland is juxtaposed with an analogous philosophical discussion. The philosophers range from encounters with Socrates, the Stoics, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger and Rawls. Topics include freedom, ethics, place, sports, community and the purpose of life.