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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

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Cosmology, Religion, Ontology and Culture (CROC)

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Historical Consciousness

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Images of Democracy and Revolution

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Inner Worlds

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News and Events

Subjectivity and Mental Health

The Subjectivity of the Body in Mental Health: An Anthropological Workshop

In recent years there has been a lot of debate about subjectivities and mental health. The forming of the self through techniques has subsequently given new angles on research of the formation of selves through bodily and mental practices. Some of those studies, however, tend towards a hidden essentialism – body and mind as the instruments that are used to act upon an assumed self. On the other side of the spectrum, studies of subjectivity assume that the subject is ephemeral, immaterial, a thing of the law, language or the mind alone. If we do not challenge this assumption, we might easily fall into the trap Foucault cautioned against when he called the soul a prison of the body. More...

Published: May 20, 2015 12:35:37 PM

Material Culture Research Day

Material Culture Research Day

Please join us for a series of informal talks on current research by PhD students, Postdocs, Visitors and Material Culture Staff from the UCL Department.
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Published: May 18, 2015 2:47:50 PM

Current Vacancies

Research Associate Vacancy

The successful candidate will be a promising ethnomusicologist familiar with methods in comparative ethnomusicology. The main focus of the post will be to make a comparison of the music and musicking practices of egalitarian hunter-gatherers societies from across the world, and publish the results. The primary research focus will be on hunter-gatherers in Africa and South-East Asia. More...

Published: May 12, 2015 3:23:22 PM

The War of the Worlds

The War of Worlds: Self and Society in Social Movements

This two-day international conference at UCL brings together ethnographers who have worked with activists across several continents, to explore the shape and significance of social movements today.
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Published: May 11, 2015 10:07:03 AM

Body Plasticity

Call For Papers: Body Plasticity: Intrusions and Extrusions

A one-day Symposium on 10th July 2015 More...

Published: May 6, 2015 11:11:42 AM





Copyright Notice: Header pictures by Wim Durang

Page last modified on 04 feb 14 14:21