Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Life in the gap: amplifying lives that flourish along the edges

24 May 2021, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Life in the gap: amplifying lives that flourish along the edges

Rebecca Empson, Professor of Anthropology, UCL Department of Anthropology, delivers her Inaugural Lecture: 'Life in the gap: amplifying lives that flourish along the edges'.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







UCL Joint Faculties Office

About the lecture:

How does attending to things that do not fit received models or linear ideas of progress allow us to observe alternative ways of living and arranging things?

This lecture focuses on three examples from my research. Although the content is different, a thread runs through them. They show how life often flourishes outside of the models that we bring to bear on them, creating unexpected insights that revise our understanding of the phenomena.

Attending to and writing about these differences can be seen as a political act. Amplifying their existence goes some way into bringing them into being for the people who articulate and live them and as objects of analysis for anthropology.

About the speaker:

Rebecca Empson is Professor of Anthropology at the UCL Department of Anthropology. She studied anthropology as an undergraduate at the London School of Economics and a PhD at Cambridge, with fieldwork along the Mongolian-Russian border. She wrote her thesis on the work of care needed for kinship relations to grow and continue. Three postdocs later, she joined UCL Anthropology where she has taught at all levels. Most recently she has run a large European Research Council project on the fluctuations of the Mongolian economy and written on forms subjectivity, ownership and temporary possession, as well as the physical object of the desk while people work from home during the pandemic.

Inaugural Lecture Series 2020/21

This lecture is part of the 2020/21 series for UCL's Faculty of Arts & Humanities and Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences. The series provides an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our professors who are undertaking research and scholarship of international significance, and offers an insight into the strength and vitality of the arts, humanities and social sciences at UCL.

All our lectures are free to attend and open to all. You don't have to be a UCL staff member or student to come along.

For information on previous and upcoming lectures please visit: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/social-historical-sciences/news-events/inaugural-lectures 


Other events in this series