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Centre of African Studies

Anthropology and Sociology


Dr Rita Astuti

Reader in Anthropology, LSE, r.astuti@lse.ac.uk

  • The study of identity construction among the Vezo of Madagascar; the study of social categorisation in Madagascar through a combination of anthropological and psychological approaches; psychological essentialism; gender; kinship.
  • Madagascar, Swaziland
Dr Paul Basu

Reader in Material Culture and Museum Studies, UCL, Institute of Archaeology, paul.basu@ucl.ac.uk

  • Cultural heritage; historical geography; museums
  • Managing editor of the Journal of Material Culture
  • Sierra Leone
Professor Philip Burnham

Professor of Anthropology, UCL, p.burnham@ucl.ac.uk

  • States and political organisation, especially francophone states of West and Equatorial Africa; rural economy and ecological relations of agricultural and pastoral communities; inter-ethnic relations; 19th century history; rain forest conservation.
  • Western and Equatorial Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Central African Republic
Dr John R Campbell

Senior Lecturer, Anthropology of Development, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS, jc58@soas.ac.uk

  • Development policy and projects, social and economic history of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the role of research methods in development research
  • Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya
Professor Pat Caplan

Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, p.caplan@gold.ac.uk

  • Modernisation and development; food, health and fertility in Africa; trance and healing; gender relations; government policies.
  • Tanzania
Dr Christopher Davis

Lecturer in Anthropology, SOAS, cd3@soas.ac.uk

  • Indigenous medicine and medical anthropology; therapy and illness among the Tabwa of Zaire; interpretive anthropology; Africa and/in the diaspora; ethnographic writing.
  • Central Africa, Zaire
Dr Matthew Engelke
  • Lecturer in Anthropology, LSE, m.engelke@lse.ac.uk
  • Research on Apostolic Christian Churches in urban Zimbabwe; secondary interest in religion and human rights, and history of anthropology.
  • Zimbabwe
Professor Richard Fardon

Professor in West African Anthropology, SOAS, rf@soas.ac.uk

  • Social anthropologist of West Africa whose research has predominantly been concerned with middle-belt peoples of Cameroon and Nigeria. His current, regional research focuses on material culture and history: including photographic evidence for innovations in the rituals of Bali Nyonga (in the Grassfields of Cameroon), a comparative survey of masquerade in the middle-belt of, predominantly, Nigeria and an inventory of Chamba statuary. He is collaborating with colleagues in various museums: especially the Basel Mission Archives and the Berlin Museum of Ethnology. His recent work has included such related themes as: ethnicity, languages and development and radio. Professor Fardon is also Chairman of the Centre of African Studies.
  • Cameroon, Nigeria
Dr Rosemary Harris

Reader in Anthropology, UCL, rosemary.harris@ucl.ac.uk

  • West African ethnography; Mbembe of Cross River area (Nigeria).
  • West Africa, Nigeria
Dr Elizabeth Hull

Lecturer in Anthropology, SOAS, eh17@soas.ac.uk

  • Agricultural production, livelihoods and indebtedness among farmers, and the impact of these upon foodways and nutrition in South Africa
  • Methodological and theoretical linkages between the study of agriculture, food consumption and human health
Professor Deborah James

Professor in Anthropology, LSE, d.a.james@lse.ac.uk

  • Indebtedness and aspiration in South Africa; popular economies and citizen expectations
  • Intersection between state/non-state planners and local communities, manifest both in policies about reproductive health/HIV-AIDS and in programmes of land reform
  • Early research focused on ethnicity, migration and musical performance
  • South and Southern Africa
Dr Marloes Janson

Lecturer in Anthropology, SOAS, mj19@soas.ac.uk 

  • Anthropology and religion
  • She conducted research on popular culture, oral history, Islamic reform, gender and youth;
  • She is now focusing on the emergence of Chrislam, a religious movement that fuses Christian and Muslim beliefs and practices in Nigeria;
  • West Africa (the Gambia, Senegal and Nigeria)
Professor Murray Last

Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, UCL, m.last@ucl.ac.uk

  • Medical anthropology; traditional medicine; pre-colonial history: Islamic (especially 19th century Jihad) and pre-Islamic societies of northern Nigeria; religion among non-Muslim Hausa; Islamic intellectual tradition in northern Nigeria; youth culture of urban Kano (Nigeria).
  • Nigeria
Professor Ioan Lewis

Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, LSE, ioanlewis2@btinternet.com

  • Somali society; peace-making and local government in Somalia; spirit possession, ecstatic cults and religious syncretism in Africa, with special reference to Islam.
  • Somalia
Professor Trevor Marchand

Professor of Social Anthropology, SOAS, tm6@soas.ac.uk

  • British Academy mid-career Fellowship (2013); ESRC Fellow (2005-2008). Professor Marchand is conducting new research on building-craft knowledge and apprenticeship in Britain, and curated exhibitions on the masons of Djenne (Mali) at the RIBA (London) and the Smithsonian Institution NMNH (Washington).
  • Main research interests: An anthropological approach to the study of space, place, and architecture, and more specifically to the study of traditional building practices and the transmission of expert knowledge via systems of apprenticeship.
  • Mali (Djenne), Yemen (Sanaa), Nigeria (Zaria), London
Professor Henrietta Moore

Professor of Anthropology, LSE, h.l.moore@lse.ac.uk

  • Economic anthropology, agriculture and nutrition, gender and development, entrepreneurship and industrialisation, feminist and social theory, women's rights.
  • East and Central Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Mauritius
Dr Nici Nelson

Lecturer in Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, n.nelson@gold.ac.uk

  • Rural development and water usage, urbanisation, informal sector and migration with special reference to gender; AIDS with special reference to women and high risk behaviour (Kikuyu).
  • East Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea
Professor J D Y Peel

Professor of Anthropology and Sociology with reference to Africa, SOAS, jp2@soas.ac.uk

  • Cultural change, missionaries and religious conversion, African Christianity; interaction of Christian missionaries and Yoruba in 19th century; local communities and the state; history and anthropology, history of social thought; cultural politics of Islam and Christianity.
  • West Africa, Nigeria
Professor Johan Pottier

Professor of Anthropology, SOAS, jp4 @soas.ac.uk

  • Agriculture and rural development; food marketing, security and policy; post-famine recovery; the Great Lakes crisis in Central Africa; ethnic conflict; post-conflict rehabilitation.
  • Central and Southern Africa, Rwanda, Zambia, Zaire
Dr Sara Randall

Senior Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, UCL, s.randall@ucl.ac.uk

  • Demography of mobile populations including refugees and pastoralists. The production of demographic data, integrating quantitative and qualitative data to understand demographic behaviour.
  • Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Palestine
Professor Paul Richards

Professor of Anthropology, UCL, paul.richards@ucl.ac.uk

  • Human ecology, ecological change, agriculture, environment, rain forest conservation; Mende of Sierra Leone.
  • West Africa, Nigeria, Sierra Leone
Professor Michael Rowlands

Professor of Anthropology, UCL, m.rowlands@ucl.ac.uk

  • Material culture and cultural heritage including issues of cultural rights, transmission of cultural property/knowledge and postcolonial museums. Research on cultural heritage projects and local identities in Mali and a regional survey of material culture in the Grassfields region in Cameroon.
  • Cameroon and Mali
Dr Barrie Sharpe

Lecturer in Anthropology, UCL, b.sharpe@ucl.ac.uk

  • Agricultural change and its impact on health and nutrition; health-care systems organisation; rain forest conservation in West Africa; politics of institutions and citizenships in transnational environment debates.
  • Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Morocco
Professor AbdouMaliq Simone

Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, a.simone@gold.ac.uk

Urbanism, critical geography, sociologies of religion, social organizations, development processes, African politics, popular urban cultures

Professor Paul Spencer

Emeritus Professor of African Anthropology, SOAS

  • Age organisation in East Africa; Maa-speaking peoples (Samburu, Maasai, Chamus, Dorobo) and the Rendille; maturation and ageing; dance and society; drought and pastoral development.
  • East Africa, Kenya
Dr Harry West

Lecturer in Social Anthropology, SOAS, hw16@soas.ac.uk

  • Sorcery, healing, "traditional authority", anthropology of violence, neo-liberalism
  • Mozambique