Research at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology
The Department of Anthropology and Sociology produces cutting-edge ethnographic research.
This comes from regional expertise and language skills that advances cross-disciplinary and impact-generating knowledge in our specialist regions of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East, as well as their diasporas.
The Department of Anthropology and Sociology is at the heart of national and international knowledge networks, both ethnographic and regional. Our staff has unrivalled expertise on Asia, Africa, the Near and Middle East, their global interconnections, and their diasporas. We are involved in partnerships across disciplines and with other stakeholders (including international development organisations, health practitioners, parliamentarians, artists, curators, and filmmakers). We are an engaged community of researchers who have diversified our modes of ethnographic representation via film (such as The Call Centre and Surveywale), creative arts and performance.
Our research has long-lasting impact, particularly addressing inequality, injustice, and human vulnerability. We share a strong SOAS tradition of practice-orientated work, applied to a number of themes, or clusters.
In addition, colleagues work on a variety of other key themes such as science and technology studies; gender; the anthropology of personhood; caste and class; and uncertainty, precarity, and future-making.
What binds our research is that we lead the way in exploring the big issues of our time.
PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, and research associates are a vital part of our research community. As part of our PhD training, we offer pre-fieldwork and writing-up seminars, drawing on the expertise of staff readers while fostering peer exchange, and our ‘professionalisation’ seminar series addresses career-development needs.
We encourage PhD students and post-doctoral fellows to co-organise research events with staff in the department. We run a weekly departmental seminar series, which is open to the public, and our Centres run their own outward-facing research seminars.