SOAS University of London

SOAS Food Studies Centre


Advisory Committee Members

Professor William Gervase Clarence-Smith, Dr Deborah Johnston, Ms Celia Plender (Research Student Member), Professor Peter Jackson (external, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield), Dr Polly Russell (external, Food Collections Curator, British Library)


For a list of members, see Academic Staff below.

Associate Members

Associate members of the Centre include more than 600 SOAS students and alumni, academics and students at other institutions, policymakers, independent scholars and journalists, and food producers.

Invitation to Join

Members of SOAS staff are eligible for full membership in the Centre. Applications for associate membership are accepted at the discretion of the Centre Chair from those with an academic interest in food. Requests to join should be addressed to:

Professor Nadje Al-Ali
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Nadje Al-Ali

Women & gender in the Middle East; women’s movements and feminism in Middle East; secularism and Islamism; transnational migration, diaspora mobilization; gendering violence, war and peace; history of Iraqi women; impact of sanctions, war and occupation on Iraqi women, Iraq.

Dr Annabel de Frece
Annabel de Frece

Research: development, environment, agriculture, gendered constructions, political economy and culture of food production

Professor Chris Bramall
Chris Bramall

Economic growth, income inequality, famine and agricultural development in modern China, the political economy of Maoism, The development of the contemporary Chinese empire

Professor Christopher Cramer
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Chris Cramer
Africa: economics of Africa, political economy of development, political economy of war and peace in southern Africa, and the economics of cashew production, processing and trade
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4492
  • Email:
  • Room: 288
  • On Sabbatical:Term 2 (2021/22)

Professor Philippe Cullet
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Philippe Cullet
International and domestic law and policy concerning the environment, natural resources, water, sanitation, agriculture, sustainable development, climate change, health; social rights; intellectual property; India.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4651
  • Email:
  • Room: S338
  • Academic Support Hours: Wednesday 14:00 - 16:00
Professor Catherine Dolan
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Catherine Dolan

East Africa. Corporations and capitalism, international development, moral economies, corporate social responsibility, enterprise and entrepreneurialism, inclusive markets, consumption and commodities, politics and practices of food governance, gender.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4425
  • Email:
  • Room: 567
  • Academic Support Hours: Campus: Wed 12-1pm |Online: Thu 3-5pm (link below)

Professor Ben Fine
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Ben Fine

I have been Professor of Economics at SOAS since 1992, having travelled the short distance from Birkbeck College where I was Professor of Economics, having been a founding member of the Department in 1972.

Professor Peter Flügel
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Peter Flügel

Jaina Studies; South Asian History & Culture; Anthropology & Sociology of Religion

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4776
  • Email:
  • Room: 341
  • Academic Support Hours: By email appointment only

Professor Bernhard Fuehrer
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Bernhard Fuehrer
Classical Chinese philology, rhetoric, philosophy and literature; the history of Sinology in Europe; reception of the canon with specific reference to the Analects
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4218
  • Email:
  • Room: 398
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 12-1pm
Dr Christopher Gerteis
Christopher Gerteis

Modern and Contemporary Japanese history. Social and cultural history of the 20th century, especially the intersection of consumer capitalism and historical memory.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4093
  • Email:
  • Academic Support Hours: On leave 2019-2024

Professor Laura Hammond
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Laura Hammond

Africa; Horn of Africa; refugees and forced migration; post-conflict social integration; violence and conflict analysis; humanitarianism and humanitarian assistance; globalisation, transnationalism, diasporas and remittances; famine and food security; livelihoods in emergency contexts.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4654
  • Email:
  • Room: 371
  • Academic Support Hours: By appointment only. Please email.

Professor Jane Harrigan
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Jane Harrigan
International finance for development and the economic reform programmes associated with IMF and World Bank finance to developing countries; the links between macro-economic policy and agricultural performance in sub-Saharan Africa; the gender dimensions of economic liberalisation and globalisation; and the political economy of economic reform in the Middle East and North Africa. Cross-cutting these subject areas are two geographical areas of specialisation, namely sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on Ghana and Eastern and Southern Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa.
Professor Catherine Hezser
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Catherine Hezser

Judaism in Hellenistic and Roman times; rabbinic literature; social history of Jews in late antiquity; American Jewish history and literature, Jewish identity, gender studies

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4633
  • Email:
  • Room: 335
  • Academic Support Hours: By email appointment

Dr Elizabeth Hull
Deputy Chair, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Elizabeth Hull

South Africa; economic anthropology; anthropology of the state & institutions, bureaucracy, agriculture; livelihoods; health; nutrition; politics of food systems, food acquisition and consumption practices.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4766
  • Email:
  • Room: 551
  • Academic Support Hours: By appointment

Dr Tania Kaiser
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Tania Kaiser

East Africa, particularly Uganda and Sudan, West Africa; conflict and development; forced migration; refugees; humanitarian interventions

  • Tel: 020 7898 4484
  • Email:
  • Room: 290
  • Academic Support Hours: By appointment,

Dr Jakob Klein
Chair, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Jakob Klein
China (South); anthropology of food; regional cuisines; local foods; restaurant cultures; urban Chinese society and the urban/rural divide.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4428
  • Email:
  • Room: 564
  • Academic Support Hours: See bio for details
Dr Jens Lerche
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Jens Lerche
India; labour, social movements and globalisation; labour and the ILO; labour and caste in India; agrarian political economy.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4505
  • Email:
  • Room: 295
  • Academic Support Hours: Please book:

Dr Naomi Leite
Image of Naomi Leite

Sociality, belonging, and exclusion across cultural domains and scales; identity and identification; cultural logics of kinship, relatedness, heritage, and obligation; transcultural encounter and (mis)communication (esp in tourism/travel); community, self, and wellbeing; social inequality; language and thought; psychological anthropology, person-centred ethnography, ethnographic theory & practice. 

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4407
  • Email:
  • Room: 591
  • Academic Support Hours: T10-12 (Zoom). See bio for details

Professor Peter P Mollinga
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Peter Mollinga
South Asia, Central Asia; comparative political sociology of water resources and development; technology and agrarian change; boundary work in natural resources management; interdisciplinary social theory.
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4631
  • Email:
  • Room: 4415
  • Academic Support Hours: By appointment via email
Professor Elizabeth Moore
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Elizabeth Moore
Arts of Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia cultural landscape; pre- and proto-historic Myanmar, Pyu and Mon culture; visual culture, social memory and sacred landscape

Professor David Mosse
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
David Mosse
Anthropology of mental health and psychiatry; anthropology of organisations and activism, international development, caste, Dalit rights, anthropology of Christianity, South Asian society and popular religion, environmental history and natural resources management.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4426
  • Email:
  • Room: 573
  • Academic Support Hours: See bio for details
Professor Carlos Oya
Carlos Oya
West Africa, Southern Africa, agrarian political economy; poverty; rural labour; development aid; research methods
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4566
  • Email:
  • Room: 292a
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesday 2.30pm to 4.30pm via link  

Dr Stacey Pierson
Stacey Pierson

History and production of Chinese ceramics; history and theory of collecting and display

  • Tel: 020 7898 4441
  • Email:
  • Room: 566
  • Academic Support Hours: Wednesdays, 11:00am-1:00pm

Dr Kostas Retsikas
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Kostas Retsikas
The anthropology of personhood, social theory and poststructuralism, religion (especially Islam), the anthropology of the gift and of Islamic economics, Indonesia and South East Asia.
  • Tel: 020 7898 4432
  • Email:
  • Room: 552
  • Academic Support Hours: See bio for details
  • On Sabbatical:Term 3 sabbatical

Dr Charlotte Sanders
Image of Charlotte Sanders

Migration and diaspora; feminist theory (particularly Black and decolonial); critical race theory; feminist/socialist/anarchist geographies; everyday politics; housing and homelessness; community grounded research; Sudanese in the UK.

Professor Timon Screech
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Timon Screech
History of Japanese art; Edo painting; contacts between Japan and Europe in the 18th century; history of science in Japan; the theory of art history
  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4453
  • Email:
  • Room: 565
  • Academic Support Hours: On leave (2020-2021)

Dr Subir Sinha
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Subir Sinha
South Asia; social movements; civil society; the environment; institutions; agrarian questions; Marxist and postcolonial theory; Social theory in Development studies.
  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4495
  • Email:
  • Room: 287
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 11am - 1pm

Professor Julia C Strauss
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Julia Strauss

State and society in China and Taiwan; Comparative Political Sociology; theatrical and performative dimensions of politics, interpretive methods, China-Africa, China-Latin America

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4746
  • Email:
  • Room: 207
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 11:00am - 1:00pm
Dr Kristin Surak
Kristin Surak

International migration, political sociology, nationalism, culture, state and society in Japan, qualitative methods.

Dr Jeff Waage, OBE
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Professor Jeff Waage

Food Policy. Farmer participatory research, biological alternatives to pesticides, biosecurity and management of invasive species affecting agriculture and the environment

Dr Inna Yaneva-Toraman
Inna Yaneva-Toraman

Political economy; land and landownership; politics of identity; indigenous rights; rural livelihoods and agrarian change; sustainable development; sustainable farming; food and kinship; agroecology and conservation management; Oceania, Papua New Guinea

  • Email:
  • Room: 551
  • Academic Support Hours: See bio for details

Professor Cosimo Zene
Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Cosimo Zene

Anthropology of religion, theory in the study of religions, continental philosophy, Gramsci and religion, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, minorities (Dalits), mysticism and heresy, non-Western Christianities, Mediterranean anthropology; South-Asia (India, Bangladesh), Sardinia, world philosophies.

Professorial Research Associates

Dr Sami Zubaida
Professorial Research Associate
Sami Zubaida

Sami Zubaida is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London and has held visiting positions in Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut, Aix-en-Provence, Berkeley CA, Paris and New York.  His research interests include Middle East Politics, Religion and Law, Nationalism, Food and Culture. Professor Zubaida is a regular contributor to the LMEI’s The Middle East in London magazine and has published extensively on the Middle East, most recently an article in openDemocracy on Islam and Reform.  He is also a Professorial Research Associate of the Food Studies Centre, SOAS and has published widely on food and culinary cultures including 'Drink, meals and social boundaries', in Jakob A. Klein and Anne Murcott (eds), Food Consumption in Global Perspective: Essays in the Anthropology of Food in Honour of Jack Goody (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (ed. with Richard Tapper, Tauris Parke, 2001).

Research Associates

Dr Mukta Das
Research Associate
Mukta Das

Anthropology of food; notions of food, belonging and identity; food histories and cultures of Asia; influence of minority food cultures on ordinary food of majority groups; South Asian food communities and networks in China's Pearl River Delta.

Dr Monica Janowski
Monica Janowski

SE Asia, in particular Borneo; environmental anthropology; food, particularly rice, and the use of food as an ‘ethnic marker’ in the context of migration; kinship and ‘relatedness’ through food.

Dr Nafsika Papacharalampous
Research Associate
Nafsika Papacharalampous

Anthropology of food; Urban anthropology; Human-animal relationships; Nationalism; Memory; Tradition; Cultural heritage; Embodiment; Oral histories; Multi-species ethnography; Ethnographic writing.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellows

Dr Katharina Graf
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Katerina Graf -ANT -IMG

Anthropology of food, gender, urban space, material culture, knowledge reproduction, food security, risk and uncertainty, Middle East and North Africa (especially Morocco).

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4414
  • Email:
  • Room: 569
  • Academic Support Hours: Not Applicable
  • On Sabbatical:Not Applicable

Honorary Fellows

Emeritus Staff

Professor Henry Bernstein
Professorial Research Associate
Henry Bernstein
East Africa and South Africa; sociology of development; agrarian political economy; social and political theory; food commodity chains; governance and development.
Professor Johan P J Pottier
Emeritus Professorial Research Associate, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Johan Pottier
Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo: rural development, food security, ethnic conflict, post-conflict rehabilitation