We are pleased to announce the launch of the Being Human Show podcast.

This podcast brings together anthropologists from different areas of the discipline in conversation about issues of public interest. In each episode a panel of anthropology experts speak about one central topic from different angles. This podcast is produced by Jennifer Cearns and Laura Haapio-Kirk, and is supported by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.

The podcast is available on Spotify here https://open.spotify.com/show/3L8S0oqLsTOwYe5QQOVybf?si=EOJpp7EvS7WpEEuEUh2A_g

The RAI is delighted to announce that its President, Professor Dame Sue Black, DBE FBA FRSE FRCP, has been elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/news/british-academy-welcomes-86-new-fellows-across-humanities-and-social-sciences/

Announcing the 2020 Photographic Studies Award: Prof Darren Newbury

The RAI Photography Committee are pleased to announce that the Fourth Photography Studies Award has been given to Prof Darren Newbury. The Prize is awarded by the RAI Council to recognize a distinguished contribution to the study of anthropology and photography. As a Professor of Photographic History at the University of Brighton, Prof Newbury has, over the past twenty years, developed a body of work exploring the practice and meaning of photography in South Africa. Whilst not an anthropologist by training, he has collaborated with numerous anthropologists and collections, and his work has had a lasting influence on anthropological understandings of the social role of photography and the ethnography of visual culture in South Africa, as well as the development of an important curatorial practice, with important exhibitions held at the Pitt Rivers Museum and the District Six Museum in Cape Town. Influential volumes include Defiant Images: Photography and Apartheid South Africa (2009), a major monograph on photography during the apartheid period and its place in post-apartheid memorialisation; and The African Photographic Archive: Research and Curatorial Strategies (2015), co-edited with Christopher Morton, a volume exploring new methodological approaches to researching and curating the photographic archive, in addition to its specifically African concerns; and a new volume, Women and Photography in Africa: Creative Practices and Feminist Challenges, co-edited with Lorena Rizzo and Kylie Thomas, is due to be published later this year.

The RAI is delighted to announce the appointment of a new editorial team for the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute following the conclusion of the present editor, Dr Liz Hallam’s highly successful term of office. The joint editors for the next four years are as follows:

Dr Hannah Knox, Associate Professor of Anthropology, UCL.
Dr Adam Reed, Reader in Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews.
Dr Chika Watanabe, Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester
Dr Thomas Yarrow, Associate Professor in Social Anthropology, Anthropology, Durham University.

The new editors will begin officially on 1st October 2020. Though one person on the team will take the lead in any one year, they will work together throughout.

We take this opportunity to thank the outgoing editor, and to wish her successors a successful tenure.

RAI Film Festival 2021

The RAI Film Festival will take place 25-28 March 2021.

Please note that due to the ongoing uncertainty about COVID-19 the RAI Film Festival 2021 and the conference will take place online.

Accepting film submissions now:
calling for short, mid- and feature length documentaries, ethnographic/anthropological films, student films. Open to all. Waivers available.

Early Bird deadline: 31 March 2020
Regular deadline: 15 August 2020
Late deadline: 15 September 2020

Notification date: 11 January 2021

Please submit via the website here.

With great sadness, because of the ongoing situation with regard to the COVID-19, we will be closing the institute’s building on Monday 16 March 2020 indefinitely. All in person events until 1 September 2020 are postponed or cancelled. The RAI’s staff will be continuing to work as usual remotely.

We hope very much that our large conference ‘Anthropology and Geography’ can be reconvened for June 2022, and will discuss this possibility with our partners: SOAS, the BM, RGS and the British Academy.

The Royal Anthropological Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Cearns and Laura Haapio-Kirk as Leach/RAI Fellows in Public Anthropology for 2020.

This is a new Fellowship, supported by the Esperanza Trust, intended to improve the profile of anthropology in public debate. Despite the potential of anthropologists to make vital contributions, politicians and the press are much more likely to consult economists, psychologists and a variety of other specialists. This Fellowship intends to amplify the voice of anthropologists in public arenas on topical issues such as climate change, migration, and global health, through a variety of media and events.

Twilight Zone Anthropology. Voices from Poland Edited by Michal Buchowski. 2019. RAI/Sean Kingston Publishing. Vol. 2 of the RAI Country Series (Series editor David Shankland). Hardback, ISBN 978-1-912385-06-5, £60.00 (GBP), $35.00 (USD).

Paperback offer for RAI Fellows £20 (including P&P) obtainable directly from admin@therai.org.uk.

We are very pleased to announce the publication of Twilight Zone Anthropology: Voices from Poland (RAI/Sean Kingston Publishing 2019), edited by Michał Buchowski. This is the second volume resulting from the RAI’s Country Series, whereby we invite colleagues to describe the development and comparative breadth of anthropology in their country. So far, we have held celebrations of anthropology in France, Poland, Norway, Austria and – the most recent – Brazil. We hope that Norway and Austria will be published soon, whilst Brazil is in preparation.

Treasures from the RAI’s photo archive have been featured in The Guardian online. The photo essay – part of The Guardian’s ‘In Pictures’ series – includes some of the remarkable physical type portraits taken by Northcote Thomas in Nigeria and Sierra Leone in the early twentieth century.

Thomas was an Assistant Secretary of the RAI and subsequently serves on its Council. He was also the first Government Anthropologist to be appointed by the British Colonial Office. In this capacity he conducted a series of anthropological surveys in what were then the protectorates of Southern Nigeria and Sierra Leone. During the surveys, Thomas took thousands of photographs, made hundreds of sound recordings and assembled large collections of artefacts and botanical specimens. The RAI holds the original glass plate negatives of Thomas’s photographs and is a partner in the AHRC-funded Museum Affordances / [Re:]Entanglements project that is investigating the ‘archival legacies’ of Thomas’s surveys.

RAI Honours and Awards

Huxley Memorial Medal and Lecture: Professor Steve Shennan (UCL) for his very great contribution to cross-disciplinary studies between pre-history, archaeology and anthropology.

On 1st and 2nd May 2019 the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, the Learned Society of Wales, the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, and the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods co-organised a syposium on anthropology in Wales, hosted by WISERD at Cardiff University.

Social Anthropologies of the Welsh: Past and Present examined the development of social anthropology in Wales from the perspectives of both national scholarship and international engagement. The event brought together academics and those with an interest in Welsh history, the origins and development of contemporary Wales, and community studies.

A report on the event can be found on WISERD's website in Welsh and English.

Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard

At the RAI, we recently held a memorial event on the life and works of Evans-Pritchard. This was a great success, and our recent President André Singer is now editing the proceedings from it.

DUNBAR’S NUMBER

Edited by David Shankland, Director, RAI

Sean Kingston: RAI Occasional Publication Number 45

By special arrangement with the publishers, paperback copies are available privately to Fellows at the reduced price of £15 +£2.50 post and packing (where it needs to be sent). Please write to admin@therai.org.uk if any fellow would like one, or more copies.

Leading forensic scientist, Professor Dame Sue Black has been appointed President of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI) - the world's longest-established scholarly association dedicated to the promotion of the study of humankind.

It was agreed at the meeting of the Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute on 11 June 2015 that the title of Director Emeritus/Emerita should be conferred on our former directors Mr Jonathan Benthall and Mrs Hilary Callan.

The Anthropology and the Environment Committee of the RAI have put together a list of anthropologists who are interested in environmental issues.  This list is a resource for other anthropologists and for those outside anthropology looking for a particular expertise.

The list can be consulted here.

Anthropology & Photography is a new open-access publication series edited by the RAI Photography Committee. Emerging from the international conference of the same name organized by the RAI at the British Museum in 2014, the series will highlight and make available to the widest possible audience the best new work in the field.

We are eager to solicit new contributions from anthropologists and practitioners which could be visual, textual, or somewhere in between.

50 Years of Anthropology

The results of a British Academy funded project.  You can see the full report here.

The nature of the Index means that many of the articles we incorporate would be difficult to find via other means such as through Google Scholar or similar search engines, so in many ways the AIO gives a clear and the most complete picture we can hope for of what anthropologists have been discovering for the last 50 years.

The RAI is delighted to announce that its Director, Dr David Shankland, has been made an Honorary Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University College London.