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.

Jennifer Cearns (@JenniferCearns) is in the final stages of completing her PhD in Anthropology at UCL, where her research addresses networks of material and digital circulation between socialist Cuba and its capitalist diasporas. She is also a professional soprano, and has previously worked in the diplomatic service and as a translator. Alongside the Leach Fellowship, she is spending the rest of this year working on her first monograph.

Laura Haapio-Kirk (@LauraLHK) is a PhD student at UCL Anthropology, researching ageing, health, and mobile phones in Japan. Prior to starting her PhD Laura was a public engagement officer on the ERC-funded ‘Why We Post’ project at UCL Anthropology. Laura’s training in visual anthropology informs her ethnographic approach combining participant observation with drawing and film. In addition to her writing her PhD she is also working on an illustrated book about her research.

Keep an eye on the RAI website and social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) over the course of the year to follow Jennifer and Laura’s endeavours to promote anthropology and anthropologists in public arenas!