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Department of Anthropology

How to contact us

Department of Anthropology
6th Floor, Old Building
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE


Head of Department
Professor Katy Gardner


Departmental Manager
Ms Yanina Hinrichsen
+44 (0)20 7955 7202


Mr Tom Hinrichsen (Thu & Fri)
+44 (0)20 7955 6775

Administrative Officer
Ms Camilla Kennedy Harper
+44 (0)20 7107 5064

Administrative Officer
+44 (0)20 7107 5037

Administration and Communications Officer 
Ms Renata Todd
+44 (0)20 7852 3709 



General Enquiries




LSE's Anthropology Department, with a long and distinguished history, remains a leading centre for innovative research and teaching. We are committed to both maintaining and renewing the core of the discipline, and our undergraduate teaching and training of PhD students is recognised as outstanding.

Follow this link to see a short film about the Department and some of its students.

Good news!   Department of Anthropology holds top position in The Guardian's University League Table 2018.

The Inequality and Poverty Research Programme invites applications from Adivasi scholars to visit the LSE.   Please click here for further information. 



LSE Department of Anthropology ranked 4th in the world!


Our Undergraduate Department programme offers undergraduate students reading Social Anthropology or Anthropology and Law the opportunity to spend a Year Abroad in Australia, France or the USA as part of their degree. Read here to find out about how one of our current LSE Social Anthropology found the experience of Study Abroad in Australia. 

Alpa Shah BCr4 head shot
Lessons in Development.  Click here to listen to Alpa Shah on BBCr4 Four Thought on democracy, mining and tribal people.
David Graeber Head shot

Promises, Promises: A History of Debt.  Click here to listen to David Graeber's 10 part series on BBC Radio 4 where he explores the ways debt has shaped society over 5,000 years.

LSE student honoured at prestigious Chinese language competition
Angel Naydenov, undergraduate student in the Department of Anthropology, has won an award for ‘The Best Performance’ at the UK finals of the Chinese Bridge College Student Competition. The competition, which runs annually, contains a three minute speech in Mandarin, two minutes of questions on Chinese language, culture and geography, and a three minute talent show. Angel, who is from Bulgaria and studying Mandarin Language and Society Advanced Level, competed against 30 candidates from 15 universities across the UK to reach the finals, where he went up against another nine candidates. This is the second time LSE has won an award in the competition - last year Edward Knight, from the Department of International Relations, won another individual award for 'The Most Eloquent'.
Student Migration small bookcover
Chinese Student Migration, Gender and Family by Anni Kajanus follows the sons and daughters of Chinese single-child families who go abroad to study and their families; exploring the increase of familial investment in daughters' education within the wider socio-moral transformation of China. The relationships of support in the family are renegotiated, and lines of generational and gendered power are changing. While this generation of young women have been raised in an environment that fosters individual achievement and competition, they must eventually find their place in the marriage and job markets that are highly gendered. Women are directed towards less demanding career paths and are wary of becoming 'too successful' to marry. Both female and male student migrants draw from their cosmopolitan experiences and resources when negotiating these tensions. Through their individual journeys of migration, they are at the forefront of the current transformation of the Chinese symbolic markets.
Democracy as Death
The revolution that brought the African National Congress (ANC) to power in South Africa was fractured by internal conflict. In analyzing this conflict, Jason Hickel contributes to broad theoretical debates about liberalism and democratization in the postcolonial world. Democracy as Death interrogates the Western ideals of individual freedom and agency from the perspective of those who oppose such ideals, and questions the assumptions underpinning theories of anti-liberal movements. The book argues that both democracy and the political science that attempts to explain resistance to it presuppose a model of personhood native to Western capitalism, which may not operate cross-culturally.
  Money From Nothing
Money from Nothing by Deborah James explores the dynamics surrounding South Africa's national project of financial inclusion—dubbed "banking the unbanked"—which aimed to extend credit to black South Africans as a critical aspect of broad-based economic enfranchisement. The book reveals the varied ways in which middle- and working-class South Africans' access to credit is intimately bound up with identity, status-making, and aspirations of upward mobility. It draws out the precarious nature of both the aspirations and the economic relations of debt which sustain her subjects, revealing the shadowy side of indebtedness and its potential to produce new forms of oppression and disenfranchisement in place of older ones. Money from Nothing captures the lived experience of indebtedness for those many millions who attempt to improve their positions (or merely sustain existing livelihoods) in emerging economies.
Tamil Brahmans Book Covercropped
In this book, C. J. Fuller and Haripriya Narasimhan examine one particularly striking group: Tamil Brahmans—a formerly traditional, rural, high-caste elite who have transformed themselves into a new middle-class caste in India, the United States, and elsewhere.
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The Social Life of Achievement, edited by Nick Long and Henrietta Moore. This theoretically eclectic volume promises to be of interest to anyone with interests in the anthropology of education, the anthropology of neoliberalism, theories of agency and motivation, or the study of ethical life.
Elusive Promises homepage
Featuring contributions by Richard Baxstrom, Laura Bear, Åsa Boholm, John Gledhill, Deborah James, Sarah Lund, Halvard Vike, and an introduction by Simone Abram and Gisa Weszkalnys, this volume and links planning to a set of anthropological concerns regarding the state, development, entitlement, agency and the imagination.
Cover of Vital Relations
Fenella Cannell's book Vital Relations: Modernity and the Persistent Life of Kinship, published in August 2013, will be of interest to anyone who wishes to gain a different perspective on the concept of modernity itself, and on the place of kinship and 'family' in modern life.
Under a watchful eye book cover
Harry Walker’s book Under a Watchful Eye: Self, Power and Intimacy in Amazonia, published in November 2012 examines the formation of self among the Urarina, an Amazonian people of lowland Peru and raises fundamental questions about what it means to be alive, to be an experiencing subject, and to be human.
Potent Landscapes: Place and Mobility in Eastern Indonesia, by Catherine Allerton, has recently been published by the University of Hawai'i Press. Based on two years of fieldwork in rural Flores, the book situates Manggarai place-making and mobility within the larger contexts of human-environment interactions. Potent Landscapes will appeal to students and specialists of Southeast Asia and to those interested in the comparative anthropological study of place and environment.
In and out of each others bodies book cover
Maurice Bloch’s book In and Out of Each Other’s Bodies was published in November 2012. It offers an accessible introduction to fundamental human questions such as: What is human sociality? How are universals such as truth and doubt variously demonstrated and negotiated in different cultures?
Ordinary Ethics in China book cover
Ordinary Ethics in China, edited by Charles Stafford, has been published by Bloomsbury as part of the LSE Monographs on Social Anthropology series. The book includes chapters by LSE faculty and former students including Laura Bear, Hans Steinmuller, Stephan Feuchtwang, Eona Bell, James Johnston and Daniel Roberts.
Communities of Complicity book cover
Hans Steinmuller’s book Communities of Complicity: Everyday Ethics in Rural China, has been published by Berghahn Books. An ethnographic study of the village of Zhongba (in Hubei Province, central China), the book attempts to grasp the ethical reflexivity of everyday life in rural China. Drawing on descriptions of village life, interspersed with targeted theoretical analyses, Steinmuller examines how ordinary people construct their own senses of their lives and their futures in everyday activities.
Ethnographies of Doubt book cover 
Mathijs Pelkmans’ title, Ethnographies of Doubt: Faith and Uncertainty in Contemporary Societies has recently been published by I.B. Tauris. The volume contains several chapters by members and friends of the LSE Anthropology department: Alpa Shah on doubting revolutionaries; Maurice Bloch on types of shared doubt among Zafimaniry forest-dwellers; Giulia Liberatore on the doubtful belief of newly practicing Muslim women; and Mette High on doubting the cosmos in Mongolia.
Anthropology and the Cognitive Challenge book cover
In this new study: Anthropology and the Cognitive ChallengeMaurice Bloch proposes that an understanding of cognitive science enriches, rather than threatens, the work of social scientists. Arguing for a naturalist approach to social and cultural anthropology, Bloch introduces developments in cognitive sciences such as psychology and neurology and explores the relevance of these developments for central anthropological concerns: the person or the self, cosmology, kinship, memory and globalisation.
Austerity, Debt – What Alternatives? 
Wednesday 01 March 2017 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Hosted by LSE Works: Department of Anthropology
Featuring Laura Bear, Deborah James and Ryan Davey

LSE Anthropology holds many events throughout the year, ranging from the annual Malinowski Memorial Lecture to regional seminars, a weekly research seminar, and a host of conferences and workshops.  To view details of all our events, please click here

Every Friday during term time we hold a research seminar on anthropological theory between 10:30am and 12:30pm in the  Seligman Library (OLD 6.05). Follow the link (which is in red) for details of speakers, and the dates and titles of their papers. 

The Programme for Religion and Non-Religion offers a number of Forum on Religion events which are free and open to all. 

Susannah Crockford After the American dream: the political economy of spirituality in Northern Arizona, USA

Magdalena Wong Performing Masculinity in Peri-Urban China: Duty, Family, Society

Hsiao-Chiao Chiu The Island of the floating world: kinship, rituals, and political-economic change in post Cold War Jinmen

Katharine Fletcher The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood': Community, enterprise and anti-modernity among reforming evangelicals in a United States city

Agustin Diz The afterlife of abundance: wageless life, politics, and illusion among the Guarani of the Argentine Chaco

Fuad Musallam Failure and the politically possible: space, time and emotion amongst independent activists in Beirut, Lebanon
Philip Proudfoot The living dead: revolutionary subjectivity and Syrian rebel-workers in Beirut 
Natalia Buitron Arias The attraction of unity, power, knowledge and community among the Shuar of Ecuadorian Amazonia 

Juli Huang 'Do It yourself' development: ambiguity and relational work in a Bangladesh social enterprise

Meadhbh McIvor  To fulfil the law: evangelism, legal activism and public Christianity in contemporary England

Désirée Remmert Future aspirations and life choices: a comparison of young adults in urban China and Taiwan

Christopher Martin  Generations of Migration: Schooling, youth and transnationalism in the Philippines

Fernande Pool The ethical life of Muslims in secular India. Islamic reformism in West Bengal

Francesca Mezzenzana Living through forms: similarity, knowledge and gender among the Runa of Pastaza (Ecuadorian Amazon)
Andrea Pia The vanishing margin: an ethnography of rural water provisions in the environmentally degraded Chinese countryside
Amy Penfield Material morality: an ethnography of value among the Sanema of Venezuelan Amazonia

Johanna Whiteley The ancestors remain: dynamics of matrilineal continuity in West Gao, Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands

Christian Laheij A country of trial: Islamic reformism, pluralism and dispute management in Peri-Urban Northern Mozambique
Di Wu The everyday life of Chinese migrants in Zambia: emotion, stability and moral interaction

Michael Berthin Touch future x ROBOT: examining production, consumption, and disability at a social robot research laboratory and a centre for independent living in Japan

Tamara Hale Mixing and its challenges: an ethnography of race, kinship and history in a village of Afro-indigenous descent in coastal Peru

Jovan Lewis Sufferer’s market: sufferation and economic ethics in Jamaica

Mohamed Zaki And they say there aren't any gay Arabs: ambiguity and uncertainty in Cairo's underground gay scenes

Ana Gutierrez-Garza The everyday moralities of migrant women: life and labour of Latin American domestic and sex workers in London

Zorana Milicevic Children and the benefits of gender equality: negotiating traditional and modern gender expectations in a Mexican village

Sarah Grosso Extraordinary ethics: an ethnographic study of marriage and divorce in Ben Ali's Tunisia

Miranda Sheild Johansson To work is to transform the land: agricultural labour, personhood and landscape in an Andean ayllu

Anna Tuckett The ambiguities of documentation: migrants' everyday encounters with Italian immigration law

Sitna Quiroz Uria Relating as Children of God: Ruptures and Continuities in Kinship among Pentecostal Christians in the South-East of the Republic of Benin

Xiaoqian Liu The state through its mirrors: an anthropological study of a ‘Respect-the-Elderly Home’ in Rural China at the turn of the 21st century

Gustavo Barbosa Non-cockfights: on doing / undoing gender in Shatila, Lebanon

Daniela Kraemer Planting roots, making place: an ethnography of young men in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Marek Mikus What reform? Civil societies, state transformation and social antagonism in 'European Serbia'

Gus Gatmaytan Indigenous autonomy amid counter-insurgency: cultural citizenship in a Philippine frontier
Aude Michelet No longer kings: learning to be a Mongolian person in the Middle Gobi

Dina Makram Ebeid Manufacturing stability: everyday politics of work in an industrial steel town in Hulwan, Egypt

Giulia Liberatore Transforming the self: an ethnography of ethical change amongst young Somali Muslim women in London

Agnes Hann An ethnographic study of family, livelihoods and women's everyday lives in Dakar, Senegal
Matthew Wilde We shall overcome: radical populism, political morality and participatory democracy in a Venezuelan barrio

Dave Robinson Continuity, communion and the Dread: the Maori Rastafari of Ruatoria, Aotearoa - New Zealand

Yasna Singh Satnami self-assertion and Dalit activism: everyday life and caste in rural Chhattisgarh (central India)

Ruben Andersson Clandestine migration and the business of bordering Europe

Hakem al-Rustom Anatolian fragments: Armenians between Turkey and France

Michael Hoffmann  Patronage, exploitation and the invisible hand of Mao Tse Tung in an urban municipality in western Nepal

Alanna Cant Practising aesthetics: artisanal production and politics in a woodcarving village in Oaxaca, Mexico

Daniel Roberts The family in changing China: a local history of kinship in rural Zhejiang province

Cathrine Furberg Moe Peripheral nationhood: being Israeli in Kiryat Shemona

Denis Regnier Why not marry them?: history, essentialism and the condition of slave descendants among the southern Betsileo (Madagascar)

Luca Pes Building political relations: cooperation, segmentation and government in Bancoumana (Mali)

Tom Boylston The shade of the divine: Approaching the sacred in an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian community

Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga Cementing modernisation: Transnational markets language and labour tension in a Soviet-era factory in Moldova

Kimberly Chong The work of financialisation: An ethnography of a global management consultancy in a post-Mao China

I-Chieh Fang Growing up and becoming independent: an ethnographic study of new generation migrant workers in China

Eona Bell An anthropological study of ethnicity and the reproduction of culture among Hong Kong Chinese families in Scotland

aerial shot LSE campus
LSE Works 238x105px V2_promo box

Austerity, Debt - What Alternatives? 
Featuring Laura Bear, Deborah James and Ryan Davey

The Podcast is now available.  Click here to access it.

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