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Research

We believe that the best research is done when individuals are following their intellectual passions. The result is that Social Anthropology, Cambridge, is home to a startling diversity of research interests, creating a vibrant and exciting intellectual environment in which both researchers and students can thrive.

Cambridge anthropologists have always been at the forefront of academic debate. As anthropology emerged as a major intellectual force, it was Cambridge anthropologists such as Meyer Fortes and Edmund Leach who pioneered innovations in the study of kinship, political systems and symbolism. More recently, Marilyn Strathern’s tenure as William Wyse Professor reshaped the discipline by developing new approaches to knowledge, relationality, and ethnographic description. Social Anthropology, Cambridge, is now world-renowned for its path-breaking work on topics such as new reproductive technologies, post-socialist transformations, the rule of law, and ethics. Our current members are also considered amongst the most sophisticated and original contributors to debates on long-standing anthropological concerns, including the state, ritual, colonialism, and gender.

Today, Social Anthropology is a place where these interests continue to be developed and refined from a wide variety of regional and theoretical perspectives. We are also actively developing new anthropological approaches to some of the most pressing intellectual and political issues of the day – from climate change and conflict resolution to new forms of virtue, happiness and intimacy.

Please note: if you would like to conduct post-doctoral research here, please contact both the prospective academic mentor/PI and our Research Grants Administrator (Madeline Watt, mmw23@cam.ac.uk) with plenty of time before your deadline. This will enable the application to go through relevant approval processes.