skip to content

Department of Social Anthropology


 Love, Marriage & Polygamy in Contemporary Malaysia

 Image:“Halal” Intimacy: Love, Marriage & Polygamy in Contemporary Malaysia', Nurul Huda Mohd Razif 

On this page:

Key Contact People

Staff Office Hours


Track and Paper Registration


Essays and Examinations


Student Wellbeing

Teaching and Content Warnings

Student Complaint and Appeal Procedure

After the Undergraduate Degree


Key Contact People

For any Department related questions, concerns or suggestions, please see below:

The Director of Undergraduate Education, and chairman of the Department's Undergraduate Education Committee, is Dr Matei Candea ()

The Head of Department is Dr Sian Lazar (

Any administrative questions can be addressed to the Undergraduate Administrator on 

The Paper Coordinators can be found here.

Part IIA and IIB Social Anthropology Student members are available here.

For College-related issues, you should consult your Director of Studies or Tutor.


Academic Staff Office Hours

Please contact lecturers via email to make an appointment.

Staff Name

   Arrangements Contact via
Dr Ignacia Arteage   appointment by email
Dr Andrew Sanchez   appointment by email
Dr Perveez Mody   on sabbatical until Easter 2022
Dr Kelly Fagan-Robinson   appointment by email
Professor James Laidlaw   on sabbatical
Dr Yael Navaro   appointment by email
Dr Sian Lazar   appointment by email
Prof David Sneath   appointment by email
Dr Rupert Stasch   appointment by email
Dr Beth Turk   appointment by email
Prof Joel Robbins   appointment by email
Dr Anita Herle     appointment by email

Dr Tom White   appointment by email


Dr Matei Candea   appointment by email

Prof Harri England   appointment by email
Camille Lardy   appointment by email

  Natalie Morningstar    appointment by email, 
  Joe Ellis                            appointment by email                  


Part II Handbook for Social Anthropology 2021-22 - to follow shortly.

Dates for your diary and dissertation deadlines: Part IIA and Part IIB.


Registering on a Track and Paper Options

Part IIA and Part IIB students should register for their single or joint-track and desired papers at the Options Session during the Part I and Part IIA years respectively. For further information and the relevant forms please see the following links:

  Options Registration Guide to Papers Available For Questions Options Submission Deadline
Going into Part IIA in 2020-21 Online Registration System Part IIA Options Guide 21 May 2021
Going into Part IIB in 2020-21

Online Registration System

Part IIB Options Guide 21 May 2021

If you have any questions regarding IIA or IIB registration, please contact your Director of Studies in the first instance for advice and guidance.



The timetables for Social Anthropology lectures are available on our Timetables page. Please consult the timetables regularly, as any changes will be updated on the online timetable.


Supervision and Arrangements

1. Responsibilities, troubleshooting and feedback

In Cambridge, lectures and seminar teaching are the responsibility of the Faculties or Departments, and supervisions are the responsibility of the Colleges. All students have a Director of Studies in their College, and it is the responsibility of the Director of Studies to oversee the supervision arrangements for each of the papers taken by their students. Directors of Studies are, in turn, overseen by the Senior Tutor of each college, who has overall responsibility for the education and welfare of students.

Supervisions for all “SAN” Social Anthropology Papers are organised by Directors of Studies (DoSes) – the Department provides a list of recommended supervisors for each paper for DoS’s benefit, but DoSes are free to choose supervisors on or off this list. The Director of Undergraduate Education in Social Anthropology, (, can help Directors of Studies in finding supervisors and advise them on issues relating to supervision and supervisors more broadly.

Any queries or concerns relating to supervisions should be addressed by students to their Director of Studies. If your Director of Studies is struggling to resolve an issue with SAN supervision, they should contact the Director of Undergraduate Education in Social Anthropology, (, who can help advise on the issue. Students should also feel free to approach the Director of Undergraduate Education for advice if such issues arise.

2. Advice on arrangements, amount and timing of supervisions

In Social Anthropology, students are normally supervised by one supervisor across each paper, covering a range of topics and essay questions. This allows the supervisor to guide the students through the range of anthropological materials they encounter in lectures and their supervision work, ensuring continuity and a sense of coherence in students' engagement with a paper's broad concerns and themes. There may however be good reasons for DoSes to change this convention in order to adapt to the needs and interests of particular students.

Experience shows that it is desirable for Directors of Studies to arrange for immediate contact between students and their supervisors at the beginning of term, to prevent students from falling behind and avoid unnecessary bunching of essays at the end of the term. In order to enable this, we advise students that towards the end of Easter term, they should give their Director of Studies an indication of what papers they hope to take in the subsequent year, as this allows Directors of Studies to begin to make provisional supervision arrangements for their students during the summer, so that students can hit the ground running in week one of Michaelmas.

If a student is uncertain about who is supervising them or has not heard from a supervisor for a Social Anthropology paper by the end of the first week of Full Term, they should immediately contact their Director of Studies. If they still have not heard from a supervisor by the second week of full term, students should again contact their Director of Studies, copying in the Director of Undergraduate Education in Social Anthropology ( (For every lecture series, lecturers in Social Anthropology try to provide sample supervision questions and readings so that students are able if need be to get started independently on supervision work as soon as the lectures begin. This is an emergency measure however and it is by far preferable for students to start under the guidance of their supervisors.)

Students should expect to receive approximately three supervisions a term for each core paper, and two supervisions a term for each optional paper. However, some students may benefit from more supervisions than this and others fewer – DoSes in consultation with supervisors and students should adapt the workload to suit the needs and interests of individual students. Revision supervisions are often provided at the discretion of the Director of Studies and supervisors during the Easter Term. Please note: There are no supervisions for SAN4 (the Ethnographic Area Papers) because they are taught by seminar discussion, with students preparing seminar presentations instead of supervision essays through the course of the year. Course Coordinators for SAN4 papers will be on hand to guide students through this process and help Directors of Studies with any queries.

Essays and Examinations

For information on essays and examinations, including the HSPS Part II marking and classing criteria, the essay writing guide and information on the correct use of ethnographic materials, please see Essays and Exams.

For all University information please read the University Guide to the Examinations.  Please note all students should contact their Director of Studies at their college to register for examinations.

Information on the HSPS Faculty Data Retention Policy.



Online meetings

Please see our online meetings policy here.

Plagiarism Information

Recording Lectures

With the increase of recordings of teaching and learning materials, the University has introduced a Policy governing the creation, usage and management of these materials.  Please see to download the Policy on Recordings of Teaching Materials/Lectures, and other Teaching, Learning and Assessment Activities.  This policy is introduced with effect from Monday, 5 October 2020.  

Where teaching sessions are recorded, you will be provided with access to the recording, which you may use only for your own private study or non-commercial research.  Access to recordings will be managed by your course and may be of time-limited duration.  You may not share or disseminate the recording or material from it, including excerpts, in any format or media.  Breaches may be subject to disciplinary action. 

Please see for further details.

Please also note the Clarifying statement by the University: "Teaching in the academic year 2020-21 will be delivered by a blend of in-person and online teaching. The balance of the blend will depend on the stringency of social distancing and other regulations in force at the time.  Lectures, defined as large-scale, non-participatory sessions, will all normally be delivered online.  Where possible, teaching by seminars, practicals, supervisions or other interactive formats will be delivered in person, and it may even be possible for lectures to smaller groups to be given on this basis.  While we wish to encourage in-person teaching wherever possible, no member of staff will be compelled to participate in such teaching if they have concerns about their health and wellbeing.  If large-scale lecturing in person becomes permissible, the university will reintroduce it as soon as possible. 

Whether delivered in-person or online, for this academic year only it is expected that all lectures will be recorded.  Exceptions will be permitted where the content of the session would risk the safety or security of students or staff.  Lectures are only one part of the rich education that Cambridge offers, and at this time there is no requirement to record other types of sessions; however, lecturers should be mindful that any students unable to attend in-person sessions are provided with appropriate alternatives to engage with the intended learning outcomes."


Health and Safety


Teaching and Content Warnings 

Social Anthropology encompasses the study of all aspects of human social life. Many of these are positive, and studying them can be a cheering and enlivening experience, but others of course are negative. So the discipline rightly seeks to address ethnographically and develop our understanding of a range of difficult phenomena including conflict and war, illness and disease, poverty, exploitation, oppression, abuse, and suffering in various forms. 

As responsible adults, students may need to exercise discretion in reading texts that deal with these matters, especially if they have personal experiences of any of these states of affairs. Of course, academic study can be empowering in relation to such experiences, so it would be a mistake to assume that material relating to one's personal experiences, even where those have been negative, should be avoided. In many cases, anthropologists and other social scientists are motivated to study difficult subjects precisely because they have such experience. That process can be challenging as well as rewarding. 

It would not be possible, even were it desirable, for the Department to anticipate which specific subjects might be personally difficult for some particular students. And the Department does not issue so-called 'trigger warnings' about specific academic materials. If individual students have concerns about their own reactions to specific thematic content, then in addition to exercising their own discretion (specific individual readings are virtually never absolutely required, and alternative topics and readings are generally available) they are encouraged to consult their supervisor, Director of Studies, or Tutor in confidence. 


Student Complaint and Appeal Procedure


Where a student is dissatisfied with any provision, action or inaction by the University, students are able to raise a complaint. Students are expected to initially raise a complaint with a suitable member of staff within the Department of Social Anthropology. In the first instance, this will be Dorothy Searle (Departmental Administrator), (Director of Undergraduate Education) or Dr Rupert Stasch (Director of Graduate Education).  However, where the matter is serious or where students remain dissatisfied, a complaint can be made through the complaints process available at central University level. Complaints need to be raised in a timely way and within 28 days to ensure an effective remedy can be put in place. The University complaints procedure is detailed on the Student Complaints website  [] and involves filing a formal complaint.


Mark Checks

Students may request a mark check for up to 28 days following the publication of their examination results by contacting their College Tutor who will approach the Department on their behalf to check the following:

  • check that they have been marked on all their answers and ensure all of their answer booklets etc have been marked by the assessors or examiners
  • check that their marks on individual scripts and other assessed work have been correctly recorded
  • check that any reasonable adjustments relating to Specific Learning Difficulties and the marking of their scripts and any other assessed work have been put in place.


After the Undergraduate Degree

If you are interested in taking your studies further, you should seek the advice of your supervisors and Director of Studies. You might wish to supplement your Social Anthropology with one of our specialist Master’s courses (MPhil in Social Anthropology, MPhil in Social Anthropological Research or the MPhil in HMS or the MRes).  Alternatively if you think about going on to professional training and fieldwork at PhD level (PhD). In either case, applications for places (at Cambridge or other universities) and for grants usually have to be made in the Michaelmas term in the academic year preceeding admission.

The Postgraduate Studies Prospectus is available on the Postgraduate Admissions website. The prospectus covers all postgraduate courses offered at Cambridge and incorporates all necessary documentation including graduate application and reference forms.

The Cambridge University Careers Service provides careers education, information and guidance to students and alumni of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge students, alumni and staff should register with the Careers Service for complete access to their services and website.

Information on upcoming vacancies, scholarships and funds are also posted on the noticeboards in the Common Room of the Social Anthropology building.