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Department of Social Anthropology


Anthropology Beyond the Academy Seminar with Dr Ming-Tsung Lee

Inside Out — A Journey of an Unconventional Anthropologist

It turns out that a career in anthropology does not have to be in an academic institution. Fifteen years ago, when I finished my PhD in anthropology at Cambridge, I could never have imagined this. I got my university teaching job immediately after graduation, and I assumed that having started as an assistant professor I would eventually retire as a professor, some time far in the future. And everyone else seemed to assume that too. However, life is full of surprises. I quit my academic job in 2018 and then launched a “culture lab” (actually a small company) named Searchlight to practice anthropology in non-academic settings. In this talk, I will share my miscellaneous experiences of applying anthropological knowledge and methodologies with people working in various professions outside academia. With my team, I have worked to carry out a range of innovative projects: books, magazines, curations, cultural festivals, lecture performances, documentaries and TV programmes. This has been an unconventional journey, doing new and creative things with anthropological ideas and with a range of people ‘beyond the academy’.


To register for this event please email Jenny Broadway

Thursday, 18 February, 2021 - 14:30 to 16:00
Event location: 
Online - Zoom