skip to content

Department of Social Anthropology


The Open Encyclopedia of Anthropology (OEA) was officially launched in January 2023. The Anthropology Department of the University of Cambridge had initially developed this online open-access resource as the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology, growing its audience to over half a million readers and attracting world class authors and reviewers for it. We are very excited to see the new directions this wonderful initiative takes.

The encyclopedia quickly became popular among researchers, teachers and students across high-and low-income countries. It began to feature on reading lists of universities around the world and it was picked up by media outlets like BBC Radio 4. So in late 2022 we decided to take the next step of growing this publication into a multi-departmental effort. 

The new OEA is run by academics from around the globe, including three new editors, an extended Editorial Board and a new Advisory Board. It continues to publish introductory overviews of anthropology's contributions to topics of public interest, such as Intellectual Disability, Buddhism, Farming or Money. Entries continue to be written and peer-reviewed by academic experts, making the OEA one of the most reliable resources for anthropological knowledge on the web. The OEA will continue to grow over the coming years, thanks to funding from Open Knowledge Press and Knowledge Unlatched. Just as in previous years, all entries will remain free of charge for authors and readers. We look forward to growing our audience over the years to come and to showcase anthropology’s growing academic and societal importance. As our entries on Climate Change or the Anthropocene illustrate, anthropology is now more relevant than ever to deal with society’s most pressing challenges and to make sense of our lives.