The ASA is the professional association for social anthropology. It was founded in 1946 to promote the study and teaching of anthropology and to uphold the interests and status of the discipline, primarily in the UK, but also extending to the Commonwealth, where it works collaboratively with fellow anthropology associations. The ASA’s major role is to assist its members in planning and conducting research, and to represent social anthropology and anthropologists in the academy, and in relation to policy and funding.
The ASA maintains a searchable directory of members, which is in effect a register of professional social anthropologists. It publishes the annual ASA monograph; the peer-reviewed open access journal ASAonline and the Firth lectures. It supports the communication of social anthropology in various social media.
For more details about the ASA’s activities, past and present, please click here.
ASA supports anthropologists in Western Australia
The ASA was extremely concerned to hear of proposals by the University of Western Australia to close its department of Anthropology and Sociology. The department has a long and illustrious history, having played a major role in defending aboriginal land rights and with a wealth of scholarship on native title and intercultural relations. It also threatens the journal Anthropological Forum, which is edited from the department. The department delivers undergraduate degrees, and contributes to migration and refugee studies, environment and media amongst others. Its research output is rated at ‘above world standard’, in a department of only 8 full time academic staff. Professor David Trigger describes the proposals as ‘appalling’ and ‘contrary to the remit of the University’, risking the appearance of bias against the social sciences and humanities. The ASA agrees. In addition, at a moment when universities around the world are working to decolonise their curricula, the abolition of a subject that promotes intercultural understanding, critical reflection and historiographic research suggests that UWA has not understood the importance of this task. We urge the university authorities to think again, and to think better. Read further information and access the petition.
ASA supports Brazilian anthropologists in calling on their Govt to stop harming native people
The ASA has written to members of the Brazilian Government to object in the strongest terms to proposed law PL490/2007. This law, and particularly its ‘time limit’ proposal, endangers the lives of countless indigenous Brazilians and undermines the remaining integrity of the Amazon basin. Anthropologists working with indigenous peoples believe this proposed law is unconstitutional, and there is clear evidence that it will incentivise violence, racism and the dehumanisation of indigenous people in Brazil. The proposed law will jeopardise the livelihoods of indigenous people and threatens the socio-environmental systems that they steward. It casts Brazil further into the realm of ‘pariah nation’, and attracts the condemnation of people around the globe.
We support the Associação Brasileira de Antropologia in calling on the Brazilian government to stop initiatives that will harm native people and their land, and which represent a clear attack on the 1988 Federal Constitution. See also this site.
Anthropology of Britain network has new convenors
Katharine Tyler and Cate Degnen have stepped down after more than a decade running the Anthropology of Britain Network, which they established. They have handed over the reins to Dr Celia Plender, an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Exeter and Jessica Fagin, who is a PhD student in the same department. If interested in contributing to the network please do get in touch with them via the site.
ASA event postponed
Due to the international Covid situation, we are sorry that we have had to postpone our plans for an event focused on the decolonisation agenda this summer. We will share our plans for a rescheduled event at the first possible opportunity.
ASA2021. Online, 29 March - 2 April 2021
Online, 29 March - 2 April 2021
The ASA 2021 conference took place online hosted by the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. View the programme..#ASAResponsibility
ASA protests cuts to the UK Overseas Development Aid budget
The ASA is appalled to see ongoing collaborative research and development projects threatened by cuts to the UK Overseas Development Aid budget. GCRF and Innovate UK funded projects have been a vitally important means for UK based researchers to work with international partners to promote sustainable and just transformations around the world, often based on many years building trust and cooperation. To have the rug pulled out from ongoing projects, where benefits have been promised to partners over several years, represents an egregious betrayal of trust. It threatens to destroy the reputation of UK researchers as well as the UK government for years to come.
We call on the government to reverse these cuts immediately.
Social anthropology student detained without charge in Egypt
The ASA is deeply concerned by the detention without charge of Mr Ahmed Samir Abd El-Hai Ali, a Sociology and Social Anthropology Masters student at Central European University, Vienna, by Egyptian security services in Cairo. A letter has been sent to the Egyptian authorities signed by the Chair, along with the Presidents of EASA and AAA.Read the full joint statement.
A new issue of
Anthropology Matters has been published. Editors: Ana Chirițoiu and Phaedra Douzina-Bakalaki.
Contributors: Flora Mary Bartlett, Malte Gembus, Wai Lok Ng, Deirdre Patterson, Aneka Brunßen, Hayden Cooper, Cristina Douglas, Emilia Groupp.
Statement on racism by the committee of the ASA
The ASA Committee believes that anthropologists today, like the vast majority of scholars in social science, the humanities and the natural sciences, think that racism, as a means of producing and reproducing inequality based on ideas about racial difference, is morally wrong and that...Read the full statement.
ASA Ethical Guidelines (EGG) Review
In the fall of 2019, the ASA Ethics Guidelines Working Group circulated a survey soliciting members' feedback on their experiences of institutional ethics review. 87 respondents completed the survey and a summary of the results is now available here.
We thank those who took the time to fill in the survey - your feedback has been invaluable in determining the direction of the future activities of the Working Group.
Prof Kirsty Bell (University of Roehampton)
Prof Garry Marvin (University of Roehampton)
Dr Lucy Pickering (University of Glasgow)
Prof Jude Robinson (University of Glasgow, (ASA Ethics Officer and EGG Chair))
Dr Heike Schaumberg (University of Reading)
Prof David Zeitlyn (University of Oxford)
If you have any queries about the work of EGG, please contact Jude Robinson at ethics(at)theasa.org.
The ASA considers individual requests for financial assistance by members to support activities that will further the aims of the ASA and professional anthropology in the UK. The maximum amount that any applicant can apply for is £100. Read more.
The ASA is a member of the World Council of Anthropological Associations.