ASA18: Sociality, matter, and the imagination: re-creating Anthropology

18-21 September 2018, Examination Schools, University of Oxford

The Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth’s 2018 conference will be jointly hosted by the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME) of the University of Oxford, including the Pitt Rivers Museum, and the Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University. It will take place in Oxford, based in and around the Examination Schools, the High Street, Oxford, on 18–21 September 2018.

The Calls for Papers and Labs are now closed. The calls brought in 745 paper proposals and 19 labs. Convenors will mark up papers and labs by May 2nd; the transfer process will then follow. The panel timetable will be published on June 6th when the Early Bird registration opens. Please read about the registration process and the likely registration fees here.

ASA18 largeThe conference invites participants from all areas of anthropology and archaeology, aiming to encourage debate as widely as possible, across socio-cultural, material, visual, biological, forensic, cognitive, evolutionary, and linguistic fields. It also welcomes participants from anthropology, archaeology, and museum studies associations, and will provide a forum to take forward the ASA's proposal to attempt to undertake social anthropology in a more explicitly interdisciplinary way - one aspect of which might be the formation of a UK Anthropology Network (UKAN).

Confirmed keynote and semi-plenary speakers include Melissa Leach (IDS, Sussex), Caitlin DeSilvey (Exeter), Mike Rowlands (UCL), Anna Grimshaw(Emory), Alessandro Duranti (UCLA), and Rita Astuti (LSE). There will also be a debate on evolution and morality featuring Oliver Scott Curry (Oxford), Mark Alfano (Delft University of Technology, Australian Catholic University), Soumhya Venkatesan (Manchester), and Jo Cook (UCL). Ian Hodder (Stanford) will deliver the Firth Lecture on 'The Paradox of the Long Term: Human Evolution and Entanglement'. Rita Astuti will deliver the closing keynote on 21 September.
To read the keynote abstracts, click here.

In addition to conference papers, participants from all fields of anthropology are encouraged to present work in a range of media including film, sound, performance, photography, and drawing. We also aim to include exhibitions, laboratories, and other experimental formats in the Pitt Rivers Museum and elsewhere. Contributions to the conference will be organised according to the four themes outlined here.

Organising committee

Jason Danely, Senior Lecturer in the Anthropology of Japan, Oxford Brookes University
David Gellner, Professor of Social Anthropology, Head of Department, SAME (Chair)
Chris Gosden, Professor of European Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford
Elizabeth Hallam, Research Associate, SAME, and Editor of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Clare Harris, Professor of Visual Anthropology, SAME; and Curator for Asian Collections, Pitt Rivers Museum
Dan Hicks, Associate Professor in the School of Archaeology and Curator of Archaeology, Pitt Rivers Museum
Catherine Hill, Professor of Anthropology, Oxford Brookes University
Jeremy MacClancy, Professor of Anthropology, Oxford Brookes University
Laura Rival, Professor of Anthropology of Development, Oxford Department of International Development
Ramon Sarró, Associate Professor in the Social Anthropology of Africa, SAME
David Zeitlyn, Professor of Social Anthropology, SAME


Direct any enquiries to conference(at)