Development

The University of Oxford is a leading international centre for anthropological teaching and research. The School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography has a wide ranging and topical research portfolio and runs teaching programmes at both undergraduate and graduate level. The school consists of major research clusters: Social Anthropology; Visual and Material Culture; Medical and Ecological Anthropology; Migration and Society; Science and Technology Studies; and Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology.

Additional funding in this field would enable us to continue to: attract the best and brightest students; attract and retain prominent academics ensuring stability and a continuation of our work; and to fund development of vital infrastructure and resources.

In addition to funding for posts the School has identified scholarships as a development priority.

The Professorship in Science and Civilization is Oxford’s foremost academic post in the study of the social implications of scientific and technological change. The post-holder leads the University’s research efforts on the social and cultural transformations brought about by contemporary science and technology, and informs key policy debates on the governance of innovation. The Chair in Science and Civilization is a senior member of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography and of the Oxford Martin School.

The pace and intensity of scientific advance and rapid social and environmental change are together throwing up both unanticipated risks and unexpected opportunities across a range of economic, social, and cultural domains. Contemporary science and technology are revealing new connections between disparate regions and cultures, at the same time as they create new fractures and divisions. The social sciences, and anthropology in particular, have a unique and vital contribution to make in discussions about the causes, trajectories, and consequences of these transformations, which are so important for the future of humanity.

The University of Oxford is home to a thriving community of researchers and students investigating these transformations. Since the establishment in 2003 of the Chair in Science and Civilization, its holder, Steve Rayner, has been a leading voice in international academic and policy debates about the proper governance of scientific and technological change. Steve has also been a successful fundraiser for the University, generating substantial research funding to support new research programmes on the Future of Cities, Climate Geoengineering Governance, and the Implications of Science and Technology for Inequality, to name a few examples. Today, the University of Oxford is an internationally recognized hub of scholarship in the field of science and technology studies (STS), generating research, teaching, and advocacy with global reach.

The Chair in Science and Civilization exists thanks to an undertaking made by James Martin, the philanthropist who established the Oxford Martin School. Unfortunately that funding ceases when Steve Rayner retires. Therefore, the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography is seeking funding to endow the Chair from 2021 onwards in order to continue and build on the excellent work that been done in InSIS since its foundation in 2003.

There is a webpage for Anthropology fundraising. Any questions about the fundraising itself can be directed to Rachel Kirwan in the University's Development Office.

The Study of India and South Asia at Oxford

The study of India and South Asia is undergoing a renaissance in the University of Oxford. The endowment of the M.N. Srinivas Associate Professorship in the Anthropology of India will ensure that it has the prominence it deserves, and that anthropological approaches contribute to new cohorts of Oxford students being trained in the MSc in Contemporary India (School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies), MPhil in Modern South Asia (Oriental Institute), and in Anthropology generally. To ensure that future generations of students  on these degree programmes receive the best possible grounding, it is essential to include the anthropological view, to provide bottom-up, field-based perspectives on the rapidly changing cultures and societies of the region.

M.N. (Mysore Narasimhachar) Srinivas (1916-99)

From 1949 to 2008, Oxford had a University Lecturer specializing in the anthropology of South Asia, within the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (or Institute of Social Anthropology as it once was). The first holder of the post was the great Indian anthropologist MN Srinivas, who came to Oxford as a doctoral student, was strongly influenced by his two supervisors Radcliffe-Brown and Evans-Pritchard, and began lecturing in the Institute in 1949. He returned home in 1951 to launch the modern form of the discipline of social anthropology in independent India, setting up departments and research institutes in Baroda, Bangalore, and Delhi.

M.N. Srinivas’s pupils are to be found in all leading departments of sociology and social anthropology of India. He contributed some of the key sociological concepts (Sanskritization, the dominant caste) for the understanding of modern India, and his insistence on the ‘field view’ as necessary to complement the ‘book view’ of India inspired numerous field studies and the convergence of sociology and social anthropology in the country. After M.N. Srinivas, the Oxford lecturership was held by possibly the most important and influential European anthropologist of India of the twentieth century, Louis Dumont, author of the classic analysis of the caste system, Homo Hierarchicus.

Following Dumont’s return to France, the lecturership was held in turn by David Pocock (1956-66), Ravi Jain (1966–74); Nick Allen (1976–2001), and David Gellner (2002–08). Following David Gellner’s election to the Professorship of Social Anthropology, the lecturership was not refilled, and is unlikely to be so, given current economic constraints. We hope you will consider joining the University in the exciting and important endeavour of endowing this Associate Professorship, so that new generations of students can continue Srinivas’s legacy of the anthropological study of India at Oxford.

There is a webpage for Anthropology fundraising by card or direct debit on the University website. You should receive an instant email acknowledging your gift.

Any questions about the fundraising itself can be directed to Rachel Kirwan in the University's Development Office.

There is a webpage for Anthropology fundraising by card or direct debit on the University website. You should receive an instant email acknowledging your gift.

Any questions about the fundraising itself can be directed to Rachel Kirwan in the University's Development Office.

There is a webpage for Anthropology fundraising by card or direct debit on the University website.

List of site pages