Dr Rosalie Allain
Departmental Lecturer in Social Anthropology
Until 2022, Dr Rosalie Allain was an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at SAME for which she developed her doctoral findings in a project titled “The Rise and Demise of Gold: Mapping Technological Change and Creativity on a Cameroonian Resource Frontier”. She holds a BSc in Social Anthropology from the LSE and MA in Material and Visual Culture from UCL. She completed her PhD in Anthropology at UCL in 2021, for which she received the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Radcliffe-Brown Sutasoma Award for research of potentially outstanding merit. Rosalie is a founding member of the new Centre for the Anthropology of Technics and Technodiversity (CATT) at UCL and is a member of the ‘Anthropologie de la Vie’ (Anthropology of Life) research group at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale (Paris). She was previously an Associate Lecturer (Teaching) in Social Anthropology at UCL.
Her research engages with the study of techniques/technology, natural resources, cosmology, material culture and economic life. This is based on her doctoral work which investigated changing artisanal gold mining practices among Gbaya communities in Cameroon, where she conducted two years of ethnographic research, in a context of resource depletion and economic marginalization brought about by Chinese-led mechanized extraction. Her research examines the cosmological and economic conditions and effects under which technical practices and devices are enacted, thought about, and transformed in extractive processes, and how mining techniques mediate local understandings and states of ‘scarcity’ and ‘generativity’ at the interface with capitalist extractive logics. She critically engages with the concept and domain of ‘technology’ to explore questions surrounding historical change, creativity, ritual, environmental dispossession and transformations in economic practice.