Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Diary for 3rd-9th May 2007

After being off-line for a few weeks, the diary’s back! Here is the diary of interesting anthropology-related events coming up over the next week and things to look out for in the future!

THURSDAY 3rd MAY - Anthropology Taster Day for students

Today, if you are a Year 12/13 or FE student interested in studying anthropology at university, you should add yourself to the waiting list for a free place at the next London Anthropology Day at the British Museum on the 9th July 2007. It's been incredibly popular so all places are currently booked up, but there is a waiting list you can sign up to. Lecturers from 16 different anthropology university departments will be running workshops on topics from the anthropology of fairy tales to studying wild chimpanzees. Click on the link above to go to the website where you can find out more. If any of you (student or otherwise!) aren’t quite sure what anthropology there’s also a really nice short film about anthropology you can watch on the website, filmed by Ed Owles and Cinizia Roochi.

FRIDAY 4th MAY - Anthropology and reality TV!

On Friday I’m staying in and checking out the BBC programme Castaway (BBC3 7-8pm). I’ve discovered they have a resident anthropologist, Mary-Anne Ochota who has been commenting on their website on things like conflict and community building among the Castaway contestants. Mary-Anne has a degree from Cambridge University in Anthropology and was chosen as one of the expert commentators on the programme. I’m intrigued! Click on her name above to see a short video about her and read her blogs on the BBC Castaway website.

SATURDAY 5th MAY- Contemporary art, anthropology and the Pacific!

I’m heading to Cambridge on Saturday afternoon to explore the Pasifika Styles Exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge (free and open from 2-4.30pm on Saturdays).

This is an exhibition celebrating contemporary art work inspired by Maori and Pacific Island culture and unites a new wave of contemporary Pacific art with the museum’s historic anthropology collections. These pictures are taken from the exhibition. Far left: Wise Men, Grey Semu. Near left: Polynisation,Niki Hastings.

Also watch out for the Pasifika Styles Festival at the end of May (29th May -1st June) when there will be loads of activities and events from short films, to theatre, to an activity day. at the museum. Full details

SUNDAY 6th MAY - An intriguing museum and a free Voices of Slavery concert

Another anthropology museum, but this time in London! The Hornimam Museum in Forest Hill has a fantastic anthropology collection and is open for exploration daily from 10.30-5.30pm. They’ve recently opened up the Centenary gallery to explore 100 years of collecting. You can look at how the ways in which anthropologists collect objects has changed over time. Full details about the museum are on

Plus, if you go this Sunday, you can also catch the free Voices of Slavery Concert (3-4.30pm in the Conservatory), which is part of the museum’s Bicentenary events. The concert features music by former slaves Ignatius Sancho, ‘Blind Tom’ Bethune and arrangements of spirituals and plantation songs by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, HT Burleigh and other distinguished Black composers of the early 20th century. Booking is not required but as places are limited you might be wise to arrive early.

MONDAY 7th MAY- An anthropologist in charge of the Young Vic!

Okay, so I know this is probably a tenuous anthropology connection, but on Monday I’m going to see a play called Vernon God Little at the Young Vic in London. The reason this has made it onto Anthropologist About Town is that David Lan, the Artistic Director of the Young Vic, is actually a rather famous anthropologist who wrote a book called “Guns and Rain: Guerrillas and Spirit Mediums in Zimbabwe (1985) that is on nearly every undergraduate anthropology reading list in the country (you can buy it on Amazon).

You can read an archival 2005 interview with David Lan in the Guardian about how an anthropologist ended up as a theatre director here.

TUESDAY 8th MAY - film screening in Kent about elephant handlers in Nepal

On Tuesday I’m going to Canterbury to the University of Kent to a special film screening. Piers Locke, who has recently completed a PhD in the department, will be introducing and showing his ethnographic film Servants of Ganesh about the handlers of the Khorsor Elephant Breeding Center in Chitwan, Nepal, and the training of a juvenile elephant called Paras Gaj. As part of his PhD Piers trained to become an elephant handler in Nepal.

The film screening will be at 4.30pm in the DICE Room (Marlowe Building). Directions to the university can be found at and you can find out more about the film on Members of the general public welcome. Any queries contact Piers on

WEDNESDAY 9th MAY - Anthropology on the Radio

On Wednesday I’ll be tuning in to Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed with Laurie Taylor from 4-4.30pm. Laurie often has anthropologists on the show, which discusses the latest social science research. They haven’t posted the topic for next week yet, but if there’s no anthropology you can always listen to old shows on the website.

The one from the 14th Feb 2007 is particularly interesting with anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes talking about the controversy over late broadcaster Alistair Cooke’s remains.


There has been lots of anthropology in the news recently as Bob Geldof unvield his plans to work with the BBC on the Dictionary of Man project and The Human Planet TV series. Google Bob Geldof, Dictionary of Man and anthropology to find out more!

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