About Research at ISCA

The School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography is institutionally divided into five units. Three are research and teaching units: Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA), the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) and the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology (ICEA), which includes the Centre for Anthropology and Mind (CAM). The Institute of Human Sciences, is a teaching rather than research department. The Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS) is purely research-focused, but staff there do take doctoral students. The Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA) deals mainly with non-biological research and teaching. Material and Visual Anthropological research is mostly conducted through The Pitt Rivers Museum and some teaching takes place at the Museum. The Centre on Migration, Policy and Society is a unit within the School but is also a major international research centre in its own right. Affiliated to ISCA is the British Centre for Durkheimian Studies, which is internationally renowned for its seminars, publications and journal; and the Group for Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality, which has a prestigious monographic publications series. Also published is a house journal in social anthropology (JASO) and two other monograph series, one in the history and methodology of anthropology and another in medical anthropology.

All these different elements and interests are developed both in research and teaching, with specific Masters degrees in social anthropology, visual, material, and museum anthropology, medical anthropology, migration studies, and cognitive and evolutionary anthropology. The intellectual strengthening of teaching through research is a key plank in the School of Anthropology 's policy, with innovative research leading to debates and discussion among graduate and research students, and with various course options on some of these topics available to undergraduates in the two degrees to which the School contributes (Archaeology and Anthropology; and Human Sciences).

Research is carried out by individuals but it is possible to identify four research clusters, in which staff discuss, compare and collaborate on related projects. These are: ethnographic practices; visual and material anthropology; medical and ecological anthropology; and transnationalism and the anthropology of policy. The clusters reflect the environment and resources which have been developed at Oxford. The Pitt Rivers Museum both supports visual and material anthropology and is part of the historical tradition that emphasised intensive fieldwork and language learning in many ethnographic regions of the world. The long-standing interest in biological anthropology has merged with and is developing alongside the newer focus on medical anthropology and evolutionary approaches to culture. The concern with international migration, diasporas and human resettlement and government policies complements the need to examine contemporary issues alongside the historical foundations both of anthropology and the peoples it studies.

(Photograph by Anna Lora Wainwright)

This website uses Cookies

Cookies are used to ensure that you receive the best possible experience on our website. If you continue without changing your preferences, we'll assume that you are happy to enable all cookies on this site.