My interests have included gender and social inequality; food, health and risk; reflexivity and anthropological ethics; social justice and human rights; personal narratives and biography, and I have carried out fieldwork on Mafia Island, Tanzania since 1965, Chennai (Madras) since 1974, and West Wales since 1992.
- 2009. 'Changing Swahili cultures in a globalising world: An approach from anthropology’ Keynote lecture for conference ‘Cultural Dynamics of Pre-colonial and Colonial Swahili society’ Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea, May 14-15th 2009
- 2006. 'But is it real food? Responses to globalisation in Tanzania and India. Keynote for the SCOFF panel of the BSA Annual Conference on Order and Disorder, Harrogate, April.
- 2005. 'Towards a feminist ethics of anthropology' Keynote lecture for LOVA (Gender and Anthropology) conference 10th June 2005, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands
- 2003. 'Anthropology in the new world (dis)order' Keynote lecture at the Annual Conference of South African Anthropologists, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 24th Aug. 2003. (pdf of lecture)
- 2002. 'Anthropology as a moral discipline: social justice, ethics and human rights' Keynote lecture at the Canadian Anthropology Society Conference, 'Social justice, culture and power' University of Windsor, Canada. (pdf of lecture)
- 2001. Paul Stirling Memorial Lecture, University of Kent. Feb. 14th. 'Risky Business: Changing Landscapes of Anthropology'
Terror, Witchcraft and Risk
Interview with Paul Thompson in series ‘Pioneers of Research: National Life Stories’ 2009
‘Mikidadi wa Mafia: maisha ya mwanaharakati na familia yake nchini Tanzania’ (Mikidadi of Mafia: the life of an activist and his family in Tanzania).
African Voices, African Lives: Personal Narratives from a Swahili Village
Conference or Workshop Item
'Changing Swahili cultures in a globalising world: An approach from anthropology’
'But is it real food? Responses to globalisation in Tanzania and India
'Towards a feminist ethics of anthropology'
'Anthropology in the new world (dis)order' Keynote lecture at the Annual Conference of South African Anthropologists
'Anthropology as a moral discipline: social justice, ethics and human rights'
'Risky Business: The Changing Landscapes of Anthropology'
Hour-long interview with Alan Macfarlane for Anthropological Ancestors video archive.
Recent Research Projects
- UK: Concepts of Healthy Eating (in the UK)
all of the data from the ESRC food projects has now been archived in the
ESDS ESRC Qualidata Archive
- Tanzania: Local Understandings of Global Processes: Food as a Vehicle of and Metaphor for Modernity on Mafia Island
- India: Changes in Food Consumption Patterns in Middle-Class Households in Chennai (Madras), India
Interview for the 'Anthropological Ancestors' Archive
I was one of the founding members of the Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths. I was recently interviewed by Alan Macfarlane for the Web archive on anthropologists. In the clip I talk about the founding of the Department and its beginnings in the 1970s and 1980s.
[ Listen to the interview (requires QuickTime) ]
- A web site on and for Mafia Island, Tanzania
- Historical photo gallery of Mafia Island
- Writing a historical biography of a man from Mafia Island, Tanzania
- Photo gallery of pictures from the Far Western Hills of Nepal, taken in 1969
- Archiving of textual, photographic and audio material from Mafia Island, Tanzania' for the British Library (Digital archive of music recordings made on Mafia Island in the 1960s - pdf) and the School of Oriental and African Studies
- Archiving at SOAS material collected in Chennai in 1970s, 80s and 90s
- Research on food banks in UK