UK anthropology network (UKAN)

Following discussions at the ASA’s July 2016 AGM, and at meetings with the Heads of Anthropology Departments in the UK and other Anthropology Associations, the ASA Committee is taking forward plans to establish a network to forge closer collaborative links between Anthropology/related organisations in the UK. The name agreed for the proposed network is UK Anthropology Network (UKAN).

The aim is (a) to link Anthropology’s multiple and diverse professional associations; (b) to encourage intellectual exchanges and collaborations between Anthropology’s sub-disciplinary areas, and (c) to support more effective liaison between Anthropology and policy and decision makers. It is anticipated that as well as linking the sub-fields within Anthropology, UKAN will engage collaboratively with more comprehensive organisations. Below is a list of organisations approached to date: the ASA Committee would welcome suggested additions to these.

Two central principles have been agreed:

  • that the proposed network should be fully inclusive of all Anthropology-related areas, with all retaining their specific sub-disciplinary identities within it;
  • and that it should be based upon an ethos of equality between them.

Establishing UKAN

Discussions generated a broad consensus that the best way to initiate the proposed UK Anthropology Network would be to have a ‘pan-Anthropology’ conference including all subfields. The aim of this conference would be twofold: to provide an opportunity for intellectual exchange across diverse areas of the discipline, and to carry forward plans to establish UKAN.

The ASA has agreed that the Oxford University will host this event, in collaboration with the Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford Brookes University. A letter has been sent by the ASA to the Associations listed above, inviting them to participate in this conference, and setting out a scale of potential levels of involvement, from undertaking a joint conference arrangement, to simply sending a representative to help establish UKAN.

A forum will be held at the conference for representatives from all of the Associations, with a view to deciding how best to form an effective network. This will address key questions: how to link the Associations; how to ensure that they can communicate easily and, when necessary, speak with a united voice; and how to facilitate intellectual and practical collaborations between Anthropology’s sub-fields.

The first step towards creating a genuinely pan-anthropology conference was to invite representatives from all the Associations to attend a meeting in Oxford from 12 to 2 on January 23rd, 2017, to participate in the further development of the conference theme.

More information will follow.

Key Anthropology and Archaeology Organisations in the UK

Biosocial Society

British Archaeology Association

British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO)

British Association for Forensic Anthropology (BAFA)

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists

Council for British Archaeology / Society for Museum Archaeology

European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association

Linguistic Ethnography Forum

Museum Ethnographers Group (MEG)

Museums Association

Primate Society of Great Britain

Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI)

Royal Archaeological Institute

Society for the Study of Human Biology (SSHB)

Academy of Social Sciences