Posted on: 22 July, 2019
Application deadline: January 8, 2020

Cf Papers and Panels: ‘Anthropology and Geography: Dialogues Past, Present and Future’, Royal Anthropological Institute/RGS/British Academy/SOAS/British Museum, London, UK, 4 – 7 JUNE 2020


Anthropology and Geography: Dialogues Past, Present and Future


We are very pleased to announce the call for panel proposals for the fifth of the RAI’s recent major conferences. It will be jointly organised by the RAI, the RGS, the British Academy, the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, and the BM’s Department for Africa, Oceania and the Americas. The conference will be held in SOAS, Senate House, and the Clore Centre of the British Museum. The opening, keynote lecture will take place at the RGS on the evening of 4 June.

The RAI believes that anthropology and geography should be close, all the more so as the two disciplines have so much in common, both today and in the past. It hopes very much that through this conference, existing dialogues can be explored and further conversations take place on a host of vital issues including the Anthropocene, definitions of ethnology, methodology and fieldwork, contemporary understanding, education and public awareness, and the place of our disciplines in the modern world. We hope equally that this will lead to a shared intellectual understanding of our past and the emergence of the two disciplines, and an even closer engagement in the future, particularly in terms of emerging fields of mutual interest: e.g. digital media, geospatial mapping, and satellite photography.

The RAI welcomes panel proposals on any theme, and indicates a few below. However, it would not wish to restrict any potential suggestion, and proposals are welcome on any aspect of the theme, whether theoretical, methodological or ethnographic. Proposals from any of the sub-fields of anthropology (social anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology or linguistics) are welcome, as well as any of the sub-fields of geography. We would particularly welcome panel proposals that have anthropologists and geographers as co-convenors in order to maximise our mutual discussions. It will also be possible to propose exhibition stands devoted to specific projects, the fee for which will include a conference registration.

Call for Panels will close on the 2nd September 2019. See the original call here

Amongst the possible areas which may be considered (but not confined to these) are:

  • Anthropocene
  • Infrastructure and governance
  • Mobility: of ideas, peoples, and objects
  • Borders, nationalism and transnationalism
  • Decolonisation and empire
  • Aid, development and sustainability
  • Health and well-being
  • Spatial aspects of evolution
  • Exploration, travel and ethnography
  • Disciplinary use of archives and collections: complementary approaches
  • Maps, mapping and representation
  • Education and public awareness
  • The future: changing institutional contexts and working together

Proposals for panels should be made by 2 September 2019 via the online form. All participants must pay the conference fee.

Informal enquiries may be made to

Call for Panels opens 1 May 2019 and closes 2 September 2019

Call for Papers opens 23 September 2019 and closes 8 January 2020

Registration opens 24 February 2020

Conference web pages can be found here

Conference Fee:

RAI & RGS Fellows: £195 Non-Fellows: £295 RAI Members: £270 Concessions: £170 RAI & RGS Student Fellows: £140

About the co-organisers:

The British Academy is the UK’s premier home for the humanities, with Fellows drawn from across the humanities and social sciences, particularly, as pertains to this conference, its Social Science Section ‘Anthropology and Geography’.

The British Museum is one of the world’s most renowned museums, with an interest in anthropology across all its curatorial departments, but associated especially closely with the RAI through the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas.

The Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) is a renowned learned society devoted to anthropology. It has dedicated premises in Fitzroy Street in London, and is devoted to all the respective sub-fields of the discipline.

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is a leading centre for geographers and geographical learning, supporting geography and geographers across the world.

SOAS University of London is leading global institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and is associated with this conference most closely through its Department of Anthropology and Sociology.