I am a British social anthropologist. Until my retirement in August 2014 I was Max Gluckman Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester in the UK. Before moving to Manchester in 1996, I worked for twenty years in the anthropology department at University College London, which made me permanently appreciative of the fact that anthropology is not just social and cultural anthropology. I was head of the social anthropology department at Manchester from 1997 to 2001, Chair of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth from 2005 to 2009, and a Vice-President of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences from 2009 to 2013, responsible for organising the IUAES’s 17th World Congress. I also served on the Executive of the World Council of Anthropological Associations and remain a member of its Advisory Board.
I have done research in Mexico since the beginning of my career and I have also taught in Mexican universities. I have a particularly close and longstanding relationship with El Colegio de Michoacán, located in the city of Zamora. My various periods as a Visiting Professor at COLMICH, the last of which was in 2012, include two years from 2001 to 2003 with funding from the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT), under its Cátedra Patrimonial de Excelencia, Nivel II (Académicos Residentes en el Extranjero) program. It was during that period, which followed my term as head of department in Manchester, that I also began to develop new research in Brazil.
Although I remain an Emeritus Professor at Manchester University, it will not be possible to continue updating my personal website there. So I have constructed this WordPress site to replace it for all new activities, although the present content of the original Manchester site will continue to be available for the time being at least. Please select the Manchester University item in the menu for the link and details of what is available on that other site.
I use this blog to offer critical commentaries on the state of the world as well as to publicise the various academic activities in which I am involved and list my new publications. I also try from time to time to update readers of my books and articles on developments that have occurred since these publications went to press. Ethnographic studies tend to become history very quickly in a rapidly moving world.
I am still active in research and writing, and since I am married to a Brazilian sociologist with relatives in Argentina and Mexico and I no longer have teaching and administrative responsibilities in the UK, spend much of my time in Latin America. I have always been an active participant in Latin American conferences and frequently publish original work in Spanish and Portuguese rather than English. But in addition to my continuing links with the University of Manchester, I maintain links with the English-speaking world as a Fellow of the British Academy and of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.
I have always been very involved in anthropological publishing at the international level. I edited the journal Critique of Anthropology from the mid-1980s until June 2019. I have served as a member of the editorial boards of American Ethnologist, The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, The Journal of Latin American Studies, Anthropological Theory, Development Studies Research, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, The Journal of Political Power, and Urbanities: the Journal of the IUAES Commission on Urban Anthropology and on the international advisory boards of Dialectical Anthropology, Vibrant (the journal of the Brazilian Anthropology Association) and New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry (Canada).