Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics

LSE's Anthropology Department is a leading centre for innovative research and teaching.

LSE's Anthropology Department, with a long and distinguished history, remains a leading centre for innovative research and teaching. We are committed to both maintaining and renewing the core of the discipline, and our undergraduate teaching and training of PhD students is recognised as outstanding.


Our MSc China in Comparative Perspective is a flexible programme that enables you to shape your studies to your own needs and interests. You’ll be able to choose from a wide range of optional courses which include anthropology, economic history, government, international relations, and social policy which will equip you for PhD level study in anthropology, economic history, government, international relations or social policy.

Find out more about the programme and how to apply via the link.

View course 28/02/2024

View course In 2024, some 40 countries will go to the polls to elect national leaders – or around 40% of the world’s population.  Given current states of geopolitical instability and economic decline, experts say that election outcomes are as unpredictable as they have ever been in the post-WWII period.  ...

LSE Discovery Sessions 21/02/2024

Would you like to know more about what it's like to study at LSE?

LSE hosts Discovery Sessions which will introduce prospective students to the range of study options at LSE, student life and the application process. The sessions will involve a short introductory presentation delivered by a member of the Student Recruitment and Study Abroad team, followed by the opportunity for attendees to submit their own questions.

📆Next Undergraduate Sessions:
Wednesday 6 March 2024, 10am-11am
Wednesday 20 March 2024, 4pm-5pm

📆Next Postgraduate Sessions:
Wednesday 6 March 2024, 4pm-5pm
Wednesday 20 March 2024, 10am-11am

Advance booking is required.

LSE Discovery Sessions Attend an LSE Discovery Session to find out more about undergraduate and postgraduate study at LSE and making a competitive application.

The search for democracy in the world's largest democracy 21/02/2024

Join us to launch and discuss Alpa Shah’s new book, 'The Incarcerations: BK-16 and the search for in ' on the 26th of March 📅

As general elections fast approach in the world’s largest democracy, this event asks what democracy today must urgently ensure for our common future. In her latest book, Alpa Shah pulls back the curtain on Indian democracy to tell the remarkable and chilling story of the Bhima Koregaon case, in which 16 human rights defenders (the BK-16) – professors, lawyers, artists – have been imprisoned, without credible evidence and without trial, as Maoist terrorists.

This public event will be both online and in-person.

The search for democracy in the world's largest democracy 6.30pm Tue 26 Mar | Christophe Jaffrelot, Tarun Khaitan, Priyanka Kotamraju, Alpa Shah | Registration Required | Free public event at LSE

MSc China in Comparative Perspective 14/02/2024

Applications are still open to our MSc China in Comparative Perspective programme 📝

On the programme you will be introduced to the comparative social-science frameworks, to deepen your knowledge of China and the contemporary world. While based in the Anthropology department, this programme is flexible and enables you to shape your studies to your own needs and interests by drawing on LSE’s multi-disciplinary expertise on China. Students develop key skills such as comparative theory, critical thinking, self-directed learning and communication.

This programme is ideal preparation if you have career interests related to China in business, government, or cultural exchange. It also provides an excellent foundation for further research in anthropology, economic history, government, international relations, or social policy.

Find out more via the link.

MSc China in Comparative Perspective Examine China's politics, international relations, economic history, society and culture using LSE's multidisciplinary expertise with this master's.


Announcing RAI FILM FESTIVAL 2025
27-30 March 2025 in Bristol, UK and online April 2025

After a quiet few months, we are pleased to have just opened film submissions for RAI Film Festival 2025 on FilmFreeway- The submission window runs until September 2024, so there is still plenty of time to get your films in.

The next RAI Film Festival will take place both in person from 27-30 March 2025 at the Watershed Cinema and the Arnolfini Arts Centre and Gallery in Bristol, UK- an official UNESCO City of Film. After this our festival films will be available online streaming throughout the month of April 2025.

Our previous festival planning started under the shadow of COVID and were we cautious about how well an in-person festival would go. This time we have positioned ourselves to wholeheartedly reclaim the full potential of joining together as a community in one place over 4 days. We will maximise our opportunities to go back to multiple simultaneous screenings, panels, workshops and installations across all our venues.

The RAI Film Festival is a biennial international event celebrating the best in documentary filmmaking from around the globe. Established in 1985 by the Royal Anthropological Institute (UK), the RAI Film Festival showcases new work from academic anthropologists and related disciplines from all levels of experience from students to professionals. It looks for fearless films that ask difficult questions, build bridges, seek redress and promote social justice and dialogue.

Our mission is to support the role of film within anthropology, to champion the work of filmmakers and foster a thriving and inclusive community. We feature filmmakers who find creative ways to explore our shared humanity to shine a light on people, places and stories that are too often lost in the spotlight of global media.

Study 07/02/2024

Do you want to learn new ideas and ways of thinking? Do you want to understand how and why human beings live life a certain way?

Consider applying for one of our postgraduate taught programmes. There are four programmes to choose from:

⭐️MSc Social Anthropology
⭐️MSc Social Anthropology (Religion in the Contemporary World)
⭐️MSc Anthropology and Development
⭐️MSc China in Comparative Perspective

Find out more about each programme here:

Study Anthropology at LSE has a strong international reputation and a long and distinguished history of leadership in the discipline.

Abolishing Poverty 09/01/2024

New co-authored volume with a chapter by two of our PhDs, Ana Gutierrez Garza and Jovan Lewis.

Abolishing Poverty Abolishing Poverty argues for a project of relationality that refuses the whiteness of liberal poverty studies and instead centers critiques of the poverty r...

MRes/PhD Anthropology 21/12/2023

MRes/PhD Anthropology: Application deadline 15th of January, 2024 ✍

The MRes/PhD programme is central to the life of the Department, and we support students with their field research and professional development. By joining this programme you will be actively involved in innovative research, which is rooted in our Department’s anthropological traditions of: long-term ethnographic fieldwork; a commitment to broad comparative inquiries into human sociality; and a critical engagement with social theory.

MRes/PhD Anthropology Complete your PhD study in one of the most famous anthropology departments in the world.


Dr Anjana Bala explores the relationship between schizophrenia, divine encounters, and therapeutics based on ethnographic research in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India in this recently published open access article. 📑

HTTP Status 429 – Too Many Requests

Complex Realities: Alpa Shah on Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy in India 04/12/2023

Complex Realities: Alpa Shah on Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy in India In this episode of Unequal Worlds, we speak with ⁠Alpa Shah⁠, an anthropologist and lecturer at the London School of Economics, about the complex issues of inequality, democracy, and activism in India. Shah begins by discussing the importance of democracy in protecting minority rights and questi...

Virtual Graduate Open Events 07/11/2023

Interested in studying a MSc or PhD in Anthropology? Join the Anthropology Virtual Graduate Open event:

MSc and PhD study in the Department of Anthropology at LSE - Wednesday, 22 November 2023, 2.30-3.30pm (UK time)
(Don't worry if you can't attend the event, a recording will be made available after)

Virtual Graduate Open Events Join us from wherever you are in the world!

Alterable Geographies | Critical Times | Duke University Press 28/09/2023

New article, just out, by Dr Mareike Winchell.

Alterable Geographies | Critical Times | Duke University Press MAREIKE WINCHELL is assistant professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her first book, After Servitude: Elusive Property and the Ethics of Kinship in Bolivia (2022), examines popular challenges to land formalization as a route to Indigenous justice and the p...

Assistant Professor in Anthropology 14/10/2022

We're recruiting!

Assistant Professor in Anthropology Assistant Professor in Anthropology, , LSE is committed to building a diverse, equitable and truly inclusive university For this post, we particularly welcome applications from those who can help us ach...

Timeline photos 09/09/2022

Buckingham Palace has announced the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne in 1952 and witnessed innumerable global changes throughout her reign.

At the time of her coronation in 1953, the United Kingdom still had national service and rationing in place after World War II. The welfare state was in its infancy and the Suez crisis, a tipping point for UK foreign policy, was still in the future. She lived through many more global conflicts, an ever-shifting foreign policy landscape and domestic upheaval, including profound changes in societal attitudes to race relations, women’s equality and LGBT rights.

LSE has had connections to the Royal family from its inception. The Queen’s grandfather George V laid the foundation stone of the Old Building in 1920 and Princess Anne has been the Chancellor of University of London, and LSE, since 1981, visiting campus on many occasions. Many members of the LSE community will remember the Queen’s visit to the School when she opened the New Academic Building in 2008, asking during a discussion of the credit crunch, “how come nobody could foresee it?”. This precipitated a letter from 10 eminent economists explaining the timing, extent and severity of the crisis. In more recent times the Duchess of Cambridge visited LSE to meet experts in early years development and Sophie, Countess of Wessex unveiled the renamed LSE Towers after central figures in the British suffrage movement.

Throughout her lifetime Her Majesty The Queen took a keen interest in the economy and many other issues related to LSE’s founding purpose and work to ‘understand the causes of things’.

As we reflect on the role she played in public life, and think of her family and the many people whose lives she touched, we will continue to confront and debate the issues facing us. Open discussion and sharing of ideas will lead to the best hope of foreseeing future challenges, and solutions, in our rapidly changing world.

Read our tribute and message to the LSE community:

James Woodburn: A Personal Account of my Life Among the Hadza 1957–1961 6 February 2018 29/07/2022

We are sad to announce the death of James Woodburn, a former colleague and one of the best-known researchers and writers on hunter-gatherer and egalitarian societies. He lectured in our department for many years, and developed his insights into immediate- and delayed-return systems based on his long-term fieldwork among the Hadza people of Tanzania. He remained a keen participant in the scholarly enterprise long after retirement, regularly attending our Malinowski Lecture and going to CHAGS conferences, co-hosting one at LSE in 1986 and attending the last one in Malaysia in 2018.

James Woodburn: A Personal Account of my Life Among the Hadza 1957–1961 6 February 2018 Talk given to the Radical Anthropology Group at Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW on 6 February 2018. James Woodburn,…


We are proud to announce that Alpa Shah was selected as a winner, as announced at the European Commission Public Engagement with Research Award public ceremony, for the work she did with Jens Lerche on inequality and oppression in India. This includes the writing of Nightmarch which has crossed the academic/general audience divide, the exhibition Behind the Indian Boom and the policy work with the UN, ILO and others.

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Anthropology at LSE: undergraduate study
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