Bristol Anthropology and Archaeology Research Seminars (BAARS)

Bristol Anthropology and Archaeology Research Seminars (BAARS) is a weekly seminar series hosted by our department, where we invite academic staff and lecturers across the four fields of anthropology to present their current and ongoing research.

Each talk is followed by a Q&A.

Seminars take place every Wednesday during term time from 13.00-14.30.  Location: G10, Department for Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Bristol 43, Woodland Road, BS8 1UU, ground floor.
Access information:

Please join in for an informal lunch with the presenter, staff and students beforehand 12.00– .13.00 – bring your own lunch. Non-alcoholic drinks, nibbles and tea/coffee with biscuits are provided. All welcome!

Conveners: Theresia Hofer (Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology) and William Tantam (Lecturer in Anthropology)


8 February 2023: Natasha Mulvihill, Bristol
Authority, sexual coercion and institutional harm

Natasha Mulvihill is senior lecturer in Criminology and head of the Centre for Gender and Violence Research in the School for Policy Studies.  She will start the session by talking about her own work and the work of the Centre, in case there are some fruitful connections that can be made with Anth/Arch colleagues.  Natasha will then talk about her interest in the coercive power of authority and its relationship to sexual violence and abuse.  She was recently awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant for 2023-2028 to look at 'high status/high trust' professionals who perpetrate sexual violence against adults, and how these abuses are identified, managed and sanctioned by their professional bodies and internal tribunals.

8 March 2023: Chima Anyadike-Danes, Durham
The Way We’ll Move: Imagining Decarbonised Mobility and its Infrastructure in Post-Coalonial County Durham

Historians of the United Kingdom generally regard the period between 1896 and 1939 as one in which the automobile became a feature of the nation’s daily life. However, the country was slow to develop appropriate infrastructure when compared to contemporaries like France, Germany, Italy, and the United States. Indeed, the UK had no motorways until 1958 when the Preston By-pass was opened. Despite this initial disadvantage, by the 1960s the car had risen to become the United Kingdom’s dominant form of transportation. The automobile played a pivotal role in a number of subcultures, shaped the built environment, and exerted an influence on the nation’s artistic output. The car’s ongoing supremacy is reflected in the more than thirty million private automobiles on the country’s roads, with the overwhelming majority of these having internal combustion engines. Decarbonising private transportation is thus essential if the United Kingdom is to meet the targets that it has set itself as part of the Paris Agreement.

But what sort of transportation futures and solutions are currently being imagined in the United Kingdom? For the past decade, the Conservative Party have led the country, either in coalition or by themselves. In the near term the party’s vision for the nation’s automotive future has centred on plug-in electric vehicles. These, it is imagined, will be charged at their owners’ houses. In this presentation I contrast this Conservative government vision for the United Kingdom’s private transportation with an alternative vision that addresses the specific circumstances of post-coalonial County Durham and attends to the development of infrastructure in the area. In doing so I draw upon fieldwork that I conducted with the Durham County Council’s Low Carbon Economy team and their networks. Informed by literature from STS and anthropology I analyse the values that shape these differing national and local imaginings of the future of mobility in Britain.

Dr Chima Michael Anyadike-Danes is a Cultural Anthropologist who received his PhD from the University of California, Irvine in 2017. His current research interests concern the socio-cultural aspects of energy transitions and decarbonisation. He joined Durham University in 2020 to work with Professor Simone Abram and Dr Claire Dungey on an INCLUDE project. Over the course of a year Chima explored the efforts of Durham County Council to plan for inclusive post-carbon futures. Concurrently he worked with Simone and Miz Claire Copeland on a CESI funded project that examined local governments’ usage of energy modelling. Currently, Chima is co-authoring an ethnographic monograph based on the INCLUDE fieldwork while also researching East Durham’s post-coal communities as part of the GEMS (Geothermal Energy from Mines) project.

15 March 2023: Mark Lamont, Open University
Whiteness and the medicalisation of male circumcision in Kenya

The politics of race and colonialism are conspicuously absent from discussions about the medicalisation of male circumcision in eastern and southern Africa. In the wake of Africa's most ambitious global health intervention based on surgeries, Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention, the legacies of British and American circumcisers present a challenge for ethnographic interpretation and critique of existing circumcision practices. How is Whiteness now implicit in circumcision practices in Kenya? What implications does race and colonialism hold for the future(s) of such practices? Using ethnographic and historical materials, this talk aims to widen the discussion about the bioethics of medicalised male circumcision in global health HIV interventions.

3 May 2023: Adam Drazin (UCL)
'Care' in Design's New Knowledge Economies

In the contemporary world, anthropologists and ethnographers are constantly helping to shape the products and services around us by undertaking ethnographies and social research globally. The currency which these design researchers deal in is information about people and communities, their identities, routines, material worlds and interests. This talk explores the outputs of design research work in collaborations between anthropology and design, and argues that design constitutes a new mode of relatedness within a global knowledge economy. The implication is that anthropology needs to develop new approaches to the concepts of ‘care’ and of ‘alterity’, and to recognise its own growing role in forming design-based communities.



Research Seminars


2020 - 2021


2019 - 2020


2018 - 2019


2017 - 2018


2016 - 2017

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