A Return to Action: A discussion revisiting the values of Action Anthropology




Toyin Agbetu, Lecturer in Political and Social Anthropology at UCL, will be speaking LIVE @UCLAnthropology and on ZOOM on Tues Oct 17, 6:30pm.

He writes, Although anthropology is centred around the study of humanity,  in its applied and military guises, it is not necessarily egalitarian, equitable or activist. Historically, these forms of the discipline have worn a cloak of liberalism tied to extractive academic institutions and government agendas that are structurally violent. The solutions offered for existing social injustices are typically produced using a top-down approach, framed and defended under the banner of humanitarianism. 

When the scholar-activist Sol Tax conceptualised Action Anthropology in 1958, he advocated for a radical approach. One that would enable anthropologists to work collaboratively with organic intellectuals from local communities seeking to solve their own problems and control their own cultural resources on their own terms. Today, the children of Action Anthropology go by names like collaborative anthropology, engaged anthropology, decolonising anthropology and participatory action research. However, is our ability and willingness to intervene at the community’s discretion and, most importantly, direction still intact?

To join us, please register here

We are in the Daryll Forde Seminr Room, 2nd Floor, UCL Anthropology building, 14 Taviton St, WC1H 0BW