Wendy James is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oxford and past President of the Royal Anthropological Institute. She has carried out research in several countries of N.E. Africa, especially the Sudan (where she also taught in the University of Khartoum) and Ethiopia. Trained in Oxford, she has pursued long-standing interests in social anthropology, its history, and its connections with neighbouring fields. Her main theoretical concerns have been with the relationship between politics and the enduring aspects of religious, cultural, and moral systems. In recent years, because of the pressing problems of conflict in Africa, she has accepted a series of consultancies with the UN and NGOs, and started to publish on themes of war and suffering.