About this Fellow
Strathern studied Social Anthropology at Girton College, Cambridge (PhD 1968). After a spell in the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, she held posts in Canberra (ANU) and Port Moresby before returning to the UK. This was when she was Hon. Editor of the RAI journal Man. She moved to her first full departmental appointment in 1985, taking up the chair in Social Anthropology at Manchester University, to be followed by the William Wyse Professorship of Social Anthropology in Cambridge in 1993. Strathern was concurrently Mistress of Girton College between1988-2009. Papua New Guinea has been a principal area of fieldwork, from 1964 to most recently in 2015, although she is also intrigued by developments in knowledge practices in the UK and Europe. Initial work on gender relations led in two directions: feminist scholarship & the new reproductive technologies (1980s-1990s), and legal systems & intellectual and cultural property (1970s, 1990-00s). Subsequent work on regimes of audit and accountability has attracted interdisciplinary attention. Formerly Presidential Chair of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, Trustee of the National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, and member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, she is now Hon. Life President of the Association of Social Anthropologists.
- Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
- Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, 1985 - 1993
- William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 1993 - 2008
- Mistress, Girton College University of Cambridge, 1998 - 2009
British Academy Appointments
- Member of Council, 2000 - 2002
The representation and analysis of phenomena distributed in space and time, especially the space of the Earth's surface; the application of geographic information systems to research in the social sciences and humanities.
The ethnology of Amazonian Indians, especially of their use and perception of the environment; the comparative anthropology of the relations between nature and society
Environmental governance: relations between land use planning, environment & sustainability; policy processes in modern democracies, especially the role of knowledge, ideas & advice in policy formation & change.
Historical geography of British empire & exploration, eighteenth to twentieth centuries; histories of collecting, visual culture & geographical knowledge