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UK Fellow, Section S3, Anthropology and Geography, elected in 2015

Professor Michael Carrithers FBA

The Buddha and Buddhism in Sri Lanka; Jains in India; German commemoration of the Twentieth Century; reasoning and cogency in anthropology; rhetoric culture theory; ethnography as a source of philosophy
Professor Michael Carrithers FBA profile picture

About this Fellow

Michael has been guided throughout by the frisson of discovering how different, yet entirely rational, other people's perspectives and moralities can be. He was first able to explore these matters at length during fieldwork with Buddhist forest monks in Sri Lanka, and later in trying to understand the deep history of Buddhism and the Buddha himself. He then met more extreme practices and rationalities while working with Digambar Jain and Digambar ascetics in India. More recently Michael has studied the senses of justice that different Germans have applied to a common and difficult past, both that of the former German Democratic Republic and that of the Nazi dictatorship. Michael has also turned to questioning the evolutionary heritage which enables the production of such differing and mutually contradictory forms of life across human history. And he has taken as objects of study even anthropology and allied social sciences themselves, for these too are cultural performances embodying distinctive reasons and practices which are needful of explication. Since 2002 Michael has been participating in the international Rhetoric Culture Project, which seeks to illuminate how people use their cultural repertoires to create versions of reality.


Other Anthropology and Geography Fellows

Professor Susan Smith

Unequal geographies. The dynamics and integration of housing, mortgage and financial markets; the uneven geographies of credit and investment risks in housing; the uneasy encounter between market mechanisms and an ethic of care

Professor Paul Cloke

Geographies of rural change and nature-society relations; geographies of ethics, with expertise in homelessness, ethical consumption, and the role of faith-based organisations in tackling social exclusion

Professor Patsy Healey

The theory and practice of urban planning and place governance, particularly with respect to strategic spatial planning, and urban regeneration practices; empirical work primarily in Europe (including the UK)

Professor John Mack

The anthropology and history of art and material culture, especially in equatorial Africa and the western Indian Ocean; comparative work on themes such as memory, miniaturisation, and the experience of the environment

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