Social anthropology: thematic interests in comparative analysis of political life, power relations, social movements, the state, political economy, migration, conflict and security; regional specialisation in Latin American societies and history
About this Fellow
Wendy Rosalind James was first appointed to Oxford University as a Lecturer in Social Anthropology in 1972, along with a Fellowship at St. Cross College. Promoted to the status of Professor in 1996, she became Emeritus in 2007. Coming originally from a small grammar school in the North, her first College was St. Hugh's, where she completed a BA (in Geography), followed by a B.Litt. and D.Phil. in Social Anthropology. The latter was based on field research in the Sudan, during a five-year teaching post in the University of Khartoum. Her later research built on this work, partly extending to southern regions of the country in collaboration with her historian husband Douglas H. Johnson. Her main focus however shifted to western Ethiopia and to the regional consequences of sustained conflict. Her wider academic interests lie in the history of anthropology itself in relation to other disciplines. She has served as President of the Royal Anthropological Institute (2001-2004) and as Vice-President of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (2001-2011). She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University of Copenhagen in 2005, the Rivers Medal of the RAI in 2009, and appointed CBE in 2011 for services to scholarship.
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.