Lewis, Ioan, 1930-2014

by Wendy James FBA

06 Aug 2019
22 (pages 175-195)

Ioan M. Lewis originally studied chemistry, then moved into social anthropology at Oxford, focusing on the Horn of Africa. Intensive fieldwork followed from 1955, with his wife Ann Elizabeth Keir, in the British Somali Protectorate; and to a lifetime’s interest in the wider regions of Somali speakers, their oral literature, and later their radio and other international communications. After a brief period at the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute, Lewis taught at Glasgow University and University College London before being appointed to the Chair of Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics in 1969. Dedicated to strengthening academic exchanges, especially across Africa, from his A Pastoral Democracy (1961) onwards he remained a prolific writer well beyond retirement.

Posted to Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the British Academy, XVIII

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