Bristol academic appointed Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute
8 July 2010
David Shankland, Reader in Social Anthropology in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, has been appointed Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the world’s longest-established scholarly association dedicated to the furtherance of anthropology.
Dr Shankland trained in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, then moved to Cambridge for his doctoral studies, during the course of which he conducted fieldwork in Anatolia, looking in particular at questions of social change, politics and religion.
After graduating, he became the Assistant, then Acting Director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, during the course of which he became a member of the Catalhoyuk research team, beginning a study of the relationship between anthropology and archaeology which continues to this day.
In 1995, he took up a lectureship in the University of Wales Lampeter, where he was part of a group which founded Anthropology there, moving to the University of Bristol in 2003 where he is currently Reader in Social Anthropology.
In 2001, he became a Humboldt Fellow in Germany, where he examined questions of migration and integration of the Alevi Turkish minority into German society.
The author of many articles, he has also written Religion and Society in Turkey, The Alevis in modern Turkey: the emergence of a secular Islamic tradition, and edited the two volume work Archaeology, Anthropology and Heritage in the Balkans and Anatolia: the life and works of FW Hasluck, 1878-1920.
He has played a leading role in many anthropological institutions, being the co-organiser of the European Association of Social Anthropologists conference at Bristol, the Chair of the ASA conference Anthropological and Archaeological Imaginations: past, present and future, and in 2009 the President of the Anthropology and Archaeology Section of the British Science Association. He has been Honorary Treasurer of the RAI since 2006.
David Shankland will take up the Directorship on 1st October. His appointment comes at a time of ambitious expansion for the Institute in a number of areas, including international collaboration, visual anthropology, publication, support for cutting-edge research and debate across the component fields of anthropology, and anthropology in pre-university education. A new A level in anthropology, designed by the RAI, is being launched in 2010.