Wendy James (anthropologist)

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Professor
Wendy James
CBE FRAI FBA
Born Wendy Rosalind James
(1940-02-04) 4 February 1940 (age 78)
Nationality British
Title Professor of Social Anthropology
Spouse(s)
Douglas H. Johnson (m. 1977)
Children Two
Academic background
Education Kelsick Grammar School
Alma mater St Hugh's College, Oxford
Thesis Principles of social organisation among the Uduk speaking people of the southern Fung region, Republic of the Sudan (1970)
Academic work
Discipline Anthropology
Sub-discipline
Institutions

Wendy Rosalind James, CBE, FRAI, FBA (born 4 February 1940) is a British retired social anthropologist and academic. She was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford from 1996 to 2007, and President of the Royal Anthropological Institute from 2001 to 2004.

Early life and education[edit]

James was born on 4 February 1940 to William Stanley James and Isabel James (née Lunt). She was educated at Kelsick School, a grammar school in Ambleside, Cumbria.[1] She studied geography at St Hugh's College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 1962.[1][2]

James's interest in Africa was developed through the stories her father told her about his time working in Uganda and her interest in anthropology was sparked during a "'hands-on' introductory course at the Pitt Rivers Museum" in Oxford during her undergraduate degree.[3] She therefore changed direction and studied anthropology, remain at St Hugh's College, completing a Bachelor of Letters (BLitt) degree in 1964.[1][2] She undertook postgraduate research on a part-time basis at Oxford, completing her Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree in 1970.[1] Her doctoral dissertation was titled "Principles of social organisation among the Uduk speaking people of the southern Fung region, Republic of the Sudan".[4]

Academic career[edit]

From 1964 to 1969, James was a lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Khartoum in Sudan.[1] During this time, she "conducted traditional ethnographic research among the Uduk people living in the Blue Nile region along the Sudan/Ethiopian border".[3] From 1969 to 1971, she was a Leverhulme research Fellow at St Hugh's College, Oxford.[1] Between 1971 and 1972, she was a visiting lecturer at the University of Bergen.[1][5]

In 1972, James was elected a Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford,[2] and appointed a University Lecturer in social anthropology at Oxford's School of Anthropology.[2][5] She was awarded a Title of Distinction as Professor of Social Anthropology in July 1996.[6] In 2007, she retired from full-time academia and was appointed an Emeritus Fellow of St Cross College.[5]

In addition to her university positions, James held a number of appointments. She was President of the Royal Anthropological Institute from 2001 to 2004.[1] She was Vice-President of the British Institute in Eastern Africa from 2001 to 2011.[5] She worked as an occasional consultant to bodies such as the United Nations Operation Lifeline Sudan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In 1977, James married Douglas H. Johnson, a British historian and academic. Together, they have had two children: one son and one daughter.[1]

Honours[edit]

James was awarded the Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology by the Royal Anthropological Institute for her monograph The Listening Ebony: Moral Knowledge, Religion and Power among the Uduk of Sudan in 1988.[7] In 2005, she was awarded an honorary Dr Scientiarum Anthropologicarum (DSc) degree by the University of Copenhagen.[1][5] She was awarded the Rivers Memorial Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute in 2009.[8]

In 1999, James was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences.[5] In the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours, she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) "for services to scholarship".[9]

Selected works[edit]

  • Cunnison, Ian; James, Wendy, eds. (1972). Essays in Sudan ethnography: presented to Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard. London: Hurst. ISBN 978-0900966545.
  • James, Wendy (1979). 'Kwanim Pa: the making of the Uduk people; an ethnographic study of survival in the Sudan-Ethiopian borderlands. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0198231943.
  • Donham, Donald; James, Wendy, eds. (1986). The southern marches of imperial Ethiopia: essays in history and social anthropology (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521322379.
  • James, Wendy (1988). The listening ebony: moral knowledge, religion, and power among the Uduk of Sudan. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0198234036.
  • James, Wendy; Johnson, Douglas H., eds. (1988). Vernacular Christianity: essays in the social anthropology of religion presented to Godfrey Lienhardt. New York: Lilian Barber Press. ISBN 978-0936508238.
  • James, Wendy, ed. (1995). The pursuit of certainty: religious and cultural formulations. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415107907.
  • James, Wendy, ed. (1998). Marcel Mauss: a centenary tribute. New York: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1571817037.
  • James, Wendy (1999). The listening ebony: moral knowledge, religion, and power among the Uduk of Sudan (Paperback ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198234166.
  • Dresch, Paul; James, Wendy; Parkin, David, eds. (2000). Anthropologists in a wider world: essays on field research. New York: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1571817990.
  • Donham, Donald L.; James, Wendy, eds. (2002). The southern marches of imperial Ethiopia: essays in history and social anthropology (2nd ed.). Oxford: James Currey. ISBN 978-0821414491.
  • James, Wendy; Donham, Donald L.; Kurimoto, Eisei, eds. (2002). Remapping Ethiopia: socialism and after. Oxford: J. Currey. ISBN 978-0821414477.
  • James, Wendy (2003). The ceremonial animal: a new portrait of anthropology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199263332.
  • James, Wendy; Mills, David, eds. (2005). The qualities of time: anthropological approaches. Oxford: Berg. ISBN 978-1845200459.
  • Collingwood, R. G. (2005). Boucher, David; James, Wendy; Smallwood, Philip, eds. The Philosophy of Enchantment: Studies in Folktale, Cultural Criticism, and Anthropology. Oxford: Clarendon. ISBN 978-0199262533.
  • James, Wendy (2007). War and survival in Sudan's frontierlands: voices from the Blue Nile. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199298679.
  • Allen, Nicholas J.; Callan, Hilary; Dunbar, Robin; James, Wendy, eds. (2008). Early human kinship: from sex to social reproduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1405179010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "JAMES, Prof. Wendy Rosalind, (Mrs D. H. Johnson)". Who's Who 2017. Oxford University Press. November 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2017. (subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Professor Wendy Rosalind James". St Cross College. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Wendy James, CBE". Oxford Today. University of Oxford. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  4. ^ James, Wendy (1970). "Principles of social organisation among the Uduk speaking people of the southern Fung region, Republic of the Sudan". E-Thesis Online Service. The British Library Board. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Professor Wendy James". British Academy. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Recognition of Distinction". Oxford University Gazette. 4408 (Supplement 2). 22 July 1996.
  7. ^ "Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology Past Recipients". The RAI. Royal Anthropological Institute. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Rivers Memorial Medal Prior Recipients". The RAI. Royal Anthropological Institute. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  9. ^ "No. 59808". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2011. pp. 7–8.