2013 RAI UG Conference
STAR consortium members organise the 2013 RAI Undergraduate Conference
The RAI UG Conference was held in St Andrews from 12th to 14th April 2013.
Report on the RAI UG Conference in St Andrews
This year the University of Edinburgh was chosen, alongside The University
of St Andrews and Aberdeen University, to co-host the 2013 student-led
Undergraduate Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) Conference in St
Andrews. This years conference which took place on the 12 th and 13th April was
titled ‘Close Encounters: Bringing Anthropology Home’, which engaged attendees
on the fluidity of meaning of the terms ‘close’ and ‘home’ in anthropology, and
provided a platform to discuss the increase of anthropological studies being
conducted ‘at home’.
This prestigious event was an enormous and very exciting occasion for
Edinburgh’s Social Anthropology Society (SocAnthSoc) as they helped with
the organization, presentation and attendance of this two-day event. This jam-
packed conference included a number of student-led workshops on how to study
for a PhD in Anthropology, insights into fieldwork dilemmas from lecturers
and students and an exhibition of Edinburgh’s Innovative Learning Week
project ‘Anthropology in 100 Objects’, which received praise from Dame Marilyn
Highlights of the event included two very inspiring talks, the first presented by
Tim Ingold on the anthropology of making and growing, an insight to his current
topic of study, and from Dame Marilyn Strathern, on the anthropology and
genealogy of relations.
One of the most influential and engaging workshops of the conference was the
Call for Undergraduate Papers Talk. Selected students from across the country
and from a variety of academic years presented their own ten-minute paper,
relevant to the theme of the conference, and on a number of topics including
Bangladesh’s Charlands’, gardening, Appleby Horse Fair and Defecating in
Aldershot. Two students of Edinburgh University, Tim Anderson and Heathcote
Ruthven, were chosen to present their papers on drug smuggling and identity
in Estonia and anarchism in Iceland, respectively, which were received
enthusiastically by other students.
The event was a huge success, commended by the director of the RAI, the Head
of Anthropology at the University of St Andrews, the Principal of the University
of Edinburgh and Dame Marilyn Strathern. We look forward to next years
conference and hope many students will be encouraged to attend and contribute.
By Tabitha Gould
Edinburgh Students with Marilyn Strathern.