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Research and Impact

We are one of the largest departments of Anthropology in the UK, spanning social anthropology, evolutionary anthropology and the anthropology of health.

In each of these fields we are opening up new areas of enquiry and have world-leading expertise in a range of topics such as energy use, temporality, aesthetics, the evolution of brain and cognition, primatology, global health, and infant sleep. Diversity across our corridors makes for an intellectually inclusive environment, fostering the academic freedom and confidence to work in new spaces that reinvigorate both the core and boundaries of anthropology in exciting ways.
Projects
Student holding a small skull against a larger skull

We use methods, theories and analysis from biological and social anthropology to understand the human condition in our rapidly-changing world and provide research for public benefit. From work concerned with development and health to energy and conservation, we believe that all our research can have positive effects in the wider world and we work actively to make sure this happens. 

 

Our anthropology of health research has been enthusiastically taken up and used in medical and domestic settings across the world. Our research has been cited and used by UNESCO, UNICEF, the NHS, the World Bank, and Mumsnet. Other instances where we reach beyond academia are the anthropology of ethics, energy efficiency and architectural heritage. Our regular research collaborators range from regional partnerships in Britain’s North East to NGOs in South Asia and Africa, hospitals, conservation groups and energy companies. Many of these collaborations have emerged from our work in Durham with the university’s interdisciplinary Research Institutes and Research Centres.