Dr Piers LockeCare of captive elephants.


Why study Anthropology?

Anthropology is primarily the study of humanity, and it explores the human condition in multiple ways.  It is about who we are, how we organize ourselves into groups, and the practices and beliefs that give meaning to our lives.

Anthropology is also about the relations we develop with other forms of life; about the ways we respond to crisis and conflict; about forms of identity and belonging; and about the historical legacies that configure the social world.

Social and Cultural Anthropology

Here at the University of Canterbury, we introduce you to social and cultural anthropology.  Related to human geography, history, indigenous studies, linguistics, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology, this kind of anthropology is distinctive for a research method called ethnography.  To undertake ethnographic research is to immerse oneself in the activities and relationships of everyday life.

For more information about anthropology and anthropological career paths see:

News and Announcements

International Conference

Aditya Malik has been invited to participate in an international conference on "The relevance of traditional cultures for the present and the future" organised by the India International Centre-Asia Project in New Delhi from 24-26 March. The purpose of the conference is to "bring together intellectuals from different countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America who have reflected and will reflect on the fundamental questions whether the long civilisational histories of these countries, with their rich and varied knowledge systems and cultural traditions, have a meaningful and significant role to play in the contemporary world and certainly the world of the future." Conferences participants include academics, thinkers, writers and social activists from Brazil, Mexico, Benin, Ghana, Egypt, Greece, U.K., Russia, Austria, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, China and other countries. Aditya's presentation is entitled: "Articulations of Being: Reflections on the crisis of modern civilisation." 

Guest Lecture

Aditya Malik gave a guest lecture at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) at the University of Goettingen on 5 February, titled “Petitions to Goludev: Notes on Intimacy, Truth and Justice in Uttarakhand”

Terralingua Organization's semi-annual magazine

Anthropology PhD student Kierin Mackenzie has guest edited the latest issue of the Terralingua Organization's semi-annual magazine Langscape, which aims to promote a paradigm shift by educating minds and hearts about the importance and value of biocultural diversity for global sustainability through scientific and cultural knowledge. The theme of this issue in the Emerging Paradigms series is Weaving Innovation and Tradition.


Piers Locke gave a presentation to the Human Geography Seminar Series in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh on February 20. The title of his presentation was 'Ethnoelephantology and The Multispecies Turn: New Approaches to Human-Elephant Relations'.


Patrick McAllister’s research in Vietnam was the subject of a major news story in the country’s highest circulation national newspaper, Tuoi Tre, on 7 Februay. See http://tuoitre.vn/tet-2014/590828/giao-su-patrick-toi-an-tuong-nhat-voi-tap-tuc-cung-xom.html
and http://tuoitrenews.vn/features/17155/new-zealand-professor-proves-to-be-tet-enthusiast

Environment and Society: Advances in Research

A human-animal themed issue of the journal Environment and Society: Advances in Research has just been published, featuring an article by Piers Locke. Titled 'Explorations in Ethnoelephantology: Social, Historical, and Ecological Intersections Between Asian Elephants and Humans', it traces the emergence of a new approach to the study of humans-elephant interrelations that integrates methodological perspectives from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Exploring the ways in which human and elephant lives and landscapes are socially, historically, and ecologically entangled, it reviews latest research in anthropology, geography, and history.

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