The Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths has played a significant role in the development of new fields and directions in the discipline, such as the anthropology of Europe and the anthropology of media. Anthropology at Goldsmiths has above all a contemporary orientation, and contributes both to the development of the academic discipline and to the world outside it. This happens through advocacy in a range of areas – from health to community work, from development to music and art, from urban planning to brain imaging – in which anthropology is active and relevant in public domains in Britain and elsewhere. In the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 our research outputs were classified as 'internationally excellent or of internationally recognised quality, with good evidence of world-leading outputs across a range of specialist areas and staff submitted' – particularly impressive as we submitted all staff.
Staff research interests cover geographical regions including the Caribbean, Latin America, east, southern and central Africa, the Pacific, south, central and south-east Asia, and Britain, Europe and the USA. Specialisms include visual anthropology and representation; material and popular culture; the human/animal interface; medical anthropology; psychology and health; anthropology of science and law; the environment; neo-colonialisms, postcolonialisms and history; the state, politics and democracy; peasantries; globalisation and development; work and cities; economic institutions and bureaucracies; post-socialism; kinship, children and gender; time and temporalities; gambling.
The Department is involved with various Goldsmiths Research Centres (Centre for Cultural Studies, Centre for Urban and Community Research, Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process, and Centre for Cognition, Computation and Culture) and with a number of Area Studies Institutes in the University of London (Institute for the Study of the Americas, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Slavonic and East European Studies).
The Centre for Visual Anthropology is part of the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, and its emergence reflects various research themes in the Department as well as postgraduate programmes involving photography, filmmaking, museum studies and anthropology. The MA in Visual Anthropology, MRes, and MPhil/PhD programmes include substantial practice components, and the Department is equipped with its own studio facilities. The Centre is linked with an international community of anthropological filmmakers and photographers, and maintains strong connections with documentary and museum activities in London. As well as its academic pursuits, the Centre provides a public forum for screenings, talks and seminars related to all aspects of anthropology, documentary and the visual arts.