Professor Edward SimpsonProfessor, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
I am Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Lancaster University. I was previously head of College at SOAS University of London and have held positions at Goldsmiths College and London School of Economics. I am an anthropologist with a long standing interest in South Asia and more recently in infrastructure and environmental questions in the north west of England.
I am a strong advocate of humanities and social sciences in public life.
I am interested in people: what we claim and do to each other (what anthropologists often mean by ‘ethnographic’). In other words, my research is on a human level on issues large and small. I have conducted many years of research in western India. I collaborate with artists and film-makers in the belief that research is a public good.
I am primarily interested in how abstract ideas are made into concrete realities, this can relate to material infrastructures as well as political ideologies. How do you build a road? How do you engineer a society to believe certain things, dislike some other people, and vote in particular ways?
I have written three monographs, edited four collections of essays, and written over forty peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. I have been centrally involved in the production of five anthropological films and two major exhibitions. Many of these works have been collaborative and have involved partnerships across disciplines, institutions and countries. In the last 15 years, have been awarded around £3 million of research funding and supervised 15 PhD students to completion.
I am strongly committed to the university as a place of learning, critical exploration and ideas that works in partnership with the region.
PhD Supervision Interests
Doctoral supervision is an exciting and rewarding part of my academic career. I welcome applications on a broad range of topics underpinned by an ethnographic approach.