2023 Awards

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Huxley Memorial Medal and Lecture: Professor Alex de Waal is executive director of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and one of the world’s most consistently original and productive anthropologists in international humanitarian and development studies.  His DPhil involved long term ethnographic fieldwork on famine in Darfur, Sudan and proved to be a stepping stone to developing a compelling and much respected critique of Sen’s work (an economist and Nobel Laureate) on famine. His work has profoundly shaped the field of international development and humanitarian studies, recognised – in part – by his election as the first president of the International Humanitarian Studies Association. In 2005-2006, he was seconded to the African Union mediation team for Darfur; and he subsequently served as senior adviser to the African Union high-level implementation panel for Sudan. He was on the list of Foreign Policy’s 100 most influential public intellectuals in 2008 and Atlantic Monthly’s 27 “brave thinkers” in 2009.

Rivers Memorial Medal: Tracy Kivell. Professor Tracy Kivell is a palaeoanthropologist and expert in the evolution of the hand and wrist in humans and other primates, formally Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kent, she has recently been made director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig.

Lucy Mair Medal & Marsh Prize for Applied Anthropology: Sushrut Jadhav. Dr Jadhav is Professor of Cultural Psychiatry and Consultant Psychiatrist for the Homeless, Camden & Islington NHS FT. His award of the Lucy Mair award is based on his longstanding work to address the mental well-being of homeless communities in UK and India, Black and ethnic minority patients in UK; and of Dalit (formerly ‘untouchables’) groups in India.

Marsh: Richard Osgood. Richard Osgood is the Director of Operation Nightingale, a programme that was set up in 2011 within the UK Ministry of Defence to help facilitate the recovery of armed forces personnel recently engaged in armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, using the archaeology of the British Training Areas. He has recently published Broken Pots, Mending Lives: The Archaeology of Operation Nightingale (Oxbow 2023). In 2019 he was voted Current Archaeology’s Archaeologist of the Year.

Public Anthropology Award: Sarah Tarlow. Sarah Tarlow is Professor of Historical Archaeology at the University of Leicester. She receives the Public Anthropology Award following the publication of The Archaeology of Loss: Life, Love and the Art of Dying (Picador 2023). This is a memoir that Sarah wrote following the death of her partner, Mark Pluciennik, in distressing circumstances. In it, she reflects on her loss in a way that is informed by her lifetime of reflection on bereavement. It has been hailed as a major contribution to a public debate on death and mourning.

Henry Myers Lecture: Chris Gosden. Chris Gosden is Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford. He is nominated to deliver the Henry Myers lecture on human spirituality in the light of his recent work The History of Magic from Alchemy to Witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present (2020).

RAI President’s Lifetime Achievement Award: The Honours and Awards Committee recommends, exceptionally, that two awards be made this year, in the light of the extra-ordinary contribution made by the following two colleagues:

Bernard Wood. Bernard Wood has been a leading figure in the study of human origins for more than fifty years. His research is directed towards understanding the evolution of the hominid lineage, with a focus on hominin adaptations and the processes and factors that shaped hominin evolution. He has enabled innumerable (~45) PhD studentships and post doctoral researchers to carry out research on aspects of human evolution, many of whom have gone on to have outstanding careers of their own in this area of science. In 1997 he was appointed Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Origins and Professor of Human Evolutionary Anatomy at the George Washington University (GWU), and Adjunct Senior Scientist at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. In 2006 he was appointed University Professor of Human Origins at GWU. He was Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology at GWU until 2020.

James Scott. James Scott was born in 1936. He is currently Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. He is one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century at the intersection of political science and anthropology, and much of it foregrounds the importance of long term comparative ethnographic research. Arguably, his two most influential books are ‘Weapons of the weak’ and ‘Seeing like a state’. Overall, he has made a lifetime seminal anthropological contribution to interdisciplinary agrarian economic, social, and political development studies which has shaped international development studies over the past half century and more.

Patron’s Medal: Sarah Walpole. Sarah Walpole joined the RAI whilst we were still at the Museum of Mankind, where she was trained initially by Brownlee Kirkpatrick, and then Beverley Amory. She has welcomed hundreds of visitors to our collections and, in recent years, taken an active interest into the history of the RAI, compiling an invaluable Fellowship database with many thousands of entries. She has shown herself to be a courteous and effective leader, putting in place the necessary staffing to ensure the stability and sustainability of her department even after her imminent retirement. Finally, in her last year before leaving she has worked on the history of the RAI, so that by the time that she was left we will have a consecutive account of what she called the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the institute that will provide the essential foregrounding of our planned publication. We are immeasurably indebted to her.

Honorary Fellows

Naama Goren-Inbar: Naam Goren-Inbar is Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Throughout her career she has worked on the investigation of Palaeolithic sites in the Levant, starting with her work at ‘Ubeidiya with the late Ofer Bar-Yosef.  It remains the oldest site known the Levant.  Subsequently she has investigated the Mousterian site of Quneitra, before moving on to her seminal work at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov.

Leben Nelson Moro: Professor Moro has a DPhil from the Department of International Development, University of Oxford and runs the Institute of Peace, Development and Security Studies at Juba University, South Sudan.

Munzoul Assal: Professor Munzoul Assal, Head of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Khartoum. Currently internally displaced in Port Sudan.