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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Rumsby

Updates: Illustrating Anthropology Learning Pack & the Launch of a Graphic Anthropology Community

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

Ello you lovely lot. I hope you managed to get some rest over the Easter Bank Holiday. It is tough to rest when working in academia, I get that. I tried my best to stay away from my computer and shut down. I am now ready to take on the spring term.

Since I last wrote, some exciting things have happened that I am sure you'll benefit knowing about / getting involved in. So without further ado let's get cracking!

illustrating anthropology learning pack

“A vision for collaborative anthropology” – illustration by Laura Haapio-Kirk.

Last year the illustrating anthropology exhibition offered a creative outlet in an otherwise gloomy season. Laura Haapio-Kirk and Jennifer Cearns gathered together anthropologists who use illustration as a fieldwork method, and others (like myself) who partner with artists and research participants to tell stories, to exhibit the wide range of ways that contemporary anthropologists are illustrating anthropology.

Drawing on examples from the exhibition, a learning pack has been created for FREE that examines five key ways that anthropologists are using illustration:

  • to communicate about difficult subjects,

  • to tell stories,

  • to make field notes,

  • to collaborate with research participants,

  • and to present information.

Download the learning pack here

Download • 16.18MB

The pack also includes a list of open access resources, a glossary to help those less familiar with anthropology understand the material, and various practical and discussion activities that can be undertaken in and outside of the classroom.

If you are inspired by the activities to create your own anthropological illustration, share your work with us either via the hashtag #illustratinganthropology on Instagram, or by emailing


Launch of a Graphic Anthropology Community

The Royal Anthropological Institute's Film Festival was awesome this year. A highlight was a panel discussion "Crisis through comics" organised by the delightful Dr Letizia Bonanno and Jose Sherwood which not only had stimulating presentations from anthropologists who have used illustration as a means of collaboration, analysis and representation in their work - but - the panel's discussion about the potential of #graphic_anthropology as a medium to generate political critique and create new venues for public engagement has travelled beyond the boarders of the festival and a community of like minded scholars who use illustration has formed. The good news is, you can join this community by signing up here: Big shout out to Lucy Hunt for having the bright spark idea of setting up this space. Much appreciated.

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