Department of Anthropology
School of Social Science
University of Aberdeen
Tel: +44 (0)1224 274354
I am Professor of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. My research focuses on creativity, knowledge production, and ownership; on art, science, and collaboration; on Papua New Guinea; and on the development of new technologies and their implications for social form (see Activities for a selection). Read more about me.
My published works reflect these interests with books and articles focused on kinship, creativity, place/landscape and art in Papua New Guinea, on creativity and the person, intellectual and cultural property, knowledge production and exchange, on gender and free software, and on the relation of technology and law to artistic and collaborative practice (see Books and Articles).
Having been awarded the Royal Anthropological Institute J.B. Donne Prize in the Anthropology of Art for 1999, I was subsequently a recipient of The Philip Leverhulme Prize (in my case for a co-creative approach to anthropological research) in 2004.
My writing and teaching draws upon, and extends, long term collaborative ethnographic field research with Nekgini-language speaking people who live in and around Reite village on the Rai Coast of Papua New Guinea. A co-authored publication with Porer Nombo is the most recent output drawing on these relationships – see Books for free download.
AHRC funded research project with Wayne McGregor | Random Dance www.randomdance.org,
Openended Group openendedgroup.com,
and Wellcome Collections www.wellcomecollection.org:
'Enhancing Choreographic Objects www.randomdance.org/r_research/current_projects1. PDF
Anthropological Forum Special Issue on 'Recognising and Translating Knowledge', published Nov 2012
La Mort du Tambour published in Technique et Culture, October 2012.
New articles are available here: www.jamesleach.net/articles.html
Art/Science collaborations and Intellectual Property Law article published in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. www.haujournal.org/index.php/hau/article/view/23
Cross-cultural knowledge exchange partnership: Partnership Agreement Template v 0.3