Professor Dame Caroline Humphrey

Founder and Director of Research at Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit (MIASU), University of Cambridge

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Founder and Director of Research, Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge

Professor Caroline Humphrey is an anthropologist who has worked in Russia, Mongolia, China (Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang), India, Nepal and Ukraine. She has researched a wide range of themes including Soviet and post-Soviet provincial economy and society; Buryat and Daur shamanism; Jain religion and ritual; trade and barter in Nepal; environment and the pastoral economy in Mongolia; and the history and contemporary situation of Buddhism, especially in Inner Mongolia. She has written on inequality and exclusion; the politics of memory; naming practices; ethics and conceptions of freedom. Recent research has concerned urban transformations in post-Socialist cities (Buryatia; Uzbekistan, Ukraine). Currently she is developing a research project on socio-political interactions on the Russian–Mongolian–Chinese border.

After completing her undergraduate degree at Girton, Professor Humphrey came back to the University of Cambridge in 1971 to do her MA in Mongolian Studies, and then her PhD in Social Anthropology. Since then she has held several positions in the University's Department of Social Anthropology, as a lecturer, Reader and then Professor, culminating in her being made Sigrid Rausing Professor of Collaborative Anthropology in 2006. She stepped down from this post in 2010 to become Director of Research at the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, which she had co-founded in 1986. Professor Humphrey is also a Fellow of King's College.