Oxford University’s School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography and UCL Anthropology have established a fund to support an annual lecture in memory of Dame Mary Douglas (1921-2007). Mary was trained at Oxford and spent most of her working life at UCL, so it is proposed that the lecture should alternate between Oxford and UCL.

The topic of the lecture will be related to a field in which she was active (e.g., African ethnography, environment and technological risk, Old Testament scholarship) and outward facing from the discipline of Anthropology in keeping with her role as a public intellectual. It is anticipated that the lectures will be published in collaboration with the Royal Anthropological Institute. The first lecture will be held in 2014.

A steering group to organize the lectures has been established consisting of the heads of both participating departments - Professors Marcus Banks (Oxford) and Suzanne Kuechler (UCL), the Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute - Dr David Shankland, and Professor Steve Rayner (Oxford), Dr Martin Holbraad (UCL), and Professor Perri 6 (Queen Mary, University of London).

The fund has been established with initial institutional donations from both departments and from an individual donor. Additional donations from friends, colleagues and admirers are welcome to ensure that the memorial is sustainable into the future. The fund will be used to defray the travel and subsistence expenses of the lecturer, a modest reception and/or dinner in his/her honour, and expenses associated with publicity and publication.

Contributions to the fund are eligible for Gift Aid and can be made online at Please be sure to designate your gift to the Mary Douglas Memorial Lecture Fund.