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Prof Michael Stewart
14 Taviton St
wc1h 0bw
Prof Michael Stewart profile picture
  • Professor of Anthropology
  • Dept of Anthropology
  • Faculty of S&HS

My recent  career has involved a number of transformative projects using documentary and ethnographic film to alter the UCL/London community relationship,  creating new value in UCL since 2008. Innovative, practice based documentary and ethnographic film courses have altered teaching practices and engendered a series of major KE/KT projects. In 2011 I founded Open City Docs Fest – London’s Global Documentary Festival at UCL (audiences >4,000 in 2012-2013). The MyStreet collaborative anthropology site widens Festival and UCL access and recreates Mass Observation for the visual age. I have raised £0.75million since 2010 from private, corporate and faculty sources to support this work, including DocinaDay (95 films to date in schools across London) leading to the invitation to organise RAI’s 2011 Anthropological film festival at UCL. A 2013 AHRC collaborative training award recognises the importance of this new form of training and engagement. In October of this year I was appointed as SHS vice-Dean of Enterprise (chairing SLASH Board for Enterprise), pioneering new mass, digital forms of education.

Research Summary

I lead internationally in ethnography and historical ethnography of Roma and Gypsies as well as directing and supporting the next generation. I have always worked to integrate visual and textual anthropology, with contributions to practice-based research that double as outreach/ engagement. My visual/textual approach is based on my joint training in film and British social anthropology. MyStreet, launched in 2011, brings together three of my core research interests (ethnographic case study in text and film, uses of visual social clues by the hyper-marginalised, and the nature and potential of film as research method and output). MyStreet develops practice-based research through participatory film closely allied with a continuing emphasis on outreach and engagement.

Teaching Summary

My teaching at UCL draws on my research. In addition to teaching among our largest courses (Political and Economic Anthropology;  Introduction to Anthropology) I created an international doctoral school (Marie Curie SocAnth) with 14 full time and 30 visiting PhDs  (>70% now post-docs or in academic posts). I have first supervised 14 UK PhD students to completion since 1999 (including the first PhD of Romany descent at a world class university) with two more current supervisees. I created practice based film training now being integrated into mainstream UCL educational practice, (UG and MSc modules; full MSc.in preparation).


Academic Background
1988   Doctor of Philosophy University of London
1981   Bachelor of Science London School of Economics and Political Science
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