• The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Richard Vokes is Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Development at the University of Western Australia, and an elected Research Associate of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He holds a B.A. Hons. and an M.A. with Distinction in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent, and a D.Phil in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. His research focuses primarily on the African Great Lakes region, especially on the societies of South-western Uganda, where he has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork since 2000. He has published extensively, including on: development (governance, education, and natural resource management), the HIV/AIDS epidemic, new religious movements, and the history of photography, media and social change. He also works with African-Australians, in the digital humanities, and on the Anthropology of Antarctica. His academic research has won numerous prizes and awards, including the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Curl Essay Prize, a Finalist Award in the African Studies Association’s Herskovits competition, and the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Sutasoma Prize. He has held the Evans-Pritchard Lectureship and two Visiting Fellowships at All Souls College, Oxford. He has secured competitive research funding from: the Australian Research Council, the British Institute in East Africa, the British Library, the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation (USA). He has also carried out a wide range of consultancy and external advisory work, including for the UK and NZ governments, UNICEF, Oxford Analytica, IHS Markit, the Willis Group, and for a number of major transnational companies. His research has been used by the Office of the Secretary General of the UN.  He is Editor of the Journal of Eastern African Studies, a Member of the Organizing Committee for the Australia Social Sciences Week, and President of the Australian Anthropological Society.


Previous positions

University of Oxford, 1999-2005
University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2005-2012
University of Adelaide, 2013-2017


Africa; Development; HIV/AIDS; New Religious Movements; Media and Visual Anthropology; Antarctica.


English (Native)
Runyankore-Rukiga (Strong)
French (Reading).

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Uganda Social Sciences
clientelism Social Sciences
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ethnography Social Sciences
sociality Social Sciences
social agencies Social Sciences
Rwanda Social Sciences
examination Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2013 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)

Photographies in Africa in the digital age

Vokes, R., 1 May 2019, In : Africa. 89, 2, p. 207-224 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Signs of development: Photographic futurism and the politics of affect in Uganda

Vokes, R., 1 May 2019, In : Africa. 89, 2, p. 303-322 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

resistance movement

African Perspectives on Development

Vokes, R., 2018, The Routledge Handbook of African Development. Binns, T., Lynch, K. & Nel, E. (eds.). USA: Routledge-Cavendish, p. 10-18 (Routledge International Handbooks).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

7 Citations (Scopus)

Before the call: mobile phones, exchange relations, and social change in South-western Uganda

Vokes, R., 2018, In : Ethnos. 83, 2, p. 274-290 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

social change
Social Mobility
5 Citations (Scopus)

Chronotopes of Media in Sub-Saharan Africa

Vokes, R. & Pype, K., 15 Mar 2018, In : Ethnos. 83, 2, p. 207-217 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sub-Saharan Africa

Projects 2018 2021