Richard Vokes


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

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile

Current projects

Richard Vokes is co-curator - with Derek Peterson, Nelson Abiti, and Edgar Taylor - of a major new exhibition:

'The Unseen Archive of Idi Amin: Photographs from the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation'.

The exhibition was on at The Uganda Museum, Kitante Hill, Kiira Road, Kampala, in 2019, and is now touring. 

For more information, click here.


Richard Vokes is Associate Professor in Anthropology and International 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 an Editor of the Journal of Eastern African Studies (since 2014), a founding Member of the Organizing Committee for the Australia Social Sciences Week (launched in 2018), and a former President of the Australian Anthropological Society (2017-2019).

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).
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