Leo Ruickbie is Elected a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
At a meeting on 3 March 2022, the Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland elected its new Fellows and I was honoured to be included among them. Founded in 1871, the RAI is the oldest and most distinguished society in the world devoted to promoting anthropology. The current President is Professor Dame Sue Black, Baroness of Strome. It has a Royal Patron, HRH Prince Richard, The Duke of Gloucester KG, GCVO, and is a Registered Charity in England and Wales.
Past presidents have included such luminaries as Lieutenant General Augustus Lane Fox Pitt Rivers (1827-1900), Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917), Alfred Radcliffe-Brown (1881-1955) and Sir Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard (1902-1973). This illustrious role-call sounds like my first-year reading list.
Evans-Pritchard, of course, is best known for his work on witchcraft and his book, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande, has travelled with me on my studies. It even came in useful during an interview with the British Army, but that is another story, as they say.
It is a great milestone in my career to be welcomed as a Fellow into this renowned institution and my heart-felt thanks go to my sponsor, the historical anthropologist Dr Efram Sera-Shriar, FRAI.