We welcome you to the 3rd edition of the Cambridge University Social Anthropology Society (CUSAS) Magazine, organised by the 2023-24 CUSAS Committee. We have entitled the Lent 2024 edition: ‘Care’. In selecting this focus, we hoped to allow room for a variety of inquiries and contexts of exploration within our Department’s scholarly community.
CUSAS’ vision is of a Department wherein students and staff are exposed to challenging and diverse views which further their anthropological interest and facilitate both academic achievement and social change. The pieces in this edition reflect a variety of perspectives on care and offer new perspectives on how our anthropological contexts stretch and morph the term, thereby challenging our own preconceptions about what lies within the interactions taking place in our world. We wanted to allow space for our members to reflect based on personal experience, research context, and histories and current events. We believed that creating this space for reflection would allow for further rumination within our community.
CUSAS has, throughout the year, forefronted our own thinking about care and how this shapes our anthropological community. We have hosted events such as the “Health and Wellbeing Discussion Group”, where our members have engaged in a ‘reimagining of medical anthropology, in which wellbeing, not merely illbeing, becomes a primary focus of inquiry’. Likewise, we have hosted events where undergraduate and one-year MPhil students could speak with those who have fieldwork experience about addressing one’s mental health in the field. As we continue through this academic year, we are mindful that our mentorship scheme and attention to EDI highlights our role, or our care, in supporting students on their journey within this discipline.
This edition seeks to highlight anthropology’s grappling with care and its capacity for providing a new lens through which we can self-reflect about our role as researchers and human beings alongside our findings within our fieldwork. Professor Iza Kavedžija’s and alumna Olivia Gaughran’s pieces, included in this edition, provide self-reflection on how we can define care in relation to our work and our environment. Also featured in this edition are comments from Dr Joanna Cook and Dr Paula Saravia, who discuss the complicated nature of how anthropologists make sense of care and the obligations that come with caring relationships in the field.
We would also like to thank our student contributors for undertaking the topic of care in imaginative ways. Their work considers the nuance of care in various contexts around the world and suggests extensions for anthropological analysis to aid our discipline’s conceptualisation of the term. You can read all the pieces here.
We invite you to read this newest edition of the magazine and to challenge your own notions of care and its value to advancing our discipline’s understanding of our work and the world around us.
The CUSAS Magazine Co-Editors
Adaiah Hudgins-Lopez, PhD Social Anthropology
Edurne Sosa El Fakih, PhD Social Anthropology
Adaiah Hudgins-Lopez is a writer, dancer, and creative pursuing a PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. She is a 2021 and 2022 Gates Cambridge Scholar and a member of Trinity College. Her writing and creative work centres Afrofuturist musings, narratives of migration, and explorations of community and movement building.
Edurne Sosa El Fakih is mostly a stubborn and intense writer pursuing a PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. She is a member of Newnham College and Menca de Leoni Scholarship recipient. Her book, Al borde de un viaje, is a creative project that speaks about uprooting, death, and childhood nostalgia.