John Davis, born London 1938. Educated University College, Oxford (BA Modern History, 1961) and London School of Economics (Ph.D. Social Anthropology, 1968). Employed at the University of Kent at Canterbury 1968-1990. FBA 1988. Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford and Fellow of All Souls College, 1990-95. Warden, All Souls College, 1995-. Visiting Professor at various times: Middle East Technical University, Ankara; Gemeinte Universiteit, Amsterdam; U.C. Berkeley; Aix-Marseilles III with Maison de la Mediteranée. Chairman, European Association of Social Anthropologists, 1993-4. President, Royal Anthropological Institute, 1997-2001.
He founded the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing (CSAC) and its associated Journal, the Bulletin of Information on Computing in Anthropology (BICA) at the University of Kent in 1983. He did fieldwork in Italy, in Pisticci (Basilicata) for his Ph.D., 1963-6 (about 2 years, including a period as research assistant to Paul Stirling), and in Libya 1974-9 (two and a half years in all). Interests are chiefly in economic and political anthropology and in kinship and marriage. Current work is mainly on marriage and divorce in Libya (Kufra and Ajdabiya), 1932-79: that is based on an archive of documents, and the work can be combined with College duties.